Mike McLatchey 20-August-2002 Abaton + Eros Aeloio

Abaton - Abaton (1991)
Abaton - Eros Aeloio (1993)

These are a pair of Greek albums from the early 90s that have had a bit of attention in collector circles. The music of Abaton has a strange, soundtrack-like feel, combining symphonic, electronic and ethnic/folk musics together - perhaps what would happen if Ennio Morricone wrote the music and Vangelis accompanied by traditional Greek folk musicians played it.

On Abaton's 1991 debut, big string patches meet folk singers and percolating sequencers for an original, yet all-too-serious blend of Dead Can Dance meets classical music. While one must laud the outfit for its original take on its influences, one must also lament what they do with it, as there is barely a piece on here that holds the interest, droning on in a quasi-ritualistic, somber manner without very many memorable aspects to it. The album's lack of any interesting aspects make this release entirely forgettable.

The follow-up album, Eros Aeloio, does little to improve matters, the aural equivalent of five years in a monastery without anything but sacred scriptures to read. As on the first album, Abaton never sway from this somberly reverent feel, making me wish that someone had a whoopie cushion during the recording sessions. Everything seems done with an excessive amount of formality, making even some of the more interesting sections less so. Describing Abaton as a Greek Dead Can Dance might be accurate, although I don't remember the comparison being so depressing. Eros Aeloio's electronics meet acoustics seem like a good idea on paper, but the execution is likely to send one for the No Doz. One would think that a modernized ancient music with a ritualistic feel would be of interest, but as I relisten to this, I'm realizing that I'd rather be stuck in a new age store listening station with only George Winston albums to listen to than to play this again. It makes Coyote Oldman look like your neighborhood high school's pep squad. Hit your "back" button now.

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