Abigail's Ghost
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Abigail's Ghost

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"Group's Members Interact via Internet: Describing the Music"

"Finding a way to sum up Abigail's Ghost's genre of music isn't easy.

the sound [that] the group generates relies on a series of odd meters and has many elements that explore both harmony and melody.

Further exlporation could find someone thinking of early 90's grunge rock bands when listening to Abigail's Ghost. The actual title for Abigail's Ghost type of music is 'New Prog' [Contemporary Progressive]." - The Houma Courier


"Abigail's Ghost"

They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

Back in 1995, when Porcupine Tree released The Sky Moves Sideways (as well as the subsequent single Voyage 34), critics lashed out at the band’s close Pink Floyd influences. Indeed, it was difficult for fans of The Wall not to find themselves humming unintended lyrics over the opening riffs of Voyage 34, and imagining David Gilmour crafting the disc’s delicious solos. The influences were undeniable, and the band eventually evolved into the darker, more aggressive sound they produce today. Ironically, it could be argued that Porcupine Tree’s sound is a little too unique, making them a challenge to market.

So flash forward 12 years later, to the interesting collaboration of Joshua Theriot and Kenneth (No Relation) Wilson. Having originally met at the Berklee College of Music three years ago, the pair basically crafted Selling Insincerity remotely, sharing and sculpting the music via the web and ultimately recording it one intense week in New Orleans. There are places in Selling Insincerity that bleed its influences, ranging from Porcupine Tree/ Blackfield, through Tool, Nine Inch Nails and King Crimson. In fact, another writer overhearing me playing Selling Insincerity excitedly assumed I had gotten an advance copy of the forthcoming Porcupine Tree EP. The influences are there and they are, much like Porcupine Tree’s were in 1995, undeniable.

Theriot’s vocals are heavily influenced by Steven Wilson, as is (Kenneth) Wilson’s production. There are places- the opening sections of Cerulean Blue (Tinto Brass) and Sleeping (Blackfield’s The Hole In Me) that are certainly targets for critics seeking unfiltered mimicry. And I do agree that in places it’s a bit much. If this is something that you get hung up on, you’re not going to be a fan. At least of this incarnation of Abigail’s Ghost. But if you’re willing to let go a little and listen into Selling Insincerity, there is plenty to like. First off, we need more bands like this. Those of us who are Tool and Porcupine Tree fans know how few quality bands there are right now, and how long we have to wait between new releases. Creating music like this is a risk, not only because of the lack of radio support, but also because of how difficult it is to cultivate a fanbase. So for their somewhat unfiltered nod to influences, I am willing to be a little patient.

Abigail’s Ghost is certainly a unique beast, and I have to admit it was difficult for me at first to get past my familiarity with their influences enough to appreciate their offerings. Without being disingenuous, this is clearly the product of music lovers. You can hear flourishes of everything from Pantera through the Beach Boys, and nearly everywhere in between. Surprisingly, as can often be the flaw with projects like these, the music is rarely sterile. The production is inspired and does a great job of creating depth and dimension. Simpler tracks like Love Sounds are brought to life with creative effects and a very immersive production. Theriot’s closing solo on that track is particularly blistering. And the opening track Close is as close to a Tool/ Porcupine Tree hybrid as you’re ever likely to hear, spirited and aggressive and infectious, as well balanced between those two bands’ respective sounds.

In places where the inspiration is not as obvious, one can actually get how good this band actually is. One of Selling Insincerity’s highlights is Dead People’s Review, which really shows Abigail’s Ghost standing outside their influences. The playful, Belew-like solo that closes the track is one of the CD’s highlights. Mother May I is another standout. With its Reznor by way of Tool sass, it is still a nod to its influences without being overcome by them. The cock rock solo near the end is a lot of fun as well. Windows also arrives as an unexpected twist, almost a throwback pop/rock track that would fit in well on the O.C. For me, the standout is the soaring Monochrome. A beautiful anthem, with Gilmour-inflected solos and shimmering soundscapes drawing the listener in. If nothing else, it seems to me to be the soul of Selling Insincerity, and perhaps as close as the album gets to the true voice of Abigail’s Ghost.

In the end, Abigail’s Ghost are undoubtedly a talented band capable of writing catchy and technically complex tunes. Taken individually, there’s little to no filler on Selling Insincerity, and I suspect it would be accepted as an immediate classic if not for the similarity to its influences. Considering the unique circumstances under which this CD came to life, it is shockingly good. I sincerely hope and suspect they will evolve into a more unique identity as their craft develops, and I believe there will be a strong fanbase awaiting them at that juncture. - Studio M Live


"Abigail's Ghost Talk About Their Hot Debut Selling Insincerity"

The debut of Abigail’s Ghost, Selling Insincerity, raised quite a bit of interest among prog rock fans, particularly those who enjoy the recent works of Porcupine Tree. Packed with a good dose of intricate rhythms, psychedelic passages, dramatic vocals, and thought-provoking lyrics, this album is bound to become one of the best debuts of 2007. Sea of Tranquility Staff Writer Murat Batmaz found the chance to discuss the history of the band, the new album, and the future with band leaders Kenneth Wilson (bass/backing vocals) and Joshua Theriot (lead guitars/lead vocals).

Read on for the full interview!

Sea of Tranquility: Could you talk about the inception of the band? How long has Abigail's Ghost been active?

KW: Well, Joshua and I have been playing together since I was about 13 (circa 1997), but Abigail’s Ghost didn’t come about until the fall of 2003. Before that we had various other bands, which ran the gamut from playing painfully bland Top 40 type music to our original love, progressive and guitar rock. Abigail’s Ghost evolved out of another band we had. The beginnings of songs now on Selling Insincerity were recorded as demos with the other band. Then in the Fall of 2003, we resurrected some of these old demos and a lot of lyrics I had written in years past for Abigail’s Ghost.

JT: That was the first time in our history that Kenneth and I actually set out to collaborate on writing music. The band developed solely as an outlet for the music we wanted to create.

SoT:Who are the current members in the band and what are their roles? Has everyone contributed to the songwriting or is it more of a solo discipline with the rest of the members adding in their own touch?

KW: The current members of the band are myself (Kenneth Wilson), Joshua Theriot, John Patrick Rodrigue, Randy Paul, and Brett Guillory. I play bass, sing background vocals, and am also the main producer in the band. Joshua plays lead and rhythm guitars and sings lead vocals. John is the drummer, Randy is our secondary guitarist, and Brett is our synth player.



On Selling Insincerity, Joshua and myself wrote all the songs. I wrote the vast majority of the lyrics and probably about 30% of the music, which mainly consisted of riffs. “Close”, “Sellout”, “Windows”, and “Cerulean Blue” are mainly my songs. Joshua wrote “Seeping”, “Mazurka”, “Waiting Room”, and “Monochrome”. For the most part though, the songs were a collaborative effort. We would send riffs and basic songs back and forth through the Internet and build the songs from that basic framework. When we would actually get together, we would jam on some of the songs and come up with various riffs and ideas, which we would record or write down for later use. We jammed on the songs as a band and played a few live shows, which allowed us to break in the music, and we finessed and changed them continually up until we recorded them in January of 2006. At that point, we had to live with them, so writing for Selling Insincerity was done at that point.

SoT: What type of music were you into during the early stages of the band? How much of it is still prevalant in your current sound?

KW: During the early stages of the band we had been listening to a lot of A Perfect Circle, Massive Attack, Sneaker Pimps, Rush, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, and Nine Inch Nails. But to be honest, Joshua and I have very different tastes in music and it’s very hard to say from where exactly the inspiration came. We just write whatever we feel is good.

JT: I also recall listening to Lacuna Coil, Tool, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai back in 2003 when the band was first coming together. All those bands and the ones Kenneth mentioned are musically referenced in our music. Most examples are subtle and not exactly something a non-musician would catch. For instance the tremolo-laden guitar progression that occurs in “Cerulean Blue” (Track 9 on Selling Insincerity) at 5:05 is completely taken from the Steve Vai school of writing progressions. If you were to study Vai’s composition techniques, you’d find that he likes to take a pedal tone and move around the upper notes of an arpeggio rooted on that tone to create a progression. This in turn creates modal implications. I’ve heard John Petrucci from Dream Theater apply this as well. But to the untrained ears you wouldn’t attribute that part of “Cerulean Blue” to the writing styles of those guys because the context of the song disguises it.

SoT:The style of your band is described as "art rock" on your website. Could you elaborate a bit on this term? Does it differ from progressive rock?

KW: It probably evolved from my disdain of genre labeling, so I just arbitrarily labeled the band as art rock. I believe that the Cure would fall under this category and there is a bit of influence from them on songs like “Waiting Room”, though no real overt reference. I put no stock in genre labels as a whole anyway. I think I could probably think of a better labe - Sea of Tranquility


"Abigail's Ghost: Selling Insincerity Review"

Es gab einmal zwei alte Schulfreunde Kenneth Wilson und Joshua Theriot, die seit Jahren gemeinsam an Musik bastelten und nebenbei auch diverse Hochschulen besuchten. Das Projekt begann Gestalt anzunehmen, als sich die beiden Co-Leader drei kompetente Mitstreiter aussuchten, um als Band die bereits komponierte Musik einzuspielen.

Fast zeitgleich mit zwei limitierten EP's (die eigentlich als erstes erscheinen sollten) kommt nun die erste reguläre CD der Newcomer von Abigail's Ghost auch in Europa auf den Markt. Genauer gesagt, soll es für uns am 28ten September 2007 soweit sein und zwar nicht ganz ohne Zutun von Just For Kicks Music. Da die Platte aber im Heimatland der Musiker, in den USA, bereits im März rauskam, darf diese Besprechung heute schon erscheinen.

Falls sich jemand über den seltsamen Albumtitel wundern sollte: Diesen beziehen die Musiker nicht auf sich selbst, sondern auf verschiedene Lebenslügen, die viele von uns entwickeln und die offensichtlich auch als Inspiration dienen können.

In den zahlreichen Online-Reviews fallen im Zusammenhang mit Abigail's Ghosts Debütwerk Namen wie Porcupine Tree, Rush, Tool, Pink Floyd, The Amber Light oder Drahk von Trip. In Interviews nennen die Musiker außerdem noch A Perfect Circle, John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Massive Attack und Nine Inch Nails.

(Es soll sogar Vergleiche mit The Beatles gegeben haben. Ich vermute, das kann nur an drehorgelähnlichen Mellotronklängen in "Seeping" liegen, einem kleinen ArtPop-Meisterwerk, das mit einem Prog-Metal-Mittelteil verblüfft. Bis auf dieses Stück ist ein Vergleich zwischen The Beatles und Abigail's Ghost für mich nicht nachvollziehbar).

Nicht alle der obengenannten Bands wird man in der Musik von Abigails' Ghost heraushören können. Um die Auswahl etwas einzugrenzen: Wilson und Theriot nennen jeweils "In Absentia" von Porcupine Tree und "Movin Pictures" von Rush als ihre Lieblingsalben. Damit kommen wir der Sache schon näher.

Melancholische ArtPop-Einfälle wechseln sich auf "Selling Insincerity" mit energetischen Nu Metal/Progmetal-Riffs ab, die sowohl an Rush als auch an Tool erinnern können. Die metallischen Momente kommen in der Regel vertrackter um die Ecke, als die der atmosphärischen Popmusik gewidmeten.

Mein Favorit ist "Cerulean blue", wo kurz aufkommende elektronische Rhythmen und verfremdeter Grunzgesang für zusätzliche Überraschung sorgen. Und überhaupt, die letzten drei Stücke liefern einen imposanten Abschluss dieses überaus gelungenen Albums. Über Produktion, die reichhaltigen Arrangements und die Leistung der Musiker kann ich nur Lobenswertes berichten. Dadurch kann die abwechslungsreiche Musik ihre volle Wirkung entfalten.

Man darf also gespannt sein, ob Abigail's Ghost in Zukunft noch weitere Werke in der Qualität von "Selling Insincerity" zustande bringen werden. - Baby Blaue-Seiten


"Abigail's Ghost-"Selling Insincerity""

Selling Insincerity is the debut album of Abigail's Ghost, a young American band formed around the nucleus of guitarist and vocalist Joshua Theriot and bassist Kenneth Wilson. Though the band avoids categorization, their style of music mostly falls into progressive rock that emphasizes a blend of groove, spacey atmospheres, and excellent vocal harmonies.

This is a self-released effort, drawing from a vast library of influences including Porcupine Tree, A Perfect Circle, Tool, Massive Attack, and Rush. The low bass drones of the album opener "Mazurka" lead into the rhythmically aware "Close", which immediately stands out for its Porcupine Tree-like vocal arrangement, sparse drum beats, and bleak synth lines. The chorus of the song is incredibly memorable, and helps thicken the already dense soundscape. You can hear lots of weird sound collections in the background if you listen with a good set of headphones. The song breaks down into a creepy middle section filled with cold acoustic guitars capped by powerful bass strokes and distant keyboards.

Joshua Theriot employs a similar vocal recording technique to Steven Wilson; he utilises the same processed vocal style and laidback singing whilst continuously exerting a melodious delivery. His vocal melodies on songs like "Waiting Room" and "Seeping" are amazing. Though most will be reminded of Steven Wilson when hearing him sing, Theriot cites Chris Corner of IAMX and Sneaker Pimps as his main influence. He is also an excellent guitar player, adding varied guitar sounds to the compositions. He can go from elegiac lead playing on "Monochrome" to atonal expressions on "Love Sounds" and "Cerulean Blue", both of which boast a Belew-like tone and articulation.

Kenneth Wilson's backing vocals and bass are equally important to the success of these songs. Not only is he a gifted songwriter, he is also an excellent producer given the duo's limited resources when recording this album. If it weren't for the amazing production, there is no way these songs would sound as good as they do. Wilson's bass playing is particularly central on "Cerulean Blue", complete with industrial-like beats, eerie sounds, and manipulated vocal parts. The mix on this song is phenomenal, blowing the listener away with killer right-left speaker panning.

The other members' performance is awesome. Drummer John Patrick Rodrigue's style is diverse, as he exerts both classic 4/4 beats and complex polyrhythms depending on the flow of the song whilst keyboard Brett Guillory brings in Barbieri-like synth colouring in order to reach certain atmospheres. Randy Paul on second guitar complements the work Joshua Theriot with extra rhythm workout and unexpected guitar riffs.

The lyrics are thought-provoking and match the incredible artwork perfectly. The image on the front cover gives a sense of separation while the baby doll lying on the ground in the foreground has ties to themes of abandonment, which is explored on the album. Also, "Sellout" could be read as a nod to Porcupine Tree's "The Sound of Muzak", but it is also about compromising oneself. The band isn't that keen on talking about their lyrics as they believe it might defeat the purpose of extrapolating one's own meaning.

Fans who enjoy progressive music that marries the hallmarks of Porcupine Tree's modern-sounding material with the harmonies of Cure and A Perfect Circle should check this disc out. Selling Insincerity is one of the best debuts of the year along with Thought Chamber's Angular Perceptions.

Track Listing

Mazurka
Close
Waiting Room
Love Sounds
Sellout
Dead People's Review
Monochrome
Windows
Cerulean Blue
Seeping
Mother May I?
Added: September 15th 2007
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Score: - Sea of Tranquility


"Abigail's Ghost - Selling Insincerity"

Jeune groupe américain, Abigail’s Ghost investit dans un Rock Progressif très influencé par Porcupine Tree. « Selling Insincerity », leur tout premier album sorti en mars 2007, s’avère être d’ailleurs très prometteur. En effet, la production y est impeccable, les compositions bien ficelées, les mélodies toutes aussi efficaces qu’harmonieuses, et les musiciens techniquement au point !

Néanmoins, l’originalité n’est pas de mise sur cet album, ce qui est regrettable… Abigail’s Ghost fait « dans le clône de Porcupine Tree », sans avoir une âme propre et véritable. Les morceaux sont inspirées du groupe Anglais tant dans la structure qu’au niveau du son ou même de la voix ! Le chanteur, Joshua Theriot, est d’ailleurs doté d’une voix subtilement mélodieuse et émotive, mais totalement pompée sur celle de Steven Wilson. Le comble du mimétisme (involontaire ?) réside dans le nom du bassiste et compositeur, Kenneth Wilson, ce qui pourrait porter à confusion et pourtant, il n’y a aucun lien de parenté entre les deux… Au passage, même l’interface du site d’Abigail’s Ghost est copiée sur celle de Porcupine Tree ! C’est dire à quel point ils les prennent en exemple…

Cependant, il ne faut pas cracher sur ce jeune groupe compétent et talentueux, car vouloir imiter Porcupine Tree est une chose, mais y arriver en est une autre ! Et l’on pourrait presque dire qu’Abigail’s Ghost est arrivé à ses fins. En effet, certains titres arrivent à dégager cette même émotion indescriptible, teinté d’agressivité et de tendresse, propre à Porcupine Tree… Les morceaux oscillent entre passages doux à la guitare clean nappée de piano et d’autres moments plus agressifs, où la guitare saturée se noie dans des envolées instrumentales à la fois torturées et passionnantes, comme seuls Porcupine Tree, et maintenant Abigail’s Ghost, savent les faire… Il en est ainsi de « Dead People’s Review », titre rappelant irrémédiablement « Blackest Eyes » de Porcupine Tree, ou encore de « Sellout ».

Il ne faudrait pas non plus croire que tous les titres de « Selling Insincerity » ne sont qu’une copie de Porcupine Tree. Certains morceaux sont en effet dotés d’une véritable originalité, tout en restant dans ce style propre à l’album. C’est le cas de « Love Sounds » ou bien de « Monochrome », musiques qui laissent transparaitre le véritable visage de ces américains, et non le simple reflet d’un autre groupe… Ces titres restent dans des sonorités « Porcupinienne » sans pour autant aller jusqu’à copier la structure des morceaux, ce qui permet d’avoir des musiques dotées d’un style plus personnel, pour un rendu assez prenant !

Au final, pour résumer, on peut dire qu’Abigail’s Ghost est à Porcupine Tree ce que Dreamscape est à Dream Theater… Malgré son manque d’originalité, « Selling Insincerity » n’est pas dépourvu d’intérêt et plaira tant aux fans de Porcupine Tree qu’aux amateurs de Rock Progressif efficace et mélodieux. - Music Waves


"CD Review: Abigail's Ghost - Selling Insincerity"

Artist: Band: Abigail’s Ghost
Album: Selling Insincerity [2007]
Label: Aesperus Music
Website: http://www.abigailsghost.com
Genre: Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal and Art Rock
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
CD Review:

Enter Abigail’s Ghost, a progressive art-rock group from New Orleans, Louisiana, with one of the most stunning debuts of 2007. Nothing ethereal here: the combination of emotional, innovative song structures, seamless transitions, atmospheric and vicious layers of instrumentation, vocal harmonies and well-written lyrics, come together to form a breathtaking musical presence that reaffirms itself with each listen. Removing twelve notes from reality's grip, they are among the select groups of musicians that can make you forget you're even listening to earthly music at all.

Maintaining a predominantly heavy progressive rock and metal sound throughout, Selling Insincerity draws from a wealth of influences that range from Pink Floyd, Steve Vai, Ozric Tentacles, Dream Theatre, OSI, Supertramp and Opeth. And considering that yes, this is a debut, and yes, just like most first-time artists, Abigail's Ghost's music has a tendency to sound like one group in particular. In this case, the indefinable Porcupine Tree.

Now, here’s the thing: utter the name “Porcupine Tree” in the prog realms, and you'll be sure to raise some considerable attention, as well as discover a tightly knit community (myself included) that will no doubt inform you the band is truly one of the best-kept secrets in music. So it would be only natural that any comparisons drawn to them would be met with a certain degree of hesitation and criticism – but hey, that’s the politics of music.

“[But] I think that opinion of us differs for everyone,” says Abigail’s Ghost’s bassist, Kenneth Wilson. “There are some who ignorantly claim that we're [Porcupine Tree] clones, but the majority of these people are younger than I am (I'm 23), male, and probably have no clue about the older progressive rock music that really influenced [us]. No one above the age of 25, that I've seen anyway, has been that negative, so I suspect the hostility comes from lack of experience with other similar music.”

Fair enough. While in some respects this may be the case, what makes Selling Insincerity an interesting subject for discussion is the fact that there really haven't been any formal counterparts that have come close to matching Porcupine Tree's sonic power like this before. While Abigail's Ghost is treading in the footsteps of Porcupine Tree, they are taking several steps further along the prog rock and metal paths that Porcupine Tree only began to explore in their last two releases, Deadwing and Fear of a Blank Planet.

Once “Mazurka's” devious three-four groove blends into the fiery guitar-driven and crashing drum rhythms of “Close,” it's obvious right from the get-go that disappointment doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance. As lengthy instrumental passages dissolve into cleanly-strummed electric guitars that carry over into “Waiting Room,” a low-fi guitar introduction soon erupts into layers of acoustic guitars, atmospheric keys and lead vocals. Nothing short of heart racing, it accelerates upwards, only pulling back on the reins occasionally, exploring (as the title suggests) the uncertainty, frustration and lack of control when it comes to waiting.

The cascading wall-of-sounds take a short break once a cold and distant drum loop enters in the beginning of “Love Sounds.” As the keys begin to warm the surroundings, Joshua Theriot’s breathy vocals enter with a Kevin Moore reservation, and within minutes, Wilson's bass moves upwards – cutting through the mix – with a growl that gives the thumbs up for the drums, guitars and keys to bring everything back up to full-speed once again. By the midway mark, “Sellout” effortlessly trades between heavy and light, becoming another explosive standout track, with a fair amount of thanks going to the power provided by John Patrick's drumming. Injecting a few unsettling rhythms, he masterfully plays with the beat – twisting and submitting each verse to his mastery – meanwhile, propulsive and crunchy guitars dip in and out before unleashing into an aggressive symphonic fury at the two-minute mark (indirectly reminding one that vocals, guitars, bass and drums can in fact match the sonic force of a full-fledged orchestra).

“You have to realize that this album was basically recorded live in the studio with only guitar and vocal overdubs in a period of one grueling week. We stayed in the studio from 12-14 hours a day hammering out the songs, and there are a lot of things we overlooked or didn't have time for that got cut from the final album,” says Wilson. Not only does this knowledge reaffirm the fact that Abigail's Ghost is composed of some damn fine musicians, it also adds another dimension that reaffirms that while they are hea - The Muse's Muse


"Abigail's Ghost - Selling Insincerity"

C’est bizarre, cette étrange impression qui nous envahit à l’écoute de ce premier album d’ ABIGAIL’S GHOST… Ce groupe Américain originaire de la Nouvelle-Orléans a comme qui dirait un air de déjà entendu.
On croyait tous, moi le premier, que seul Steven WILSON était capable de créer le son PORCUPINE TREE. Après avoir dressé l’oreille sur ce « Selling Insincerity », il s’avère que c’est faux. C'est Joshua THERIOT et Kenneth WILSON (tient donc) qui en sont les principaux responsables, et les principaux compositeurs, et c’est tout en leurs honneurs. Notons cependant que c'est Kenneth WILSON qui a composé toutes les paroles de se "Selling Insincerity"...
ABIGAIL’S GHOST traverse un style très, très proche de celui, suivi seul jusqu’à présent par PORCUPINE TREE.
Déjà, dès les premières notes, nos soupçons s'y tournent déjà. Les titres sont à la fois mélodiques avec des atmosphères inquiétantes déjà communiquées par WILSON himself, on enfonce le clou sur « Sellout » qui est une vrai fausse complainte d’un titre de PORCUPINE TREE. Et même si le groupe tente de s’en séparer un peu, on retombe directement un peu dans du BLACKFIELD à l’écoute de « Monochrome », qui risque d’être un must et un tube dans pas longtemps tant ce titre nous prend les tripes…
Alors, mis à part la voix de Joshua et ses quelques atmosphères à la guitare acoustique, la rythmique basse, batterie pesante et solide ou (« Cerulean Blue », « Sleeping », « Mother May I » ) de Kenneth et John et les atmosphères planantes du synthé de Brett, sans oublier l’artwork, TOUT n’est pas PORCUPINE TREE. Enfin presque pas tout…. Bref, on y perdrait presque son latin là-dedans !
Mais il faut admettre que Joshua THERIOT a un certain talent musical et de composition et que tous ses morceaux sont des tubes. La production n’est pas loin d’être parfaite, on se prend facilement au jeu.
On décèle sans l’ombre d’un doute, un énorme potentiel que le groupe devra cependant exploiter encore à fond pour une prochaine production pour nous en mettre encore plein la vue sans pour autant laisser petit à petit de côté, cette comparaison flagrante au groupe sus nommé, qui nous plait bien et qui franchement nous épate.
Alors, les fans de PORCUPINE TREE auront beaucoup de mal à ne pas faire le rapprochement et à crier au plagiat sur certains morceaux, il est vrai, mais faisons confiance à ABIGAIL’S GHOST car Steven WILSON a maintenant un groupe qui tient la route auprès de lui !!
L’élève va peut-être égaler le maître s’il continue ? - Progressive Area


"CD recensie: Abigail's Ghost - Selling Insincerity"

Werd ik onlangs nog blij verrast door het debuut album “Crossroad” van het Russische Apple Pie, ligt er weer een debuut om ‘U’ tegen te zeggen zijn rondjes in mijn cd-speler te draaien. Het gaat hier om de Amerikaanse formatie Abigail’s Ghost. Net als bij Apple Pie, hebben we hier met een aantal zeer getalenteerde jongen mensen te maken.

Je hoeft niet lang naar dit album te luisteren om te ontdekken waar ze de mosterd vandaan gehaald hebben. Dat is overduidelijk Porcupine Tree. Luister maar eens naar het eerste stuk van het nummer Cerulean Blue. Maar om meteen te stellen dat we met een kloon te maken hebben, zou de band te kort doen. Ze zijn duidelijk geïnspireerd door de band van Steven Wilson en ook door landgenoten A Perfect Circle, maar de band geeft met “Selling Insincerity” een geheel eigen draai aan hun muziek.

De muziek van Abigail’s Ghost is bijzonder gevarieerd. Snoeiharde gitaarriffs worden afgewisseld met prachtige pakkende refreinen en de sfeer kan van dreigend en hard naar ingetogen en vriendelijk overslaan zonder dat het geforceerd over komt.

Na de intro Mazurka gaat de band met Close meteen met volle vaart uit de startblokken. Snoeiharde gitaarriffs knallen uit je speakers, maar dan neemt de band gas terug en heeft de mooie melodie en daarbij sterke zang van Joshua Theriot de overhand. De riffs komen uiteraard weer terug maar zonder dat ze het geheel domineren. Het nummer is duidelijk belangrijker dan het tentoonstellen van de individuele kwaliteiten en zo hoort het ook. En dat die kwaliteiten er zijn staat als een paal boven water. Met name Joshua Theriot die ook de leadgitaar voor zijn rekening neemt valt op met zijn pittige solo’s maar ook met warm akoestisch spel. En ook drummer John Rodrigue is een enorm talent. Zijn spel is strak, inventief en gevarieerd.

Waiting Room is één van de hoogtepunten van het album. Een lekker uptempo nummer met mooi akoestisch gitaarspel en een fantastisch mooie melodie. Dit nummer wil je een eerste beluistering al graag meezingen. De zang is licht vervormd en doet ook daarin sterk aan Porcupine Tree denken. Ook hier weer een heerlijke gitaarsolo die de slagroom op de taart vormt. Een ander hoogtepunt is Monochrome. Mensenkinderen wat een geweldige melodie! Echt een nummer wat je graag meerdere keren achter beluistert. Het heeft tussen de refreinen door een pittiger karakter dan Waiting Room en dat maakt de beleving nog intenser.

De productie van dit debuut is door de band zelf gedaan en ook daarin zijn ze bijzonder goed geslaagd. Alle instrumenten komen prima uit de verf en het geheel komt soms wat ongepolijst over, wat het album alleen maar ten goede komt. Tel daar nog de fantastische albumhoes van Konrad Krol bij op en je hebt een debuut om alleen in superlatieven over te spreken. Hier gaan we zeker nog meer van horen. - Progwereld


"Review: Abigail's Ghost-Selling Insincerity"

To start I'd like to quote from the only interview I've read with Abigail's Ghost which was posted on the Sea Of Tranquility website:

"I can completely understand the comparisons to Porcupine Tree, because we do share a lot of the same influences... The music itself is almost entirely inspired by other bands and only one song on the album can be truly considered to be inspired by Porcupine Tree. The production on the other hand is very much inspired by the work of Steven Wilson and not limited to just his work with PT".
Thus spoke Kenneth Wilson bass player, backing vocalist, lyricist and co-writer with Louisiana band Abigail's Ghost who then goes on to state that

"In Absentia is the best album I've ever owned, so yes, I'm very much inspired by Porcupine Tree".
Although that may sound like a bit of a contradiction, I have to agree that there is much more musically to the songs on Selling Insincerity than simply what one person posted on an on-line forum as a "pale imitation of PT". Anyone with any familiarity with Wilson's main band would be hard pressed to deny that their is a tangible similarity in the sound of the two groups, particularly on Waiting Room with it's mixture of electric and acoustic guitars, layered backing vocals and the lead vocals of Joshua Theriot and Sellout with its melodic chorus and heavy guitar interludes. Theriot, who on the album plays all the guitars, is the main singer and writes the bulk of the music, can sound very like Wilson [S] (although Wilson [K] argues that Theriot sounds more like Chris Corner of the Sneaker Pimps) but that is not a criticism, the similarity is more in the production technique than any intention to imitate. The band is rounded out by synth player Brett Guillory (the only other current member of the band to play on the album), drummer John Patrick Rodrigue and second guitarist Randy Paul.

So let's push aside the Tree for a moment and concentrate on the music of Abigail's Ghost. For a debut album that was produced on a very limited budget and largely written by the composers over the internet at a distance of 1000 miles, the sonic quality of the album is superb. Despite this Wilson is not happy with the result and has already expressed a desire to re-record the album at some point in the distant future! Theriot is a very good guitar player and displays a variety of styles throughout Selling Insincerity. With some frantic Steve Vai-like progressions on Cerulean Blue, the tasty acoustic work on Windows and the proto-grunge of Sellout, Theirot certainly knows his instrument. Synthesisers are mainly used to create atmosphere rather than as a lead instrument but the effect can be devastatingly good. Love Sounds opens with a rather plaintive keyboard wash and piano line backed by some slow, industrial beats with the guitar only coming to the fore at about the four-minute mark, and tracks like Monochrome and Windows would be severely lacking if it were not for the unobtrusive sonic sculpting of the synths.

The final three tracks on the album are possibly the finest. Cerulean Blue is a veritable smorgasbord of styles held together by a great bass line. The growling, menacing vocal interludes only adds to the mystery of the song. Seeping starts with a great keyboard line and what sounds like a sampled glockenspiel but develops into a lovely plaintive ode to a lost loved one; the excellent lyrics being superbly sung by Theriot. Not sure I understand the middle section with the taped voices though! Mother May I? has some rather understated verses but with a rousing chorus and a great instrumental section that not only wraps up the song but brings the album to a fine conclusion.

Perhaps it is not surprising that these three tracks are featured heavily on the two six-track EPs by the band that constitute the rest of the group's discography. The Seeping EP includes Waiting Room and Dead People's Review from the album, an early instrumental demo version of Monochrome (entitled In Thin Air), the Waiting Room demo and a lovely piano instrumental demo of Seeping while the Cerulean Blue EP also has two other tracks from the album (Close and Mother May I?) a non-album atmospheric instrumental called Opening, the instrumental demo of Cerulean Blue and an early instrumental version of Mother May I?, ironically called a 'reprise' despite predating the final track!. The demos date as far back as 2004 and give a good idea how the songs have developed over time, particularly the two instrumental demos on the latter EP. Although hardly essential given the large overlap with the album, the EPs at around 30 minutes each are certainly interesting and are strictly limited to 100 copies each.

So what to make of it all? Whatever way you look at it there will be no getting away from the Porcupine Tree comparisons but that's all it is, a comparison. Yes the two bands do have a certain sound that falls into similar area of the musical spectrum but I really enjoyed the a - DPRP


Discography

#AMCDAG01 Seeping EP
#AMCDAG02 Cerulean Blue EP
#AMCDAG03 Selling Insincerity LP

Photos

Bio

Abigail's Ghost is an art rock band comprised of five people committed to a well-tempered musical aesthetic deeply rooted in groove, polyrhythms, lush harmonies, haunting ambience, and thinking man's lyrics. More fundamental is their commitment to creating multi-format material, resulting in a convergence of musical thought that extends beyond hybrid genres but maintains a certain distance from concepts of the avante-garde.
Influences include:

Music: Rush, Sneaker Pimps, Sting, Alice in Chains, Porcupine Tree, Massive Attack, King Crimson, Angelo Badalamenti, Blackfield, Emiliana Torrini, Filter, Collective Soul, Live, The Beach Boys, The Dissociatives, Meshuggah, Frank Zappa and countless others

Art: H.R. Giger, Lasse Hoile, Salvador Dali, Patrick J. Brady, Konrad Krol (the man behind abigailsghost's photo imagery)

Film: David Lynch, Ridley Scott, Paul Thomas Anderson, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini and more