The deluxe packaging and gorgeous presentation of this Abraxas pressing befit its extremely select status. Housed in an opulent box, this UD1S edition contains special jackets and a unique insert that further illuminate the genius of the recording. A special fine-art print of the original Mati Klarwein painting used on the cover, and which depicts the image in its entirety, is also included. No expense has been spared. Aurally and visually, this Abraxas is the intentional opposite of the modern era's mindlessly dismissive ways of hearing music. It is made for discerning listeners that prize sound and creativity, and who desire to fully immerse themselves in the music – and everything involved with the album, from the graphics to the textures.
Most fans don't require any introduction to the exotic worlds conjured by Abraxas. Thematically, mysticism and spirituality abound. Wild, free, and loose, Santana evokes the feeling of mountains and rivers on the lead-off instrumental "Singing Winds, Crying Beasts," leads a salsa parade on the definitive version of Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va," and explores its sensual side on the stellar showcase "Samba Pa Ti," a tune indicative of the album's Latin vibes and percussion. Abraxas also takes advantage of studio techniques such as cross-fading and mixing lacking on its predecessor. These aspects – as well as the finest nuances of Santana's guitar tones, decay of Gregg Rolie's organ, percussive ripple of Jose Areas' timbal and conga beats, and low-end sway of Dave Brown's bass – can be enjoyed in complete full-range, spectacularly balanced glory on UD1S.
"This might be the best record I've ever heard. I mean that by the technical quality of the record and how much it resembles tape in four critical parameters: the wide dynamics and low bass response, the unlimited dynamic range, the tape-like sense of flow and especially the enormity of the soundstage presentation. The percussion explodes forward from the speakers with a dead-black background intensifying the picture. Instrumental textures are visceral while attack is supple, yet sufficiently gritty. Sustain is impossibly long and decay into black is audible down to bottom of the sonic pit, which means Carlos Santana's guitar comes to life before you as you're never before heard it. Will this limited edition record become a collectible? No doubt..."
– Michael Fremer, Stereophile/The Analog Planet