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Don Airey - K2 (Tales Of Triumph & Tragedy) CD (album) cover


Don Airey


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2.86 | 26 ratings

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2 stars This is an album I have had in my collection from the day it was released.

Let's start with the background facts here. K2 is the second highest mountain in the world and also the most difficult mountain in the world to climb. Even the standard route have several very difficult vertical passages. That means they are severe difficult even at sea level. In thin air and with heavy clothes and shoes, these passages even become more difficult. Add frequent storms, snowfall, the constant threat of avalanches and the remoteness of this mountain and it is perfectly understandable why K2 is rightly being called the king of all mountains. The only slightly higher Mount Everest is easy to climb compared to K2. Indeed, Mount Everest is sometimes used as a training climb for those who aspire to climb K2.

Julia Tullis was a famous British climber who aspired to climb K2. She finally managed to climb it in 1986. On her way down and still high on the mountain, she and others in her expedition had to seek shelter in the highest camp due to a savage storm. She died in her sleep up there and her body was buried some days later high on K2, never to be seen again. This event and many other death on K2 in 1986 was the worst mountaineering disaster up to that date and Julia's death made an immense impact here in Great Britain. K2 later also killed scores of other very experienced mountaineers on two more occasions and it is widely regarded as a savage mountain with a very high death rate. But Julia's 1986 expedition and her passing is the concept for this album.

Inspired by this tragedy, Don Airey wrote this concept album and hired in musicians to perform it. The sound is very typical 1980s and so is this concept album. It reminds me about this Chess concept album by the two Bjorn's in Abba. Don Airey starts with a long 1980s like keyboards intro over some spoken words who explains this concept to us. Vocals, guitars, bass and drums then comes in. Some of the vocals are pretty terrible. The whole concept is executed pretty horrible. This is a concept album, but this is not symphonic prog by any means. This is a mix of heavy metal and pomp rock. Mostly pomp rock. With the exception of the opening minutes, the material here is pretty bad. This album sounds dated and irrelevant where other many decades old concept albums sounds fresh and relevant. In short, this is not a good album.

For those of you interested in this mountain, I refer to the many books on this subject. Don't go for this album or the K2 movie which is even more revolting than this album. This though is not a revolting album. But it is only an album for nerds like myself. And even I don't rate this album.

2 stars

toroddfuglesteg | 2/5 |


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