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Karmakanic - Wheel Of Life CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 175 ratings

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4 stars ''Entering the spectra'' was warmly received by the prog press, but entering 2003 most Karmakanic members were involved in tours and other projects.The Flower Kings gained great success with ''Unfold the future'', while Reingold, Stolt and Csorsz became part of the The Tangent project of Andy Tillison.After several lives and recordings it was time for a fresh line-up to record Karmakanic's second album ''Wheel of life'', most part of which was recorded at Reingold Studios during the second half of 2003.Edman, Reingold and Csorsz welcome guitarist Krister Jonsson, while Stolt and Bodin appear only as guest musicians in some tracks, among other great figures such as Hasse Bruniusson or keyboardist Richard Anderson.The new album, released in 2004, was again a product of the Regaine label.

Despite the limited presence of Bodin and Stolt on this work, Karmakanic now sound like a bit heavier version of THE FLOWER KINGS with references to SPOCK'S BEARD in the vocal arrangements and acoustic lines, while a light Fusion flavor is evident in some of the instrumental themes.More deep into the album a BEARDFISH comparison would also seal the deal.The Hard Prog style of the debut is sacrified in the sake of more refined and elaborate compositions with lush orchestrations, sudden tempo changes and beautiful melodies.In a display of monumental creativity the band offers two long epics next to a bit shorter pieces, full of time signatures, multiple influences and incredible technical skills.A nice balance between vintage colors and contemporary sounds is kept throughout the album, with newcomer Krister Jonsson showing often his tendency towards more virtuosic or jazzy stylings.The album is basically walking on the path of modern Symphonic Prog with fantastic dual keyboard themes, including Mellotron and organ, and thrilling, melodious textures, highlighted by some great vocal lines.However the styles constantly change, featuring also strong Pop vibes in the choruses and extremely technical Fusion in a dose of instrumental palettes.The amalgam works very well in a pleasant and enjoyable river filled with memorable sounds and intricate changes, covering a wide spectrum of moods.The tight connection between lighter themes, as these based on pianos, synths and acoustic guitars, and the more challenging creations, like the harder tunes or the dense interplays, offer constantly moments of pure music art for the listener.

Very mature work, based on the principles of legends like THE FLOWER KINGS or SPOCK'S BEARD.Diverse Progressive Rock with instant melodies and monster instrumental longruns.Highly recommended, one of the best albums of 2004.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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