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KDB3: When It All Comes To Pass

A one man musical endeavour now four albums old, KDB3 is the play-thing of multi-instrumentalist Doug Bowers, who also proves himself to be a composer of no little skill. Album number four, When It All Comes To Pass, beyond having less than inspiring cover art with a lacklustre logo and font (and small black writing on a brown background makes the credits virtually illegible), is quite an accomplished journey through the world of symphonic keyboard led prog. The opening piece of the album is the shorter of the two, a ten minute-plus grower containing a muscular, space-like atmosphere that wouldn’t have been a million miles out of place on a John Payne era Asia album if they had created prog epics and not smooth, intricate AOR.

Bowers himself is revealed as a clever arranger with a truly sympathetic ear in terms of keeping the tracks moving along with a real sense of purpose and very little in the way of self indulgence - a common pitfall blundered into by many a solo act. Now, it’s only fair to point out that, even though I keep referring to this outfit as being Bowers alone, he does enlist the help of some guitar players along the way, Frank Williams adding acoustic guitar to the opening cut, while the electric six-string solo it that piece’s end from Brian Workman is outstanding. Likewise the guitar excursions from John Eargle that ‘fights’ for supremacy against the excellent keyboard contributions at the opening of the eight part title track is pretty stunning - as are the aforementioned keys-crescendos from Bowers. With Chuck Tidwell proving equally adept on guitar at later points in the tale, the short guest slots are superbly filled, but I am left wondering if a similar approach to the vocal side of things might have taken what is an accomplished and enjoyable album and raised it onto a different plain altogether.

Don’t get me wrong, Bowers has a perfectly acceptable voice capable of hitting the right notes and adding some colour to a largely instrumental affair. However, had the synth/violin passages of “When It All Comes To Pass” been punctuated by a serious, high class vocal, we might just have had a classic on our hands here. As it is, what we’re left with is still a song - and indeed an album - that not just stands up to repeat listens, but which nigh on demands them. The music is tight and yet natural in its flow and pacing, while containing the right amount of urgency in its dynamics to never feel listless. In fact, when KDB3 put their foot down, this is a positively rocking album with sumptuous melodies and intriguing asides. Fans of symphonic prog should definitely check it out and keep an eye on Doug Bowers to hear what comes next from this thoroughly convincing project.

Track Listing
1. Sequenced Fairy Tails (10:08)
2. When It All Comes to Pass (30:25)

Added: September 11th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: KDB3 on bandcamp
Hits: 485
Language: english

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