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Karnataka The Gathering Light album cover
3.58 | 168 ratings | 15 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Calling (1:59)
2. State of Grace (8:53)
3. Your World (7:48)
4. Moment in Time (6:53)
5. Serpent and the Sea (10:21)
6. Forsaken (12:24)
7. Tide to Fall (5:36)
8. The Gathering Light (14:12)

Total Time 68:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Lisa Fury / vocals, percussion
- Carloenrico Pinna / lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars
- Gonzalo Carrera / keyboards, piano
- Ian Jones / bass, bass pedals, bodhrán, piano, keyboards, programming, percussion, string quartet arrangements, producer
- Ian Harris / drums

- Troy Donockley / uilleann pipes, whistles & arrangements (4,6,8)
- Hugh McDowell / cello & cello arrangements (3,6-8)
- Philippe Honore / violin (4,6,8)
- Bridget Davey / violin (4,6,8)
- Jane Fenton / cello (4,6,8)
- Clive Howard / viola (4,6,8)

Releases information

Artwork: Michael Bosanko

CD Immrama Records ‎- KTK CD005 (2010, UK)

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KARNATAKA The Gathering Light ratings distribution

(168 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

KARNATAKA The Gathering Light reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Ian Jones is the bassist, songwriter and the only founding member of Karnataka nowadays. After the somewhat acrimonious break up of the original group (when they were at the height of their success) he kept the band´s name and reformed it with a whole new line up. It took six full years for him & co to come up with a new album under that banner. But they did release Karnataka´s best studio album to date! This is even more surprising if you consider that the ex members have all done excellent works themselves earlier (ex singer Rachel Jones With The Reasoning and the all the others forming the brilliant Panic Room).

So, while those groups are already on their second CDs, the reborn Karnataka is debuting now with The Gathering Light. I´m glad to say that it was all worth the waiting. They made an outstading album: the music now is more symphonic and progressive compared to their previous effords. Still very melodic and accessible, but defintily more elaborated and less mellow. The new songs are much more mature, longer and bolder. The new members are as skillfull and talented as the ones they replaced, but they also have all their own musical personalities. Guitarrist Enrico Pinna is a very sensitive musician who plays with lots of emotion and fits in perfectly. Gonzalo Carrera does a great job at the keyboards too, with a minimalistic style he puts layers and layers of tasteful sounds that are perfect for the band´s sound. Lisa Fury was another great find: her voice is beautiful, and her timbre is, somewhat ironic, like a cross between former band singers Anne Marie Helder and Rachel Jones. She has her own way of delivering the message, though.

With an excellent set of songs, impeccable arrangements, and passionate perfomances, The Gathering Ligh is one of the best CDs I´ve heard this year. There is not a single weak track in the whole album. You´ll enjoy The Gathering Light from beginning to end without skipping a single note. Production is also top notch. Warning: very addictive. I got it two days ago and I just can´t stop listening to it over and over.

Conclusion: Karnataka´s break up in 2003 proved in the end to be a blessing in disguise. Now we have three outstanding bands instead of one. If you´re a fan of the band, you´ll see they have not only survived, but also improved their sound. If you had never heard of Karnataka, this is a good starting point. Melodic progressive rock at its best! 4,5 stars.

Review by aapatsos
3 stars The drastic change in the line-up of the band (only founder Ian Jones remains) seems to have had a positive effect on KARNATAKA's sound. Comparing with their previous release, already 7 years ago, the listener will instantly identify the absence of Rachel Jones' voice. Lisa Fury has replaced her, and although she might not sound as ''original'' as her predecessor, she delivers the vocal melodies in a beautiful manner.

Although being only familiar with Delicate Flame of Desire, it is evident that the whole musical approach has taken a shift forward - towards more progressive and creative forms, obvious even from the choice of the opening tracks: a short ''folkish'' intro gives its place to a very interesting instrumental track. This announces the change of musical direction with lots of melodic phrases and continuous background keyboards. Changes of tempo and odd-time signatures confirm that this is clearly a new band...

The spine of the style still remains in the vein of melodic ''commercial'' prog rock, mainly based on slow tempo compositions, with female vocals taking the lead in most cases. However, the musicianship is allowed to shine more through the (relatively) long compositions. Moment in Time is a moment of magic, peaking in terms of melody and vocal performance, while the ''hit'' Tide to Fall brings a middle-eastern aura which works perfectly between two longer tracks. These two moments along with the brilliant instrumental State of Grace are the high points and differentiate in their own way from the rest of the album.

The longer compositions (three above 10 min!), although structured in a professional way and consisting of convincing, well-worked main themes, lack the complexity that someone would expect. The lyrics in some tracks also appear to be a weak point and the resemblance to bands like Evanescence (!) and most likely, Mostly Autumn might put some listeners off (or attract others). This is where the negative points stop and clearly, the positives outweigh them... Special mention goes to the brilliant sound of Troy Donockley's pipes in the opening and closing tracks and the abundance of instruments like cellos and violins that ''colour up the sky''.

Despite some weaknesses, this last effort from KARNATAKA is a step forward for the band and a really carefully planned outcome. Not a masterpiece as such, but a very good soft melodic prog rock album with a hint of folk and neo-prog, deserving not less than 3.5 stars.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Symphonic, Folk or Neo Prog ? Perhaps all of these styles combined together. Folk is here also in element of unusual instruments like whistles and Uellian pipes. This album is simply the brightest side of Prog releases this year. It's masterpiece of positivity, of good mood, optimistic thinking.

Some people likes to think that this kind of music gives you waves of good mood (or good waves?), but I just believe that positive music is always good when I feel like listening it. Not that I like just these, but I like it this way, that's it, simply as nutshell.

This album features mostly longer compositions ranging from 5'n'half minute to 14 minutes, something quite usual in past. However, what's completely not usual is that this album was made by completely different people than the one 7 years prior to "The Gathering Light", except Ian Jones they all are different.

Thankfully, the most distinct member is vocal department and I have to say that she sounds good. Actually, listening "The Storm" few months before this one, these vocalists sounds the same to me, so no harm done, no offense taken, everyone's happy. Relatively.

This isn't emo album, yet it is emotional. This is the kind of performance I would like to see / hear or simply feel when listening music, this is music made by heart. You can't be good artist when you don't like what you're doing and these guys (and girls) certainly do like their "jobs".

Tarcisio, you're right. I've been listening this album few times before I went to sleep, I've been listening it when I woke up and I'm still listening it. I know this album for few weeks now and I have to say that it haven't lost anything, just gained depth and "weight", because suddenly, it moves.

5(-), only flaws are that sometimes, they repeat certain words in lyrics too often and also first song (intro) is quite slow, even beautiful. I understand that it cannot be fast paced punk single, so in the end, it works quite well. Even it's just intro. Later songs are better.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Funny how explosions can actually become a positive thing and simply sling creativity to another level. Karnataka issued some good albums but nothing quite as stellar and accomplished as The Gathering Light. When the band splintered a few years back, all it engendered was 2 new energetic bands (Panic Room and the Reasoning) while bassist Ian Jones enlisted a brand new crew to join him in the ongoing Karnataka saga. The sound is richly symphonic with heady Celtic influences courtesy of Irish pipe man Troy Donockley, hence veering near Iona territory (which is a very good thing), as well as Hugh McDowell, former cellist with ELO. Keyboardist Gonzalo Carrera infuses dense ivory tapestries while guitarist Enrico Pinna blisters magically throughout this splendid disc. The tracks are denser, richer and fuller, loaded with arrangements that will make one smile, flush with luxuriant melodies and an ideal platform for new singer Lisa Fury to belt out some impassioned vocals. The pace is quite exhilarating as a couple of glorious instrumentals open the velvet curtains, first the brief "The Calling" and especially the masterful "State of Grace". On "Your World", Fury showcases her limpid voice effectively, held together by a tight rhythm skirting near classic Mostly Autumn fields, flavored by a seductive Pinna solo that is hair-raising in simplicity and overpowering in emotion while drummer Ian Harris keeps things tight and rollicking. The glorious "Moment in Time" just keeps the tempo moving inexorably forward, a somber piano ushering in a deep melancholia, a crystalline voice swishing above the fray and a massive chorus that will shake your inner soul. Lyrically, the theme is profoundly romantic and expressed with heartfelt conviction. When the sweeping orchestrations kick in allowing the electric lead to swoosh and sway, the proggy bliss blooms. Pinna does a Gilmour slide routine for the ages, while Troy decorates with his Uillean pipes. Anthemic, addictive and utterly drop dead gorgeous. Wow, shiver me timbers, "you've opened my eyes"! The epic 10 minute+ "The Serpent and the Sea" is wholly symphonic with whistling synths adorning the musical pathway, once again infected with a deadly melody that will adhere to your deepest pleasure nodes. Pinna delivers multiple shimmering solos, crowning the aural skies with trembling fizz and the arrangements are garnished with doses of contrasts and atmosphere. The heartrending "Forsaken" is perhaps the most consequential song here, a 12 minute + neo- classical foray with lavish orchestrations, a sensitive verse and chorus and another main melody that will crush your soul. Pinna parallels the theme splendidly, Fury having dedicated this song to her mum and dad, a wonderful gesture in so many ways. "Tide to Fall" has a slight Arabic feel and a highlight reel melody, intoxicating and addictive like some suave sonic opium, with Fury swooning eloquently. This probably my preferred track here, short, direct and effusive. The title track finale is an extravaganza that clocks in at over 14 minutes, a fitting glorious romance that luxuriates within intense Celtic influences (I am a big Donockley fanboy anyway), a moving classic that will please all progressive fans. This is a monumental piece that encapsulates all the elements that make this recording a quantum leap ahead of previous Karnataka recordings. A scintillating epic of masterful proportions whre Fury really shows her mettle!

I have been recently entranced by female vocalists (in the prog community, the guys are not always exemplary but the ladies?.wow!) and dived headlong into multiple purchases with bands featuring estrogen lungs. This prog lantern is an easy 5 candles, one of the finest prog recordings in my collection and one I intend to revisit often.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars It's that time when I start thinking about albums of the year but ''The Gathering Light'' won't be making my shortlist that's for sure, unless it's as the most disappointing release of 2010. After reading a number of reviews across the internet I had great expectations of this album being a bit of a modern classic, blending Celtic elements with progressive music. Also, a couple of my friends here at ProgArchives have already rated the album highly but I'm afraid I don't share any of this enthusiasm for it. Sorry, guys.

I haven't heard any of Karnataka's other albums but the prog quotient on this one seems to be borderline at best and the folk influence is pretty well non-existent into the bargain, unless you count the intermittent use of uillean pipes and whistles.

Camel seems to be an influence but Karnataka's melodies just don't cut it. Several songs actually remind me of the Evanescence ballad ''My Immortal'' and that's another problem here, the lack of any great variety between tracks. To me this sounds like an insipid collection of songs with formulaic arrangements, fairly rudimentary drumming and incessant piercing guitar solos.

If it's New Age/ Celtic folk you're after then I'd recommend Enya. Titter ye not, Enya is a wonderful musician and songwriter. If you need convincing just listen to ''Watermark'', a truly progressive and groundbreaking album from 22 years ago! ''The Gathering Light'' sounds like muzak in comparison.

The running time of this disc is a bit over an hour but, honestly, listening to this seems longer than spending a week in the jail. My first 1-star rating, 'nuff said?

Review by Starhammer
3 stars Waiting and waiting (and waiting) for the tide to fall...

After the band's dissolution five years ago Karnataka regroup with a lineup built almost from scratch.

The Good: If you are looking for an introduction to the world of modern Progressive Folk then this is a good place to start. The album kicks off with a short instrumental, sounding like a cross between Lord of the Rings and Braveheart, before moving onto the main event, State of Grace. For me, this is the highlight of the whole album and flows effortlessly, with brilliant guitar and keyboards combining throughout in a style that is as symphonic as it is folk. Other standout tracks include The Serpent and the Sea, The Gathering Light and Forsaken which features some excellent drumming from new member Ian Harris.

The Bad: The lyrics are very basic and incredibly repetitive. To put this into context; if I had a pound for every time I heard the words "into the gathering light" then just listening to the title track would make me exactly £43 richer! Clocking in at the just over 68 minutes the album is also far too long and a bit of quality control (read: ditch Your World and Moment in Time) would not go amiss.

The Verdict: As warm and welcoming as its artwork.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars The gathering light is the forth album of this UK act, released in 2010 with an almost completly new line-up. Sole survivor Ian Jones recruted new musicians and they compose and performed this album taht is to me almost same as previous one, in manner of composing, only that is some sections, some arrangements are little more up tempo and with more electronic keyboards added in the mix. Still is very melodic, pleasent and accesible kind of prog. This is no better no worse then Delicate, I like both albums almost equaly. Pieces like State of Grace or The Serpent and the Sea are instanly catchy and has all the ingredients to be great tunes, both are excellent performed, with top notch musicianship. Some fantastic keyboards and guitars on State of grace, maybe the best track of the album. The new voice who appears here, of Lisa Fury is more then ok, but I like more Rachel, she had a more deeper profound type of voice then Lisa, but in the end this is more then ok vocal lines. All in all decent towards great in places, Karnataka proved with each album, despite the line up problems, that is a band to watch in the future, they had enjoyble, pleasent and warm music to offer. 3-3.5 stars. For fans of Iona, Mostly Autumn and alike.
Review by kev rowland
4 stars In the dim and distant past I travelled to a Sleeping Giant gig, intrigued to see what the ex-So & So's were doing, and aware that Steve Rothery would also be appearing. But they weren't the headline, that honour belonging to Karnataka. To be honest, I wasn't exactly impressed with what they were doing, and spent more of their set outside chatting with Dave Foster, and wasn't overly surprised when I heard that they had broken up a while later. But, bassist Ian Jones kept hold of the name while others departed to The Reasoning and Panic Room, and eventually put together a brand-new band using the same name as before. The first time I heard this 2010 album I was amazed, as here was real power and depth, a vibrancy and passion that immediately made an impact. Lisa Fury has a great voice, while the rest of the guys (Ian Harris (drums), Gonzalo Carrera (keyboards, piano) and Enrico Pinna (guitars)) are wonderful musicians.

There are obvious similarities to bands such as Mostly Autumn, and when listening to their use of uilleann pipes, I had a little smile to myself and thought "There's Troy Donockley", and yes it was. They also use a "real" string section as opposed to synthesised, and I note that one of these is Hugh McDowell who I first saw on TV playing with Wizzard more than forty years ago, but is probably best remembered for his years with ELO.

The album starts with an emotional, atmospheric prelude, where held-down keyboard chords provide the backdrop for Troy to place his magic. "State Of Grace" commences with some beautifully clear guitar lines, and then the band start to build and really project. This album is a delight from the start to end with elements of folk combining with symphonic progressive rock to create something that is quite special indeed. The band seem to be just at home playing light and gentle or over the top bombast, and it is this contrast that highlights the different aspects of their music. The opening prelude, "The Calling?" is an instrumental, as is "State Of Grace", which is nine minutes long, and it is only a minute into "Your World" that Lisa finally makes an entrance, as the band move into a more syncopated style. Up to then the listener things that can there be no room at all for a singer as the music is so complex, and after that one asks why were they not using her previously?

I may not have been a fan of Karnataka in their previous incarnation, but I like these guys, a lot.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 471

"The Gathering Light" is the fourth studio album of Karnataka and was released in 2010. It only happened seven years after their previous studio album "Delicate Flame Of Desire". Since then, the band have split and reformed with the only surviving member, Ian Jones, carrying the name forwards in a completely new incarnation. Thus, this is an album featuring almost a new line up, after the disbanded of the group in 2004 due to unforeseen personal circumstances. From their classic line up, Rachel Jones decided to take time out from the music business and Jonathan Edwards, Anne-Marie Helder, Paul Davies and Gavin Griffiths formed Panic Room, in 2006, remaining only Ian Jones in the group.

So, the line up of the album is Lisa Fury (lead vocals and percussion), Ian Jones (bass guitars, keyboards, piano, bass pedals, bodhran, percussion and programming), Enrico Pinna (lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars), Gonzalo Carrera (keyboards and piano) and Ian Harris (drums). It has also the participation of Troy Donockley (whistles and Uilleann pipes), Hugh McDowell (cello) and Philippe Honore, Bridget Davey, Clive Howard and Jane Fenton (violins).

"The Gathering Light" has eight tracks. The first track "The Calling" written by Jones starts the album with a very short and mellow instrumental piece of music. It's a song dominated by the Uilleann pipes performed by guest musician Troy Donockley, together with some atmospheric keyboard sounds played by Gonzalo Carrera and by Ian Jones himself. The second track "State Of Grace" written by Jones and Carrera represents another instrumental track. It's an up tempo piece of music that shows for the first time how strong are the new players with their instruments. Most of all, guitarist Enrico Pina shows how brilliant he is. This instrumental piece of music just sounds fantastic and at some moments it reminds me a little "Awaken" of Yes. The third track "Your World" written by Fury, Jones and Carrera is the song that gives for the first time the opportunity to hear the voice of the new female singer Lisa Fury. And the only thing I can say is that she shines in full glory. We can't compare Lisa's voice to the voice of the former female singer Rachel Jones. However, both voices are absolutely amazing and beautiful. The fourth track "Moment In Time" written by Fury and Jones represents a musical magic moment of music in terms of melody and vocal performance. It's true that it's a track with some pop influences, but however it's so beautiful that we can forget that. Once more we have the beautiful sound of the Uilleann pipes of Troy Donockley. The fifth track "The Serpent And The Sea" written by Fury and Jones is an epic track with over ten minutes long. Despite isn't a too complex song this is a song that suits very well with great musical performance by all band's members. In my humble opinion, the progressive rock influences rules are present on the entire album. The sixth track "Forsaken" written by Fury and Jones is probably one of the best tracks on the album. The climax of this song is just awesome and builds up to an incredible and great drum rhythms. It's a long song with great melody and orchestration that makes us completely surrender to it. Lisa has a wonderful gesture having dedicated this song to her mum and dad. The seventh track "Tide To Fall" written by Fury and Jones is a song that stands out from the rest of the album. It's an excellent song, once more with a very beautiful melody and with a clear slight Arabic feel. This is a song that my imagination can see clearly Lisa Fury to move eloquently like a real belly dancer. It's another great track, short, direct and effective. The eighth and last track is the title track "The Gathering Light" written by Fury, Jones and Carrera. It represents the perfect ending to this excellent comeback studio album of the band. Again we can hear Troy Donockley and his Uilleann pipes, the cello of Hugh McDowell and the wonderful string quartet for the first time. This is a monumental beautiful piece with masterful proportions that made many people love the music of them.

Conclusion: It's very impressive to me that a band that was practically reduced to ashes with only one remaining member may have returned from its grave with an album with the great quality of "The Gathering Light". All eight tracks are great and tender but it's in the details of the individual musicians that the magic of the album surely resides. Enrico Pina brings expression, sensitivity and emotion to his playing that the guitar melodies could be considered in the same way as vocal lines. Gonzalo Carrera has contributed to the album colours and every moment with his truly wonderful keyboard arrangements. These lead characters (guitars and keyboards), are very well supported throughout by a very dynamic and articulate rhythm section performed by Ian Jones and Ian Harris. Crowning the whole affair is Lisa Fury's vocal work. She contributes with emotional depth and passionate delivery with technical brilliance putting her with one of the best female vocalists, not only of her generation, but amongst those before her that left their distinctive mark in this genre of music. Thus, "The Gathering Light" is highly recommended to everybody who likes the older albums made by Karnataka, but also for those who like bands such as Yes, Genesis, Mostly Autumn, Iona, Clannad and Renaissance.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars It was a long wait, as this album was announced as far back as the start of 2009, but at last we can enjoy it. Or undergo it, it just depends if you like Judy Tzuke. Judy Tzuke? Well, for me Liza Fury is an good choice to replace the unreplacable Rachel Jones and she really delivers very good ... (read more)

Report this review (#301564) | Posted by Theo Verstrael | Saturday, October 2, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is my very first contact with Karnataka but I have to agree with the only reviewer (if i've seen correctly) who gave this album a bad rating that The Gathering Light is not prog in any way. I do listen to quite a lot of neo-prog but this is even cheesier than the cheesiest of neo-prog. Mage ... (read more)

Report this review (#288396) | Posted by Machauer | Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have become the member of this website just because I wanted to let everybody know that the new album from KARNATAKA is an excellent prog album. For 32 years I have been a prog rock fan and their The Gathering Light is surely one of my 20 best favorite prog albums. When I was at a prog rock C ... (read more)

Report this review (#285388) | Posted by Katsuhisa | Sunday, June 6, 2010 | Review Permanlink

1 stars DEAR PROG REVIEWERS, PLEASE WAKE UP!!! I´m just listening new album of Karnataka third time and reading recent reviews of it at the same time. And till all is blue I wonder... (Maybe I´m listening different CD? Maybe I don´t tune in to "possitive vibrations"?) Sorry, I can´t be in cahoots ... (read more)

Report this review (#284363) | Posted by Gandalfino | Monday, May 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Not quite sure where to start with this review, on first hearing I dismissed it as I was listening to other material and then decided to try again... And I'm so glad I did, this album simply rocks, it's awesome!! Ian Jones has scored massively with this! Having thoroughly enjoyed the last alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#280172) | Posted by huge | Saturday, May 1, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, 7 years after their last (live-)output in 2003 we finally got a new KARNATAKA studio-album. And...let me say: this is a really stunning one. KARNATAKA is back again with a beat of the drum. I pre-ordered the limited edition of the CD some month ago to complete my KARNATAKA collection. I ... (read more)

Report this review (#264904) | Posted by Grendelbox | Monday, February 8, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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