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Kaprekar's Constant - The Murder Wall CD (album) cover


Kaprekar's Constant


Crossover Prog

3.88 | 39 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Wow! What an unexpected fantastic gem of an album. This is the 3rd album from Kaprekar's Constant, a 'musical collective' from the UK started by childhood friends and multi-instrumentalists Al Nicholson and Nick Jefferson in 2017 that specializes in their own brand of 'symphonic melodic progressive rock' that features beautiful melodies, grand themes, lush arrangements, and great vocals, in addition to a passion for history and storytelling. And the results on this album are just fabulous. In addition to all the guitars, bass, piano, and keyboards provided by Nicholson and Jefferson, the band features wind player extraordinaire David Jackson (of Van der Graaf Generator) on all sorts of saxes, flutes, whistles, recorders, and just about anything he can blow into. Also featured are the dual lead vocalists Bill Jefferson and Dorie Jackson (daughter of David, with a beautiful voice), who have contrasting vocal sounds and styles but blend well whether singing together or separately. Rounding out the band are Mike Westergaard on keyboards and Mark Walker on drums and percussion. This is a concept album with all the songs dealing with stories about various attempts (both successful and unsuccessful) by mountaineers to scale the North Face of The Eiger Mountain, known as the Murder Wall, due to all those that have lost their lives on it. Although this may sound like a very dark theme, the music is anything but dreary, filled with beauty from simple melodies to majestic anthems. There are 17 individual relatively short songs (a total of 74 minutes of music), but many of the songs are part of multi-song suites, as the album tells the true stories of 6 different attempts to scale the mountain (dating from 1935 to 1962). But you don't necessarily need to follow or care about the lyrical content, as the beauty of the songs and arrangements carry the show (but you probably will want to find out more about these events after hearing the album, as the stories are quite compelling). Musically, probably the closest comparison to other contemporary bands would be Big Big Train, especially their more pastoral aspects, as they share Kaprekar's Constant's feel for beautiful melodies and arrangements, grand themes, as well as their penchant for history and storytelling. Another band with some similar aspects might be Moon Safari. As far as more classic Prog bands, I can hear some similarities to bands such as Camel, Renaissance, and such works as Anthony Phillip's The Geese and The Ghost. Although maybe a bit too laid-back for many Prog fans (and this album is even a bit less 'proggy' than their previous albums), I found it to be brilliant and enthralling from start to finish, filled with such beautiful and inspiring music, it is just breathtaking. If you enjoy any of the bands mentioned here, you should really like this album. The music is quite accessible, with much in common with good pop-rock and folk-rock, but just much more thoughtful, elegant, and majestic than anything you would hear on the radio. It's hard to pick out the best tracks, because they all are great, and fit together to make the whole thing flow so well. It really needs to be heard in its entirety from beginning to end. Certainly one of the very best albums of 2022. Fantastic from start to finish. Best Tracks: 'Tall Tales by Firelight', 'Failure Takes Care of Its Own', 'Another Man's Smile', 'Hope in Hell', 'Third Man Down', 'A Silent Drum', 'The Stormkeeper;s Daughter', 'Endeavor/Mountaineers/Hall of Mirrors'.
BBKron | 5/5 |


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