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Karfagen - Messages from Afar - First Contact CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 167 ratings

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5 stars The territory of good progressive rock can be easy described as the country of "unspeackable intelligence". The number of albums that might be described this way growes faster and faster last years. There is a few among them that can satisfy me completely. Because the obvious lack of long-term promotion, new Karfagen release "Messages from afar: first contact" can be surprise for you. It was announced as the extremely melodic instrumental symphonic prog and this description perfectly fits the album. Let's look closer now. The album divided into three parts ? messages. First track of the first of them opens the album and reveals the general intro ? kinda announcing the concept that lies ahead. That is the only informative vocal fragment and it is very important for album structure. After the intro makes step beyond, the optimistic and calming movements from the "First contact", the title song, take the scene. Here is a lot of key and guitar melodies, structured with the strong rhythm. Typical Karfagenic sound, similar in some points to "The Seven Gates" from "7" sounds solemn until the fading. After that new bass rhythm arises with the start of "Foreign land" ? a lot of leading saxophone and guitar, enriched with numerous instruments and harmonic phrases. A lot of "sound gaps" inserted in general scheme reveal the strong rhythmic basement of the song. The first message finishes with short but well-ballanced "Curious talk". On the one hand, the song is energetic and major; on the other one, it sounds very carefull, as the final of album part should. The second message starts with a-capella saxophone, that reveals the contouring structure of message II. "Volcano rabbit and the Frog" is probably the most dynamic and techno-aggressive part of the album. In some movements it brings us back to the "Magician's theater". It is quite predictible because of the Frog semantic of the song title. The images, delivered by the "Faces in the Cloud", the next song, reminds us another part of Antony Kalugin discography. It also has a few transmissions to the "First contact" and developes themes from the previous track so it's quite informative for three minutes. The central part of message II shows the main theme on the background, while the song texture filled with a lot of different movements, including cosmic sounds and saxophone solos. "Golden Fields of Rye" after that appears as light and calm song, which drives us to the end of message II ? "Riding on a rainbow". This part is the conclusion of all previous ones in cosmic manner. It also finishes the contouring of the message II with final saxophone sound. Third message consists one track ? "Constant flow". This is the most fragmented song of the album, which combines different dynamic movements in flow of energetic and melodic sounds changing. It finishes with vocal fragment, that closes the general contouring structure of the album and makes the first cycle of messages complete. There is some details that can be improved. Probably, the promotion is among them. There also is some defects on the songs and movements connection and transitions. I wish it to be more fluent. But it means nothing comparing to great quality of the album. To conclude, Messages from Afar is wonderful instanse of symphonic prog. It is intelligent, smart, perfectly ballanced and sounds awesome. It has interesting inner and outer structure and a lot of transmissions. Finally, the design of new album is also great. Thanks, Karfagen! I definitely recommend to listen and enjoy it.
GarfunkelSi | 5/5 |


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