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Karda Estra

Symphonic Prog

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Karda Estra The Age Of Science And Enlightenment album cover
3.96 | 26 ratings | 3 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Talos (4:25)
2. Carmilla (4:30)
3. Am I Dreaming You? Are You Dreaming Me? (6:01)
4. The Age Of Science And Enlightenment (4:50)
- The Return Of John Deth:
5. I - The Red Room (5:39)
6. II - Bones In The Moonlight (8:12)
7. III - Nocturne Macabre (2:05)
8. Second Star (7:25)

Total time 43:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Richard Wileman / classical & electric guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion
- Ileesha Bailey / vocals
- Helen Dearnley / violin
- Caron Hansford / oboe, cor Anglais
- Zoe Josey (King) / flute, alto & soprano saxophones

Releases information

CD Cyclops ‎- CYCL 158 (2006, UK)

Thanks to karda estra for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KARDA ESTRA The Age Of Science And Enlightenment ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KARDA ESTRA The Age Of Science And Enlightenment reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Karda estra is the solo project of self-taught composer/player Richard Wileman, who happens to be quite prolific since this is his seventh or eighth album since he started it in 97. Considering that the plays keys, guitars and percussions, leaving only the more "symphonic" (or classical if you prefer) instruments to his female collaborators, this would seem quite impressive, but from what I know, KE is a non-touring group also.

What is actually very puzzling about KE's discography is that even though of its almost classical nature it is realeased through one of the most neo-prog labels around: Cyclops Records. This remark is important when you realize that by hearing the music, you'd expect it to be on Cuneiform, home of Univers Zero or other Avant-prog bands of the genre. Well I guess I've already blown the suspense in terms of influences. Yes, Wileman's music is a crossover between Univers Zero, Art Zoyd and a few more groups (Simon Jeffes Penguin Café Orchestra), but it also has a less intricate or complex feel to it. But often the music is just as dark as UZ or AZ, but I'd rather think it has less macabre inspirations even though there is a definite gothic feel, which also heads towards Zeuhl-like music and Shub-Niggurath or Wapassou; Wow, by the sheer name- dropping I've just written, you'd swear KE was French or Belgian, but not quite: from a few mail exchanges while he was sending this album, he actually was not aware of most of these groups. Which of course may appear a bit surprising, but Wileman just like Univers Zero is entirely self-taught and seems to embrace a similar path, but not knowing that most of those groups I mentioned existed some twenty years before he started his Karda Estra project.

Anyway, the music is hard to classify as rock, but it is definitely progressive and is not classical music either. Among the rock elements are the electric guitars (often reminding of Hackett) and the more dynamic movements, namely the Am I Dreaming You? Another parallel I am tempted to draw is the feeling on the more classical album of Steve Hackett's discography, but this is rather remote and very subtle, mostly in the guitar playing. The four-parts 23-min+ centrepiece, The Return of John Deth is the most impressive piece, but shows a great variety of mood, from the haunting oboe- piano duet to the strong Art Zoyd like movements.

In either case, if you are into those groups mentioned in the second paragraph, you can easily indulge in KE's oeuvre, most of which is rather similar to this album, although it appears every album has its own life.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another great Karda Estra album, with one of the best pieces Richard Wileman has ever composed and performed, the four-part neo-classical suite, "The Return of John Deth" (clocking in at almost 24 minutes) (10/10), the rest is just not on the same masterpiece level as Eve, or Constellations, IMHO. One of KE's darker albums with top notch, virtuosic performances all around. Richard's acoustic guitar work stands out especially on this one, while Ileesha Bailey's vocal contributions are mixed a bit farther into the background than usual--as are the woodwinds--but it all works, it all feels--like the eery Goth chamber music it was intended to be! Man I love this group!
Review by kev rowland
4 stars When it comes to music of beauty and elegance then there are few that can match Richard Wileman and Karda Estra. Although Richard is often still viewed as a progressive artist, that is probably due more to his past and the labels to which he has signed (SI and Cyclops) as opposed to the music that he is producing, as this is far more in keeping with modern classical as opposed to rock. Of the entire progressive scene, it is fair to say that he has more in common with Steve Hackett than anyone else, yet this music is more accessible and enjoyable. There is a grace and beauty that transcends idioms and styles, with Ileesha providing wonderful choral style vocals when required. Richard continues to produce music of the highest quality, and I feel that with this album he has moved away from the more cinematic and visual soundscapes of the last few albums into something that that should be listened to with respect. Just lie back and let the music take you to places in your mind that you rarely visit ? you will be well rewarded for it.

Originally appeared in Feedback #88, Jun 2006

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