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Karnivool

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Karnivool Asymmetry album cover
3.54 | 80 ratings | 7 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Aum (2:22)
2. Nachash (4:50)
3. A M WAR (5:18)
4. We Are (5:55)
5. The Refusal (4:54)
6. Aeons (7:18)
7. Asymmetry (2:36)
8. Eidolon (3:45)
9. Sky Machine (7:49)
10. Amusia (0:54)
11. The Last Few (5:15)
12. Float (4:17)
13. Alpha (7:57)
14. Om (3:51)

Total Time: 67:01

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Kenny / vocals
- Andrew "Drew" Goddard / guitar
- Mark "Hoss" Hosking / guitar
- Jon Stockman / bass
- Steve Judd / drums

Releases information

CD+DVD Workhorse Music Group WH25 (US) (2013)
CD+DVD Sony Music 88883753452 (UK) (2013)
CD+DVD Sony Music KARN06DLX (Australia) (2013)
Also available as a double 180 gm vinyl.

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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Asymmetry [CD/DVD Combo]Asymmetry [CD/DVD Combo]
CD+DVD
Workhorse Music Group 2013
Audio CD$8.28
$8.27 (used)
Asymmetry [CD/DVD Combo] by Karnivool (2013)Asymmetry [CD/DVD Combo] by Karnivool (2013)
Workhorse Music Group
Audio CD$32.63
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KARNIVOOL Asymmetry ratings distribution


3.54
(80 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
21%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (36%)
36%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

KARNIVOOL Asymmetry reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Sometimes, you just shouldn't. Karnivool has never been a band that I really enjoy. "Themata" is an excellent album, for sure. Even "Sound Awake" had a few excellent tracks. With their new release "Asymmetry" , I'm struggling to find anything at all that justifies this album's existence. There isn't any inspiration here at all.

Sometimes, you need someone to tell you "no". That's one of the major problems here. Karnivool definitely leans towards the metal side of the heavy prog genre, and so this album is fairly heavy, guitar-driven, and technical as can be. That's right. This album is one of the most technical albums I've ever heard. I'm not even sure that the band stays in the same time signature for more than a few seconds at a time. It's ridiculous! In my opinion, this is not a good thing. Sometimes, you need to stop showboating. The technical emphasis is so strong that the "songs" almost lose their actual musicality! Yes, sometimes I'm not even sure if much of this album can be called music. No melody. No harmony. No restraint. Just an overload of technical crap. The lyrics are all tacked-on, certainly.

The half-way point of the album changes some of these things. We actually get a few slower songs, "Sky Machine" being an example of this. And you know what? "Sky Machine" might be the best song on this album! The album finishes out with a few good tracks that actually elevate this album as a whole. The first half, however, is pretentious and chaotic. It's a mess, to be frank. Sure, it's impressive to a point, but not something I want to hear again. Sometimes, you just need to check yourself.

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Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
5 stars Warning: This is an album that requires headphones or a very good speaker system in order to fully appreciate! With Karnivool's third release, Asymmetry, I am seeing a lot of growth, a lot of branching out in terms of influences and styles. There is still a lot of TOOL/MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN similarities-especially in the wonderful voice of singer, Ian Kenny--but add to that more THE MARS VOLTA/OMAR LOPEZ-RODRIGUEZ, OPETH/MIKHAEL AKERFELD, and OCEANSIZE as well as an incredibly full palette display of engineering techniques, all the while maintaining clear access to the individual instrumental tracks in what could have been a murky, soupy mess. In my opinion this is an aural and sonic masterpiece; the band has easily surpassed their wonderful 2009 album, Sound Awake. New producer, Nick DiDia, has helped the band achieve new heights.

1. "Aum" (2:22) is a kind of spacey meditative intro. Not much really to like or dislike.

2. "Nachash" (4:50) sees the band move straight into its TOOL-like territory but then they back off into some very delicate, spacey territory. There is an awesome vocal section beginning at 3:25 with "Wait!" and then culminating in a great guitar scream before the return to the original high octane pace and sound. The two guitars battle it out with Judd's drum play for the final 45 seconds. Awesome. (9/10)

3. "A.M. War" (5:18) opens with a catchy metallic guitar arpeggio riff before the bottomed- out bass and rest of the band join in full force, full throttle. The song overall reminds me of OCEANSIZE Frames era. (9/10)

4. "We Are" (5:56) begins with a little bit of techno-funk similar to some of Omar Rodriguez's solo work. I just love Jon Stockman's bass play throughout this song. I also love the impassioned vocal, the background keyboard flourishes and the almost "incidental" electric guitar embellishments. Great engineering/production on this, one of the most impressive songs I've heard all year! (10/10)

5. "The Refusal" (4:54) has a very heavy edge to it, like something I'd hear on OCTANE radio?Skillet or TMV?even in the bare bones section beginning at 2:05 there is a MAYNARD-like edge. Again, awesome engineering and production throughout the last two minutes. (8/10)

6. "Aeons" (7:18) begins with some spacey, echoed tremolo guitar notes before synth and amazing bass and drums join in. Incredible beginning! Delicate singing voice enters at 1:15 to tell us that he doesn't feel so well. Amazing use of heavy, thick instrumental sounds balanced by an empty spaciousness that is simply stunning! Gorgeous floating guitar in the first mid-song interlude before the TMV-like barrage of sound enters again. Another stepped down section fills the sixth minute as the vocalist sings about chemical fires signaling our death. Another favorite. (10/10)

7. "Asymmetry" (2:36) uses an odd sound loop to gradually set up some heavily distorted free form guitar play. The top-notch engineering of this album again comes shining through. (9/10)

8. "Eidolon" (3:45) offers a very catchy MUSE-like song--rather sedate when compared to the previous lineup. Again, I love all of the amazing incidentals running through the spaces and background of the music. (9/10)

9. "Sky Machine" (7:49) opens with some gorgeous multi-layered singing supported by delicate guitar and awesome drumming. A little EDGE/U2 feel to this song though the vocal is like some of MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN's most sensitive. Even the more amped up section beginning at 5:30 is quite extraordinary for its beauty and sensitivity. Awesome song. Love this guitar work. (9/10)

10. "Amusia" (0:54) is another off-kilter sonic interlude which bleeds into/sets up

11. "The Last Few" (5:15) opens up Karnivool's new TOOL/TMV meld style: quite intricately planned, complicated, layered music with a more polished version of the raw freneticism of Omar and co. The vocal and melody is, unfortunately, a little weaker than the previous offerings, giving the song a bit of a flat feel to it. (8/10)

12. "Float" (4:17) carries over a psychedelia feel from the ending of the previous song for its first 30 seconds before emptying out with a spacey treated guitar almost as if KLAUS SCHULZE were manipulating the delicate guitar play of 1974 GENESIS/STEVE HACKETT. Kenny's masterful vocal remains in his highest registers throughout the song. The space- treated instrumentation is quite effective. (9/10)

13. "Alpha Omega" (7:57) put an emotional Maynard James Keenan singing over some acid drawn out Led Zepellin being played by OPETH and I think this is what you might get. (9/10)

14. "Om" (3:52) is another odd, spacey instrumental using dissonance and random piano notes tied together only through their chromatic commonality to bookend. In the second half there is being played a tape recorded interview RE empathy and bliss, the common sound and color beneath it all. (9/10)

Unlike some of my fellow reviewer here on PA, I am finding that this album is haunting me--staying with me and drawing me back for more plays of "We Are" and Aeons" and "Float" and "Alpha Omega" and "Nachash" and even the poppier "Eidolon." Asymmetry is easily one of the most unique and memorable albums I've heard this year. I think special mention must go out to each of the individual musicians involved with this album--including the engineer and producer. Steve Judd's drumming is always solid and idiosyncratic. Jon Stockman's bass stylings are amazingly diverse and always interesting. Guitarists Goddard and Hosking are amazing in their sound palettes, temperaments, and mature ability to hold back, reserve, instead of always flash and flourish. The "risks" taken in these compositions and performances can only be described as mature and virtuosic. The "asymmetry" of heavy mixed with delicate and subtle, virtuosic flash mixed with astoundingly simple is masterful. In my humble opinion, these are some of the finest, freshest proggers on the planet and they have created one of the best albums of 2013.

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Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Karnivool are an Australian band that I had heard of, being Australian, some years back when there was quite a fuss over their rise to fame in this country. "Themata" released in 2005 seemed to buzz by without raising too much of a stir outside of Perth, but 2009's "Sound Awake" was hailed as an Aussie classic and really made the country aware of how great Karnivool are. This latest release is actually heavier in every department with very strong emphasis on distorted rhythm guitar with a metal sound and pounding percussion and a deep resonating bass. The vocals remind me of Tool or Soundgarden on this latest release "Assymetry". The artists present are Ian Kenny on vocals, Andrew "Drew" Goddard on guitar, Mark "Hoss" Hosking on guitar, Jon Stockman on bass and Steve Judd on drums.

From the outset on the drones of 'Aum' the band have adopted a darker sound with definite influences of Tool, especially in the off kilter rhythms and odd time sigs of 'Nachash'. The deep resonance of the bass synth gives this an industrial metal feel and the guitar riffs are as exploratory as Tool. The guitars are executed with inventive relish and blast with a distorted machine grinding ferocity; check out the intro to 'A.M. War' that is one of their outstanding tracks. The time sig is so fractured it wakes up the ear on every listen and has an unsettling effect with its broken cadence. The drums are incredible on this track reminding me of the intricate work of The Cardiacs. There are many switches of tempo throughout the album but this track takes so many twists and turns it is veritably spellbinding. I was surprised as there was nothing like this on their previous album and it is a change for the better. Listen to 'A.M. War' to hear one of the most chaotic time sigs in years! It is unbelievable and must have really shaken up old Karnivool fans. At one stage when the tempo gets fast it is hard to locate the actual rhythm as it competes so dissonantly with the other instruments. I must admit I loved this battle of the instruments complete with its beautiful chaos.

Following this brilliant track is 'We Are' that is also very riff heavy and features Kenny's exceptional vocals and Goddard and Hosking going ballistic on guitars. This is a more FM alternative sound but the album needed some commercial sounds after the previous tracks, and this became the single deservedly. 'The Refusal' features booming guitar distortion and some screamo vocals over relentless drum crashes and bass runs that are a constant presence, very much like Oceansize or A Perfect Circle.

'Aeons' is a more lengthy track at 7:18 and feels like a Porcupine Tree song in the opening, especially in the vocals. It builds from reverberated tremolo guitar to strong synth lines and the rhythm section of drums and bass. I was reminded of The Mars Volta once the time sig became chaotic and then it settles into spacey passages and lyrics about chemical fires; "will I breathe again, will my lungs fill with fire, when the smoke clears who will still remain here."

'Asymmetry' is a short sharp burst of prog that loops a sequenced keyboard and is joined by distant vocals and distorted improvised guitar as heavy as the sound of Sunn O))). It feels like a transition, a real oddity, and leads to 'Eidolon' with a pleasant bassline and gentle guitar joined by crystalline vocals. The lyrics are reflective "maybe I'm just too proud to stand in your defense, still I feel the pull of hidden wires, I'm never gonna try again to speak my mind." This song is more radio friendly and accessible, certainly a welcome change after the high strangeness previous. The melody is infectious and really stays with you unlike the unusual approach of constantly switching time sigs on other tracks.

'Sky Machine' is a longer track at 7:49, beginning with multi-tracked vocal harmonies and stunning drum tempos. Inevitably the heavy guitars crash through and then a great melody in the verses is heard. I love the sound of the guitars the way they reverb and overlap on this track. It is also wonderful when the music settles down and we hear the warm vocals of Kenny in the mid section.

'Amusia' is a transition that is just odd but delivers nothing to enhance the album at all. I am quite perplexed with the short transitions and really believe they would have been better used as intros to lengthen the rather short songs. They simply don't offer anything and feel like fillers. 'The Last Few' returns to the more intricate layers of musicianship and feels a bit messy though I admire the rather innovative percussion sounds, that are the opposite to any prosaic approach of most alternative bands these days. It is difficult to locate any semblance of melody and this just swishes by with a lot of sound but very little substance in terms of melody or structure. The album has run into a lull at this point after its blistering start so I hoped the next few songs would be outstanding.

'Float' is a psychedelic exploration with reverberations of glissando guitar in the Steve Hackett tradition. The vocals are sung in falsetto and are very emotive on this track. There is genuine beauty here and it literally feels as though it were floating along with chiming reverb attached to distant droning harmonics. The feeling of melancholy is strong and yet it feels as though a ray of hope is shining with the repeated "just enough to get by".

'Alpha Omega' is more like a real song without all the complexities and even features an infectious melody that can easily be recalled. 'Om' concludes on yet another oddity that is an instrumental of piano free form style, and enhanced by eerie atmospherics that sounded like Godspeed You! Black Emperor for a moment. When the recorded interview begins it sounds even moreso like GY!BE and yet I am at a loss as to what the band are trying to achieve with this strange ending; is it after all a concept album? And if so what it is it all about?

At the end of the latest Karnivool album I am once again left pondering what a masterpiece it could have been had it been more structured and made some kind of sense; perhaps even a plausible concept would have helped but it all seems to have been thrown together randomly. This is okay for a commercial album where the listener is not more demanding and just wants to hear a bunch of songs they can sing or dance to, but surely a prog band should deliver more, especially after 4 years hiatus. Karnivool certainly are not commercial or a band you would likely dance to, moreover they are thought provoking and inventive at their best, but the problem is in the short transitions and filler material that mars the rest of the outstanding work; it doesn't seem to serve any purpose. I am still impressed by this album in many ways and believe it deserves recognition for its innovative approach to the medium, especially on songs such as 'A.M. War.' The album has received attacks from the prog community for its chaotic soundscapes and lack of structure and I can see this is justified, but nevertheless the musicianship is outstanding, if a little too clever for its own good. It is excellent music though and a great way to idle the hour away on a lazy evening with the headphones cemented on. Karnivool refuse to sell out to the commercial trappings of so many other alternative bands and maintain intricate musicianship without languishing into dull radio friendly mush. For this very reason and for their innovative approach they deserve better exposure in the prog community and should be given a chance as I believe the offer a great deal and are a very original and talented band.

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Latest members reviews

3 stars I was stoked to see this finally show up on the Amazon MP3 store and after several playthroughs I won't say that I am disappointed by the album, but I will say that I will say that only about half of it is very memorable. I feel there are moments where the music really grabs me but there is a go ... (read more)

Report this review (#1007516) | Posted by Wolfhound | Sunday, July 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Karnivool have changed their sound significantly from their previous effort, 2009's stunning 'Sound Awake', and that hasn't gone down well with a lot of fans. Where Sound Awake was fairly centred heavy prog/alt metal that broke into some strange tangents, but largely remained quite riff & melody-dri ... (read more)

Report this review (#1005400) | Posted by Kazza3 | Thursday, July 25, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Thought this album would be an evolution of Sound Awake or at least an extension and what it ends up being, is another band that let their egos get the best of them. Sound Awake and Themata have something this album seriously lacks, structure. I'm all about any crazy sounds or poly-rhythms you ca ... (read more)

Report this review (#1004249) | Posted by lukekj | Tuesday, July 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Bands who don't evolve their sound generally have a short shelf life, especially in prog, where the listener is often craving something new and different and which has the ability to surprise. Karnivool is one band that has taken a step away from previous releases with their new album "Asymmetry ... (read more)

Report this review (#1003513) | Posted by bonestorm | Monday, July 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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