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Pentwater Out of the Abyss album cover
3.48 | 36 ratings | 8 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Em 54 (7:59)
2. Take (2:45)
3. Cause and Effects (6:36)
4. Necropolis (6:12)
5. Billboard Smiles (6:49)
6. Gwen's Madrigal (The Violation Version) (8:05)
7. The Journeys (8:37)
8. Oceans (8:37)
9. Kill the Bunny (5:42)

Total Time: 61:22


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Tom Orsi / percussion, vocals
- Mike Konopka / guitar, flute, violin, vocals percussion
- Ron Fox / guitars, oboe, vocals
- Ken Kappel / keyboards, theremin, vocals
- Ron LeSaar / bass, vocals
- Phil Goldman / guitars, vocals

Releases information

CD Syn-Phonic SYNCD 7 (1992) USA

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Buy PENTWATER Out of the Abyss Music

Out of the AbyssOut of the Abyss
CD Baby 2007
Audio CD$14.99
$10.49 (used)

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PENTWATER Out of the Abyss ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

PENTWATER Out of the Abyss reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
3 stars A 6-piece ensemble from Chicago - Illinois, in the vein of YES, performing such a good progressive rock in the late seventies, with a touch of GENTLE GIANT(talking about the harmonization of the melody only) and also a remarkable use of vocals. They are inferior than for example BABYLON, MIRTHRANDIR or YEZDA URFA, regarding of such derivative bands performing in the same period, but anyway this album is very interesting. Recommended!!
Review by Progbear
4 stars Not a proper album, more of a collection of rare live recordings and previously unreleased demos from the band's past. That said, it's surprisingly good. Like most American prog obscurities of the 70's, not a lot of originality, but these guys do blend their influences a lot better than most. Gentle Giant and Focus seem most in evidence here. At times, this seems almost like Spock's Beard in embryo, but without the sappy, clichéd or AOR-ish touches that make them so unpalatable to the "old school" proggers.

Stylistically, this is all over the map, with lush symphonic numbers, jazzy-tinged tunes, Gentle Giant-like contrapuntal vocal pieces and jam-oriented music. The sound quality likewise varies from tune to tune, further divorcing this from any sort of continuity. But the musicianship is of a high caliber, the individual tracks are strong and there's enough variety to ensure that even those suffering from ADD will never be bored. A vast array of classic keys are used, as well as a mess of other instruments like violin, flute and theremin. Diverse and interesting.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Second album from a this little-known Michigan band (they're named after one river in that state), that would be totally unknown if the Syn-Phonic label hadn't unearthed it in the early 90's - even Vernon Joynson ignores the band in g-his revised Fuzz Borderline book. Their lone album (reordered between 73 & 76) never got an official release (only a private one), and finally got an official through that (then-) essential label in 92, which coincided with a fairly important rebirth of prog in the US (Magna Carta label + Dream Theater). Musically, the quintet concentrates on a very English-sounding prog, often very close to Yes (to the point that 'clone' might be applicable), sometimes reminiscent of Gentle Giant or Genesis. This release is apparently the touched-up versiion of what was available from the band's s/t album in 78, so it's more than just the album, as the Cd last 65 minutes of music.

As hinted above, Pentwater is certainly not very original, leaning too much on their influences and only on rare occasions do they manage to create their own brand of sound, mostly when lead singer Konopka plays his violin - he's also playing guitar, flute, percussions and an important songwriter in the band. Despite the band sporting a two-guitar attack (including Konopka's part-time), the focus is more on Koppel's impressive array of keyboards (for a band that never broke through (despite what says the propaganda in the liner notes about opening)-act support if big names). My main gripe about the album is to tell apart the original vinyl album and the Cd final product' If there are any modifications, they were done in a very tasteful manner, careful of not using the catastrophic late-80's or early-90's technologies to screw up the ambiance and nature of the music. Fave track for me? The Journey, though Oceans has its charms as well.

One of Syn-Phonic's better early 90's release (which made the label's and owner Greg Walker's reputation), but ultimately, however interesting it may be, it's not really essential, but a welcome addition to your shelves, if you're not too uppity/mindful about its derivative nature.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This album is a good time of good music made ​​in America in the seventies. The musicians are excellent performers and we can check in the last track their quality It's a good album to listen to and enjoy, with very good quality of execution and conception of music, nothing boring. ... (read more)

Report this review (#460777) | Posted by João Paulo | Monday, June 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Here's what you need to know about this cd/album: there is one masterpiece contained therein and one near masterpiece. The masterpiece a short little tune called Take which could be on any classic rock radio station and fit right in there with anything by Kansas. The musical themes are well conc ... (read more)

Report this review (#156957) | Posted by ProggaWogga | Friday, December 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Ok, this is not Yezda Urfa or Happy the Man, but this album sounds really interesting. Very inffluneced by Yes, the truth is that you wouldn't discover anything new on the eight tracks of "Out of the Abyss" perhaps it's a rare piece of collection starting with the powerfull and very prog "Em 5 ... (read more)

Report this review (#55341) | Posted by progadicto | Tuesday, November 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The return of the 6 piece from Chicago...that is....these guys are from way back then... in the seventies...ive reviewed their first? This album are more of the same....NO..NO.. dont get me wrong...this is as great as the first one (which came first?) I do not hear the resemblance of say.. Gentle ... (read more)

Report this review (#19377) | Posted by Tonny Larz | Saturday, June 12, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Very interesting mid 70´s group, the music here have all elements that reminds me actual bands (that i like a lot) like Spock´s Beard. Among of the most undiscovered progressive rock records of the history. The drummer Tom Orsi is fantastic, and Ken Kappel is a catchy organ/synth player quite in Ker ... (read more)

Report this review (#19374) | Posted by fredfontes | Tuesday, January 20, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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