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




Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 482 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This band shows that The Flower Kings is not merely a Roine Stolt vehicle. Karmakanic, led by fellow flower king Jonas Reingold displays a lot of elements of that seminal band, many of which I associated with Stolt. Yet even with all the connections, this is not The Flower Kings by another name. The bass is more prominent, naturally, and every song is augmented by short bass bridges. Note that I said "augmented." Highlighting Reingold's awesome bass chops is not the purpose of this album. Nothing interferes with the songs themselves. There are plenty of good melodies, strong lyrics, and top-notch musicianship. There are also plenty of good instrumental passages throughout.

The album opens with the nineteen-minute epic, Send a Message From the Heart, which is my favorite song. The cynical may see such a title, say "Meh" and pass on it, but with that time span you can imagine the piece goes through a number of twists and turns. It certainly represents positive orientation to music (as opposed to doom and gloom). Perhaps the weakest song is the title track, with its relatively simple and repeated chorus, but at thirteen minutes, it has a lot to offer as well. Two Blocks From the Edge is the hardest track, while the two part closer, Eternally, is dramatic and thematic, enhanced by some beautiful piano played by Lalle Larson. All the elements work together here quite well. Everything is designed to augment everything else. The final product is a seamless collection of well crafted songs.

Who's the Boss in the Factory represents the current mainstream of Prog, and what some would call Retro-Prog. It is Prog in that it has the sound, which was established in the 70s, and in that all the songs progress with variations and expansions of basic melodies and themes. Well produced and executed, the album hits on several levels. First, it is highly enjoyable and pleasant. It rocks, but it doesn't pound your ears. It is melodic, and avoids getting too catchy. The lyrics have meaning and emotion, yet fortunately do not wallow in the sentimental. So, one can enjoy without getting too involved with it. At the same time, the music is complex enough that a deeper dive into the sound will reveal much to be appreciated. A professional work all around, yet there is little that makes it truly stand out.

Progosopher | 4/5 |


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