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Karda Estra - Thirteen From The Twenty First CD (album) cover


Karda Estra

Symphonic Prog

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kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars This is Richard Wileman's second album under the auspices of Karda Estra, following on as they did from Lives & Times. Ileesha Bailey is still present on dreamy vocals, (she has the most wonderful clear vocals, reminiscent of Annie Haslam), while this time he has also brought in some extra musicians to provide assistance on woodwind and string instruments where previously he had used synthesisers.

I even prefer this album to the debut. It is again very visual and indeed five of the songs have been written for short films. One of these, "Evolution" originally saw light in a different format on the Lives & Times album 'Pull Of A Tide'. This is powerful modern music, which transcends many of the 'labels' which people will try and put on it. The labels, like old post-its, just can't stick and will fall away in the breeze created by the music as it twists and turns into new dimensions.

The songs/musical pieces, call them what you will, can for the most part only be described as 'beautiful'. It is music that gently pulls the listener in, like a mermaid lulling the sailors into danger, and refuses to let them go until the album ends, bringing the listener sadly back to a reality.

Report this review (#137024)
Posted Friday, September 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars In 2000 Richard Wileman's Karda Estra returned with a new self-produced CD, entitled ''Thirteen From The Twenty First''.Actually this was the first full-length release of the project with an expanded five-piece line-up, featuring also Caron Hansford on oboe, English horn and bassoon.

The album opens with the 5-part 17-min. suite "Surrealisms", which is possibly the best piece of this album.Wilemann insists on producing impressive and dreamy soundscapes, blending light Progressive Rock with Classical and Soundtrack Music and the result is often a cinematic experience full of ethereal female voices and classical instruments.This particular suite contains also hints of Folk music at moments, that sound quite delicate and make it even more complete and balanced.The following short 2-part ''Miniatures'' is an attempt of Wilemann on Chamber Music with the use of classical instruments, propably more of an academic interest.The last piece is the 6-part 30-min. ''Soundtracks'', which unfortunately spoils the album's balance so far.The title characterizes perfectly these six pieces, which sound actually like soundtracks for different films than a complete arrangement and additionally this kind of music is very far from any enviroment related to Progressive Rock.From spacey synthesizers, acoustic crescendos and bombastic Orchestral Music to Gothic and dark moods and an Avant-Garde minimalism, Wileman's talent on producing a variety of atmospheres is undisputed, but as a piece this is very far from an essential listening.

Great addition for anyone tracking down anything close to Soundtrack Music, but not of major interest for a Progressive Rock fan.A few rock elements and tons of atmospheric soundscapes, which are hard to follow through as a whole.

Report this review (#883313)
Posted Friday, December 28, 2012 | Review Permalink

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