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Kompendium Beneath The Waves album cover
3.77 | 118 ratings | 7 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Exordium (8:55)
2. Lost (6:05)
3. Lilly (4:05)
4. Mercy Of The Sea (6:11)
5. The Storm (11:03)
6. Beneath The Waves (5:51)
7. Sole Survivor (3:26)
8. Alone (5:07)
9. Il Tempo Giunto (3:08)
10. A Moment Of Clarity (4:17)
11. One Small Step (3:21)
12. Reunion (5:45)

Total time 67:14

Bonus DVD from 2012 Tigermoth Special Edition:
- Audio :
DVD 1. 24/96 5.1 Surround Mix
DVD 2. DTS 5.1 Surround Mix
DVD 3. Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Mix
- Music Videos :
DVD 4. Lilly
DVD 5. Beneath The Waves
DVD 6. Mercy Of The Sea
DVD 7. The Kompendium Session Videos

Line-up / Musicians

- Rob Reed / bass (1-8,10-12), piano, synthesizer (3), mandolin (3,4,5), electric (1,3,4,8,12) & acoustic (4-8,11) guitars, recorder (5), melodica (6), producer

- Steve Balsamo / lead vocals
- Angharad Bryn / vocals (1-3,5,12)
- Tesni Jones / soul vocals (3,10)
- Shan Cothi / operatic soprano vocals (1,2,8)
- Rhys Meirion / operatic tenor vocals (9)
- Stef Rhys Williams / chanter (11), backing vocals (3,4,7,10)
- Christina Booth / backing vocals (6)
- Synergy Vocals / chanter (1,2,6,7), Latin chant (5), female choir (9)
- Micaela Haslam / member of Synergy Vocals & female vocals director
- Emer McParland / member of Synergy Vocals
- Joanna Forbes-L'Estrange / member of Synergy Vocals
- English Chamber Choir / chorus (2,5,8,9)
- Guy Protheroe / Choir conductor
- Only Men Aloud / male choir (3)
- BJ Cole / pedal steel guitar (1,12)
- Nick Barrett / guitar solo (1,7)
- Hywel Maggs / guitar (2,4,5)
- Neil Taylor / guitar solo (2,6,10)
- Steve Hackett / nylon guitar (3)
- Francis Dunnery / guitar solo (4)
- Jakko Jackzyk / guitar (5,11)
- Chris Fry / guitar (5), nylon guitar (7,12)
- John Mitchell / guitar (5), rhythm guitar (10)
- Nick Beggs / Chapman stick (6)
- Gavin Harrison / drums
- Troy Donockley / Uilleann pipes, high & low whistles
- Barry Kerr / pipe, vocals (5), Irish whistle (12)
- Mel Collins / sax (6,10)
- Karla Powell / oboe (1,3)
- Craig MacDonald / French horn (2,3)
- Helina Rees / violin
- Emily Travis / violin (3)
- Magda Pietraszewska / cello (3,7)
- London Session Orchestra
- Dave Stewart / Orchestra conductor & arranger
- Guy Harris / narrator (3)
- Tim Rhys Evans / arrangements (3)

Releases information

ArtWork: Geoff Taylor

2xLP Ritual Echo Records ‎- RERLP008 (2012, UK)

CD+DVD Tigermoth Records - TMRCD 1012 (2012, UK) DVD w/ 5.1 Surround mixes and 4 Videos
CD Tigermoth Records ‎- TMRCD0513 (2013, UK)

Thanks to marty mcfly for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy KOMPENDIUM Beneath The Waves Music

KOMPENDIUM Beneath The Waves ratings distribution

(118 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

KOMPENDIUM Beneath The Waves reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Waiting to the penultimate day of 2012 to discover a glowing masterpiece is just another typical irony of being a dedicated prog hunter. I am generally not a big fan of epic superstar projects, the disparate talents having often difficulty in synergizing into a valid whole. So I approached this Kompendium venture with slight skepticism, only anesthetized by the presence of Robert Reed as mastermind as well as the inclusion of such massive talents as Steve Balsamo (a voice I first discovered on IO Earth's debut album), the legendary Steve Hackett, the incredible stickman Nick Beggs, the incomparable Gavin Harrison (is there a more accomplished drummer in prog today?), the mercurial Mel Collins and the colossal Celtic musicianship of Troy Donockley . Then add to that mix Francis Dunnery (It Bites), John Mitchell (Arena), Nick Barrett (Pendragon), Jakko Jakszyk, BJ Cole, Neil Taylor (Tears for Fears) and Dave Stewart (Egg, Hatfield and National Health) handling the orchestrations. My existential fears were totally unnecessary as this is an unquestionable opus of the highest magnificence.

First of all, a glorious CD packaging just like the old vinyl gatefold LPs of the 70s but smaller (the vinyl option also exists!) with superb artwork and heavily detailed credits, lyrics, bios and photos. The most spectacular is the inclusion of a DVD with 3 kinds of audio variants (24/96 5.1 surround mix, DTS 5.1 surround mix and a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix) and a series of music videos. The paintings by Geoff Taylor shine brightly.

The vocal work is utterly stupendous, the foundation for all the music to be built upon as Balsamo can sing like the wind, though some prog purists may find him a bit too feminine and passionately colorful, whilst the invited ladies also do very well (Angharad Brinn, Christina Booth) and the choir work by the Synergy Vocals group is exemplary but kudos must be leveled at mastermind/composer/multi-instrumentalist Robert Reed, who shines at writing memorable tracks, skillfully introducing brilliant bass, keys, recorders and guitar work to the heady mix. The material fits clearly in the Celtic vein with comparisons to classic Iona, Mike Oldfield and IO Earth, with operatic inclusions (the amazing "Il Tempo E Giunto") and heroic compositions.

Narration always befits an epic prog album and the classic premise sparks this one to delectable heights, melancholic flute and gentle melody combine to enchant the expectant listener and dive deep into the waves ."Exordium" boldly states the grandiose theme that will stamp this material with glorious reverie, full of lush orchestrations (the phenomenal Dave Stewart!). Propelled by Gavin and adorned by Troy's lavish Uilleann pipes, the goose bumps make their entrance from the get-go, especially when the soprano voice of Shan Cothi kicks in, setting the table for the first Balsamo lead vocal , a trembling duet with Angharad Brinn. Hints of Enya, Oldfield and Beautiful World abound, an organic yet pulsating new age feel that rocks and breathes full-lunged, with a slithering Nick Barrett solo. Mastermind Rob Reed does a devilish job on bass, piano and guitar giving this opening salvo a direct hit on the brain. Wow! "Lost" evolves forward nicely with delightful choir vocals, augmenting the powerful Balsamo vocals, laced by an electric guitar duet from Neil Taylor (Tears for Fears, Robbie Williams) and session axeman Hywel Maggs. This is a saccharine ballad that has a poppier feel with a huge wail from the male lead lung. Very enjoyable, indeed!

"Lilly" is a spectacular highlight piece featuring Steve Hackett's celebrated nylon guitar , some stunning cello work and an immaculate vocal from Angharad Brinn (check out the video on the DVD!) . Fragile, spectral, haunting and completely magical, the quasi-medieval arrangement is further adorned by mandolin, electric synth, piano and bass , all handled by Reed.

"Mercy of the Sea" has a distinct Irish/Gaelic atmosphere, Donockley, Reed and Harrison building up the sonic platform for Steve Balsamo to simply kill the vocal (what range, my goodness!) sending shivers of delight as he hits the highest notes possible. Once again, the stylish video does this piece even more justice, in its entire black and white splendor. This time Francis Dunnery (It Bites) reels off a glittering solo that hits the mark before the rhythm section booms forward led by the magic Donockley pipes .

The proggiest track by far is the cinematic "The Storm" an 11 minute + expedition into the swirling symphonic seas, pummeled by a quartet of electric guitarists (Mitchell, Fry, Jakczyk, Maggs) , a double Wishbone Ash attack of stimulating bombast , infused by cascading rhythms, luxuriant choir orchestrations and Troy Uilleann pipes leading the tempestuous way . Reed's bass and Harrison's drums pump hard blood into Balsamo's expressive lower keyed vocals, combined with Brinn's evocative howl, giving this epic piece a lot of meandering room. The symphonic orchestra does wonders with the main melody, elevating the progressive quotient to the highest standards, confirmed by the tremendous Latin chant courtesy of Synergy Vocals group and a swirly violin.

The title track is another Gaelic ditty of the grandest proportions but with plenty of meat thanks to Nick Beggs' stick and Harrison's muscular drumming. The iconic Mel Collins makes his cameo spot worthwhile with a scintillating sax display that only extols the virtues of an incredible Balsamo vocal (he can hold a note, I assure you). Neil Taylor shudders the mood with a stinging guitar solo, biting, nibbling and chomping through the frets with gusto. This is again evidenced on the accompanying video to great effect.

The brief "Sole Survivor" brings the cello to the forefront once again, also featuring Chris Fry's nylon guitar allied with Barrett's electric lead amid the recurring choir theme that permeates the entire recording (it's a prog record after all!), a companion track to the glorious opener.

"Alone" is a firmly melancholic track that suits Balsamo's shuddering expression, sweeping and stately, loaded with sad desperation. The soprano aria (Shan Cothi) adds even more depth and pain, as a foil to the male despondence. This operatic addition does wonders for the flow of the recording as witnessed by the enigmatic segue "Il Tempo E Giunto", a highlight piece straight from the opera world. Welsh tenor Rhys Meirion gives this a Pavarotti workout, amid Reed's piano and massive backing voice work from the English Chamber Choir and Synergy Vocals group.

"Moment of Clarity" is a return to more conventional sympho-prog rock, with a memorable verse and chorus (the exuberant Balsamo again, yeah), with Taylor and Mitchell providing the electric angst, some smart gospel vocals and Collins killing it on the saxophone. Quite cleverly, 'One last chance'is repeated so as to prepare for the next track "One Small Step", a delightful composition led by Jakko Jakczyk's tornado axe and Steve's wanting and fraught vocal, exhorting forever higher and further.

"Reunion" puts this amazing release to rest, a combination of all the preceding elements, reuniting all the delicate male and female voices, the Irish pipes and whistles , the violins, the nylon guitar, some pedal steel from BJ Cole and of course, the main choir theme one more time. Gavin pulses through to the end, orchestra in tow.

Without any doubt, a magnificent opus from magician Robert Reed, the super-classy Kompendium project outshines anything he has done in the past with Magenta, Cyan and the Fyreworks. A mystical package that will delight the incredulous prog fan constantly on the lookout for some miraculous treasure. .

5 deep beckonings

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Many years ago I was sent an album by Cyan, 'For King In Country' (can that really be 20 years ago?), and I was so impressed that it made it to the cover of Feedback #18. A short while later I was at a Steve Hackett gig that was taking place in a village hall (a warm up for his UK tour that year, it was stunning) and ended up chatting to Robert Reed who had arrived with some Welsh reprobates (good old Ezra, another great band). I am sure that neither of us ever expected for him to be masterminding an album on which Steve would make a contribution. Over the years Robert worked next with The Fyreworks and then of course with Magenta, but he always had a desire to release a concept album that he felt could be talked about in the same breath as 'War Of The Worlds' and while I don't think he has made it quite to those heights, he has indeed released an album of incredible beauty, majesty and breadth.

Of course, if you are going to set your aim that high you need a strong group of musicians to assist in achieving that and Rob has pulled together an incredible bunch of people. Rob of course provides all of the songs and plays keyboards, but he is joined by Steve Hackett, Francis Dunnery (It Bites), John Mitchell (Arena, It Bites), Nick Barrett (Pendragon), Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett Band, Iona, Kajagoogoo), Jakko Jakszyk (20th Century Schizoid Band), Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree), Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel), Dave Stewart (Hatfield and the North, National Health, Bruford, Troy Donockley (who I always think of as Iona but I saw him play with Nightwish at the beginning of the year in Auckland). For vocals he has Steve Balsamo (Jesus Christs Superstar stage production), opera singers Shan Cothi and Rhys Mierion, plus assorted choirs and orchestration.

Musically this is symphonic, orchestral and celtic all rolled up together with wonderful production and great performances throughout. At times I am reminded of Mostly Autumn, at others Kansas, then off into Magenta. I have a real regret that this was provided to me as a download to review, as this has been released with a 20 page book with the feeling that this is all about the complete experience, as it used to be when I was younger. Back in the Seventies the only way to listen to music was by putting the record on the player and studying the artwork/lyrics while the sounds took over the world: listening to music was an end to itself, something that was tactile and real as opposed to just a click of a mouse. There is a real feeling here of something special that has been accomplished, and I am sure that repeated plays will find this move from 4 *'s to 5. This really is an outstanding achievement and something that all progheads should investigate. For more details visit

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
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!

Review by Warthur
3 stars Rob Reed of Magenta draws together a real who's who of the prog scene to perform this special concept album of his, inspired by the sad tale of an Irish man who disappeared in 1902 following the deaths of his wife and daughter. Musically, it combines Reed's usual neo-prog compositional style with influences from Celtic folk, and in particular the sort of folk-New Age mashup often found in much of Mike Oldfield's latter-day work, with a few influences here and there from Kate Bush circa Hounds of Love.

With his bandmates in Magenta joining in as well as the likes of Steve Hackett, Nick Barrett, Mel Collins, and a range of other prog stalwarts from every decade from the 1960s onwards, this excellent album is an interesting listen that is enough of a departure from the tried-and-true Magenta approach to feel like a distinctive project on its own, but meanders a little too much here and there to be a true classic.

Latest members reviews

5 stars KOMPENDIUM-BENEATH THE WAVES might be one of the milestone albums in the history of modern,contemporary prog-old school style!Why?The answer is so simple and direct-becase this album has something that lacks in the making of many other prog rock albums-concept style albums!BENEATH THE WAVES ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#940508) | Posted by Ovidiu | Sunday, April 7, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars To suggest that 'Beneath the waves' resembles 'War of the Worlds', is surely far from the truth, and will disappoint those who expect so. After all, the only narrative is provided at the beginning, and at the end of the album. If it's about one person's 'journey', then, musically at least, it ... (read more)

Report this review (#901937) | Posted by sussexbowler | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 fol ... (read more)

Report this review (#897228) | Posted by Argonaught | Monday, January 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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