Wednesday 19 December 2012
Kompendium - Beneath The Waves (2012)
This year has been a pretty patchy year, quality wise, until the final two months of the year which has seen the release of two masterpieces. The first one was the Shadow Circus album. The second one is this album.
Kompendium is Rob Reed from Magenta's solo project. He is being helped by Steve Hackett (Genesis) and many others. It is a project drenched in celtic folk music and symphonic prog. It is a crossover between the above mentioned Hackett's solo stuff, celtic prog (for example Iona) and English female fronted prog (for example Mostly Autumn). If you love Steve Hackett, Iona and Mostly Autumn; you cannot live without this album.
Kompendium has also delivered the best song of the year too. The title track, to be precise. A brilliant female lead celtic prog song with a very strong melody. A classic song which surely will be included in many best off prog compilation albums in the years to come.
A video has also been released and it is on Youtube. It will do wonders for the Scottish and Irish tourist industry too. It is cheesy, real and very effective. The same can be said about this album too. Cheesy which plays on everyone's heart strings. Not only if you are into the above mentioned bands. This album has a pretty massive crossover appeal which should translate into a very substantial album sales. Only die hard Sex Pistols fans would not like this album.
I have mentioned the title track. There are some other great songs too. The two opening songs for example.
Unfortunate, the album falls into a bit of a lull halfway through with a symphonic orchestra bit which I have yet to find agreeable. Rob Reed sometimes bites over more than he can chew. But the album recovers again and final twenty minutes are superb too.
I honestly find nothing less than superb stuff on this album. An album that both sounds and feels very expensive and classy. Which explains the pretty expensive looking digi pack version and the not so cheap download version too. The price is justified though. This is not a run of the mill album. This album oozes class like a 16 years old Lagavulin single malt whisky. If you want something cheaper and less classy, buy something else.
This album will despite of it's pretty high cheese percentage and crossover appeal go into the annals of progressive rock as one of the classic masterpieces. I am willing to bet my good reputation on that. Confront me with these words in 50 years time. Nothing less than five points is sufficient for this album.