Abject Tomorrow is a concept album about a dystopic futuristic society where pretentious culture fascists have made hit music illegal and someone must save the world. You’ve heard that line before I’m sure. However the album, the product of much toil and deliberation, by Ireland’s Graham Keane tells its story with emphatic flare.
A tale that’s as diverse as it’s sonically dynamic, Keane’s debut is a moving picture unto itself. With an ensemble cast of contributors this album is more like sonic theater than by the book prog. Prog metal being the most pretentious and unyielding form for storytelling in music.
Yet Keane makes his compositions work naturally. Within the albums dramatic syncopation, elegantly used to create tension instead of making a statement of: there is tension here so react accordingly, Keane creates music that ebbs and flows with deliberation. Capturing both the imagination and his intention through succinct licks that soar to crescendo or diffuse in a dissonant embrace of conflicting timbres merging with contrasting styles.
Deeper within the layers blending electronics coherently with metal is not an easy feat but Keane and his company manage it spectacularly using both familiar organs and space age pads, rhythmic sequences and boisterous passages to give colour to an already fleshy composition. The Vicious Head Society, the collective name for the project, sums up that discourse maneuvering on this debut as an idea and a misnomer, as the songs move in and out of a musical comfort zone.
With only eight tracks and a total run time of nearly eighty minutes it’s as prog does. Except it foregoes the pretentious musical fascism and builds on a very human and organic structure.