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Kaipa - Angling Feelings CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.43 | 153 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Kaipa: Angling Feelings [2007]

Rating: 6/10

Difficult to rate, this one is. Angling Feelings is Kaipa's fourth album since their reformation, and their first without Roine Stolt. Roine was a founding member of Kaipa, and his guitar work was a central component of their sound. He's an enormous musician and songwriter in his own right, so his departure is a momentous event for the band. Hans Lundin is the only original member remaining, and he is even more the star of the show now then he was before. Per Nilsson, guitarist for melodic death-metal band Scar Symmetry, takes over guitar duties. This is quite a transition, but it doesn't stop him from giving a good performance. As a result of Lundin's creative control, Kaipa's style has shifted a bit on this release. Swedish folk music has always influenced the band's sound, but this influence becomes much more prominent here. Acoustic guitar, recorders, and whistles show up, and the album as a whole is more pastoral and less symphonic. This album is difficult for me to rate because it leaves me with completely mixed impressions. It starts off enormously well; the first three tracks are some of my all-time favorite Kaipa material. However, it eventually tapers off into unmemorable and slightly commercial territory.

The groovy title track opens the album in an energetic manner. The rhythm section is the real star here, but there's some excellent synth/guitar interplay as well. "The Glorious Silence Within" features some great folky bits, and Lundstrom's vocals are in top form here. "The Feeling Existence of Time" is, surprisingly, the only track on the album that exceeds ten minutes. It is also the best. Every musician is firing on all cylinders here, and Nilsson gets a chance to demonstrate his guitar prowess. "Pulsation" is where things begin to go downhill. This is a fairly uninteresting piece of upbeat prog with generic vocal lines. "Liquid Holes in the Sky" is similar, but the excellent guitar solo saves it from mediocrity. "Solitary Pathway" is probably my least favorite 21-st-century Kaipa track. It's terribly poppy, with simplistic guitar lines and bland vocal melodies. "Broken Chords" throws some odd tribal percussion into the normal melodic-prog mix. It's an interesting experiment, but it fails to fully succeed. "Path of Humbleness" breaks the lull a bit. This is another groovy track; the syncopation between Lundin's synths and Agren's drums is quite impressive. "Where's the Captain?" features some cool whistles, but isn't too interesting otherwise. "This Ship of Life" is a fairly uninspired slow piece that ends the album.

This is a transitional album; this is quite apparent while listening to it. Lundin wanted to spice up the Kaipa sound by incorporating a more diverse range of influences, but it ends up sounding rather unnatural. It sounds like traditional Kaipa mashed up with neo-folk. Also, the focus on shorter songs results in a few weak and overly-commercial tracks. I think that Lundin's compositional style simply works better in an extended format. Some changes yield good results, however; the increased focus on the rhythm section is excellent, with Agren giving a phenomenal jazzy drum performance. There are some wonderful tracks here, especially the longer ones. Overall, however, this is an underwhelming release. Lundin seems unsure of his own musical goals here. Still, there are some great tunes to be found on the album, and even the weaker pieces are still fairly enjoyable.

Anthony H. | 3/5 |


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