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




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 150 ratings

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5 stars PROTO-KAW's saga continues and what a fantastic voyage is displayed! Now the band mixes old songs with a bunch of new ones and the result is still appreciable. PROTO- KAW have their own signature, a definite style and personality - they won't change, for our delight.

Anyway, the album is so well balanced that a neophyte (my case when I heard it a couple of years ago) will never differentiate between the 70s stuff and the more recent compositions. The general atmosphere at "Before Became After" seems more optimistic and consequently some dark musical passages seen more profusely at their first output vanish here. well, not totally. Lyrics are another strong point: they exist! Also, I felt BBA more progressive than "Early Recordings" which isn't surprising at all.

'Alt more worlds than known' is a remarkable introduction card for the rest of the album; brilliant, to say the least. Thanks to the improved production now we can catch clearly all instruments, the voice, the feeling and the amalgam is exciting. Song closure brings one of the most formidable moments that one may hear I assure.

'Leaven' is a tasteful song beginning with an agreeable choir which leaves room for a whispering and haunting voice that creates a kind of magical ambience - all filled with tremendous instrumentation where guitar's lament, flute's interlude and piano's break take us to another lands. Singing part is correct, well suited.

If provoked to show a good example of what is a prog-rock song, show them the magnificent 'Axolotl'. The small and quaint Mexican salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum) should be definitely aware that it lends its name for one of the most spectacular progressive tracks ever recorded - this song is that neat moment when earth, wind, fire and water blend in a perfect manner.

'Quantum leapfrog' presents some nice and catchy tunes; the bossa-nova initial drumming is funny and then jazzy segments alternate with rock parts, all spiced with sound effects that produce an average song.

'Gloriana' sounds like a modern hymn; it's gentle and bucolic with the band transmitting an immense pleasure while playing. The entire track is joyful and uplifting - those 9-plus minutes pass by gloriously.

'Occasion of your honest dreaming' has some peculiar folk tunes. Vocals here bring good remembrances of classic acts like THE BYRDS or GRATEFUL DEAD. The short track is dominated by flutes and acoustic guitars together with the harmonious voices.

'Heavenly man' is fair but not in the same level of other tracks. Sometimes it seems a collage of diverse components; full of sound effects but with no objective. Good singing action saves the song. 'It moves you' can be dubbed a gracious short lightning before the great thunder.

'Theophany' is the thunderous one mentioned before, a great album ender with its many variations and possibilities. Song closure leaves an inevitable sentiment of that special thing I look for when I listen to progressive music: do not stop, never stop, give me more!

Closed the pages of this marvelous saga, what remains is obvious: a masterpiece. Essential.

Atkingani | 5/5 |


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