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Kaipa - Kaipa CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 182 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Kaipa: Kaipa [1975]

Rating: 8/10

Roine Stolt is a name that almost every modern progressive-rock fan is familiar with; the man has been involved with some of the most successful and acclaimed post-70s prog-rock acts, including The Flower Kings and Transatlantic. Kaipa was his first band, formed long before he became a titan of modern progressive rock; he was only seventeen years old when he joined. The band received only moderate attention during the 70s, but they have gained a much larger reputation over time. Nowadays, Kaipa's first three albums are seen as some of the most indicative representations of the small Swedish prog scene that developed in the mid-to-late 70s. This was a small musical movement, but some incredible music came out of it nonetheless. Kaipa's self-titled debut is an example of such music. This is a superb melodic symph-prog album that is strongly influenced by the likes of Camel, Yes, and Genesis. Although one is tempted to focus on Roine because of the reputation he would later develop, keyboardist/vocalist Hans Lundin is the main star here. This album is filled with soaring synth passages and gorgeous Swedish vocals. However, Roine's superb guitar work is also an essential component of the band's sound, and one cannot forget Bergman and Eriksson's excellent rhythm section.

"Musiken ar Ljuset" is an absolutely gorgeous opening track with phenomenal organ/guitar interplay. Lundin is in top form vocally here, giving an impassioned a memorable performance. The rhythm section gets a chance to shine on "Saker Har Tva Sidor", but the real highlight is Roine's superb guitar solo. It's amazing how his style is so recognizable even at such a young age. "Ankaret" combines crisp symphonic organ tones with a jazzy sensibility. Lundin gives another great vocal performance here, and Eriksson plays a wonderful short bass solo. Lundin's keys really shine on "Skogspromenad." The tone is absolutely perfect. "Allting Har En Borjan" is the most fast-paced track here, with pulsating bass lines, fantastic Howe-inspired guitar soloing, and a Bardens-esque keyboard solo. "Se Var Morgan Gry" opens with a long instrumental section featuring bluesy guitar and more soaring synths. The Moog solo during the second half is one of the album's best moments. "Forlorad I Istanbul" is a short jazzy piece with a light Middle-Eastern influence. "Oceaner Foder Liv" is an incredible nine-minute closing track. All four members are in prime form here.

Kaipa's debut may not be an utter masterpiece of symphonic-prog, but there isn't a single moment here that fails to be completely enjoyable. Every song sounds fresh, the musicianship is incredible, and the whole album evokes a fantastic mood. The fact that the band was so young during this recording is particularly impressive; this is a professional-sounding album that sounds like it could have come from a seasoned prog band. Although this album isn't quite moving enough to warrant a five-star rating, it is still one of the best examples of this particular symph-prog style that I've ever heard. Anybody interested in (relatively) below-the-radar 70s-prog should be careful not to let this one slip them by.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |


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