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Kaipa Keyholder album cover
3.78 | 277 ratings | 28 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lifetime of a Journey (8:14)
2. A Complex Work of Art (11:58)
3. The Weed of All Mankind (9:30)
4. Sonic Pearls (6:06)
5. End of the Rope (13:59)
6. Across the Big Uncertain (8:31)
7. Distant Voices (13:00)
8. Otherworldly Brights (7:09)

Total Time 78:27

Line-up / Musicians

- Aleena Gibson / lead & backing vocals
- Patrik Lundström / lead vocals
- Roine Stolt / electric & acoustic guitars, percussion, vocals, co-producer
- Hans Lundin / pianos, Hammond, Mellotron, synth, vocals, co-producer
- Jonas Reingold / fretted & fretless basses
- Morgan Ågren / drums

- Hasse Bruniusson / percussion (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Jan Ternald

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 132 (2003, Europe)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KAIPA Keyholder ratings distribution

(277 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

KAIPA Keyholder reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Musically very good. The vocals, Patrick Lundstrom, are very Freddie Mercury like and detract from an otherwise great album. If you can stomache the over-dramatic delivery, you'll love the album. I played this one over and over, and never could get away from the sappy vocals. I really wanted to like it. I hid it away for a week, two weeks... Desensitized myself, put it back on... Ugh... Stop the caterwauling please??? This ain't the opera... it's Progressive Rock for cricks sake. Please Hans, Roine... dump the Freddy clone, he drags ya down. Get Gildenlow, the man can SING. Daniel Gildenlow would raise this production to a 4 star. Sorry, I tried, I really did.

Actually, I traded this disc in and bought some Flower Kings stuff. Next album, get a real singer!

Review by Greger
4 stars Kaipa holds the key to magic.musical magic! They have a line-up that consists of the cream of the crop of the progressive elite. They were one of Sweden's best symphonic rock bands back in the 70's and now the key members are back to protect their position in the Swedish elite once more. Roine Stolt (also with The Flower Kings & Transatlantic) and Hans Lundin are the "old ones" in the band, and the new members are Morgan Ågren (Mats/Morgan, Frank Zappa), Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, Karmakanic), Patrik Lundström (Ritual) and Aleena.

"Keyholder" is Kaipa's seventh album, but the re-united Kaipa's second album. The first was the masterpiece "Notes From The Past" which came out last year. The music is a mix between the old 70's Kaipa and Camel, The Flower Kings, Genesis, Ritual and Yes with lengthy instrumental passages and talented musicianship. Although Hans Lundin is responsible for the main part of the compositions, they have a strong Roine Stolt/The Flower Kings feeling to them. Roine Stolt is one of my favourite guitarists and he has a very unique sound that you recognize immediately. He's also one of Sweden's most talented composers in the progressive and symphonic rock genre.

This is yet another masterpiece from the musicians around The Flower Kings. I wonder when the day will come when I can write a bad review of an album where Roine Stolt is participating. Let's hope that it never will come.

Review by loserboy
4 stars "Keyholder" is KAIPA's 2003 release taking on a slightly harder edge than "Notes From The Past" album with a step even further from The FLOWER KINGS. Having said that though there still remains a heavy YES/FLOWER KINGS tastefulness with cups of KAIPA tossed in on every song. What clearly brings out KAIPA's sound is Hans Lundin's (Hammond organ, synthesizers, mellotron, pianos & vocals), Roine Stolt (guitar), Morgan Ågren - drums, Jonas Reingold - Fretless & Yamaha custom basses. Vocals are shared by Patrik Lundstrom (RITUAL) and the angelic Leena. Both are in top form and sound great together with Leena taking more of a vocal leadership role on "Keyholder"... clearly her beauty compliments his tone. As you would expect Stolt's guitar solos are excellent and compliment the rest of band's peformances. Overall an excellent album with some great songwriting and awesome instrumentation.
Review by lor68
3 stars Actually it should deserve probably another half star or also something's due to a major integration, in comparison to the previous controversial work by Kaipa, concerning all the musicians involved into this new project,which let the present album be appreciated by a wider crowd of fans...well I'm joking now, to me these latter are not so many, but otherwise the whole stuff is a bit less derivative in comparison to the last works by Stolt and it should be fine for these old "prog veterans" if they gained a lot of new fans all over Europe!! The unique defect is the lack of new innovative ideas, but I know that's not easy nowadays...however Morgan Ågren on drums, Jonas Reingold on bass guitar and Aleena on vocals, perform such a good and remarkable job: so cause of this consideration alone, I'm going to regard this album as an excellent addition to any prog collection, being a balanced and melodic symphonic work, without any peek of invention, but at the end it's well arranged and performed in a strong manner!! The "alchemy" is good, which this time works quite well...nevertheless for sure my opinion will change after several listens, especially by regarding their frequent use of the Hammond Organ, becoming tiring and too much "bound" to the seventies, but never mind as I forgive Stolt for his old and always present "ancient" roots!!
Review by Muzikman
5 stars I am curious to know who is responsible for the fantastic artwork on the new KAIPA CD "Keyholder"*. I would be the first one to say cover art is important but not that critical concerning the over all affect of a presentation. My premise is what you hear on the inside is what really counts. In this case, both factors are just as important and meaningful. The artwork looks like a combination of Salvador Dali and Roger Dean, if you can even imagine that. All of the humanoid and otherwise mythical creatures are standing in line with their keys to see if they can unlock the door to their destiny and dreams. On the other hand, is that what they are waiting for? On the back, the humanoid life form paints a picture of itself, a virtual mirror image of the world in which it lives. It is paradox in that music serves the same purpose for the artist; it is also a mirror of the creator's soul.

This album has a harder edge than "Notes From The Past" release yet there is an existing YES/FLOWER KINGS tastefulness in every tune. It would be difficult for this music not sound like TFK as Roine STOLT adds his creative guitar and vocals and TFK band mate Jonas Reingold contributes his standout bass playing. Regardless of the familiarity with the sound you will surely recognize and identify with, you will find this to be a strong KAIPA album due to the other half of the team Hans Lundin's (Hammond organ, synthesizers, mellotron, pianos & vocals) strong presence and contributions. Aleena is once again a part of the sound on a few tracks. She has a soft and angel like voice that makes the music adopt an entirely different feel. As I recall her talents were utilized more frequently on the previous album, thus the more rock and progressive oriented this album sounds.

I am delighted with this album as I am sure all prog-rock fans, KAIPA and TFK faithful will be. This CD offers up an intense session, filled with exacting musicianship that creates atmospheres that will linger in your consciousness long after the disc stops spinning. This is progressive rock for the ages brought to you buy two of the geniuses still making music with meaning and substance, Roine STOLT and Hans Lundin.

Review by hdfisch
4 stars Every now and then I'm reading bad comments about Lundström's vocals. I've got to say I don't have problems with it, as well not really with the admittedly a bit too "sweet" ones of guest singer Aleena. Somehow everything fits together after several listenings. And anyway I predominantly concentrate on the music and this is just excellent retro prog at its best. The first three songs are just awesome, "Sonic Pearls" and "Across the Big Uncertain" are a bit weaker ones, but quite okay as well. The longest track "Endless Rope" I find very great as well. "Distant Voices" has an incredibly close YES-feeling, for me just great , I love this band, and since there's is not that much great new material coming anymore from them, it's just fine for me if there is such a good substitute like KAIPA. Of course since two TFK-members are involved, it's not surprising that the style is very much similar to theirs, but still it sounds different from any TFK-album, the closest being probably "Retropolis", no wonder since its compositions origin from KAIPA's 70's era. As a summary I'd like to say that anyone who liked "Notes From The Past" will love this one, as well any retro prog-fan. If you look for innovative and adventurous you should stay away from it. For me it's a 4-stars-album!
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is my first experience with Kaipa and am amazed with the musical quality the band has produced through this album. At first listen I was surprised with the fact that the guitar work at the opening track "Lifetime of a Journey" (8:14) reminds me to the work of Queen especially at the beginning part. But when vocal of Patrik Lundström enters the music it's definitely not the kind of music Queen - it's totally different. The close similar band is The Flower Kings. The other notable work is the walking bass lines by Jonas Reingold who is quite aggressive in his bass guitar playing. Coupled with excellent production it creates a musical astonishment for me, really. Hans Lundin's Hammond organ, synthesizers, mellotron and pianos are really nice. Drummer Jonas Reingold demonstrates his virtuosity with his drumming work. The music flows in dynamic styles with balanced high and low points featuring excellent vocal of Patrik Lundström. Great composition.

It continues with the second track "A Complex Work of Art" (11:57) with inventive combination of keyboard and bass guitar in relatively speed. It's a wonderful opener. The full-blown music follows immediately with a fast tempo music combining great guitar and keyboard work and it flows into a medium tempo track to welcome Aleena's lead vocal. The music flows melodically - in relatively slow/medium tempo - backed with howling guitar sounds at the background. At the end of lyrical part the music gradually moves into a complex arrangement connected through a bridge with keyboard work - even though some are repetitive but it's cool.

"The Weed of All Mankind" (9:29) opens with a great combination of keyboard, bass and dynamic drumming followed with a blues based guitar style. The mellotron sound at background has indicated the symphonic nature of this track. Patrik Lundström sings uniquely like a rock opera singer. It reminds me to the singing style of Alex Harvey of Sensational Alex Harvey Band. I have to admit that Patrik quality of voice is great and powerful. The accompanying music varies from mellow to hard and from simple to complex with smooth transition. The guitar solo augmented with keyboard in the middle of the track is truly stunning.

Wow! The fourth track "Sonic Pearls" (6:06) would definitely favor those of you who love neo prog. Why? It has so melodic keyboard solo at the opening it serves as the tagline melody for the whole track. It's great if you enjoy this track in the midnight - the increasing sound of keyboard will deeply touch your heart. The percussion work follows the music in simple beats. Patrik voice enters wonderfully and brings the music in full symphonic nature with touchy melody.

"The End of the Rope" (13:59) delivers a stream of music that at the beginning like a classic rock tune but it turns into an art rock kind of music with some tempo changes and, of course . stunning guitar! During transition piece the music turns into jazzy style with bass guitar solo. "Across the Big Uncertain" is sung in duo fashion, Patrik and Aleena. "Distant Voices" (13:00) is a track that combines a musical gradation from mellow to medium and relatively faster track with some complex arrangements that features intertwining sounds of guitar, keyboard accentuated with drumming and inventive bass lines. The guitar solo by Roine Stolt is stunning! "Otherworldly Brights" (7:08) is another great track that concludes the album.

What do you expect me to rate this album provided with the above views? Well, I'm not sure whether you agree with me or not but I cannot give this album less than a five star rating for two reasons: 1. tight composition for each individual track 2. Great musicianship. If you like The Flower Kings, I'm almost sure that you love this album In addition to music quality, the sonic quality of the CD is excellent - it's on par excellence with any The Flower Kings audio quality. This album is best enjoyed with a decent sound system and play it loud. Or, you may use Sennheiser headphones. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours,


Review by chessman
4 stars Make no mistake about it, this is a splendid album! This was the first Kaipa release that I bought, and that on the strength of the beautiful track available here to download - 'A Complex Work Of Art'. That song alone is enough to make the album worth buying. Aleena, the girl who sings it, has an amazing range and hits some breathtaking notes as the song reaches its climax. The melody is really lovely, and the musicianship, as one would expect from Lundin/Stolt/Reingold et all, is supreme. I found myself almost grinning away to myself without realising it when I first heard this track. However, the whole album is just as consistently good. 'Lifetime Of A Journey' sets the scene, with complex, colourful and melodic music backing Patrick Lundstrom's Freddie Mercury-like vocals. He doesn't exactly sound like Freddie, but he sings very much in that theatrical style. Listen and you will see what I mean. 'The Weed Of All Mankind' is a typical case in point. Very Queen-like at times, the song has interesting touches and different tempos as it progresses, yet retains the same melody, using it in slightly different forms and at slightly different speeds, the whole merging together to sound light and airy, even though the guitar does use the odd power chord in the chorus. Very catchy. 'Sonic Pearls' is a slower, more moody piece, showing off lovely soundscapes behind Patrick's voice. 'The End Of The Rope' is the longest track on here, and, ironically, may be my least favourite; but that's not to say it isn't a good song. There is some nice slide guitar at the beginning, end, and various points throughout it, and again strong instrumentation. It becomes, at times, almost a straight rock song, but not quite. Lots of improvisation in the middle section before the beginning is reiterated towards the end. Very good. 'Across The Big Uncertain' is another highlight. Here, Patrick and Aleena share vocal duties, and very nicely they blend together too. Another lovely melody is backed by a more straightforward, yet still quite complex song. Nice guitar here from Roine too. 'Distant Voices' is a far more complex song, especially in the middle, and there are many changes in tempo and time signatures througout. A good workout for the musicians. Finally, we have another highly melodic track, 'Otherworldly Brights', with its slower yet catchy tempo and strong vocals building up to a fine climax, before settling down to a nice finish. A strong ending to an excellent album. I have the boxed set that was released late last year of Kaipa's first three albums from the '70's, and that is excellent. This modern incarnation of the band actually bears more resemblance to The Flower Kings than to Kaipa, but that is only to be expected, given Stolt's recent history. I love both bands, so can't lose here! Wonderful stuff! A necessary purchase for lovers of both bands.
Review by NJprogfan
4 stars All I knew of this band was that Ronnie Stolt played guitar in the band as a teenager during the 70's. Being a huge fan of the Flower Kings, I expected to hear their sound throughout. I'm happy to say that it's not the case. Sure, Stolt's guitar is unmistakeable and seeing as he wrote all of the lyrics, (with Lundin on the first 4) his upbeat Jon Anderson-like verbage is also unmistakeable. It's the music that differs for the most part, especially the first four songs which were written by Lundin. I must admit, I'm not a fan of Lundin's voice, it being one part metal inflection with one part Neo. Yet over repeated listenings it grew on me where now it doesn't get in the way of the fantastic music. Ah, the music! If your cup of tea is exquiste crystal clear 2000's-like symphonic prog, well me buckos, you have come to the right album. These guys play their arses off! Right from the start, it's propulsive, upbeat and dynamic. Stolt's guitar doesn't overpower, yet he gets his licks in. The bass playing of Jonas Reingold is from the Chris Squire school, but he doesn't plagiarize, it's fluid and trembly. Awesome! Lundin's keyboards don't overcrowd the melody, it flows. Man, I wish Yes could sound this good! Yet the highlight for me is the inclusion of singer Aleena. The song "A Complex Work of Art" is everything Yes sounded like and should sound like if fronted by a female. Aleena's voice sounds like an early summer day, bright and innocent. I will be searching for her stuff! She is THAT good. She pops up here and there on other tracks and I wish she fronted the band vocally, but that's a minor quibble. Folks, this band should be at the top of your list if you are at all interested in well played modern symphonic prog that has twists and turns but also killer melodies and jams. Just a shade under a masterpiece! 4.5 stars!
Review by b_olariu
2 stars O man, this boring like hell, where is the times when Kaipa have in their pocket and very proud of them some trully great albums like Solo and Inget Nytt Under Solen. Here we have just a combination between of Flower Kings, Transatlantic and very fiew good moments of the early Kaipa,a band that i consider a great one of course for the second and third albums. Not a track is very good, just beat around the bush music, if i could say these, 2 stars, avoid this one, if you like Kaipa, i recommend the albums from 1976 and 1978.
Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Kaipa´s follow up to the excellent Notes From The Past is less melodic and more experimental than the previous efford. Still, it is very good. It is almost as if Roine Stolt is doing better now with his side projects than with his main band, The Flower Kings. The vocals are shared by Patrick Lundström (male) and Aleena (female), both very good singers. Not everyone´s cup of tea, for sure, but I like them both. The sound has some similarities to the Flower Kings, but actually only as a matter of style and reference. After all, this group did exist before TFK, so this is no surprise. Hans Lundin proves himself a very good songwriter and keyboards player, I really love his 70´s sounding instruments a lot.

Although Keyholder is less accessible than Notes From The Past I must say I enjoyed it a lot. If you like the swedish symphonic prog go for it! Or if you think Roine Stolt´s main band is not delivering those classic records as they did in the 90´s, try Kaipa. You might be surprised and pleased as I did. I´m glad kaipa came back and made it really worthwhile. Most great bands did not.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Kaipa did a fine come back with their previous album "Notes from the Past" after a twenty years break.

The core duo (Lundin / Stolt) is still on the command and the music is even more TFK oriented. You'll get the fine vocal harmonies (thanks to Aleena), symphonic and jazzy atmospheres, fine guitar breaks (but less that in TFK) and an almost eighty minutes album. It must be a disease...

The start of the album is very catchy and promising. Both "Lifetime of a Journey" and "A complex Work of Art" do belong to the best of the band. So moving, all the way through. Even Patrik Lundström is convincing during his vocal work during the former song. Unfortunately, it is not the case any longer with "The Wheel of All Mankind" in which he starts to sing as sub-par Freddie Mercury. Not really needed IMO. I fully agree with Dan's review about this aspect of the album (and it will be more true with their next effort).

The deeper one analyses this album, the more one notices that there are almost no difference with a TFK album (except the vocals). I wonder why they released this project under the "Kaipa" umbrella. So similar. Too similar actually.

Same "Yes" oriented music overall, at times the emulation goes more into the KC direction like "End of the Rope" which is heavier and less melodic during the instrumental parts (with a very good drumming work) even if the finale is 100% in the TFK vein again.

So, it's really up to you: if you don't have enough TFK music, you might combine it with this work (and the previous one). But to be so cloned to a derivative band is a bit too much.

Still, this work is pleasant and I will rate it with three stars. A good TFK album. Sorry, "Kaipa" album.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars Ha-haa! A bit hard prog numbers...well, who's the artist of the album?

This is my honest impression I've heard this album for the first time. Huh, Kaipa? Indeed the songs are so well, but I suggest it's a little hard to understand for old-Kaipa or old-Roine fans. That is, please let me say, current Kaipa should not make the revival of old Kaipa but get reborn.

Surely in the album there's an old-Kaipa flavour here and there, so I suppose the members (especially Roine?) should remember and recall the flavour. In other words, the flavour is only a flavour.

About 80 minutes the album can let us give hard and active, but smooth sounds. I'm sure they will be very impressive for some listeners. Personally, I love the work. I hope old-Kaipa fans could listen to it as New-Kaipa's or another group's one.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Keyholder is the 8th full-length studio album by Swedish symphonic progressive rock act Kaipa. The album is the 2nd release after a longer hiatus which lasted about 10 years until the release of Notes From the Past (2002). The lineup is unchanged since the last album which means that Hans Lundin handles Hammond organ, synthesizers, mellotron, pianos & vocals, Roine Stolt handles electric & acoustic guitars, percussion & vocals, Morgan Ågren plays the drums, Jonas Reingold plays bass, Ritual vocalist Patrik Lundström handles the male vocals while Aleena handles the female vocals and backing vocals. Keyholder was released by InsideOut Music.

The music on Keyholder pretty much picks up where Notes From the Past left off. This means a continuation of the keyboard/ synth driven symphonic progressive rock style with jazz rock/ fusion and Scandinavian folk elements that is a trademark for Kaipa. The music is energetic and full of positive vibes. This is definitely what most people would refer to as retro progressive rock but with an excellent warm and professional production. There are references to just about every classic seventies progressive rock act but I think the Yes influence is the most prominant one.

There are only 8 tracks on the album but the total playing time says 79:23 minutes, so it´s obvious that the songs are very long, varying from 6 - 13 minutes in length. Needless to say that it takes a while to absorb an album that is almost 80 minutes long. It´s seldom an advantage to produce albums that long IMO but Kaipa seem to be one of the exceptions to the rule. I fully enjoy every second of Keyholder. Songs like Lifetime of a Journey, A Complex Work of Art, Otherworldly Brights and The End of the Rope are simply outstanding symphonic progressive rock to these ears. The latter is a favorite with its hard rocking main riff. It´s a very Flower Kings sounding tune that one. I started out not enjoying the vocals too much because of Patrik Lundström´s very distinct vocal style but the more I listen the more I enjoy that part of the music too.

The playing is exceptional throughout the album. These are all highly skilled musicians. Roine Stolt seems to have gained more control in the band since Notes From the Past as he is credited for co-writing more songs on Keyholder and because his guitar playing is more prominant on this album than it was on Notes From the Past. There´s no doubt that Kaipa is still first and foremost Hans Lundin´s baby though. He is everywhere on this album and plays with great technical skill but also with great emotion. The rythm section is outstanding. Morgan Ågren is probably one of the most skilled Swedish drummers at the moment and bassist Jonas Reingold also delivers as usual.

Keyholder has taken a while for me to get into and upon initial listen I was a bit put off by the length of the album and the vocals. The length is not a problem anymore and I´ve begun to appreciate the vocals more and more, so I would put Keyholder up there with Notes From the Past as an excellent symphonic progressive rock album fully deserving a 4 star rating. Quality wise it doesn´t get much better than this. If you´re searching for a band that innovates the genre this is not the place to look though. Kaipa seem fully content composing and playing music that could have been released in the seventies and I´m certainly not the one to complain.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars What's with all the Patrik Lundström hating? So the guy sounds a bit like Freddie Mercury. That's not a bad thing. At times on this album, I find he sounds a bit like Jon Anderson, and sometimes like James Labrie. Having a strong clear voice is a good thing. And I like him on these Kaipa albums.

The music on this album seems to me to have a strong Yes influence, in both the vocal harmonies and the song structure. Much of the album sounds like Drama period Yes. again, that's a very good thing. Once again, Roine Stolt and Hans Lundin, with their rhythm section of Jonas Reingold and Morgan Ågren have created a fine piece of symphonic prog.

Does it sound like The Flower Kings? Sure. But that's a good thing, too.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars We have an all-star cast here really with Stolt and Reingold from THE FLOWER KINGS, Mats Agren from the MATS / MORGAN BAND and vocalist Lundstrom from RITUAL. Lundin on keyboards along with Stolt are original members. I must admit I was disappointed but not too surprised to see this album clock in at 78 1/2 minutes, heck with two FLOWER KINGS involved you know there will be lots of material.The vocals are the weakest part of this album and therefore bring the rating down since they are so prominant.The female vocalist who guests is even worse, but that's just my tastes. All I know is that if this album was food and I was a diabetic i'd be in trouble. It's too sweet for it's own good.

"Lifetime Of A Journey" opens with outbreaks of sound that come and go as this Brian May-like guitar comes in. A calm with vocals takes over. I like when it changes around 2 1/2 minutes and the chunky bass comes in.Great sound 4 1/2 minutes in as well with the bass and guitar leading. "A Complex Work Of Art" opens with keyboards and drums outfront then it picks up with bass and guitar joining in.Those light syrupy female vocals come in.Yikes ! I do like the instrumental section before 5 1/2 minutes. Sappy vocals are back 9 minutes in. "The Weed Of All Mankind" has an instrumental intro including mellotron. By the way Andy at Planetmellotron believes the mellotron on this album is sampled and not real. Almost spoken vocals a minute in.The best part of the song is the instrumental part way through.

"Sonic Pearls" is fairly quiet for 2 minutes then it gets louder. Vocals a minute later. Some soaring guitar before 4 1/2 minutes when the vocals stop. "The End Of The Rope" opens with mellow guitar and floating organ. Check out the instrumental section that lasts from before 3 minutes to before 10 minutes. Nice. "Across The Big Uncertain" has an intro i'm not a fan of. Or the female vocals after 1 1/2 minutes. It's better when the tempo picks up with bass and guitar. "Distant Voices" builds to a powerful soundscape as the vocals join in. Mellotron, bass and piano lead 2 minutes in. Laid back guitar follows.The tempo and mood continue to change. "Otherworlldly Brights" is the laid back closer as we get reserved vocals as it calms right down 1 1/2 minutes in.Then it gets fuller as contrasts continue.

FLOWER KINGS fans should really check this out along with you RITUAL fans out there.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Kaipa were one of the top Swedish bands of the Seventies, but split in 1982. Eventually guitarist Roine Stolt burst back onto the scene with the album 'The Flower King', formed a band to promote the album and the rest is history. In 2002 he rejoined forces with keyboard player Hans Lundin plus new members drummer Morgan Ågren (Zappa), bassist Jonas Reingold (Flower Kings) and singer Patrik Lundström (Ritual). They released 'Notes From The Past' and have now been joined by additional singer Aleena for their new work, 'Keyholder'. Given the history between Roine and Hans, it is probably not surprising that this album looks backwards far more than many other modern progressive bands.

Yes there are sections which come across as Flower Kings but that isn't surprising given that Roine writes for both, but this album has a much more Seventies feel to it. It is as if someone has taken bands such as Yes and Gentle Giant from that period and then thrown them straight into the modern arena and told them to get on with it. This album can be extremely intense or even light hearted ? Jonas has an extremely important part to play, as he has to switch between lead melody to background many times within certain songs, providing the bed rock for Roine and Hans. The use of Aleena as an additional lead vocalist has also given the band another melodic style, as her pure clear vocals contrast well with Patrik. On "A Complex Work Of Art" she shines, lifting the music to even greater heights.

I have been a critic of recent Flower Kings albums in that they can come across as just too long, with the impression of filler material but even though this album comes in at nearly eighty minutes (eight songs) that accusation just cannot be made this time. All progheads with half an ear to the classic period will find this a joy from start to end.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
3 stars 'Keyholder' is a really, really good symphonic prog album by the Swedish band Kaipa, the country's first major prog act, known for a couple of very well-received 70s albums in the vein of Yes and Genesis. The band's 21st century resurgence is the deed of keyboardist and vocalist Hand Lundin and guitarist Roine Stolt (who played with them in the 70s, when he was just a teenage guitar prodigy) - and normally, while the music reminisces the symphonic explorations of the old Kaipa, it also strongly resembles another major act from Sweden - Roine Stolt's very own The Flower Kings (this should come as no surprise, since Jonas Reingold has been handling the bass duties in Kaipa ever since their reunion).

Released in 2003, on Inside Out Music, 'Keyholder' is a very interesting case, and a good example of the present-day album length phenomenon, when a single-disc record can have the length of a classic 70s double album. With just some seconds over the seventy-eight-minute mark, this very intricate, exhaustive, and often mind-blowing collection of songs is, in fact, equaling the playtime of records like 'Third' by Soft Machine or 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' by Yes, just to give an example of how long this one really is.

The all-star line-up and the wacky, almost comical, album art are two prerogatives indicating that 'Keyholder' is going to be an interesting undertaking for the curious listener, who unfortunately might end up slightly disappointed, tired and even confused. This last statement comes after the realization that if we split the album into two halves (with each half being represented by the first and the final four songs respectively), we will get one pretty excellent almost-forty-minute ride of prog extravaganza, with the first four compositions, and one more repetitive, overplayed and less engaging-and-entertaining side, represented by the latter four songs on the track list.

Opener 'Lifetime of a Journey' has some otherworldly instrumentation that could easily rival the most technical of moments we may hear on a Yes or on an ELP album - simply mind-blowing, intense, and cathartic playing from Lundin, Stolt, and Reingold. The next track 'A Complex Work of Art' continues to impress with the fabulous harmonies and chemistry between the bass, the drums, and all the keyboards. The vocals, however, are not necessarily compelling, and ruin what could have otherwise been a prog classic. 'The Weed of All Mankind' is another energetic composition, full of astonishing keys and gorgeous guitars - so far, the instrumental sections on the album are above sublime, with everyone in the band playing 'at the top of their game'. 'Sonic Pearls' is a little bit more relaxing and slower, compared to the previous musical fiesta. Once again, Stolt impresses quite a lot. Then comes 'End of the Rope', a great song that had the potential to be even more enjoyable had it not been overlong (and dare I say, overplayed). 'Across the Big Uncertain' is not very interesting, feels like a bit of a drag, and put against the rest of the album, is plain filler. Same concern goes for the final track, 'Otherworldly Brights', while the 13-minute 'Distant Voices' is a much better offering, as Kaipa go back to tremendous playing.

A good album, an enjoyable listen for the most part, and full of fantastic ideas (some of which get washed out by the occasional overplaying and over-symphonization), 'Keyholder' will thrill some and frighten others (let's not forget how long the record is, with its whopping seventy-eight minutes). There are tons of phenomenal keyboard and guitar moments, lovely interplay between the bass and the drums, and it seems the vocals and the songwriting (on specific tracks) are the only lows of what is certainly a crazy album by a band full of incredibly skilled musicians.

Latest members reviews

4 stars What a nice music! In particular I really enjoy the instrumental parts, the good coordination between the drums, bass and keyboards are evident and complacent. There is a great display in the implementation of these instruments, adding thoughtful guitar parts, without fanfare. My only criticis ... (read more)

Report this review (#936475) | Posted by sinslice | Thursday, March 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 7.5/10 Following its big return Notes from the Past Kaipa launched the sequence, titled Keyholder, in 2003. Although not as large as its predecessor this is an album that still preserves the qualities of the band and shows the evolution of their sound. While I really just feel real passion ... (read more)

Report this review (#765703) | Posted by voliveira | Wednesday, June 6, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Kaipa's music very old school symphonic prog/rock in it's form. Nothing revolutionized here, but still it is a very pleasant and interesting adventure to dig into any of their albums. It sounds in many ways like The Flower Kings and The Tanget and it is clearly to hear that one of their biggest ... (read more)

Report this review (#170097) | Posted by Devnoy | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was my second Kaipa album I've come to possess, but was one of the first albums that I've grown to love from this sight. I was hooked and pulled in after listening to the song "A Complex Work of Art" that this sight had to sample, and after that I *HAD* to have this album. Unfortunately f ... (read more)

Report this review (#126501) | Posted by mothershabooboo | Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.5 stars really. Unlike most here, I don't have a big problem with Patrick's vocals. It isn't really until the next album that they get on my nerves, but I think in that case the writing is more to blame than anything else. As to the music, the first half of this album is simply excellent. ... (read more)

Report this review (#105356) | Posted by | Wednesday, January 3, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is a disk very interesting and complteted. The Ronie Stolt presence and creativity in all the subjects is very strong (much influence of Flower Kings composition). Been accustomed to and coherent Bass and drums.The keybords has little participation , but what executes this very well. I am ... (read more)

Report this review (#21480) | Posted by | Wednesday, June 9, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is my first acquaintance with this band and I can say it's very tastful! Listening to this album gave me a great feeling. Every progressive rock band should make use of female singers. Aleena's foce is a welcome addition to the music. End Of The Rope rocks hard, and A Complex Work Of Art ... (read more)

Report this review (#21479) | Posted by | Friday, May 7, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Now i havent heard all of Kaipa´s work. I own their: "Notes from the past" and "Solo" plus " Inget nytt under solen" Which means: Nothing new under the sun. All of them with the unique Roine Stolt on guitar.He is of course the head of Flower kings,and has a major role in Transatlantic...and he ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#21476) | Posted by Tonny Larz | Sunday, January 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Superb melodies and some fabulous singing - listen out for the female vocal, she don't half hit some notes! Lush production (I suppose you expect this from recent prog CD's anyway) The last 2 tracks are pure Yes - I bet they wish they could do it like this! The only slight problem is that although ... (read more)

Report this review (#21472) | Posted by | Thursday, January 1, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Great progressive music. In the vein of Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Spocks Beard, to name a few. Not so turned on by the vocals. Unfortunately the singers don't really appeal to me. With better vocals this album would get the highest rating. Increadible guitar work (as usual) from Roine Stolt. ... (read more)

Report this review (#21467) | Posted by | Friday, October 31, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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