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Karmakanic - Wheel Of Life CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 173 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 Stars Actually

So this is the second release of Jonas Reingold's project Karmakanic. After a good first release I was curious if they make it to sound more different from "The Flower Kings". And yes, unlike the first album "Entering the Spectra", Jonas managed it to sound different. "Wheel of Life" has it's own sound. The main point is that Roine Stolt has less influence. Krsiter Jonsson took over the main guitar work so you don't run across Roines unmistakable guitar style. And even more important, he doesn't sing on this album. This part is now Göran Edman's task, fortunately because it makes Karmakanic even more independant from the Kings.

"wheel of life" commences with part one of "Masterplan", a 15 minute epic with lots of instrumental parts and interesting solos. The vocals are better than Roine's and remain a kind of nonrelevant because most of the time you get to hear instrumental parts. "Alex in Paradise" is a good song with an intersting Canterbury-like part in the middle. The vocals are good and the whole song doesn't get too bombastic, I'm sure this song would be some minutes longer if Roine Stolt had something to do with it. "At the Speed of Light" is reminiscent of Transatlantic, especially the organ reminds of Neal Morses work in this project. "Do you Tango?" is a highlight. It's an bass orientated instrumental with a computer voice that appears here and there saying: "Excuse me, do you tango? I love to dance", very funny and interesting. It reminds me of the bavarian guy on Tomas Bodin's solo album "Pinup Guru" (see my review). "Where earth meets the sky" is simlar to the first part of the "Masterplan", mainly instrumental with different influences and styles. But the main style on this album for sure is the so called RetroProg. "Hindby" is a mellow instrumental with strong bass and great guitar solos, one of the best Karmakanic songs in my opinion. The title track is the song that is most reminiscent of the Flower Kings but in a way it is different. You will recognize that Roine Stolt plays guitar on this one, that's what makes this song so similar to the Kings, but the flute is the direct opposite of the Kings. But just listen to Roine's guitar solo and you will think that you listen t the new Flower Kings CD. "Masterplan Part Two" marks the punch line of a great album.

So "Wheel of life" manages it to have it's own sound, with some exceptions, a far cry from the Flower Kings. And because this is a project wich is led by Jonas Reingold, one of Sweden's finest bass players, the whole sound is very bass domintated and you will get several bass solos. Just like on every release Jonas plays the bass, his sound and style stands out. I don't know any other bass player who has a sound that is more recognizable (maybe with the exception of Chris Squire).

So if you are searching for an album with strong bass, a good mixture of styles and sounds wich also makes you laugh some times you have to choose this one or Tomas Bodin's Pinup Guru (see my review). Two excellent albums from the "Flower Kings Family" wich managed it to sound different.

diddy | 3/5 |


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