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

BEFORE BECAME AFTER

Proto-Kaw

 

Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 135 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I don't know why when I knew Proto Kaw released this album my expectation was something like Kansas. It's probably Kerry Livgren figure in this band and the fact of their debut "vintage" self-titled album. But when I received the CD and have it spun couple times, I did not find it. It's probably my expectation was something like new Kansas with modern technology recording session which I could not grab or sense that kind of style. Of course there are segments which sound like Kansas but they are not that visible. I was not even attracted to spin the CD for the second time, I just put at my shelf because the music was so mediocre, nothing special. Only couple of weeks ago I did try to spin again just to find out any other subtleties observation that I missed on first spin.

Of course, my second journey of this album started with an open mind without any expectation that the music must be something like this or that. The opening track "Alt More Worlds Than Known" (7:31) again does not attract me especially on the beginning part - I think it's about first two minutes of the track. This song really lacks melody and there seems like the melody line being forced like this. Of course, it does not stir my emotion "to like it" or being "energized" with it. It sounds like a plain, mediocre track. The music sounds like The Allan Parsons Project type. When the music enters the interlude part, this is the only strong point that this song offers. The interlude part is beautiful with orchestrated string arrangement that enriches music textures of this song. But when it returns to basic melody line, it's still the same as the beginning part - nothing is catchy at all.

The next track "Leaven" (4:28) again lacks melody line especially during parts with vocal. The orchestration part during vocal session reminds me to the nuance of Pink Floyd "Hey You" of the wall album. In fact, there are similarities when I observe into details. Again, the strong point is on interlude part especially with the use of flute. Third track "Axolotl [for lack of a better name]" (8:30) sounds promising especially with rich textures of the music during the narration part, especially with the combination of Hammond organ, flute and soft guitar riffs. This track I consider where the music starts to take off! This is actually what I expect from the band - something beautiful for each song from intro to end of the song, like this one. The combination of orchestration and flute solo followed with piano to enter vocal line is really nice. This third song has good melody line that does not sound like "being forced".

"Quantum Leapfrog" (5:45) is truly a Crimsonique music - the early King Crimson, of course - especially during the intro part when flute takes the solo role. But it shocks me when the first lyrical verse starts to roll, there is a similarity of the melody with a rock song song "In Trance" by Germany Band The Scorpions. Was it influenced? The author must have known it, I believe. Apart of this, this song is excellent and proves the music has taken off to match my expectation. "Gloriana" (5:44) is a jazz-rock fusion influenced track with Toto musical textures. This song features improvisation work on keyboard. The guitar solo is stunning.

"The Occasion Of Your Honest Dreaming" (3:41) brings the music into upbeat style with guitar solo prior to vocal entering the music. This is intended as a true rocker. The singing style reminds me to Kansas music. "Heavenly Man" (9:10) has catchy intro part with the work of flute followed with symphonic style of music. This is really what I expect to happen with this band. This is the best track this album offers. There are components with improvisation using saxophone in the middle of the track at approx minute 5 backed up with orchestration that makes the music has a strong symphonic nuance. "It Moves You" (4:29) is a light pop rock music with Southern Rock nuance. "Theophany" (11:44) is an excellent epic which combines Kansas and ELP music into one composition. It's another excellent track from this album.

Overall, this is a good prog album with symphonic style, enriched with orchestration. The music is a mixture of The Allan Parsons Project, Kansas, ELP. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |

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