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Karnivool - Sound Awake CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.07 | 274 ratings

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3 stars Karnivool is a heavily Tool-oriented alternative rock band from Australia. "Sound Awake" is typically an album that I would have loved to bits 20 years ago, but looking from 2012 I find it too safe and cliché to stand out. I also fail to see the prog rock qualities in here, but maybe the occasional odd-time Tool rhythmic and resemblance to Oceansize's later albums will strike a prog chord for others.

In comparison to Tool, the band enjoys some actual good vocals, not the rather tuneless wine from Maynard but an emo-laden delivery with a dynamic range and an ear for fitting melodies. The compositions however are rather faceless and there's nothing here I wouldn't relate to Tool (with some Soundgarden thrown in maybe). While I don't begrudge a band its influences, I do prefer artists that combine a larger variety of sources into something of their own. Karnivool sounds too much as if the last 2 decades of music didn't happen, and while the alt rock/metal of the early 90s is an era I very much enjoyed at the time, it's one I've grown rather tired with, more then anything else actually. Some songs stand out more then others but it doesn't have potential for more then an occasional listen as the album in its entity bores me. An overtly long album if that still needs to be mentioned.

I'd say this a good album for people that missed the alternative rock scene of the early 90s or that can enjoy a well executed revival of it, but it looks like I will have to strike a rare dissonant chord amongst the praise this album received. And some dissonance is definitely what I crave for after the 76 overtly melodic and emo alt rock clichés that this album holds in store. I'd say a solid 3 stars as an alt rock album, 2.5 from a prog perspective.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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