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Karda Estra

Symphonic Prog

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Karda Estra Mondo Profondo album cover
3.67 | 15 ratings | 3 reviews | 13% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. On Those Cloudy Days (6:12)
2. Mondo Profondo 1 (5:36)
3. The Happy Breed (5:16)
4. Mondo Profondo 2 (8:42)
5. The Haunter Of The Dark (6:12)
6. Mondo Profondo 3 (4:09)

Total time 36:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Richard Wileman / guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion, kalimba, sequenced echo piano (6), producer
- Ileesha Bailey / vocals (2,4)
- Caron Hansford / cor Anglais (1), oboe (3)
- Zoe Josey (King) / flute (1,3), soprano, alto & tenor saxes (1)
- Amy Hedges / clarinet (2,4,5)
- Mike Ostime / trumpet (2)
- Helen Dearnley / violin (1,3,5)

- Matt Baber / keyboards & synth percussion (2)
- Kavus Torabi / guitar (4)
- Mohadev / guitar & keyboards (4)
- Phil Mercy / keyboards & guitar & drums (4)
- Marco Bernard / bass (4)
- Stuart Rowe / drums & keyboards & bass & guitar (4)
- Benjamin DeGain / vibraphone & percussion (4)

Releases information

CD Believers Roast ‎- BR011 (2013, UK) Bundled with 2011 "New Worlds" on 1 disc

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KARDA ESTRA Mondo Profondo ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KARDA ESTRA Mondo Profondo reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
4 stars So, Richard is back with his latest album, and as a bonus he has also included his 2011 album 'New Worlds' which was never actually released on CD, but was available only as a download. Now, I gave that one 4 *'s when it came out so what about this one? Well, while the cover of 'New Worlds' was bright and colourful (and is shown as the rear cover of the booklet, a nice touch), this one is much darker and immediately makes one think of 'Voivode Dracula' from 2004. So, are we in for a dark gothic progressive classical soundscape? In some ways a definitely 'yes', while in others not so much. There are times in this album when we are treated to an orchestral version of Goblin, capturing the dark cinematic essence that they are renowned for, while at others it is lighter and not nearly as oppressive and gothic (including what I can only think of as Star Trek meets 70's cinema adverts). What I have always enjoyed about Richard's work is his refusal to conform to what anyone thinks of his music and will not fit inside any particular musical form but instead does whatever he feels is right.

It could be argued that this isn't progressive music, as it has much more in common with modern orchestral, yet he is using many different musical themes, instruments and mediums to create something that is layered, complex and refuses to be pigeonholed. The two albums contained in this one CD work really well together as they show different aspects of his work, and the fact that he brings in musicians to play all of the separate parts, instead of just using a synth to artificially create them, definitely gives his music a layer of class and sophistication often missing. In the past I have compared his work to Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips among others, but really he is in a place of his own design as he melds and moulds his music to be far more visual and cinematic.

This CD definitely benefits from being played on headphones, and in the evening sat on the deck looking at the stars this is definitely the perfect accompaniment.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars As I mentioned in my previous Karda Estra review ( id=1025244), last month the band released their last effort Mondo Pronfondo (2013) and as a big bonus their previous album New Worlds (2011) was added to the CD. So I decided to review both albums separately. Here are my thoughts on their Mondo Profondo (2013) album.

Mondo Profondo (2013) began initially as a concept album back in 2006 based on the novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. But Richard Wileman, Karda Estra leader, dropped the project due to the movie that was released in 2007.

The album starts with 'On Those Cloudy Days', which is a very atmospheric piece. In Gothic style. Inspired by the novel I Am Legend Karda Estra used many different sounds to make the whole track work, pretty much like a mini symphony. With the follow up, 'Mondo Profondo I', we have clever synths that were well used. Wileman always uses the acoustic guitar in a smart way and this track shows it. Then the song turns to be a Bossa Nova with many vocals. This seems to be one of Wileman's favorite genres. The track keeps changing with weird interludes, Bossa beat and female vocals (by Ileesha Bailey) all the way.

Reading the booklet's notes you can see that pretty much every track in Mondo Profondo (2013) was inspired by a novel. 'The Happy Breed' is not different. This one is based on the novel The Happy Breed by John Sladek. This one has a bit of the New Worlds (2011) album sound. And it's pretty much the sound that defines Karda Estra for me. It's classical, weird, gothic, atmospheric, chamber music, suspense music and soundtrack music. Do the math and try to get the result.

'Mondo Profondo II' is a big collaboration between Wileman and his musical partners Mohader, Stu, Phil, Kavus and Benjamin. Everybody shared credit and added new bits to the song. In the end, we have in its 8'43 a weird and wonderful piece, a 'travelogue', in Wileman's own words. I couldn't agree more. The album follows with 'The Haunter Of The Dark' that was inspired by a H. P. Lovecraft short story. The track has the mood that a Lovecraft tale needs. This track was originally written to the Colossus/Musea album The Stories Of H.P. Lovecraft (2012) and it was reworked for this release. This was a good move cause usually tracks composed for specific collections like this get lost with time. Nothing is better than putting a particular track in a band's own album, especially if it fits with the overall sound in it, and this one does.

'Mondo Profondo III' finishes the album. This track is the original 'Mondo Profondo II' but here it was completely naked down to only the piano chords sequences. It fits well with the rest of the album.

Different from the previous album, New Worlds (2011), Mondo Profondo (2013) seems to be a more polished record when it comes to the compositions and recordings. In the previous one the tracks seemed to be cut in half sometimes. Not here. They seem to be stand-alone compositions with full thick body.

With Mondo Profondo (2013) Karda Estra has a great atmospheric music that should be appreciated with the light off and having thriller/suspense movies in mind.

(Originally posted on

Review by Progulator
3 stars Led by the British musician and composer Richard Willeman, Karda Estra is a group who definitely made an impression on me in terms of a first time exposure. Their latest record, Mondo Profondo most certainly isn't something you stumble upon everyday, as it is an album that is dense in layers, ominous in tone, and magical in mood. "On Those Cloudy Days, " the opener, rolls in some haunting mixes of jazz and chamber music, and the record's subsequent dive into the title track, "Mondo Profondo I," is full of analog goodness and some nice chanted vocals that remind me of a mix between Brazilian jazz and English Cantebury; Karda Estra certain is a musical presence to admire. "The Haunter of the Dark" instantly makes me think gothic horror (honestly, the choice of instruments and atmosphere here is frightening enough to make you soil yourself), while "Chronoclasm" had me imagining a sort of nightmarish version of The Snowgoose. It's not all scary though; there seems to be a big tendency towards Brazilian influences seamlessly merged with chamber music (of which "Radiance" would be a prime example) to create a sound that would seem to fit in a plethora of movie soundtracks. While Mondo Profondo, New Worlds has tons to offer, I found that it's an album that I need to take in chunks. Definitely something different, and while it really does just skirt the edges of prog, good music is still good music

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