Kayak - Excerpts From Nostradamus - The Fate Of Man

Year of Release: 2005
Label: SMH Recordings
Catalog Number: SMHR 2514
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:33:00

After the band's musical interpretation on the life of Merlin* our Dutch friends have now tackled the interesting ventures of Nostradamus. Contrary to my other reviews, I did start with the end of this disc, as there you can find both a Dutch and English version of the story behind Nostradamus. Narrated by Pim Koopman and backed with nice orchestrations, you get to hear the entire story, which has puzzled the world for centuries. Looking at the number of different singers, this new concept by Kayak in a way rubs shoulders with Ayreon's approach to map out a story and have various singers step into the shoes of the different characters.

When Kayak called it a day many years ago, leader Ton Scherpenzeel turned towards writing music for children's theatre as well as composing and arranging the music for Dutch cabaret artist Youp van 't Hek. I guess it's all those elements combined that have inspired Ton to slighly leave the pure progressive route in order to tackle more of a musical direction. Together with his wife Irene Linders (who in the early days was one of the Kayettes backing singers and has since been writing for, amongst others, the Hitkrant), Ton formed a team that between the two of them could map out an entire musical route containing plot, music and lyrics. Already during the previous tours, which he mainly did in Dutch theatres, reviews of the live gigs were very positive as you got to witness a total experience. By using singers who are familiar with the musical environment and using a fantastic light crew as well as scenery and props, each live gig turned into an all-round extravaganza.

The various singers all have enough experience to tackle this Kayak adventure from a very professional angle indeed. Syb van der Ploeg was the leader of famous Dutch popband De Kast and also recently collaborated with the band Autumn. Bert Heerink is known from his days with Vandenberg and Picture. Rob Vunderink formed a duo called Concrete with Pim Koopman. Later on they became the well-known band Diesel. Edward Reekers of course was the Kayak fan who stepped into Max Werner's shoes and became Kayak's frontman overnight. Monique van der Ster has been a member of Jody's Singers for a very long time. Cindy Oudshoorn worked on productions for the filthy rich John De Mol as well as amusement park De Efteling. Marjolein Teepen has been in numerous musicals. Concerning music, Ton Scherpenzeel delivers keyboards, accordion, bass as well as background vocals. His Kayak mate from the early days, Pim Koopman, plays drums, keyboards, guitar, percussion whilst also sings backing vocals. Guitarist Joost Vergoossen is known for his long collaboration with Ilse De Lange. So all in all a very professional line-up, which is perfectly fit to adapt itself to the various atmospheres this story requires.

With "Save My Wife" Scherpenzeel illustrates what a great composer and arranger he really is, whilst this song, which emphasizes the piano, can almost be categorized as true classical bombast. Then again "The Wandering Years" is a sugarsweet 4/4 piece that would be an ideal song for ? Barry Manilow! "Tell Me All" is almost like Meatloaf material, combining soft passages with straightforward rock. Here a great synth solo is added, which is one of the rare occasions a real solo creeps in. With "Living In Two Realities" it's almost like an accessible slice of the Carmina Burana which sneeks in, highlighted by the Nostradamus Choir. The album I reviewed here is a single disc which contains "excerpts" from Nostradamus - The Fate Of Man. In fact, the actual concept is spread over two discs, a review of which will be added as a separate item as soon as I get a chance to listen to the whole package. For the time being at least, you know that Kayak present an interesting concept album, delivered by some of Holland's best musicians and singers currently around! And don't forget: if you get the chance to listen to this album ? begin at the back!

[* in 2003, some of the material from Merlin was reworked and expanded for Merlin - Bard Of The Unseen -ed.]

Friend Of The Stars (4:22) / Celestial Silence (3:53) / Seekers Of Truth (4:16) / Save My Wife (5:25) / Pagan:s Paradise (4:24) / The Wandering Years (4:41) / A Man With Remarkable Talents (3:31) / Settle Down (4:18) / Tell Me All (3:28) / Living In Two Realities (4:13) / Act Of Despair (4:25)

Ton Scherpenzeel - keyboards, bass, accordeon, backing vocals
Pim Koopman - drums, backing vocals, kyboards, guitar, percussion, narrator
Bert Heerink - vocals
Rob Vunderink - vocals, guitars
Joost Vergoossen - guitars
Monique van der Ster - vocals, backing vocals
Edward Reekers - vocals, backing vocals, voice-over
Syb van der Ploeg - vocals, backing vocals
Cindy Oudshoorn - vocals, backing vocals
Marjolein Teepen - vocals
Eddy Koopman - percussion
Rens van der Zalm - fiddle
The Nostradamus choir - vocals

See See The Sun (1973)
Kayak II (1974)
Royal Bed Bouncer (1975)
The Last Encore (1976)
Starlight Dancer (1977, US version)
Phantom Of The Night (1978)
Periscope Life (1980)
Merlin (1981)
Eyewitness (1982/1994)
Close To The Fire (2000)
Chance For A Livetime (2001)
Merlin - The Bard Of The Unseen (2003)
Nostradamus - The Fate Of Man (2CD) (2005)
Excerpts From Nostradamus - The Fate Of Man (1CD) (2005)
KAYAKoustic Live (2007)
Coming Up For Air (2008)
The Anniversary Concert (CD/DVD) (2008)
The Anniversary Box (CD/DVD) (2008)
Letters From Utopia (2009)
Anywhere But Here (2011)
Cleopatra - The Crown Of Isis (2014)
Journey Through Time (2017)
Seventeen (2018)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NL

Added: June 14th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.kayakonline.info
Hits: 1165
Language: english


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