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Karma Depth - Resilience CD (album) cover


Karma Depth

Progressive Metal

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4 stars Karma Depth worked five years on Resilience and I think you can hear that. The tracks are very well crafted and the arrangements are pretty detailed. This is excellent progressive rock which includes some powerful elements from metal. You'll notice the metal influences when focussing on the guitar riffs and the rhythm section which sounds very tight. It is clear the guitar parts take the leading role on "Resilience" . I have the feeling all of the tracks are based on the guitar parts. Keyboards are weaving an atmospheric web on the background and come to the front for some moog solo's, gentle piano parts or climaxes. For a prog band the singer has a powerful voice. Just to give you a clue what he's sounding like : Denis Deyoung meets Michael Sadler. You won't spot any sun queens or prophets in the lyrics, the words aren't really poetic but the idea's are straight from the heart and interesting enough to hold your attention. The instrumental parts are definitely in the majority anyway.

Quite surprising "Ask yourself "starts in a jazzy mood which returns every now and then during the course of the track. As an introduction to the musical style this track makes it clear emotion is the driving force for the music but nevertheless there's just as many changes in moods an rhythms like in all of the tracks. "Hope" is the strange one on Resilience. A short song, a kind of ballad, based on a beautiful piano line. Even though the guitars are hardly present, the guitar solo's are breathtaking and makes you aware the guitar playing throughout the album is brilliant. The rest of the tracks all are epics. "The price" is one of the highlights of this album. This track has an excellent development from start to finish. The chorus is absolutely stunning even if it's a bit reminiscent to Transatlantic. Once you've heard it, you'll never forget it. "The ring" tells the story of the life of a clown, a theme that's often used in this kind of music. Again, the keyboards are responsible for the atmospheric sound and there's some interesting staccato keyboard sounds somewhat referring to Saga if it wasn't for the piano. "See how I glow" is full of stunning melodies in vocals and guitar lines. Again, a strong chorus and a very nice interlude with dark sounding keyboards. At this point Petralia has a heartbreaking solo spot where it seems you're listening to a record from a guitar hero like Joe Satriani or Yngwie Malmsteen but his playing fits in the whole of the track perfectly. Sometimes he's producing fireworks, sometimes the guitar playing is simply gentle ; virtuous in any case. All the musicians seem very skilled in neither what part of the album but the instrumental sections are even more exciting on the large epic "Heal" which is divided in 7 parts. Undeniable the best prog stuff I have heard in years, 22 minutes seem to flow like you're listening to a pop song of 3 minutes. Great interplay between organ and guitar and an excellent balance between technical perfectionism and emotion. Also there's a great diversity in styles, some DT, some funk, jazz, even Rush comes to mind at one point. "Nirweiba" is a lovely acoustic track including some harp and closes this album in style.

For a debut album this is pretty ambitious. Resilience contains 78 minutes of new material without any flaws. A highly enjoyable prog album for those who want to spend some time for letting it grow on them. It's technical nature makes it hard to listen from start to finish ; it's better listen in parts otherwise this could be too much of something good. If this is just their first effort, expectations are high for the next couple of albums. Fans of DT should definitely check this band out, they'll surely be delighted as KD tend to go further where DT stopped after the release of "Images and words" most notably in melody, complexity and structure of the tracks but don't expect KD to be as heavy as DT cause they're not, this really is prog. Therefore it wouldn't be fair to call this a DT clone, it's amazing how the band succeeds in creating an own sound on a debut album. recommended !

Report this review (#35093)
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars From the Northern (Flemish) part of the Belgium comes this group who is calling their music emo-prog, but this nebulous concept is rather hard to grasp and I prefer speaking of Melodic Progmetal. Your standard prog quartet with Berten (their bassist) singing (English) very professionally (even if his voices sounds like dozen others) is the usual line-up, sometimes augmented by an occasional cellist as a guest. Their sound is very modern, reminding a lot of Sweden's Valinor's Tree or many more groups. Yes in general, KD does not have a unique sound to say the least, but they do raise a few eyebrows with their unusual twists. On stage the group is incredibly tight, and as they are about to release their second album, their sound has slightly changed, sounding a tad more Canterbury-esque than on this debut album (released two years ago) where Petralia's often crunchy and riffy guitars are dominant.

From the type-writing of the opening track until the closing moments of the 22-min epic, Heal (and its "epilogue"), KD's progmetal is a gentle one, relying on melodies and often digressing slightly into jazzy territories (this is rather unusual for metal bands, but this mostly due to Cailliau's keyboards), but allowing for delicate softer moments as well. After a strong opening Ask Yourself, the album eases into a very personal and intimate climate of Hope (a short track with the cello intro), but leading in the lengthy The Price (with Hope, my favourite track on this record) starting much in the same mode, but gradually muscling up to a Fugazi-like Marillion crossing of Pure Reason Revolution. The group's various solos are all extremely well played (even if the clichés are not always avoided >> the rather already heard The Ring with its life-long saga), and only the drummer's sound (not his playing) could be bettered.

The album glides on smoothly (but unremarkably) through a series of epics until reaching the monster cornerstone of the album Heal. And it (the epic) will not deceive fans of the genre, but I must say that its place in the album is not helping it, because this is a very long album (filled to the brim), and I must say that it is almost painful to listen to it in a full shot. I generally stop before the fifth track or start at that one as to avoid annoyance or worse overdosing of boredom: while very correct, the album tend to repeat itself a little too much.

After such a promising debut album, and an unreleased track on the Taste Of Belgium album (see in the various albums section) and a superb closing gig of the festival of the same name, where they created the surprise, with most in the crowd agreeing that they were the best group during the two days, expectations are running high as their next album is nearing completion. Lots of people are waiting impatiently for it, being certain that KD will confirm and soar to international fame. While this type of music is not my cup of tea, I can only rate the album as good, because to call it essential would be exaggerating things a bit.

Report this review (#107078)
Posted Thursday, January 11, 2007 | Review Permalink

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