Sound — 9
A Backward Glance On A Travel Road (ABGOATR) features multi instrumentalist Emmanuel Jessua and Thibault Lamy of French experi-metalists Hypno5e, and the band rediscovers the front of music with one of the most creative releases of 2009. Plus, the majority of the release is done acoustically, and delivers beautiful classical and progressive aesthetics. ABGOATR pulls the heart's strings in many ways, and presents itself as an open minded listen from start to finish. The band immediately begins to take you off into some unimaginable dimensions with the epic thriller of "Regular Barbary". The intro unleashes beautiful acoustic work, futuristic tones, memorable melodies, and *shocking* sounds. The balance between moods is incredible, and "Regular Barbary" begins to expand your mind while sending chills down your spine. The beast of ABGOATR is loose! Next up is "Falling" and the song drowns you into mind bending emotions. "Falling" paints the picture with such colors, and expands off into a distant atmosphere. Into the thought and awareness of "Johnny Got His Gun", the song based off the movie of the same name, ABGOATR casts over a shadow of terror, especially with the sample "SOS... Help me..." But in a heartbeat "Johnny Got His Gun" brilliantly switches moods, showing that there is still hope, and the song truly envelopes the listener. "Heir Regnant Desert" gives hints of the Hypno5e side of things, giving sudden metal bursts, though this time uniquely using an acoustic guitar and brushes on the drums. Then moving into an incredible train of thought, the genius mood swing takes effect. First mood takes you off into one mind of despair and anger, whilst the second in hope and patience. ABGOATR makes the music visual in all ways for the keenest of minds, and it is incredible! These guys are innovators, and with a sound this unique, ABGOATR's tribute to music has just begun.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics on this one give some strong sincerity, and Emmanuel Jessua (vocals/guitars) really gets the chance to exercise his vocal range in new ways in lieu with the music. Jessua masterfully casts his vocals upon "Regular Barbary", where both his delicacy, catchy, and moving delivery solidifies this beast of a song. Also included are some strong female opera vocals, spoken word, and both respective styles of vocal delivery play a key role in the music for one moving experience. "Falling" gives a great example of those vocal deliveries, and the thick ambiance paves the massive atmosphere, almost as if you are falling within it. Lyrically, no matter how exciting, terrifying, or you name it ABGOATR gets, all in all, the band promotes change and the future. While being able to take a backward glance on a travel road you have traveled in your past, you'll find out where you went wrong in life, to then turn around and live life at its greatest success. That my friend is the power of music. While not much vocal work is present, the album as a whole still brilliantly switches moods and makes you feel you are actually living within the music.
Overall Impression — 8
Well, the impression many might have at first if you peep their myspace page is seeing the word, free. Yup, that's right. The band is giving away their full-length for $FREE DOWNLOAD$ , so help spread the word and support this initiative! Another impression one might have: ABGOATR has unleashed one hell of a unique, mind-bending, epic, yet surprising release. Surprising, meaning, the band features the base line-up of French experi-metalists Hypno5e who are known for their progressive and extreme metal low ended guitar tones, mixed in with a ton of experimentation, and being a conceptual beast! Not to say ABGOATR isn't heavy, for their self titled release proposes a new kind of heavy. This new kind of heavy is emotional (not emo) in all aspects of the human life, where you as the listener can interpret. This is the kind of music that proposes itself as a soundtrack to life, and more than one listen is definitely needed to grasp every detail involved. It's beautiful. It's the truth. It's the future.