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Karnivool - Asymmetry CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.53 | 117 ratings

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3 stars Bands who don't evolve their sound generally have a short shelf life, especially in prog, where the listener is often craving something new and different and which has the ability to surprise. Karnivool is one band that has taken a step away from previous releases with their new album "Asymmetry".

The echo-laden guitar that was a cornerstone of much of Karnivool's earlier work has now taken a back seat to the rhythm section: percussion and bass are now the driving force behind the music, with many songs on this release a form of beautiful chaos. This seems to be an evolution from "Set Fire to the Hive" from their previous album, which held similar elements to a lesser extent.

I'll admit that this style is not my favourite, as in the past I've favoured songs such as "All I Know", "Cote" and "Themata" with their more melodic approach. The band has not discarded this style entirely, with the second half of the album and songs such as "Aeons" and "Alpha Omega" giving a nod to the melodic side of things, however it has definitely been relegated to a smaller role.

Be that as it may, Steve Judd on drums and Jon Stockman on bass really do shine on this album and give it a throbbing, thumping sense of liveliness. They are both distinctive and unpredictable and imbue this album with what I think is Karnivool's most progressive vibe to date.

This is an album that I really wanted to love, and as such I gave it the best part of ten listens before writing this review. In the end, it does leave me wanting. Most of the reviews I have seen for "Asymmetry" are absolutely glowing so I may be in the minority here.

I can appreciate the skill and musicianship involved, and I'm glad that Karnivool are moving in new directions. Unfortunately to me, it just doesn't come together in a way that's pleasing to the ear. I would definitely suggest checking it out in any case, as it's an album that may appeal to those more suited to the style.

bonestorm | 3/5 |


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