ABANDON - Vigilance

Abandon - Vigilance

9 songs
67:07 minutes
***** ***


Umair Chaudhry is a sound engineer and producer from England who truly lives and breathes music. Apart from this main job, he is also the founder and owner of Blindsight Records, plus a member of many bands like Abandon, Gift Of Blindness and Futureproof... and thatís only his projects I am aware of. I first got to know him with his post metal band Gift Of Blindness. With Futureproof he is more into hardcore sounds, while Abandon is a well-balanced mix between shoegaze and a hint of post metal. I wonder where he takes all the time to write and record those songs.

Vigilance seems to be already, according to Bandcamp, the sixth album of Abandon, a solo endeavour by Umair Chaudhry. There are certain parallels to Gift Of Blindness, although the metal ratio is quite low. The album starts with Lost Feeling, the only track under five minutes. Up next is Airlines, at nearly eight minutes a more typical length for the songs on this album, and itís obvious that the artist excels at these longer structures. Especially the second part of the songs is very atmospheric and, in some ways, even playful. Fear Of The Future is the albumís single, although at also nearly eight minutes, itís probably too long for mainstream radio airplay. Not that Abandon seems to have that in mind. This is a catchier piece, with a recurring chorus that makes it instantly recognisable.

At sixty-seven minutes, Vigilance is not a short album, and yet you donít have to be afraid of Abandon running out of ideas, as the second half is in my opinion even more striking that the first one. The seven-minute-long Our Roots Know is my favourite track. The broad synth part that is running through the song should warm your heart, and the melodic structure feels like from a different dimension. Vigilance, the title track, and the following Hexahedron both clock in at ten minutes and offer Abandon the space it needs to unravel all of its shoegaze glory. The album ends with True Colours, another more melodic track where the chorus is maybe used a little too often, but itís a fitting ending to a highly pleasant album that offers a good balance of atmospheric material and catchier tunes.

If you need reference points, think of Justin Broadrickís Jesu teaming up with Slowdive, offering over an hour of well-crafted shoegaze with some hints of sad core and post metal. While Abandon never set out to reinvent the genre, itís their unmistakable dedication and good production values that should make Vigilance a great find for every fan of the genre.

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