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Kompendium - Beneath The Waves CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.76 | 116 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Occasional moments of clarity beneath waves of bombast

Rob Reed of Magenta and Cyan fame is the leader of Kompendium, a project somewhat similar to Mandalaband. Reed has enlisted a large cast of more or less well known musicians from various genres including several generations of Prog bands. Steve Hackett and Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel) are the "dinosaurs" involved. From the Neo-Prog world comes, amongst others, Nick Barrett of Pendragon, John Mitchell of Arena, and Christina Booth of Magenta. The album is of a conceptual nature and tells a story through music. The story is far from original or interesting. Thankfully, the focus is on the music and not on the story. The music itself is a very eclectic mix of Pop Rock, traditional Celtic music, Folk Rock, Jazz Rock, World Music, Opera, Classical (Symphonic) music, and Prog. Personally I find it just too eclectic, spanning over too many different styles, and often jumping from one style to another instead of fusing them together into something new and interesting.

This album is a frustrating listen for me. There are several very good passages, but also several weak and even some truly cringe worthy moments. The presence of a symphony orchestra and a chamber choir makes several passages too orchestral and bombastic for my tastes. But the worst aspects of the album lie in the vocals. Especially the Opera singers whose contributions here mix with the rest like oil mix with water and make some moments simply unbearable for me. But also the Pop voice of Steve Balsamo does not work for me. I have a high respect for Rob Reed and many of the others involved here, but this time he bit off more than he could chew.

Beneath The Waves is a partly enjoyable recording with some strong moments. But it is ultimately too disjointed and on the whole a disappointment. Approach with care!

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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