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Panta Rhei - Epilógus CD (album) cover


Panta Rhei


Symphonic Prog

3.42 | 8 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Peer-less

"Epilogus", while technically a compilation, is one of the most interesting releases by Panta Rhei. The album consists of a mixture of unreleased material, and a selection of tracks from the band's second album "PR computer".

The feature track here is a 22 minute interpretation of Grieg's " Peer Gynt Suite" recorded in 1976. The piece, which features the voices of Bartok Choir of the Eotvos University; opens with the most familiar part of the suite, "Morning", with the main theme being vocalised by the choir. The vocalising continues intermittently throughout the track, supported by atmospheric keyboards. Kalman Matolcsy adds some improvised keyboards including synthesised strings and Wakeman like synth runs as the piece develops well beyond Grieg's original work. About a third of the way through, the familiar strains of "Hall of the mountain king" (as used by Rick Wakeman on "Journey to the centre of the earth") can be heard, the section developing to a frantic crescendo before the drums pull the synths back for an encore. This really is a quite remarkable piece which has been criminally hidden away for too long. The band show a confidence and proficiency here which, had they exploited it, could have taken them to lofty heights.

Seven of the tracks are lifted straight from the band's second album "PR computer". These are all short synthesiser dominated pieces reminiscent of the likes of Vangelis, Wakeman and Jarre. While they are enjoyable, they are rather lightweight and pop based, with little lasting appeal.

The remaining 10 tracks are previously unreleased recordings made by the band between 1984 and 1987. The line up on these tracks is the trio which recorded "PR computer", and is thus devoid of drums or vocals. Tracks such as "Tropical fever" and "Grand Canyon" reflect the jazz side of the band's influences more than anything on their two official albums had done, the synthesiser being decidedly funky at times. Most of the other unreleased tracks here could have been included on the "PR computer" album, as they are similar to the synthesiser dominated pop which appeared there. As such, they are pleasant in a Jean Michel Jarre sort of way, without ever really offering anything substantial. The best of the bunch is "Avalanche", a sub-3 minute run through some commercial but alluring synth.

In all, "Epilogus" is an album dominated by one inspired, unique, and essential piece. The reminder unfortunately comes across as something akin to filler in comparison; which is admittedly unfair, but a conclusion most listeners will be likely to reach.

This album may still be available for free download via the band's official website. If it is, I would recommend it as the "Peer Gynt suite" alone is essential listening.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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