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The neo-progressive band Abel Ganz was formed in Glasgow, Scotland, by Hew Montgomery (keyboards) and Hugh Carter (bass, guitar) in 1980. Taking their influences from 1970s prog rock bands Genesis and Yes, the duo rounded out their group with guitarist Malky McNiven and drummer Kenny Weir. Receiving strong word of mouth for a demo cassette they recorded, the band added vocalist Alan Reed and recorded their debut album, Gratuitous Flesh (1984). Shortly afterward, Reed departed to become lead singer of Pallas, and McNiven left the group. Replacing the two members with Paul Kelly, the band continued touring. Carter then left Abel Ganz to concentrate on the group's management and was replaced by Gordon Mackie. It was this lineup of the band that recorded Gullible's Travels in 1985. For the next couple years, the band was an on-again-off-again project, but Montgomery, Carter, McNiven, Kelly, and Reed recorded a third Abel Ganz album in 1988, The Dangers of Strangers. The group's most successful album; they were signed by the French label MSI, who released their back catalog on CD. The band soon added new members and moved toward more of an AOR sound, alienating Montgomery who left the group. The new lineup featuring Carter, Graham Strachen (vocals, keyboards), Robert Wilson (guitar), Colin Johnson (drums), Stuart Clyde (bass), and Chris Forsyth (vocals) recorded Deafening Silence in 1995. Montgomery and Carter then got back together again as Abel Ganz, while the rest of the band renamed themselves Empire. In October 1999, the new version of Abel Ganz signed to F2 Records.