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Karcius Kaleidoscope album cover
3.20 | 50 ratings | 7 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hypothèse A (6:45)
2. Maintenant (6:03)
3. Destination (6:11)
4. Tunnel (7:12)
5. Hypothèse B (11:03)
6. A-0-14 (5:11)
7. Épilogue (6:35)
8. Hypothèse C (7:56)

Total Time 56:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Simon L'Espérance / guitar, percussion, mixing
- Mingan Sauriol / piano, keyboards
- Dominque Blouin / fretted & fretless basses
- Thomas Brodeur / drums & percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Vertcom

CD Unicorn Digital ‎- UNCR-5032 (2006, Canada)

Thanks to progfans for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy KARCIUS Kaleidoscope Music

KARCIUS Kaleidoscope ratings distribution

(50 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

KARCIUS Kaleidoscope reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Karcius has to be one of the most exciting prog-jazz bands around in the current times: the sound that this ensemble from the French Canada offers to the listener is fresh and powerful, showing off its legendary influences yet shouting out its crucial modernity. "Kaleidoscope" is their sophomore release, which is a giant step in the development of musical inventiveness already exposed in their debut album. These guys really nailed it on this one, creating a strong melodic basis for their improvisations while lucidly avoiding the traps of easy-listening all the time, minute by minute, second by second. The psychedelic adornments (rough guitar phrases, mellotronic synth layers) and bizarre ornaments (chord transitions heading for the dissonant) make the band assured on this particular labor whenever they appear. Among all this progressive extravagance and all this jazzy freedom there is a genuine sense of order working in the instrumental interactions. The albums kicks of with 'Hypothèse A', a solid example of the band's capability to ordain a sequence of varied motifs into an unifying scheme, at times reminding us of a hypothetical hybrid of Gentle Giant, Return to Forever and Weather Report, with an extra dose of punch akin to modern times jazz-rock. 'Maintenant' keeps things a bit slowed down, with a featured Latin-jazz vibe in the initial section - a special mention goes to those fretless bass guitar phrases, deep and evocative. Even though there is an enhancement of the sonic energy as the track develops, the airs of mystery and relaxation prevail. 'Destination' kicks off with a solid guitar-and- organ riff that states the funk-oriented dynamics that takes place: this piece may sound to you as a mixture of Tribal Tech and Return to Forever. The Latin-jazz element reappears in many passages, in this way adding a catchy atmosphere. With 'Tunnel', things get heavier than usual (even getting a bit close to the standards of LTE and Planet X), but never as saturated as your regular jazz-prog-metal ensemble. In moments like this you have to admire these guys' capability to keep things under clear control without decreasing the punch. 'Hypothèse B' is the longest track (lasting more than 11 minutes). The piano's solemnity, the guitar's subtleties and the bass's soaring lines are combined to provide a sense of sophistication to a very sober number. A bit of tension is introduced with the use of some Frippian guitar lines along the way. The slow final section is one of the most captivating passages in the album. 'A-0-14', while retaking some of the energy of 'Tunnel', drives the music to a more experimental level: the piece's nucleus is a very bizarre Karcius snippet. The album's final minutes are occupied by 'Hypothèse C', which shows Karcius at their most bizarre, flirting with RIO (Present type, to be more specific) in the distinctive climatic passages - the piano coda states a grand finale to the album's repertoire. Once your "Kaleidoscope" listening experience is over, you can't help wonder how the band will manage to make yet another interesting album after this one: that's their challenge. Anyway, "Kaleidoscope" is an excellent addition to any good prog and/or jazz-rock collection.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I was blown away by their debut "Sphere", and I must say that this sophomore release by this Quebec Fusion band is impressive. Yes you can insert the word "but" here. I don't know, I just don't have the same excitement for this album. "Been there done that" are sort of my thoughts on this one, only they did it better the first time.

"Hypothese A" is the best track on the album as far as i'm concerned. It's fairy relaxed with keys until it kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes. Great sound ! Check out the bass after 2 minutes. Nice guitar with piano follows. The tempo continues to shift and they also continue to contrast heavy and light. "Maintenant" is where they slow it down as we get a light sound with lots of piano and bass. It's ok. "Destination" is more aggressive thankfully. Lots of guitar as piano comes and goes. It settles 3 1/2 minutes in with some excellent drum work. Kicks back in a minute later.

"Tunnel" opens with some outstanding guitar as drums pound. It settles after 1 1/2 minutes then tasteful guitar comes in. He starts to rip it up before 3 minutes. The heavy and light continue to be contrasted. "Hypothese B" is the longest track at over 11 minutes. Piano intro as the guitar cries out. It settles with some clapping then kicks back in. Settles again before 8 minutes with some relaxed guitar to the end. "A-O-14" features some heavy drums early as the guitar makes some noise. Piano joins in after a minute as the drums stop. Nice guitar solo after 3 1/2 minutes then the heavy drums return. It's ok. "Epilogue" builds as the guitar comes in. A calm after 2 1/2 minutes to the end. Piano and clapping once again. "Hypothese C" sounds great to start, and the drums sound fantastic a minute in. It turns fairly jazzy. Check out the guitar 6 minutes in and the drumming that follows. Laid back piano ends it.

Good album, just not a great one.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With their publicity still stuck within the Canadian borders, the four young instrumentalists from Quebec had the chance to meet Unicorn Digital's boss Michel St-Pere and sign a deal with the label.St-Pere not only agreed to release the band's second album, but committed to reissue Karcius debut as well.''Kaleidoscope'' was exclusively recorded at the RCA Studio in Montreal, where Simon L'Esperance had also the chance to learn a lot on sound engineering.The album was released in 2006.

Another bunch of long Heavy/Fusion instrumentals with a more precise performance, more compact arrangements and a well-balanced sound was the proposal of Karcius in ''Kaleidoscope''.While their style remained very technical and complex, the fair amount of atmospheric tunes and melodic themes indicate a new direction for the band, the one that combines virtuosity and technique with accesible and easily digested tunes.Again the focus is on the jazzy side of Progressive Rock with good individual solos, tight instrumental lines and bombastic passages with full-blown guitar and keyboard moves.They sound like if RETURN TO FOREVER and KING CRIMSON shared the same stage, offering intelligent guitar tricks, ethereal piano preludes and powerful keyboard runs.As with many bands of the style, they often enter a more improvised world, dedicated to loose soloing and abstract deliveries, but these come during their otherwise very dense and well-executed arrangements.Overall the result is pretty satisfying with lots of complex moves but also some decent atmospheric/melodic textures.

A step forward for the band.''Kaleidoscope'' finds Karcius in a mature phase.Nice instrumental Heavy/Fusion with a balanced sound.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by The Crow
2 stars "The Fold" is an album that I love. In fact, it's one of my favorite releases of 2018.

That is why I am listening to the entire discography of this interesting Canadian group. And after the good debut "Sphere", now it's up to "Kaleidoscope".

However, despite having the same elements as "Sphere", this second album was more tedious to listen to, due to the lack of catchy melodies and a song scheme that is too anarchic for my taste.

Maybe it's just that my style of music don't lean so much towards jazz fusion, but honestly I would only recommend "Kaleidoscope" to true fans of instrumental jazz-prog.

Best Tracks: Tunnel (intense and dark) and Épilogue (I like the flamenco touches in this song)

My Rating: **

Latest members reviews

2 stars I had a very hard time tryig to get this record... You know? SECOND PARTS LOOK BETTER!!! well, lie... uhmmm. A complete dissapointment, another bunch of raw and unproduced recordings. They were trying to emulate the old 8 track jazz recordings from the "avant-garde" era: meaning "BITCHES BREW, RET ... (read more)

Report this review (#148404) | Posted by arqwave | Thursday, November 1, 2007 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I wish I'd found some samples to listen to before picking this one up. Competent playing, but really nothing to justify the previous ratings. At best interesting in a "generic" manner, but no more. ... (read more)

Report this review (#113268) | Posted by | Friday, February 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Excellent piece of music! Undoubtedly. it's my strong favourite for the album of the year. Actually, it's already got the title in my ratings! I think it's a continuation of mood and technical level from "spheres". There is nothing on the album left to be desired, which makes it a jewel! Colou ... (read more)

Report this review (#98533) | Posted by frouse | Monday, November 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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