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Carptree - Subimago CD (album) cover





3.95 | 74 ratings

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4 stars These two guys are, let's say, quite far from being too young, and they call themselves old-fashioned (in email communication). And their music is designed as a sort of prog retro if you like. But they aren't progsters of the left generation, not at all. They are not 'living in the past'. Their native time is 21st century, and Swedish prog duo Carptree is its peer. Though yes, Carptree's albums, at least starting with Insekt, have some features aligning their music to the so- called 'old English prog' school (early Uriah Heep, Cressida, early Beggars Opera). On the other hand, Carptree has parallels with the 1990s-2010s Swedish scene (Beardfish, Zello, even Anglagard and Anekdoten in some respects). But apart from that, their melody making and arrangement technique has some very individual features that have no precedent either in current or past prog music. In other words, Carptree performs old-fashioned progressive rock which is based on hoary antiquity (1969-1972) and leads to future.

Carptree's music has one interesting peculiarity: every new album makes very strong first impression. When I first listened to Emerger, I had no doubts that it's their best. Now the same story repeats with Subimago. But I already know what's to occur after multiple listening: I'll be convinced once again that for now, their magnum opus, after all, is still Nymf. Nevertheless, Subimago is an excellent prog album consisting of almost equally well done tracks, with no obvious highlights and no failures.

A few words about Carptree's musical style, if I may. Undoubtedly it's not neo prog. Dears, just as a reminder, Martin Orford hates the term 'neo prog', and this is not for nothing! If we classify (for example) Jadis as 'neo prog', we have to invent a different term not only for Carptree, but even for Ziff or Last Turion. As for Carptree, yes their first three albums have some common ground with Pendragon/IQ/Jadis-type music. But since late 2000s, Carptree performs fundamental prog that may be called - as our mood hits! - 'symphonic' (if not 'operatic' from time to time!), or 'dark', or 'hard'... though no, rather solemn than hard. This tendency (to solemnity) started with Insekt and seriously developed with Nymf. Now, with Subimago, it probably reached its apogee. Surely there's a reason to consider Carptree a prog artist with interesting past, magnificent present and bright future.

proghaven | 4/5 |


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