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Kompendium: Beneath The Waves – Elements

Album Review

Unexpectedly robust selection of outtakes from Robert Reed’s rock opera.

Originally released back in 2012, Rob Reed’s celtic rock opera Beneath The Waves rightly received plaudits for the boldness, depth and extravagance of the project. The Magenta linchpin was joined by guest musicians including Steve Hackett, Francis Dunnery and Gavin Harrison, and it was an audacious attempt at matching such landmarks as Dark Side Of The Moon.

It may not have reached such heights (what does?) but there was still much to admire and enjoy. With the album taking over three years to write and record, the cutting room floor was littered with outtakes and tracks omitted due to space limits. 

Elements addresses that by collecting together a variety of extended and alternative takes and mixes. Often that’s the mark of a second-rate release, but it’s remarkable just how cohesive the material sounds, and even those familiar with the tracks will find much to appreciate here. 

The vocal and orchestral mix of Alone and a stripped-down version of One Small Step are standouts, while the second disc comprises a mesmerising instrumental version of the original album. If you enjoyed that, then this makes for an excellent companion piece.

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