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Karmakanic - Who's the Boss in the Factory? CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 482 ratings

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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars A true message from the heart

No, I was not aware that KARMAKANIC is a side project of The Flower Kings. To be honest, it would not make any difference. When I was recommended this album, I had no idea of what to expect, I only knew it was some kind of new prog...

I have no answer to Who's the boss in the factory (I wish I had); what I know is that this album represents the new sound in modern symphonic prog rock, in the vein of The Flower Kings and Spock's Beard, or to put it more appropriately: what the sound of modern symphonic prog should be like: melodic but complex at the same time, creative and ''clever'', emotion-full and diverse. While the two bands mentioned above are the main references for KARMAKANIC's music, this album has a little bit of everything; extensive use of acoustic guitar, heavy prog breaks, saxophone soloing, top-level musicianship and many more...

The opening epic (~20 min) starts with an innocent childish voice singing the main tune and introduces a neo-prog mid-tempo rhythm on which the track evolves, usually balancing between symphonic prog rock and modern neo-prog with very strong and distinct bass lines. The brilliant voice of Goran Edman is definitely an asset for this band - a very ''warm'' voice with many capabilities in terms of diversity. The middle part of the track deals with experimental solos and a bit of jamming, which might sound a bit boring to some but adventurous to others; from there the sound returns to the opening tunes and the very melodic refrain lines.

Let in Hollywood is a prog rock 'dynamite' to my ears; a clearly heavy-prog track in the vein of PRESTO BALLET with influences from URIAH HEEP (some vocals) and PORCUPINE TREE (guitar riffs). The approach on this track, as the title implies, is more joyful and up-tempo than its predecessor and that differentiates it from the rest in this release that generally flow in a sadder atmosphere.... such is the atmosphere that kicks-off in the title track; melancholic pianos and dark vocals. The refrain slightly changes the mood with the multiple, highly skilled vocal lines and a charming melody. The track evolves to a mini-epic again with some inspiring bass melodies, jazzy pianos and choral vocals throughout. Here you can find some of the best tunes in modern prog - definitely the most innovative song on the record.

Two Blocks from the Edge generally flows in a similar mood but in a more ''ballad'' pattern with beautiful vocals again (I have to repeat myself). The use of saxophone clearly lifts the quality and the level of enjoyment of this track. ''Sensible'' bass soloing from Jonas Reingold applies the final touches. Eternally (2 parts) starts with a virtuosic classical music piano intro that continues into the main part of the song in a more melancholic way. The melodies bring to mind music that you could hear somewhere in the streets of Italy... a beautiful accordion sound accompanies the track throughout, full of emotion, enchanting the listener - one of the highlights.

The weak points (if you can find some) for some prog fans in this ''message from the heart'' might be the extensive soloing in some (limited) parts of the longer songs (that may sound annoying) and the very emotion-full approach in the musicianship (making the album sound too ''sweet''?). Apart from that, I cannot see any major ''defects''. The most distinct positive aspects to my ears are the fantastic vocals and the smart bass melodies.

Recommended to modern symphonic prog fans (especially melodic) - not recommended to those not keen on ''too much emotion in a prog record''... almost a masterpiece to my ears though I can understand those that assign 5 stars to it.

aapatsos | 4/5 |


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