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Kompendium - Beneath The Waves CD (album) cover

BENEATH THE WAVES

Kompendium

 

Crossover Prog

3.79 | 92 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Argonaught
3 stars Even though Kompendium and their Beneath the Waves has been around for a couple of weeks only, it has already been up and down on my own popularity chart.

The first listen was strongly positive (after a drawn-out waiting for the pre-ordered album to come), the main scoring points being as follows:

1, Outstanding instrumentals and singing. Matter of fact, overall the vocals are maybe a little too operatic. Where they allow him to, Mr. Beggs is making a really good use of the stick.

2. The eternally relevant narrative of live, love, loss, loneliness and the final ascension on a higher plane - what could possibly go wrong? The plot may be fictional, but it's easy to relate to the story.

3. Celtic melodies, rhythms and instruments - everyone in the world likes Celtic music; I mean, everyone. I am not sure if there is a logical explanation to this, but this is the fact of life.

4. The album art is exceedingly tasteful, and the whole item has a "treasure" feel to it. A great item to own, esp. in the 2LP configuration.

But then the initial excitement somehow morphed into a disappointment, and here is how :

1. The album is somewhat excessively pompous, melodramatic and syrupy in general, and it's soundtrack-like in places. And too operatic. But really: a child drowns by accident, his mother commits suicide by drowning, his father "disappears" (also drowns, presumably). Then they all re-unite in the afterlife, presumably. Takes a lot of drownings to re-unite the family in a better place.

2. The above-mentioned Celtic music is highly predictable (I am trying to avoid the expression " generic").

3. Beggs doesn't get to play as much as I would have liked him to. Harrison gets heard a lot more, but nothing remarkable there other than the high quality drumming: any decent drummer could have played his part - I mean, any. There is nothing specifically Harrison-y there. Which is a huge loss, because I really think Gavin is the drummer #1 in "prog".

4. About 1/3 of the album is blatantly boring. These days, it seems to me, the music makers just can't do the stand-alone 45 minute concepts any more. They just HAVE to pack a CD near full with the "material". I would venture to say that the albums are still 40-45 minutes long, only stuffed and padded with extra 15-30 minutes of fillers. In Beneath the Waves, the fillers are almost as distracting as commercials during a movie. With these in mind, I'd assign it exactly 5 stars out of 10, if there were such a thing. But since there isn't, I will have to go with 3 stars because of too much filling material, not enough Harrison/Beggs, not terribly innovative composition and excessive sentimental stuff.

Argonaught | 3/5 |

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