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Karfagen The Space Between Us album cover
3.20 | 88 ratings | 8 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Entering the Gates (1:54)
2. The Great Circus (5:30)
3. Temple of Light (4:57)
4. The Other Side (5:09)
5. Sky of Couple Colors (4:08)
6. Mass and Illusions (6:40)
7. The Dream Master (6:40) :
- a) Through a Stream of Images (Prestissimo)
- b) The Sculptor (Maestoso)
8. Labyrinth (4:44)
9. Let Go (3:33)
10. Wonder Valleys (4:21)
11. Kingfisher and Dragonflies (1:48)
12. Retrofall (5:21)
13. Mind Games (1:21)
14. The Space Between Us (4:17)
15. When the Night Falls (2:13)
16. Big Outro (2:41)

Total Time 65:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Antony Kalugin / keyboards, guitars, percussion, Fx, vocals

- Oleg Korotaev / nylon-string guitar
- David Todua / electric guitar
- Oleg Booklov / electric guitar
- Denis Moroz / jazz guitar
- Oleg Polyanksiy / keyboards
- Georgy Katunin / lyre, flutes
- Sergey Kovalev / harmonica, bayan, vocals
- Roman Cucherenko / bass
- Kostya Shepelenko / drums
- Lena Moscalec / vocals
- Tim Sobolev / vocals

Releases information

CD Unicorn Digital ‎- UNCR-5041 (2007, Canada)

Thanks to chopper for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KARFAGEN The Space Between Us ratings distribution

(88 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

KARFAGEN The Space Between Us reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars More of the same

I had high hopes for Antony Kalugin and Karfagen after their promising first CD "Continium". It had some excellent instrumental works but suffered to my ears by being a bit too "new age", particularly with the drum sound and some of the synths. So, what to make of the follow-up?

Well, once again the artwork is excellent and, with 16 tracks totalling 65 minutes, you certainly get your money's worth but there's no real sign of progression here. It's all a bit too much like background music and there are no real standout tracks like "Marvelous Dance" on the previous CD. Again, it's nearly all instrumental, based around Antony's excellent keyboards skills, and there are some nice touches on the guitar. A real drummer is credited but the drums still sound too much like a machine.

If you liked the first CD then you will probably like this, but I was hoping for better things.

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars After their promising debut CD Continium from 2006, very soon we can enjoy a new album entitled The Space Between Us. On this CD Karfagen their sound is even more varied and adventurous, this is genuine progressive rock, miles away from the Classic Seventies Prog like Yes, Genesis, ELP, Jethro Tull, King Crimson or Pink Floyd. Karfagen delivers a modern, very eclectic progressive blend of folk, rock, classical, electronic and even some avant- garde. I give you some examples: sparkling keyboards, propulsive guitar, harmonica, strange sounds, a jazzy synthesizer solo and fiery guitar in the alternating The Great Circus, strong interplay between powerful guitar and varied keyboards (including a jazzy synthesizer solo) in the experimental/avant-garde sounding The Other Side, first soaring kebyoards, then a tight mid-tempo with propulsive drums, fiery guitar and flashy keyboards in Labyrinth, an electronic atmosphere with echoes from Tomita and Larry Fast in Kingfisher And Dragonflies, a slow and bombastic climate with choir-Mellotron, Moog flights and slide -guitar in Let Go and compelling symphonic prog with howling guitar and fluent synthesizer runs in the titletrack. This music wil not be every proghead's cup of tea but I am impressed by the adventurous and varied sound on this new Karfagen CD! My rating: 3,5 stars.

Review by Prog-jester
4 stars I had mixed feelings towards new KARFAGEN CD. I remember how euphoric I was with their debut, mostly because it was the first Prog CD from Ukrainian artist I reviewed! But later my euphoria sapped, and I felt awkward with “The Space between Us”.

But they have managed to do their best. Now with bigger line-up, Anton continued to walk the path of their debut (CAMEL meets ALAN PARSONS), but without new-agy approach. This time sound is enriched with accordion and bluesy guitar solos, and some tracks are simply flawless (like wonderful “Retrofall” ballad), while other filled with ridiculous pseudo-intellectual chat samples (didn’t like that trick). Mostly short but varied pieces, some are riff-based, some are not (like that piano-only track that I, to be fairly honest, dislike ), but Anton still proves his melodic gift. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea due to its easy-listening approach, but still enjoyable and recommended record.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars After a long debate inside the Symphonic Team about KARFAGEN, we all agreed to accept them because even though their good debut "Continium" was not totally Symph, there were enough elements to admit the band, plus it was obvious that Symphonic was the best place for them even when they didn't fit perfectly..

So I was more than happy to listen their second release "The Space Between Us", but the disappointment was great, this album presents us a band that seems still trying to find their definitive sound lost in a blend of Symphonic, Jazz, Orchestral, ethnic sounds and even New Age but without success, apparently they are more confused than a year ago.

In this moment I'm not sure if they belong in Symphonic or Prog Related, but will give them the benefit of the doubt until they release a third album and decide which path to take, but lets go back to our issue.

The album is opened with "Entering the Gates", a nice folksy instrumental performed completely by Antony Kalugin, a song that makes us believe in a better album, he nicely blends melodic Symphonic with some moments of strong Rock, sadly is only a 1:54 minutes mirage.

"The Great Circus" is one of the weaker tracks, I don't know if they try to play Jazz or Blues, but at the end all we get is a weak mixture that borders the limits of cheesiness at some moments, very forgettable track that flows from start to end almost with no changes or surprises.

"Temple of Light" is an improvement from the previous song that starts stronger in the vein of TOTO with a nice guitar and keyboard interplay, some good piano interruptions and a efficient drumming, ends with a simple but decent Jazzy section with some yodeling chorus, not great but at least they seem to know where the music is pointing, some form of light Prog.

"The Other Side" is another jazzy tune with some Yes influence, despite the efforts of the guitar and the Folksy atmosphere provided by the flute, the track brings us no surprises, seems they are pointing towards some form New Age meets Light Prog.

Sky of Couple-Colors is more of the same, so I will avoid it but "Masks and Illusions" deserves a comment, a good Folk Prog track with an oriental side, at last we can find some experimental stuff, the vocals add some strength to the song, reminds me of King Crimson in some moments, really a good track, the best at this point.

"The Dream Master" is a very good piano solo by Oleg Poyasksiy, consistent and imaginative even when clearly influenced by Keith Emerson's Piano Concerto N 1 and a touch of Rachmaninoff, most surely not a Prog track but who cares? It's really quality stuff.

Is the turn for "Labyrinth" and must gladly say that they made three good tracks in a row, starts mysterious with keyboards and a dark chorus in the background and suddenly changes radically proving this guys can rock when they want.

"Let Go" is a weaker track, even when the piano is nice, the song seems to go over and over around one theme, about the second minute the guitars and Synths add a bit of strength but there's no change in the structure, the arrangements and the melody are nice and pleasant but the song takes us nowhere.

"Wonder Valleys" follows the path of the previous track but with a more ethnic approach, the CD is becoming predictable, you can't base so many songs almost exclusively in the arrangements and a couple of native instruments if the structure is weak and repetitive.

What I can't understand is why "Kingfisher and the Dragonflies" is so short, it starts as an interesting Prog track with some emotional explosions but it ends almost immediately, if you have a solid track, use more than 1:41 minutes.

After a good even when too short track, "KARFAGEN" hits the nail in the head with "Retrofall", sounds as if they found the perfect balance between Prog Folk and Prog Rock, the keyboard work is outstanding goes from Psyche oriented to a very solid Rock, nice complement by the guitars, another very solid track.

"Mind Games" is a good experimental track based in piano and narration, again when they have an excellent idea the song is too short and ends before completely developed, it's a shame.

The theme song starts dramatic with an interesting guitar job but they get lost in endless jamming and repetitive sections that sound like variations over a same theme, don't misunderstand me, the music sounds great but lacks of imagination because until the end they only keep adding instruments on the same structure.

"When the Night Falls" is IMO the weakest track, sounds more like an attempt of making a World Music track that ends being nothing more than New Age, thanks God that is short but still I press the skip button.

The album ends with "The Big Outro", another short but this time decent track, nothing special but at least is pompous enough to capture the attention of the listener, good way of ending a very uneven album.

If you realize that "The Space Between Us" is not a 100% Prog album, if you like your Prog blended with a lot of New Age and Folksy World Music and very light, then the album may be a good buy, if you (As me) expect that a Prog band will release a Prog album, better avoid it unless you're a fan of the band, not bad but neither good, slightly bellow the average, so I will give two stars that may be 2.5 if this was possible.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Kinda strange album. Doesn't sound much like prog rock to me, I can hear light jazzy tunes here and also strong symphonical influence - long parts of "orchestral" solos. Not much of singing here (smile), but instead we get nice tunes. Which are pleasant to hear and it's what some symphonic rock fans are trying to take. I first though it's russian music, but it's their neighbour, Ukraine. Not so prog rock country to me, so I'm surprised in a good way of this word. Keyboard work is my cup of tea, but only some kind of it. This is a good one, so I'm going to give it four stars. It deserves it. Not so much ethno influence here, as I'm used to hear in russian-like music, but it's still good.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After Karfagen debuted with ''Continium'', things were much easier for Antony Kalugin and everything started rolling.The next year he returned with another Karfagen album on Unicorn Digital, this time though he is accompanied be several guest musicians (except for the usual suspects Sergei Kovalev, Kostya Shepelenko and Oleg Polyanksiy) on guitars, bass, flutes and choirs, forming a 12-piece team.The new album carried the title ''The Space Between Us''.

While the first album of Karfagen was just an under-40 minutes introduction to its sound, now a more confident and secure Kalugin launched a release containing over an hour of diverse and creative Progressive Rock.Musically the style follows more or less the lines of debut, always led by Kalugin's accomplished keyboard textures and efficient composing, which blends Symphonic Progressive Rock with Jazz and Ethnic Music.Release by release, Karfagen seems the closest comparison to Fabio Zuffanti's project HOSTSONATEN.Kalugin uses the Prog fundamentals of grandiose orchestrations, Classical inspiration and rockin' attitude and mixes them with ethereal synth-drenched soundscapes, ethnic orientations or jazzy interludes, eventually creating a work full of rich instrumental nuances and flavors.Additionally the guest singers use their voices here and there mostly like an additional instrument with simplistic but nicely delivered choirs.The music remains melodic and dreamy all the way with a fair amount of heavier leanings to keep things balanced.Kalugin shines once more with his keyboard work, offering awesome piano preludes, massive organ runs or both bombastic and more relaxed synth waves.

Very talented composer and pretty nice instrumental Progressive Rock, which never forgets to rock a bit among the symphonic/folky arrangements through the use of electric guitars.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars I haven't heard the Karfagen's debut yet, and reading the reviews to this album, it seems that it failed to raise the same enthusiasm of the first. I've seen comments about the strong newage flavor that it has, and the influence from CAMEL and ALAN PARSONS PROJECT.

What I have heard, instead, is a touch of PAT METHENY GROUP in the most jazzy parts, in the vain of "Still Life Talking".

Lot of clean guitar, contaminated sometimes by George Katunin's flutes which add a bit of classical mood. Honestly, I can't hear any CAMEL which I absolutely don't dislike. I enjoy the complexity of a track like "The Othe Side", containing a good piano, jazzy guitars, flute, keyboard and different themes alternating continuously. It's just a pity that it fades out instead of having a proper end (sorry for the spoiler).

Several tracks feature choirs without words, as in the mentioned Metheny's album. An exception is made by "The Dream Master" where the piano solo parts seem inspired by KEITH EMERSON, especially when there's a sort of connection to Gershwin. An applause to the pianist.

It's on "Labyrinth" that I can hear some newage. The soundscape has brought YANNI back to my mind. I've listened to a lot of newage music in the early 90s when apparently prog had faded out and if one wanted long instrumental suites, that was the main source. The Greek keyboardist Yanni was one of my favorites.

A bit of early GENESIS, or even CAMEL on the "Kingfsher and Dragonflies" and on "Mind Games". This second is mainly an intro to the following title track, featuring two electric guitars dueting with keyboards. I think nobody can say that this track is not prog. It features the Metheny like choirs again, but I wouldn't be surprised hearing a track like this in a CAMEL album, including the sea at the end kike on Harbour of Tears. Luckily few seconds, not the 15 minutes filler on the CAMEL's album.

In the end, this is an enjoyable album, far from being a masterpiece, but surely not a waste of time or money. Three solid stars from here.

Latest members reviews

3 stars This is an album that I find a bit disappointing due to the high hopes I had for this album when I purchased it long time ago. It is obvious that Keith Emerson is a massive influence on this band/one man project led by Antony Kalugin. Karfagen can to an extent be compared to many of Keith's s ... (read more)

Report this review (#285828) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, June 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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