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Proto-Kaw - Before Became After CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 153 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The release of Proto-Kaw's early material gave the chance to Kerry Livgren to correct a historical abnormality.Although geographically difficult, he managed to gather the old core of Proto-Kaw for a possible reunion and Lynn Meredith (vocals), Dan Wright (keyboards), John Bolton (woodwinds) and Brad Schulz (drums) made this dream come true, while Livgren recruited also bassist Craig Kew, whom he had known during the recordings of his solo career.Four old Proto-Kaw tracks were reworked and along with five new compositions completed the new album of the group and their official comeback after 30 years.''Before became after'' was released in 2004 on Inside Out.

The albums finds the old rockers up-to-date with the recent prog stylings and a combination of vintage sounds with fresh and interesting ideas sums up Proto-Kaw's brand new face.However, most of the psychedelic influences of the past are gone, leaving their place to a more friendly sound, where Classic 70's Prog meets melodic and almost AOR-esque delicate musicianship.Additionally Proto-Kaw now sound a lot closer to Livgren's KANSAS.Even if some commercial touches are evident throughout the album, the compositions are kept to a very high level.Powerful organs and atmospheric synthesizers meet heavier electric guitars and the sweet vocal harmonies of the group to offer enjoyable and sufficient Progressive Rock with lovely melodies, tight structures and influences from Symphonic Rock, Melodic Rock and Hard Prog.The majority of the album is built around orchestral atmospheres, rockin' grooves with marching bass and pounding drums and virtuosic, proggy exercises, while the sax and flutes of John Bolton are still present, although rather kept in the background.The most efficient thing about Proto-Kaw is that they were able to produce some very dramatic instrumental parts and mix them nicely with clean melodies in the same track, creating some very majestic textures.

History does not repeat itself exactly in the case of Proto-Kaw.A group of maniac, vintage rockers achieved to deliver an album full of incredible melodies in the vein of KANSAS, keeping part of the group's old identity in the most complicated passages.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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