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Karmamoi - The Day Is Done CD (album) cover

THE DAY IS DONE

Karmamoi

 

Heavy Prog

3.93 | 18 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars "Interesting new Italian prog".

When Karmamoi was working on its new album The Day Is Gone the band witnessed the horror of the Grenfell Tower on television (June 14th, 2017), this had a huge impact on them. After reading the heartbreaking story about the Syrian brothers Mohammed and Omar (they fled from Syria, had a safe home in London but Mohammed died in the Grenfell Tower disaster) the band decided to pay tribute with a concept album, featuring guest musicians singer Sara Rinaldi, Colin Edwin on bass (Porcupine Tree) and Geoff Leigh on flute (Steven Wilson).

Many tracks on this album alternate between atmospheric, dreamy and slow rhythms, coloured by the voice of Sara Rinaldi. I consider this mellow and dark music (reminding me of early Roger Waters solo) as a musical translation of the feelings of emptiness, sorrow, depression and grief after the Grenfell Tower disaster, for the brothers it was from one hell to another! The bombastic outbursts with moving guitar work sound like desperate cries, this adds a more dynamic dimension to the music. The first song (the titletrack) is a good example. It starts dreamy featuring twanging guitar, melancholical female vocals and piano, halfway a bit wailing flute. In the final part a powerful guitar solo with howling runs, in a bombastic outburst, very compelling, expressing the huge fear and despair in the inferno. And also in the instrumental track Getaway. First an intro with dreamy piano and atmospheric sounds, then a slow rhythm and gradually a more bombastic climate with moving, powerful electric guitar. Next the music returns to atmospheric but gradually culminates in a sumptuous outburst delivering a powerful electric guitar solo with again howling runs, this is topped with a subtle choir sound (I asked the band about this: it is a blend of Sara her voice and ethnic vox samples).

Some songs feature more dynamics and more tension, like in the alternating Portrait Of A Man with wonderful work on guitar (strong echoes from David Gilmour) and keyboards. And in Your Name. First a tight and catchy beat with powerful vocals and fiery electric guitar, gradually turning into more bombastic with lush keyboards. Halfway dreamy and atmospheric with fragile piano runs, soft bass and sensitive electric guitar and emotional female vocals. And finally another wonderful, often howling guitar solo , what a compelling music (Pink Floyd but also Camel come to my mind). In the track Take Me Home Geoff Leigh (Steven Wilson) shines with a swirling flute solo.

My highlight is Mother's Dirge, a long and captivating composition, close to 11 minutes. First a catchy beat, a raw guitar solo, then dreamy with twanging guitar and melancholical vocals. The music turns into a slow rhythm and more bombastic, with a sensitive electric guitar solo and a wonderful choir sound. Next dreamy with piano and vocals, suddenly a bombastic eruption with an ominous atmosphere and impressive words: '80 eyes have seen their end, that cruel damned night the fire swelled, 80 mouths have cried unheard, that cruel damned night the fire swelled, 80 hands have raised uncatched, that cruel damned night the fire swelled, 80 feets have run to death, that cruel damned night the fire swelled'. To me it evokes a tension and excitement that reminds me of The Wall by Pink Floyd. This part is followed by a slow rhythm and propulsive guitar riffs, embellished with a flashy synthesizer solo. Then melancholical vocals, and in the end a sensitive electric guitar solo, accompanied by a dynamic rhythm-section. This epic track is Karmakoi in its full splendor!

The final composition is the short and instrumental Lost Voices, very atmospheric (including ambulances sirens), close to ambient electronic, strongly contrasting with the dynamic previous composition. To me it sounds like a requiem, as a tribute to the victims.

Tasteful and elaborate compositions, a captivating balance between skills and emotions, this is an album to discover!

This review was recently published in a slightly different version on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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