Pentwater - Out of the Abyss. 1973-1976 USA (archival)

Out of the Abyss is off-the-rails hyper complex mid 1970's US progressive rock. If you like non stop complexity similar to Yezda Urfa and Mirthrandir, then this album is for you. It certainly is for me! Get ready for a brain-load.

Without a doubt, Pentwater's release remains my favorite of the 1970s archival releases. It's truly a shame that this band never had a chance to properly record an album until they were past their prime, managing to get one album out in 1978 (which I'll feature soon). They did reform recently, and have proven once again what a talented bunch they are.

As with the Neuschwanstein that was recently posted, I also managed to get a more formal review of this album out for I/E back in 1993. The below is that review, though updated and cleaned up a bit:

About a year ago I was talking to Greg Walker, head of Syn-Phonic, and asked "What's your next project?". He replied "Pentwater". "PENTWATER!" I cried. "What's so progressive about Pentwater?" I already knew of their sole 1978 album, and while good, it wasn't great. Greg quickly responded "No, not their album but some awesome unreleased stuff !" Well, the CD is out, and "Out of the Abyss" proves Mr. Walker was right. In a big way. Pentwater (who hail from the Chicago area) are but another example of how awesome the underground progressive scene was in America. It's really a shame that the major labels were (and still are) too focused on pop radio airplay potential to recognize where the true talent lies. But hey, all progressive rock is pompous, pretentious, corporate-fed, getting-away-from-rock-n-roll's-original-intentions mumbo jumbo right? It's true, read your Rolling Stone Record Guide...

Pentwater's music is quite similar to other superb American bands like Cathedral, Easter Island, and Mirthrandir. As with the aforementioned bands, Pentwater play an extremely complex and intricate music that embodies the best parts of the English masters like Yes, Gentle Giant, Genesis, and King Crimson yet in no way plagiarizes their music. The 8-minute 'EM 54' that opens this CD demonstrates just how involved a work this is - a constant barrage of sounds, ideas, and instruments are all tossed and turned to deliver an overwhelming, yet always exciting, piece. The first 2 minutes must of taken a month to write and record alone! Aside from traditional rock instrumentation, this highly talented 6-piece play flute, harpsichord, Mellotron (YEAH!), Mini-Moog, oboe, Theremin, violin, and assorted percussion ranging from anvils (?!) to tubular bells. Pentwater began in 1970 and lasted until 1978 (the year of their LP). The material for this CD was taken from 1973-76. During their existence they recorded 54 songs from which, according to Mr. Walker, future projects will come about.* Good deal.

* Well, Greg, it's been 20 years now Bud. Don't hurry. No rush. :-)  (Greg is a good friend. I have to rib him....)

Personal collection
CD: 1992 Syn-Phonic

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