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Proto-Kaw - The Wait Of Glory CD (album) cover

THE WAIT OF GLORY

Proto-Kaw

 

Symphonic Prog

3.60 | 84 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars P-K's second album with a slightly revised line-up: change of drummer (I don't like his "modern" sound) and apparition of Livgren's nephew on multi-instrument. I read other reviews claiming this album was much different than the previous one, but personally I don't see any. Graced with another proto-cow artwork (like this one better), the album is having great pains at shaking the Kansas ghost (understandably since Livgren was the most important writer in that band), and for that matter exemplifies best the US prog sound that seems to be the common point for many American bands indulging in prog.

The album starts rather strongly with Nevermore, one of the better tracks of the album and would easily compare with early Kansas tracks; but Tempest is one of the cheesiest track of theirs so far, with the simili-Arabian strings and rather AOR chorus, the drumming being particularly pedestrian. These flaws making its five minutes length almost unbearably long for me. The multiple harmony vocals of When The Rain Comes and the under-mixed flute are the main flaw of the otherwise-good track (drum sound excepted), which spends time to expand into delicate ambiances. The aptly titled Eve Of Great Decline is maybe my favourite track of the album, mostly because of the more intimate climates installed by Wright's synths layers and Bolton's flute. Unfortunately I find Meredith's voice increasingly mid-of-the-road and less personal, and I must say that Livgren's "Christian" messages in the lyrics are forcing this out of him

While Physics holds its own and Morning's Gate is insignificant (but enjoyable nevertheless), Gladiator is another strong track (sung by Livgren's nephew); Vigil is the album's cornerstone, with its centrepiece delightful digression into soft jazz-rock, but I find the drumming intolerably loud. Other tracks like Old Number and the surprising Osvaldo's Groceries (which stands a bit apart from the usual P-K sound, because of the almost ethnic Avant-prog ambiances) add other enjoyable elements, but again I find myself tiring at the constant awful drumming over-flooding the rest of the music. However I must say that Picture This is really not the best track on which to close an album, with its bad Toto feel.

As you all know (most of you anyway ;-), I'm not much a fan of the AOR sound and the Kansas-Proto-Kaw sound is one of its constituent, I generally end up with a migraine from being exposed too long to this kind of music. Already too long (71 minutes in all), the album comes with a very forgettable bonus track (not sure how this track is a bonus either since, it appears on every single issue of the album I've encountered) that adds nothing of value (actually it is easily the worst song) to the album. While I can still listen to this kind of prog and enjoy it once in a while, I cannot imagine owning any P-K or late Kansas album. But overall, this album is much better than BBA

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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