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Karcius Episodes album cover
3.97 | 85 ratings | 4 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Éléments (30:47) :
1. Submersion (9:46)
2. Sol (8:38)
3. Combustion (12:23)
4. Incident (8:39)
5. Levant (2:26)
6. Purple King (7:36)
7. Racines (8:54)

Total Time 58:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Simon L'Espérance / electric & acoustic guitars, synths, programming, string arrangements (4)
- Mingan Sauriol / grand piano, Hammond, Fender Rhodes, synths, string arrangements (3)
- Dominque Blouin / basses
- Thomas Brodeur / drums & percussion, kalimba, glockenspiel

- Phantom Strings Kwartet / strings

Releases information

Artwork: Patricia Nadeau and David Lavigne

Mixing: Simon L'Espérance

CD Unicorn Digital ‎- UNCR-5056 (2008, Canada)

Thanks to eMTee for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KARCIUS Episodes ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

KARCIUS Episodes 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 Always restlessly approaching their interests in an eclectic sort of prog rock that mixes jazz-rock, psychedelia, fusion and symphonic textures, the guys of Karcius have released yet another gem in their repertoire by the end of 2008: "Episodes" is a marvelous exhibition of how much creatity these guys carry in their minds and souls in order o keep their artistic proposal fresh and renewed. As always, this band's sonic framework is loose enough as to fluidly incorporate sources of musical power that somehow relate their essence to the standards of prog-metal. You can also notice some bizarre progressions and ornaments that feel quite close to the challenging pace of avant-prog. This album doesn't fall short concerning these assets, but as I said before, Karcius does not replicate itself. "Episodes" comprises some new explorations related to space-rock, which in turn serves as a motive to emphasize the psychedelic factor that had already been present in preceding albums. The three sections of 'Elements' open up the album in a most revealing fashion. 'Submersion', the autonomous title of the first section, openly flirts with he dense flow of your regular spacey psychedelic rock. At first, Suriol's piano keeps things on a level of dreamy majesty, but it is only when l? Esperánce's lead guitar comes to the fore that the track meets its main body and crucial development. Things pretty much get heavy-prog, featuring an incendiary guitar lead augmented by an ominous choir mellotron. The opening motif then returns, partially capturing the increased energy. The last two minutes get very spacey, with a bass guitar riff that paves the way for the emergence of 'Sol', the second section. This one is more celebratory, elaborating a jazz-funk groove that might as well remind us of Weather Report-meets-Brand-X. Near the end, things get hardened, linked to the current era of jazz-rock. 'Combustion', the suite's third section, benefits from this particularly explicit momentum, with a first part that combines metallish riffs and Floydian environments: there is something grayish, subtly sinister about it. After the 6 minute mark, things get tighter up to the point of arriving at LTE-like territory. The epic conclusion provides a reprise of the bridge between sections 1 and 2. This suite has been simply lovely, a manifestation of the album's main virtues as a whole. 'Incident' is more patently fusion-oriented, clearly influenced by good old Return to Forever (mostly due to the Flamenco-like atmospheres), but there is also that aura of musical extravagance that sounds closer to bands such as The Lonely Bears. The piano sonata entitled 'Levant' is only 2 ˝ minutes long, but that's OK since its Gershwin moods are developed in a most efficient manner. A lovely piece, indeed. In this way, the listener is prepared to listen to 'Purple King', a solid rocker in which the lead guitarist seems o pay homage to Allan Holdsworth and Jeff Beck. The progressive ornaments that go settling in allow the band to teach a lesson of prog metal even if it is not a prog metal group. There is also an organ solo very worthy of a special mention, in which we find traces of Lord's exquisiteness and Emerson's vibration. 'Purple King' can be fairly regarded as the album's zenith. 'Racine' occupies the album's last 9- minutes. This one is very much like Ozric Tentacles: starting with a white reggae vibe, later on the track shifts towards a space-rock momentum augmented with fusion touches. This is very similar to Ozric Tentacles at their most sophisticated. Ultimately, the first motive is reinstated in order to provide a cosmic relaxation with agile spacey textures. All in all, this albums doesn't equal the robustness of 2kaleidoscope", but it is not to say that this album is soft or lacking stamina. It has lots of stamina, indeed, but the band has put it in a more subtle level. Karcius still rules!
Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Karcius from Quebec, Canada have so far released 3 instrumental albums, all of them quite eclectic with regards to the styles played in the various pieces the comprise them. With Episodes, I hear a band that has developed, and for lack of a better word, matured; they are more delicate and precise in their way of delivering their instrumental pieces, more refined than before. They are still as varied as before, conjuring up different styles and playing in a dynamic fashion. In their first release in 2004, Sphere, which I very much love, they had a rawer approach and it was an eclectic affair that toyed with catchy tunes, heavy parts mingled with jazzy elements and cheerful melodies. Going forward to 2008 and their release Episodes, this is still a diverse offering, but one that has a refined and distilled sound of the band, with an underlying link between all the pieces; the progressive rock and fusion of the three-part main piece, Elements and the Spanish flavoured composition Incident to the mellow blues/reggae/jam tune Racines. The refined sound owes to the song arrangements and to the musicianship. There is fabulous playing by all musicians here; listen to the bass licks and drumming on Elements II: Sol; to the guitar and piano on almost each piece. It's a feast to the ears.

Elements alone is a reason to get this album. Fading in it starts delicately with a relaxed yet steady, particular drumming rhythm (heard more in the back of the mix) and a soothing bass line, soon joined by the piano and then guitar, welcoming us into this beautiful palace of sounds that awaits us. A wonderful Pink-Floydian guitar solo proceeds as the full band engages their playing. From here on is a 30 minutes of delightful rich sounding music that is divided into 3 parts (but is continuous). There are climaxes and emotional peaks, heavy parts at times even aggressive (around minute 5:30 in Submersion, the first part and at the beginning of part 3: Combustion), quieter parts, jazzy interludes, fusion and rock segments, darker moments, lighter and happier parts and so on. The music in each part revolves around the main theme, playing with it, changing it, maneuvering it and developing it to make it interesting and appealing (and succeed in doing so). The 3 parts themselves dissolve seamlessly into each other and make up a fascinating listen as a whole piece. In Incident, a fabulous Spanish flavoured theme is presented with violin embellishments here and there. The chorus, if I can call it that, is a splendid powerful part of piano and acoustic guitar together in a swirling movement, going back and forth, creating a magical moment. Levant is a short piece serving as transition to the piece Purple King as well as repose from the intensity of the music thus far. A mellow piano solo piece composed by the player (Mingan Sauriol), it's a beautiful composition that showcases what I suspect is a classical training. I'd love to hear more from him. Purple King start with a cool bass line, giving a mysterious vibe of something that is stirring up and about to reveal itself in its full magnificence. The ambience created here is outstanding, as the guitar licks add to the suspense and later electrifies the air. This is enhanced by the wonderful organ playing that creates a spell-binding atmosphere. This is a great rock piece by the band as the music twirls and weaves itself around the main theme, adding additional elements and layers to it until a peak at about 4:30, where it bursts further more as the lead electric guitar takes full charge of the situation and leads the band, with powerful drumming backing it up and the ever present Hammond organ delivering haunting playing. A highly intense track, no wonder it is followed by the tender and Racines with its bluesy/reggae and jam-like approach to close the album. It does speed up about 3 minutes in a fusion-on-acid like style only to go back to the original theme about a minute and a half later.

Karcius present in this album several Episodes, each with a unique theme and style. Much like their previous album, this is an eclectic affair, but it works very well for me and it's a great pleasure to listen to their music. I look forward to their next one.

Review by The Crow
3 stars Karcius' third album, "Episodes", brought us back to this excellent Canadian band!

And this time, fortunately, they focused more on songwriting and less on mere instrumental virtuosity, which made this "Episodes" their less chaotic but also their best album to date, also introducing certain elements that would be key to their music from then on, like the heavy guitar riffs we can hear on the excellent "Purple King".

Without a doubt, I prefer the last stage of the band on albums like "The Fold" or "Grey White Silver Yellow and Gold", which was released today 18th March 2022, but this "Episodes" was already a very good instrumental album and announced a group worthy of more attention.

Best Songs: the Elements Suite (three fine tracks full of jazz, heavy and pure prog) and Purple King (metal-oriented and inspiring track, with some influences of Deep Purple)

My Rating: ***

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is such a great album that I don't even know where to start! This is a great example of what this band can do. They blend together different styles of music together so well putting together softer sides and heavier ones without brutal changes. They put together jazz, metal, rock, latin, fol ... (read more)

Report this review (#215040) | Posted by OceanTree | Monday, May 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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