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Kaipa - In The Wake Of Evolution CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 336 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Kaipa: In the Wake of Evolution [2010]

Rating: 8/10

After the slight misstep of Angling Feelings, I was worried that Kaipa would be unable to compensate for the loss of Roine Stolt. That album showed bandleader Hans Lundin amalgamating various influences, such as folk and melodic-rock, into the band's tried-and-true symphonic-prog sound. While there were some good results, the album as a whole was a disappointment. Fortunately, In the Wake of Evolution is no such thing. Kaipa have completely recovered from Roine's departure, creating an album that is far and away their best work yet; it even manages to supersede the 70s albums. The folk influences continue, but they meld perfectly into the music this time around. The songwriting is splendid, combing memorable hooks with virtuosic musicianship and epic compositional structure. Per Nilsson is finally able to fully demonstrate his guitar prowess; he comes from a metal background, but his playing fits the music regardless. All of Kaipa's strengths are emphasized here, including instrumental interplay, grandiose songwriting, strong melodies, and light atmosphere.

The album opens with the absolutely wonderful title track. This piece builds on a fantastic main theme, working itself into an intense conclusion. "In the Heart of Her Own Magic Field" is a full-on folk piece with some gorgeous pastoral instrumentation. The 17-minute "Electric Power Water Notes" is crux of the album, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. Lundstrom's vocals are in prime form, and the lengthy instrumental sections are filled to the brim with enormous Mellotron and synths. Nilsson's guitar work is spectacular, as well. "Folkia's First Decision" is a short folky cool-down from the preceding epic. "The Words Are Like Leaves" is a gothic-inspired track with grand Mellotron. It's an excellent mixture of symphonics and hard-rock. "Arcs of Sound" is one of the less interesting tracks on the album, are there still some great melodies to be found on it, as well as a nice synth solo. "Smoke from a Secret Source" has a great groovy rhythm section and nice bombastic synths. "The Seven Oceans of Our Mind" is an excellent climatic closing piece that ends the album on a high note.

I am enormously impressed with In the Wake of Evolution. This is a crisp release full of inspired songwriting and memorable musicianship. However, it does taper off a bit during the second half. The first three tracks (which constitute about half of the album's length) may be the best songs Lundin has ever written. However, the rest of the album doesn't quite live up to these heights. The latter half is still excellent, however, just not as much so. This is only a minor grievance, through. Kaipa spent many years refining their style, and this album is the culmination of such refinement. This is a superb piece of work that should not be overlooked by fans of symphonic progressive-rock.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |


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