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Payne's Gray

Progressive Metal

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Payne's Gray Kadath Decoded album cover
4.05 | 27 ratings | 6 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dream sequence (3:06)
2. Sunset city (5:28)
3. The cavern of flame (5:28)
4. Moonlight waters (9:01)
5. Procession (2:12)
6. A hymn to the cats (5:18)
7. The way to Ngranek (6:35)
8. Within the vault (4:12)
9. Reaching kadath (7:21)
10. Nyarlathoteps reception (9:27)
11. Riding the shantak (5:29)
12. Finale: Sunset city Part 2 (3:37)

Total Time: 67:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Daniel Herrmann / drums, percussion, noise-guitar
- Jan Schröder / guitars, flute
- Tomek Turek / piano, synths
- Haluk Balikci / voices
- Hagen Schmidt / voices
- Martin Mannhardt / bass

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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PAYNE'S GRAY Kadath Decoded ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PAYNE'S GRAY Kadath Decoded reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Prognaut
4 stars Quite a remarkable exercise by this proposing German band. "Kadath" is a rare and unique piece of work that certainly takes off pretty intriguing and devouring that there's nothing the listener could do, but to get captured in between this dark, evoking music. Opening track "Dream Sequence" instrumentally reveals such an enigmatic passage to indescribable musical experimentations, so impregnated of mysticism, of sorrow and peacefulness that irradiates geniality. The three-way conversation held by this sober piano, a lingering flute and the background chords set, is absolutely a display of energy and passion, so imperceptible by the common ear, it secretly lightens a pathway to welcome the second intromission of this well elaborated album. "Sunset City" is quite a sequel to the first act previously shown, with another continuous piano interlude, this time seconded by a peculiar acoustic guitar that meddles somewhere in between the synthies and this unpretentious bass played quietly by Martin MANNHARDT. The acoustic guitar carries on spreading the pure essence of the ambiance created, where the percussions become more and more captivating, wrapped up in shades of strings and compassed chords.

The vicious crunchy guitars aren't displayed until you get to "The Cavern of Flames", where Haluk BALIKCI sings impetuously the provocative story of chapter three contained on this album. The challenging, defining moments of this latter half of the nineties creation, start to reveal onward. It is practically inevitable not to notice the conceptualization this haunting piece of work proposes all along its twelve episodes. It certainly doesn't lack of initiative or argumentation, the instances to achieve uniqueness here are entitled by the individual execution of the instruments and the exploitation of the same. The piano and synthies taken away majestically by Tomas TUREK, the guitars and flute performing in charge of Jan SCHRÖDER and his creativeness and the additional features, obviate the mystery hidden on "Kadath".

When taking on the rest of the track listing, you might as well would like to pay close attention to the versatility and innovation displayed on such pieces as "Within the Vault" (that describes an intrepid way of playing piano) and "Reaching Kadath" (a deep, purist track, which contains most of the explanation of why the album was conceived in such way from the get-go). The alternativeness showed among "Nyarlathoteps Reception" and "Finale: Sunset City part 2", is definitely unforgivable to lose. The perception of oneself becomes thicker throughout the entireness of this album, according on getting yet another dosage of PAYNE'S GRAY right back from the beginning.

Part two of the productions released by the Germanic musicians, accomplishes quite great its mere intention and initial purpose. It's practically impossible not to relate this specific work to what's already been done by some other German progressive metal bands like SIEGES EVEN or SUPERIOR, since there's a thin line called "relativity" that unites them by the insides. In spite of the comparisons and the appealing characteristics, "Kadath" remains intact before the eyes of introspection and surprising. Deservedly, the four starts sustaining the "excellent addition to any prog collection" variation.

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 4.5 stars - a really interesting album. It's symphonic neo prog with a metal edge. Very melodic, and the metal aspect is reduced to a few riffs here and there which blend perfectly with the lush symphonic songs. The whole thing is very concept driven, it gets quite quirky and technical at times, but never too flashy. The only things that keep me from awarding 5 stars are a few recording glitches (background noise/sudden eq changes) and some small inaccuracies in the drumming - but I'm a bit touchy in that area, so it should be no problem for most people.

Sadly the band broke up after recording this album, and it's nearly impossible to find in CD stores today (2006). Definitely a very valuable and rewarding part of any prog collection!

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Payne´s Gray sole album Kadeth Decoded were released in 1995. I remember reading reviews of this album back then in metal magazines. The album was highly praised by most reviewers in 1995. If I had to review it in 1995 I would probably have given it more credit than I will in this review because back then this was a pretty groundbreaking release because of the two lead singers in the band. Much water has run under the bridge since then though and this is one of those albums that has suffered a bit of old age in the meantime.

I actually caught Payne´s Gray live in 1996 supporting Psychotic Waltz on the Bleeding tour. They were a very good live band and it was in the live environment you really understood that they were a unique band. The two singers complimented each other and the stage presence of two singers just seemed very powerful ( Of course Psychotic Waltz blew them away, but that´s another story).

Well the music on Kadeth Decoded is very keyboard and synth driven. The term metal should only be used loosely here as there are lots of songs on Kadeth Decoded without guitar and when guitars appear it´s mostly acoustic. There are some heavy guitar parts here and there though. The lyrics are based on H.P. Lovecraft´s infamous horror stories which is great for a Lovecraft fan like me. The music is pretty impressive technically and the compositions are very challenging. If you´re a keyboard freak you should definitely check out this album as keyboardist Tomek Turek is pretty fantastic and innovative. My problem here is unfortunately with the two lead singers who might have comlimented each other well in a live environment but falls flat on their face on this studio recording. There´s nothing wrong with their voices even though there is a slight german accent. They are high pitched metal singers so in that respect they don´t stand out from most progressive metal bands. It´s the melody lines and the way the harmony vocals are arranged that annoys me. It´s probably an aquired taste but it ruins much of my listening pleasure that´s for sure.

The musicianship is really good on the album and again I´ll mention Tomek Turek as the most shining light on this album. Classically trained I pressume.

The production is a bit weak and allthough it doesn´t ruin the music it´s sometimes an unnesseccary distraction.

Kadeth Decoded is a pretty unique album and had the singing been to my liking I would have rated it 4 stars. As it is I´ll only rate it 3 stars though. If you want to hear something unique and challenging and you´re not annoyed by the vocals like I am this will probably be a treat.

Latest members reviews

5 stars masterpiece yes !!!!a great moment with the kadath recorded!!!hummm an amazing emotion with this band ,a strong music with technical guy's.....OOOOh i love so much!! not conventionnal it's a magical voyage sometimes scaring but very very original......i recommended for somebody who search a ne ... (read more)

Report this review (#31522) | Posted by | Friday, May 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is one of few masterpiece albums for me. One of very few. This is not like in many progressive metal bands. Of course there is still metal, but... more then metal can give You :) First thing You shold take in your sight is the concept of vocalization. Two similiar sounding voices, b ... (read more)

Report this review (#31520) | Posted by | Sunday, July 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is for sure a masterpiece! The Album's concepts is based on H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath". All progmetal fans should look around how to get this album into their collections. Music is very melodic and sounds haunted. All musicians are doing great work. You sho ... (read more)

Report this review (#31519) | Posted by | Sunday, July 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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