Pentwater Reviews

Here's what the world press is saying about Pentwater:

Combining heavy helpings of Yes, Genesis and ELP with some of the weirdness of Frank Zappa, Out of the Abyss, and Pentwater in general had some of the quirkiest and most unusual progressive rock ever created. This album...will probably grow to be one of the most prized CD`s in your collection. - Music Street Journal

American band, a 6-piece who played a complex progressive rock with very busy arrangements and lots of vocals. If comparisons need to be made, there is a definite early Yes feel (circa Time and a Word), with perhaps a touch of Gentle Giant, but despite this, they cover far more ground, especially via the use of violin and flute, and a few tracks like "Necropolis" and "The Journeys" that defy categorization and comparison. It is a true indicator of excellent music when it distracts you from what you are doing. I did not expect much when I first listened to this CD. Much to my surprise and pleasure I had to stop and take notice of Out of the Abyss. Each time I listen to it, the better I like it! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. - Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock

Pentwater is an interesting Chicago combo whose high-decibel rock effectively utilizes contemporary classical elements. All five members are excellent musicians, which is important as the tunes are often intricate. Lead vocals and instrumentals are strong as scored with electric guitar, violin and flute, and a variety of instruments that contribute to the quintet's unusual character. Included are theremin, synthesizer, electric piano, and electric clavichord. Actually, all five have vocal segments, sometimes one word each, an avant garde classical device.
- Kirby, in Variety, reviewing Pentwater at Max's Kansas City, NYC

"I am an Italian Progressive music lover, and I write this after having listened to the Pentwater Out of the Abyss CD. I would like to let you know that I consider this CD great, surely one of the best things I have listened to in the last years. I find "Gwen's Madrigal", "Necropolis", "Oceans", "EM54", "Cause & Effects" really great songs. - Riccardo Maranghi of the Italian "Arlequins Progressive Music" Magazine.

Many different elements are combined in their music. The songs are thoughtfully planned, and the aware listener will discover basic traditional patterns running through the complex time changes. In this way, the music achieves a free form feeling, but remains structured and logical.
Delightfully impossible to dance to! - Joan Tortorici, Illinois Entertainer

For those of you who have heard the Pentwater LP released in 1977 (last time I checked it was going for $700 on some lists), will no doubt find this CD interesting. So here we have a collection of the band's best work, selected by Syn- Phonic from over 100 songs (supposedly there is more good stuff, including more live material which might see the light of day soon), I find the Pentwater sound to be more influenced by the early 70's  UK scene, with hints at some of the legendary 'Vertigo' bands and Emerson Lake and Palmer. In fact there is not a hint of anything related to the usual 1970's Midwest prog sound of Styx, Kansas, or Starcastle. Pentwater developed their own sound and stuck with it, and this makes them all the more intriguing. One of America's finest progressive bands and recommended highly .-Editor, Prognosis - Progressive Music Web Site

Another archival surprise, knowing nothing about this band prior to listening, it was a real ear-opener, at times I was hearing what seemed like 60's psychedelic vocal harmonies (think of - It's A Beautiful Day, Jefferson Airplane), but musically they have more of a Happy the Man, Mirthrandir, Gentle giant, Echolyn style, very innovative stuff given the era, the keyboards are quite good, I still am not sure why it took until now for me to have heard of this band, great stuff!
- MJBrady,
Prognosis- Progressive Music Web Site

Art can be creative and commercial. Witness the album of Pentwater. The troll-creature and faucets painting by Kunio Hagio is superb on many levels - appealing and imaginative and expertly done. That triple-quality lies at the finish of Pentwater's marathon. Pentwater will be a band of uniquely high stature and should be applauded and urged on every step of the way.
- Sal Manna, Illinois Entertainer

Pentwater's years of extensive touring throughout the Midwest and East Coast and their music conservatory background has led to the development of a very unique sound. One could try to classify them as either hard rock or spacey rock but, in actuality, they are neither. Pentwater has found a sound that is extremely complex with layer upon layer of instrumentation and vocals.
- Claudia Becker, Mad City Press

 

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