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Kompendium - Beneath The Waves CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.76 | 116 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
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

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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