Reunions got into fashion in foreign bands, but it looks like even our little country fell for it. For 12 long years fans awaited the return of speed/thrash band Abax, which now arose like a phoenix from its own ashes. Their original guitarist, David Votruba and drummer, Martin Linhart picked new warriors into their band – David Roubala on vocals and Marek Malášek on bass guitar. For three more years the whole band was just developing themselves and this year they decided to record some new songs. That’s why they released a four-song EP called „Zlatej ráj“, which is a little tasting of their new era.
After the first listening it sounds like Abax slowed down and made their music sound duller, but on the other hand, they decided to work more on arrangements of each song and that really helped their new face. The first song „Víc než král“ (More than king“) is still one of those speed/thrashy ones, but the new members really changed their musical face. David Roubal has a strong and steady voice and his tone moves more around classic rock or hard rock, which really fits into melodic parts. Marek Malášek´s bass sounds pretty sharp and it rumbles really well, which gives nice and energetic feeling to their songs. Overall sound of the whole band is nice, sharp and dense, but not too metal-like-over-edged. David and Martin watch above this all and you can see that renewal of Abax kicked them well. Second song, Máš šanci (You have a chance), slowed a lot and the whole band focused more on overall musicability of the whole song. Even though this song sounds unobtrusive, after just few listenings I notice that this song gets under my skin. Well, the chorus is really well made. It’s not too melodic, but after some time it really gets into your head. Even further, it has escalating power. Guitar could be little more intensive in solo, because in that dense sound it gets lost sometimes. „Nezahynu“ could be tagged as another classic rock ballad. Atmosphere is upgraded by violoncello and it’s mainly for calm listening, like when you can lie down for a while and listen to music or something more romantic. Final song, Zlatej ráj, is mid-placed heavy metal. It’s nicely cheered and fans just have to love it.
Well... Abax's return was done well. Even though I’d expect more songs after three years, I accept this, because of sudden leaving of original singer, Petr Varhaník. As I heard, this band has many songs to put on their next CD, but as many other Czech bands; they don’t have enough money for good production. I can’t exactly say how young people will feel about this CD, as they surely don’t know original songs from Abax, but anyway, everyone like me, who knew them, will surely be pleased. There aren’t many nostalgic moments, because new songs are made in different mood, but that Abax sign is there still. I’m looking forward to the new CD, because it should include re-mastered songs from 1988-1994. Let’s see how this band will continue in its present form, but anyway, they surely „Have a chance“ to get into minds of Czech listeners again.