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Karnataka - The Gathering Light CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.52 | 149 ratings

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Theo Verstrael
4 stars It was a long wait, as this album was announced as far back as the start of 2009, but at last we can enjoy it. Or undergo it, it just depends if you like Judy Tzuke. Judy Tzuke? Well, for me Liza Fury is an good choice to replace the unreplacable Rachel Jones and she really delivers very good vocals on this album, but she simply sounds like Judy Tzuke. And that does not fit in quite well with Karnataka's spherical music, to my taste. And I really liked Judie Tzuke back then! But let's start from the beginning. The album opens with a short track that has no other meaning than to set the stage. In fact it is really superfluous, it does not add anything new neither does it irritate. Then the band really bursts out in 'The state of grace', a beautifully crafted instrumental. Well, it could have been if the band had decided to split it in half and record two shorter instrumental pieces. Because the break halfway the song is so horrible, so ugly, so non-melodic, it is unbelievable that they recorded it this way. Before this horrendous break the song is gentle and slowpaced, after the break there is some loud guitar playing that really caresses the ears. It could have been a classic, it is not now. 'Moment in time' is one of my favourites. The vocal line is beautifully crafted and strongly sung, the chorus is touching and it has the perfect length. The long pieces are a bit too long as they are quite repetitive in some parts, especially the end section of the title track. All other tracks on the album are actually quite beautiful and rather quiet, although the guitar playing can be loud in times. The overall sound is slightly more dreamy, even more symphonic than 'Delicate flame of flowers' which makes sense now that a fully new band is playing. The addition of Donockley's pipes is absolutely superb and gives the music the folky element that is probably not very necessary but yet very nice to listen too.

All in all I really like this album but I can't enjoy it as much as I did 'Delicate'. I discovered the band by that last-mentioned album and was completely blown away. This rendition of Karnataka is promising, especially in its symphonic moments, but it should never play those ugly breaks again as in 'State of grace'. And they do have a new lead singer as Liza Fury left the band after recording this album. 4 stars

Theo Verstrael | 4/5 |


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