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Karmakanic - Wheel Of Life CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 175 ratings

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4 stars Now that I've had time to digest this album WHEEL OF LIFE, I can confidently report that it is really very good.

Being a sucker for bassists in the style ofJaco and Percy Jones, I enjoy Jonas's fretless playing very much. He, of course ,also favours that harder edged plectrum style of playing which sound characterises so many of progressive rocks best known and loved bands over the years. This adds to the low and bottomy sound barage he provides seemlessly throughout on this release.

This is an exceptional band, well recorded. Krister Jonzon plays beautifully in various styles with both acoustic and electric adding significantly to the texture of the overall sound. Edman Goran is an accomplished singer with excellent tonal variation and a wide range and we can only assume that he is also responsible for the majority of the background vocals ,as only Inger Ohlen is credited with adding vocals on 'Where Earth meets the Sky'. It's his voice and strong vocals all round that distinguish this band from others of the genre such as THE TANGENT which really suffers from the rather insecure vocals provided by Mr. Tillison imo. Zoltan Csorsz is the other part of the outstanding rhythm section who shines particularly in the fusion inspired passages of which there are many.

The compositions on the whole are good with the progressive/fusion based flavour shining through. 'At the Speed of Light', 'Where Earth meets the Sky', 'Hindby' and 'Wheel of Life' are all interesting and varied..'Do U Tango' serves up juxtaposed latin rhythms with some great fretless bass work in a tune which some see more as a novelty track, mainly due to the sampled robotic sounding voiceover in parts. But in a fusion-influenced context, this track is seriously good. The title track has some excellent passages, including the solos, but it suffers a little from directional changes which inhibit it's overall appeal and consistency as a composition ,as it strives to achieve so called epic status - but it's still good.

Jonas Reingold emerges from this work as somewhat of a star.He writes the songs and seems to be largely responsible for recording and production in addition to his playing which extends to additional keyboards.

KARMAKANIC is described by many as a FLOWER KINGS side project and may be dismissed by some as a consequence. While Stolt and Bodin make contributions here, thankfully they do not overpower the more distinctive sound this band owns. It would be a mistake and an injustice to overlook them as some kind of FLOWER KING's clone - that they are not.. This band stands distinctively and proudly progressive on it's own two feet and will appeal even moreso to fusion favouring bass playing enthusiasts. Don't worry about THE FLOWER KINGS, just dig KARMAKANIC.

A solid 4 and a bit stars.

mrgd | 4/5 |


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