Played From Dreams or Angels by Abney Park

Listened From Dreams or Angels — Abney Park | by Abney Park from

11 tracks (43:37)

Remembering the suggestion I saw the other day of listening to your favorite band’s full catalog in order, I started today with From Dreams or Angels.

I’ve mostly stopped listening to this album, remembering it as sounding a little dated, but I was digging it today. The guitar’s heavier than a lot of their newer stuff, their industrial roots clearer. Some of the recording sounds a little compressed maybe? The only part that sounds really dated is the opening notes of Breathe — but there’s a nice acoustic version at the end of the album 😉

It’s big on the mystical, world music vibe, with varied instrumentation and beats. I like the voice of the female singer, it suits the moodiness. The album opens with a soft, slightly spooky intro, then revs up quickly. Heavy beats carry through the album, feels very danceable. Favorite tracks on re-listen: The Root of All Evil, Thornes & Brambles, Holy War, Kine.

Thematically, the world described in this album is much more traditional fantasy / magic-themed than their later steampunk albums. None of the lyrics spoke to independence / uniqueness / escaping the rat race, which seems a recurring theme later.

It’s a little horrifying to listen to Holy War, which samples news reports about the war in Afghanistan, and realize that it was only last year we finally brought our troops home, a failed war ending in ignominy and needless death. Twenty years after this album was released.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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