Abney Park – Lost Horizons: The Continuing Adventures of Abney Park (CD)

While I have heard of a number of different technology and art projects that were done in the Steampunk style, I don’t believe I had heard of a Steampunk band until I had a chance to hear Abney Park’s latest album, “Lost Horizons: The Continuing Adventures of Abney Park”. The album starts out with “Airship Pirate”, a track that ties together Depeche Mode, Apocalyptica, and even Sisters of Mercy into something that is new, catchy, and fun at the same time. It is not only the driving percussion on the track that will get listeners most behind Abney Park, but the narrative abilities of the band do an honor to James Hilton, the writer whose work “Lost Horizon” Abney Park entitled this album after.

“The Emperor’s Wives” is a song that bridges a number of distinct musical styles, be it industrial, darkwave, or gothic music, while refreshing each of these nineties genres into a finished product that is current. The strings that start out “Sleep Isabella” are balanced perfectly with a distorted guitar, imbuing the track with a perfect blend of old and new, modern and classic, in much of the same way that the steampunk genre links together technology and older periods in history. “This Dark and Twisty Road” varies up the sound put forth by Abney Park through the inclusion of a Latin-infused guitar opening; this style continues through the entirety of the track, showing that the band can add different approaches, influences, and styles and work them into the greater fabric of the album. Each of the songs, owing much to the band’s skill in narration, acts much like a chapter does in a book. When Abney Park takes on a different genre of music or gives another instrument the limelight, one should see the action as deliberate, denoting a different action or character.

Thus, the backing instrumentation during “Herr Drosselmyers Doll” gives a circus type of atmosphere to things, while the solitary vocals on the track showcases the dedication that the named character has for the titular object. I was not familiar with Abney Park before receiving “Lost Horizons”, but the album is so different and so fresh when compared to what is currently being released, that I want to go back and pick up the band’s previous recordings. Make sure to visit their web site and pick up “Lost Horizons” if you find yourself to be a fan of the steampunk genre, or the genres mentioned in this review. You will not be disappointed.

Top Tracks: She, Virus

Rating: 8.4/10

Abney Park – Lost Horizons: The Continuing Adventures of Abney Park / 2008 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.abneypark.com /

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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