BRAZEN ABBOT – A Decade Of Brazen Abbot

BRAZEN ABBOT - A Decade Of Brazen Abbot


Frontiers Records
Release date: November 24, 2004

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Ten years after Live and Learn was released in Japan, Nikolo Kotzev, the Bulgarian virtuoso, offers up his solo project, Brazen Abbot, with a live celebration of A Decade of Brazen Abbot. Often referred to as a “super-group,” the rest of Brazen Abbot have been a who’s who of the European rock scene for the last ten years. Former members of Europe, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Candlemass & Yngwie Malmsteen have made Brazen Abbot their home at one time or another … and this outing is no exception; Joe Lynn Turner, (Rainbow/Yngwie Malmsteen) a legend in his own right, handles vocals. Wayne Banks (Blaze/Sabbath) on bass, Lars Pollack (Baltimoore/Glenn Hughes) on keyboards, and Thomas Broman (John Norum) on drums fill out this all star crew.

The title, A Decade of Brazen Abbot, may be a little deceiving, leading one to think they were about to experience a live encounter with the best of the best from the not-so-extensive Brazen Abbot catalog. Not so, however, the disk is really just an offering of the Guilty as Sin tour recorded in Sofia, Bulgaria on the night of July 31, 2003. If you’re not familiar with Brazen Abbot they may remind you of early Deep Purple. Take a listen to “Road to Hell;” if you aren’t immediately reminded of Purple’s “Highway Star,” then you need to spend some more time reacquainting yourself with the forefathers of this movement called Metal!

Nikolo Kotzev is a stunning guitarist who has surrounded himself with nothing but the best players, and one has to imagine that at its worst this is going to sound pretty good. “Guilty as Sin Part I” and the Gary Moore-esque “One Life to Live” are two stand-out moments, showcasing both the band’s ability to lay down some deep grooves and to tear it up with an all-out rocker.

Joe Lynn Turner’s performance only enhances the Deep Purple comparisons. Instead of the smooth velvet wall of the Joe Lynn of yesteryear, he now sounds an awful lot like Ian Gillan. Most want-to-be singers would probably give an appendage to sound remotely like either Joe Lynn Turner or Ian Gillan, so this isn’t a terrible place for Joe to be, just surprising. The raspy Gillan growl sounds great on the guttural “Guilty as Sin,” and then the good ole Joe that we know sounds much more familiar on the ballad “I’ll Be Free.”

A Decade of Brazen Abbot sure makes for an impressive title, but An Evening of… or Brazen Abbot Live probably would have been a more apt name for this release. For the avid Brazen Abbot/Nikolo Kotzev fan, this is going to be a must-have release, along with the A Decade of Brazen Abbot the DVD. For the casual listener, there are enough shining moments to entice one to the ways of the “Abbot.”


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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