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Karnivool - Themata CD (album) cover

THEMATA

Karnivool

Heavy Prog


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4 stars Honestly I'm kind of surprised the band didn't make it big here in the US as soon as their first album was released. This is what I would consider an Alternative Metal masterpiece. No, not quite enough to top Angel Dust by Faith No More, but still damn good. I would not, however, consider this album a masterpiece of progressive rock. There are a lot of progressive elements to be found here, but as a whole I wouldn't consider this album progressive.

That's not to say that this is just an average alternative album, however. It almost feels like a breath of fresh air for the genre. The music is energetic, complex, and catchy, and has some of the best damn hard rocking riffs I've heard in quite some time.

My only main problem with this album is the lack of variety. Despite being a relatively short album at only 48 minutes, a lot of the songs on this album sound pretty similar, and it tends to drag a bit towards the end, with the second to last track "Synops" being an obvious exception.

My final judgement of this album is, to quote the progarchives rating system, an "Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection". In my opinion, it's not quite a progressive album, but it's still a fantastic album and does have fair amount of progressive elements throughout.

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Send comments to AgentSpork (BETA) | Report this review (#277057)
Posted Friday, April 09, 2010 | Review Permalink
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2 stars Then the title track of this album, Themata, kept coming up on one of my Pandora stations, I enjoyed the song enough that I went looking for the album. When I received the album, I found that the exotic flavor of this song was not indicative of the whole, or even very much of the album. Only Synops has a similar feel, and it is nowhere near as good a song.

Most of this album is alternative metal, with wailing, slightly whiny vocals that make most alternative pretty much unlistenable to me. There are some proggy moments, mostly in the rhythms, and the guitarists on this album are both adequate. But despite the rhythmic interplay, the songs throughout the album just don't hold my interest.

2.5 stars

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#278075)
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm slightly amazed they put this album on here... Of course coming from Australia I always thought it bordered on the proggish side, and thought it would be cool to see it on progarchives, but I marked out a little bit when I saw another review for this band on here.

"Themata" is the debut album from Karnivool, coming after the more angsty "Persona" and before the more experimental side of "Sound Awake."

Basically this album is just straight up metal, with a slight flavour to it. This flavour can either turn you off or on (many of the people I've shown it to have been turned on) to their style, is the heavier and more experimental of Ian Kenny's vocal-driven bands (the other being rock band "Birds Of Tokyo")

Unfortunately though, this album is no "Close to The Edge" and I place it in the higher mid-table of my favourite prog albums. There are some amazing songs like COTE, THEMATA and LIFELIKE, a few goodish ones: SHUTTERSPEED, CHANGE and ROQUEFORT and the rest is pretty much filler.

I recommend this album to people into the more straight up version of prog like Muse, Late Porcupine Tree and Late Anathema. It's a good album as an everyday album and adds something new to the Australian music scene, but as a prog album I can see it lacking.

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Send comments to Sacrilege (BETA) | Report this review (#278083)
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars These guys have really made it at last, although this was achieved by their latest release "Sound Awake". I mean this one here is really a great album. Modern progressive rock music with a dominating alternative influence which expands to nu metal and famous bands of the current heavy sound. The voice of Ian Kenny is probably the ingredient that makes Karnivool remembered by the listener. There are some great songs here: "Lifelike", "Shutterspeed" and "Themata" (the three video clips from this album) are all alternative/prog hits. Alongside "Cote" these are probably the best moments in this album. Especially the title song is one of the best songs I heard back in 2005. I hope that the success of "Sound Awake" won't make them forget the prog roots of their music in their third album.

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Send comments to DeKay (BETA) | Report this review (#299464)
Posted Friday, September 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Karnivool's debut album occupies an important place on the Australian prog scene. In many ways they have become the premiere prog act in the country, and this album was where they made their first big splash.

The album kicks off with "C.O.T.E.", which happens to be one of my favourite Karnivool tracks. "Are you willing to choose what I have in my mind?" With that, Ian Kenny invites us into not only the song, but the album as a whole. The interplay of guitars in this track between Drew Goddard and Mark Hosking is, as always, something magical. I also love the guitar tone of both players on this album, especially during muted phrases. It's distinctive and powerful.

The title track "Themata" continues the high quality start to the album. Once again that guitar sound during the verse is fantastically chunky. Ian Kenny is also at his best here with the vocal delivery.

"L1FEL1KE" was the first single, released some time before the album, and eventually ending up here as track 6. It was the first Karnivool track I heard, which was some years ago, although it did not instantly grab my attention. I eventually came around to it and now regard it as one of the best tracks on the album.

"Synops" is another highlight. It begins with a brooding, mysterious sounding guitar and steady, reserved drum beat. There's some great production with accompanying effects, and then by verse two the bass and scratching guitar begin adding some impetus. It all comes to a head with the chorus as power chords join in.

Really, Karnivool were scratching the surface of their potential with this album, and we're now seeing them mature nicely later in their career.

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Send comments to bonestorm (BETA) | Report this review (#948869)
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | Review Permalink

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