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The Wait of Glory

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
The Wait of Glory
Sounds like … naturally Kerry Livgren's work with Kansas and A.D., but also the more contemporary progressive rock of Neal Morse and occasionally the jazz-inspired jams of Dave Matthews BandAt a glance … though Proto-Kaw lacks the punchy production and modern sensibilities of other prog rock bands today, their sophomore effort will still please many fans of the genreTrack Listing Nevermore Relics of the Tempest When the Rains Come On the Eve of the Great Decline Physic Osvaldo's Groceries The Vigil Old Number 63 Melicus Gladiator Picture This

For most who recognize his name, classic progressive rock is Kerry Livgren. A founding member of Kansas and responsible for hits like "Carry on My Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind," he left the band after some changes to the lineup in the early '80s. Since then, Livgren has more openly incorporated his faith into his music through the band A.D., some solo projects, and now Proto-Kaw, which made its debut in 2004 with Before Became After.

It wouldn't be accurate to call Proto-Kaw a "Christian band," since not all the members are professed Christians. But Livgren's songs on The Wait of Glory reflect his spiritual worldview, expressing anticipation for Christ's return (Romans 8:18-25). "Relics of the Tempest" looks ahead to the Rapture: "They said they knew what's coming/The experts all agreed/It will come on one fine morning/It's guaranteed." The epic opener "Nevermore" shares a hopeful longing for heaven, while the closing "Picture This" offers a biblical perspective that reminds us all are invited in the kingdom. "The Vigil" tells of a life-changing love that's worth pursuing, and "When the Rains Come" alludes to God's grace making all things new.

Imagine Kansas if they dabbled with more symphonic and jazzy arrangements, and that's basically Proto-Kaw. Flutes and strings are as prominent as guitars and drums, the funky groove and saxophone in "Physic" readily echoing Dave Matthews Band. But while the musicianship is strong, the production lacks punch (particularly the drums) and lead singer Lynn Meredith sounds mismatched for the genre—closer to worship leader David Ruis than Kansas alumni Steve Walsh and John Elefante. The band's instrumental solos also lean more toward proficient meandering than recurring themes and melodies. Though a bit dated sounding, neither as modern as The Mars Volta nor as polished as Neal Morse, Proto-Kaw will still please many prog rock fans.

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