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Karmakanic Wheel of Life album cover
3.74 | 209 ratings | 18 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Masterplan, Part 1 (14:39)
2. Alex in Paradise (5:07)
3. At the Speed of Light (6:28)
4. Do U Tango? (7:44)
5. Where the Earth Meets the Sky (12:59)
6. Hindby (4:59)
7. Wheel of Life (8:28)
8. Masterplan, Part 2 (5:10)

Total Time 65:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Göran Edman / vocals
- Krister Jonsson / electric & acoustic guitars
- Jonas Reingold / fretted & fretless basses, keyboards, arranger, production & mixing
- Zoltan Csörsz / drums

- Roine Stolt / guitar (7,8)
- Richard Anderson / keyboard solo (1)
- Tomas Bodin / Hammond organ (1-3)
- Jakob Karlzon / piano and keyboards (5,7)
- Ola Hedén / piano (7)
- Helge Albin / flute (7)
- Hans Bruniusson / percussion (1)
- Helen Melin / percussion (2,4,5,7)
- Sal Dibba / congas and djembe (3,5)
- Inger Ohlén / vocals (5)
- Alex Reingold / speech (2)

Releases information

Artwork: Sofia Petersen

CD Regain Records ‎- RR0404-045 (2004, Sweden)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KARMAKANIC Wheel of Life ratings distribution

(209 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

KARMAKANIC Wheel of Life reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Clayreon
4 stars 'Entering the Spectra' was amongst my personal favourites of the year 2002, so it's logical that the expectations for its successor are very high. The first album of the Jonas Reingold project excelled in originality, musical talent, strong compositions and a very strong vocalist. And after a first listening to the new album, the same quality pops up. "Wheel Of Life" has a more progressive tendency and leans more towards the music of The FLOWER KINGS, YES and TRANSATLANTIC. The debute album maybe contained somewhat more catchy songs and is a bit more accessible, but from a pure musical angle this "Wheel of Life" may be even a bit better.

"Masterplan Part I" is one of these typical epic progtracks from TFK, although the somewhat heavier approach from Reingold and the charismatic voice of Edman lift the track to an extra dimension. The melodic passages are linked seamlessly to the more aggressive parts, until now, I don't know any other band who gets this done in this subtle way. For this track, Jonas called on Richard Anderson, keyboard wizard and brain behind TIME REQUIEM. The resulting duels with Krister Jonsson are phenomenal. By the way, during the heavier parts, you can perceive a touch of DREAM THEATER.

A baby voice introduces a track with a typical Yes sound, bass parts and vocal harmonics included. "Alex in Paradise" (after Jonas' son) sounds very cheerful and contains a very light, jazzy guitar solo.

On "At The Speed Of Light", you get to hear, for the first time, the characteristic bass sound of Jonas and as on the debute album, I once again get that 'Gino Vannelli' feeling, I wonder if Goran Edman realizes it. The new guitar player Krister Jonsson certainly is an asset, altough he has a less proggy style than Roine Stolt, but his solos ŕ la Holdsworth are awesome. This track again exhales TFK, not in the least due to the contributions of Tomas Bodin.

After the question "Excuse me. Do U Tango?" asked by a female computer voice, follows the most bizar and at the same time the most original track, that I heard during the last years. After this you get a bright piece of fusion, followed by swelling bass parts in a tango rhythm, accompanied by a counting dance teacher. The rhythm speeds up in a compelling latino american atmosphere with a compulsory acoustic guitar solo. The changes in tempo are really innumerable during this track and Jonas gets the chance to enjoy himself completely. And let's not forget the whirling and technical refined drums by virtuoso Zoltan!

"Where Earth Meets The Sky" follows the trend of "Masterplan", the better neoprog with again some enormous examples of musical talent, even alternated with romantic sounding passages in the style of classic rock ballads. KARMAKANIC knows how to get such a track to a higher level, especially with the help of a few 'jazzy' solos on the keyboards.

The shortest track (still 5 minutes) "Hindby" reveals a fantastic bluesy guitar solo full of emotion from Jonsson, with a reference to the early (and also the best) Satriani period.

The title track "Wheel of Life" opens very cheerful with a flute, so it's no coincidence it reminds a bit of JETHRO TULL, covered in a KARMAKANIC dress. The striking difference with the previous album is the frequent use of polyphonic voice parts. In the middle part you get a very pleasing, even psychedelic passage (PINK FLOYD), carried by a compelling guitar by Roine Stolt. It's amazing how the compositions are strongly put together, the complete musical and vocal spectrum passes the review.

"Masterplan Part 2" isn't really the sequel of the first track, although there are some subtle simularities. Once again, the vocals of Goran Edman are great and full of emotion and with a brilliant guitar solo from friend Roine this track puts a pedal point to an album which I, for the time being, declare as the best of 2004. As always, there are a lot of references to the past and present, but KARMAKANIC, and especially Jonas Reingold, combines all these influences to a highly original collection of pure epics. I don't mind waiting another two year for the next album, if it means the quality remains the same. Do I need to mention it... every prog fan must have this album in his collection!

>>> Review by: Claude 'Clayreon' Bosschem (9/10) <<<

Review by diddy
3 stars 3.5 Stars Actually

So this is the second release of Jonas Reingold's project Karmakanic. After a good first release I was curious if they make it to sound more different from "The Flower Kings". And yes, unlike the first album "Entering the Spectra", Jonas managed it to sound different. "Wheel of Life" has it's own sound. The main point is that Roine Stolt has less influence. Krsiter Jonsson took over the main guitar work so you don't run across Roines unmistakable guitar style. And even more important, he doesn't sing on this album. This part is now Göran Edman's task, fortunately because it makes Karmakanic even more independant from the Kings.

"wheel of life" commences with part one of "Masterplan", a 15 minute epic with lots of instrumental parts and interesting solos. The vocals are better than Roine's and remain a kind of nonrelevant because most of the time you get to hear instrumental parts. "Alex in Paradise" is a good song with an intersting Canterbury-like part in the middle. The vocals are good and the whole song doesn't get too bombastic, I'm sure this song would be some minutes longer if Roine Stolt had something to do with it. "At the Speed of Light" is reminiscent of Transatlantic, especially the organ reminds of Neal Morses work in this project. "Do you Tango?" is a highlight. It's an bass orientated instrumental with a computer voice that appears here and there saying: "Excuse me, do you tango? I love to dance", very funny and interesting. It reminds me of the bavarian guy on Tomas Bodin's solo album "Pinup Guru" (see my review). "Where earth meets the sky" is simlar to the first part of the "Masterplan", mainly instrumental with different influences and styles. But the main style on this album for sure is the so called RetroProg. "Hindby" is a mellow instrumental with strong bass and great guitar solos, one of the best Karmakanic songs in my opinion. The title track is the song that is most reminiscent of the Flower Kings but in a way it is different. You will recognize that Roine Stolt plays guitar on this one, that's what makes this song so similar to the Kings, but the flute is the direct opposite of the Kings. But just listen to Roine's guitar solo and you will think that you listen t the new Flower Kings CD. "Masterplan Part Two" marks the punch line of a great album.

So "Wheel of life" manages it to have it's own sound, with some exceptions, a far cry from the Flower Kings. And because this is a project wich is led by Jonas Reingold, one of Sweden's finest bass players, the whole sound is very bass domintated and you will get several bass solos. Just like on every release Jonas plays the bass, his sound and style stands out. I don't know any other bass player who has a sound that is more recognizable (maybe with the exception of Chris Squire).

So if you are searching for an album with strong bass, a good mixture of styles and sounds wich also makes you laugh some times you have to choose this one or Tomas Bodin's Pinup Guru (see my review). Two excellent albums from the "Flower Kings Family" wich managed it to sound different.

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wow, What a treat. After being disappointed with the latest Flower King's release, "Adam and Eve" and being anything less then satisfied by The Tangent's "The World That We Drive Through," I was pleasantly surprised by this disc. Thanks diddy...

Jonas Reingold and Zoltan Csorsz comprise one the best rhythm duos in the prog world today. They are the only saving graces on the above two discs and they propel Karmakanic with power and style. Jonas' fretless playing is sweet and syrupy. I'd love to hear him in a straight fusion setting, ala the other Jonas. Csorsz playing swings and thrills. These guys got down. Very tight!

This is the first time I'd heard Krister Jonzon, the guitarist. He is versatile, from jazz to blues and straight out rock. First rate and then some. Roine Stolt does guest on two tracks and on "Wheel of Life" he tosses off a few Holdsworth-like lines that left me wanting more. The other TFK team members appear on a few other tracks, but thankfully don't turn this into another TFK album.

The main reason this doesn't sound like TFK is the great vocal work of Goran Edman. I really dig his voice. The main problem I've had with modern prog is the overwhelming number of singers who feel they have to play the overdramatic opera role in each performance. Thanks to Goran for not overstating his parts. He sounds down to earth and has some touches of Paul Rogers in his bluesy delivery.

Many of the tunes have heavy spiritual lyrics, though not too preachy. Two songs are instrumentals; Do You Tango?, a bit of fun, and Hindby, one of the best instrumentals I've heard in a while, bluesy and crisp.

All in all, a worthy selection for any prog catalogue and more satisfying then The Tangent and the Flower Kings latest. Of course, I will now have to hunt down the first Karmakanic release. Sheesh, all the money....

Review by hdfisch
4 stars Edited 09/27/05!

The main difference of this album to their debut is that all songs are written by Jonas Reingold alone,there is a new guitar player Krister Jonzon, who is excellent and involvement of Roine Stolt and Tomas Bodin is reduced to a minimum. Although it sounds quite different with less heavy rock impact and instead more jazz-rock influences and Roine is not present on most of the tracks the style is coming even closer to the one of THE TANGENT and TFK.

The first track which is the longest one of the whole album is an excellent start reminding very much to TFK and carrying the listener immediately away. Alex in Paradise is more a (very well done) Art Rock song with good rhythm section like on the whole album. It's true Jonas Reingold/Zoltan Csörsz is really a perfect team and one can hear that they have played many many times together. With the very groovy At The Speed Of Light the band is coming back again to a quite typical TFK-style supported by the guest Sal Dibba providing excellent persussion on Congas. Do U Tango? is a song completely different from the rest, a bit strange with a sampled voice but very interesting, with great bass play and spanish flamenco type guitar part. For sure something like this we never have heard by TFK. Where The Earth Meets The Sky is the second song clocking over ten minutes and would fit again quite well on an album of TFK, an excellent jazz-rock song with alternating parts, some more driving, some more mellow and played very well by all musicians. As well the rest of the songs sound more or less like the kind of music we know and love from TFK albums. In fact if there would not be a different guitar player and singer this album could easily have been published under the name THE FLOWER KINGS since there is not really that much difference despite it's mainly a solo work by Jonas. But that's no point for any critics in fact, because all lovers of TFK's music will be happy to have an album extra of them. And although the style of this album is quite similar to that of the main band or THE TANGENT, even more than on the debut, one has to say that all songs are excellent without any fillers present and it's very enjoyable to listen.

Though I'm almost seduced to give it 5 stars, I think probably 4 to 4,5 is more adequate. Anyway I'd recommend it to anyone interested in well played retro-prog or jazz-rock fusion, not only to fans of this great Swedish band. I'd like to mention that in my opinion this one is the best Flower Kings output of 2004!

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars . as complex as Dream Theater's staccato but in jazz-rock fusion style

I got this CD long time ago, I think last year or the year before, but I did not get a chance to write something about it until I forgot completely and the CD got somewhere on the shelf. Lately, I remember this one after I spun The Flower Kings "The Sum of No Evil" even though I did not listen to it right away but the CD got in the queue to spin. It was interrupted due to I read from this site that Black Sabbath had now been added here while Black Sabbath was previously featured in my Saturday Night Rock program in local FM radio station, Trijaya. Not only that, right after Black Sabbath was featured at "Legend at 9" topic, the rock community I have got involved, i-Rock! celebrated its first anniversary with classic rock tribute, including Black Sabbath music & Ozzy Osbourne. So, last week I focused on spinning the Black Sabbath CDs. It's really energizing the mind. And now I'm coming back to true progressive music presented by Karmakanic - it's so joyful enjoying this CD having just completed heavy metal music by Black Sabbath. It's so relieving and so relaxing . I feel like I'm coming back to my homeland .. even though I know that heavy metal music has been in my life, and I love it also (not as deep as my love with unpredictable prog music).

Yeah, that's what I like most about prog music as everything is quite unpredictable. At one passage I can enjoy the beauty of its melody but it suddenly changes abrasively to other passage with barely no catchy melody but the complex arrangements and then move to complex interlude. It's basically like life, where you can only plan something but actually you do not know what's going to happen next with your plan because there is "divine" power that rules everything in the universe. Talking about "Wheel of Life" by Karmakanic, my excitement starts even from the first track "Masterplan Pt. 1" which at a nutshell somewhat influenced by the music style of The Flower Kings. No wonder because the key musician of Karmanic is the bass player Jonas Reingold (one of my favorite's bass players in progressive music). I like the unpredictable stream of music delivered by the band. It's very clear that the key members of the band: Jonas Reinglod (electric and fretless bass, additional keyboards), Göran Edman (vocals), Zoltan Csorsz (drumkit), and Krister Jonzon (electric and acoustic guitars) have demonstrated their excellent skills flawlessly through this track.

When I enjoy "Alex In Paradise" the same feeling happens to me where I find the music is inquiring the mind and soul through virtuosities of the players. I'm quite surprised with unexpected acoustic guitar in jazzy mode, in the middle of this track, which makes the music is really inspiring. And when I reach third track "At Speed of Light" I am much more convinced this is truly a wonderfully crafted music, demonstrating unique melody, dynamic percussion and dazzling drum work, tight bass lines and stunning keyboard. Zoltan Cszors is one of the best drummers I have ever known in progressive music.

"Do U Tango" also surprises me in a way that right after the female's narration "Excuse me, do u tango? I want to dance!" the music that follows is really dynamic, uplifting, complex with fast tempo. I like the Jonas Reingold bass playing, it's really excellent! The song has some jazzy components especially during break, augmented with pulsating keyboard work. Oh my God . I love this composition! It's so powerful and so dynamic. The music is as complex as Dream Theater's staccato but in jazz-rock fusion style and it's very inspiring. Jonas provides excellent bass guitar solo, wonderfully! I would say that this is the modern Return to Forever. I really appreciate this acrobatic composition.

"Where The Earth Meets The Sky" provides a musical break with less complex but still entertaining prog music style using piano solo, followed with tight basslines. Guitar solo takes part later while the bass guitar is still being played dynamically. The music moves dynamically and it reminds me to a blend of music by The Flower Kings and Return To Forever. The combined work of guitar, keyboard and bass guitar is really amazing. The title track gives another music style with Helge Albin on flute. It's very relaxing even though you still find acrobatic bass guitar work by Jonas. When guitar solo enters, the music style changes - this is what I call "unpredictable".

Overall, this album represents great demonstration of the band members' virtuosities in playing their respective instruments. But it's not only that which makes this album is interesting: the composition is tight and solid through relatively complex song structures. It's highly recommended for those of you who adore The Flower Kings, The Tangent, Kaipa, Return To Forever. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Jonas has streamlined his band to a four piece, while many of those who were on the debut are now participating in a limited manner as guests. There are a lot of guests(11) helping out though. Reingold is on bass of course, Csorsz is back on drums along with Edman(vocals) and Jonzon(guitars). I must say that the lyrics really have THE FLOWER KINGS flavour to them as they are positive and encouraging.

'Masterplan Pt.1" opens with synths as a country flavoured guitar melody comes in followed by a full sound. It calms right down before some killer drumming comes in with fat bass lines. The contrast of mellow and heavy continues. Vocals 4 minutes in. Some nice guitar 5 1/2 minutes in as bass throbs. Check out the keyboard solo from guest Richard Anderson from TIME REQUIEM! I'm not a fan of the vocals and sound after 8 minutes. Too much sugar. A great instrumental section 11 minutes in. Vocals are back 12 1/2 minutes.

"Alex In Paradise" opens with some baby sounds(Jonas' son Alex) as strummed guitar comes in. A full sound comes quickly and vocals too. The bass is fantastic ! The song isn't. I have trouble enjoying his vocals. I like the jazzy section 3 minutes in. Spacey synths after 4 minutes. The last minute is catchy. "At The Speed Of Light" opens with a good instrumental section for a minute. Bodin on organ shines. Vocals and heavy bass follow. Again it's catchy but i'm not buying, too much sugar is not good for you. Nice guitar 4 minutes in with some cool percussion a minute later. "Do U Tango ?" is the first song that I really like from beginning to end. It opens with robotic female spoken words that say "Excuse me do you tango I want to dance".This line is used throughout at different times. I love the drumming and atmosphere to open. Check out the percussion as well. Other then the spoken words this is an instrumental. It's outstanding with lots of space to breathe. Some Spanish styled guitar too. Check out the bass solo before 6 minutes as drums pound. More heaviness follows. Nice.

"Where Earth Meets The Sky" opens with piano as a good solid sound comes and goes. This sounds great. A change after 3 minutes as vocals come in. It becomes more like a ballad. Lots of piano throughout. A jazzy section 7 minutes in is welcomed. Some atmosphere a minute later with female vocal melodies. A full sound returns 10 minutes in and check out the guitar a minute later. "Hinby" is another favourite of mine. I like the raw sounding guitar melodies, while the bass and drumming impress in this instrumental. "Wheel Of Life" is a catchy vocal track. It's ok I guess, with lots of flute. Roine's on guitar. "Masterplan Pt.2" features vocals that are almost spoken to start with. He does sing though and a full sound arrives 2 minutes in. Roine lets it rip on guitar.

So another good album but one I could live easily without.

Review by progrules
4 stars Inspired by the experience of yesterday when I got ecstatic about the latest by this band I suddenly realized I hadn't done the review of this album yet. A shame actually because it was sheer neglect in this case, I should have done it long time ago. And it has nothing to do with lack of quality of this album because the quality is high and then it's usually a lot of fun doing the review.

But because I already know the extreme level of Karmakanic's latest I can already state that as the averages show this isn't of the same high standard. In my mind it was very good though and right now I'm playing it one last time to give the most accurate review possible.

Masterplan pt.1 is a varied epical track with lots of fast keyboardplaying by Richard Anderson, especially in the first half of the song. After this a slow vocal part gives a total new direction to the song. Last few minutes keyboards take over again before vocals do the conclusion. A very keyboard dominated song obviously, original composition (4,25*).

Next is Alex in Paradise, a much shorter song, much more accessible too almost popular. It suddenly hits me that Jonas and Inger Ohlen probably have something with paradise (just the word or the meaning behind it ?) because on the debut we had Welcome to Paradise on this album the song we have here and on Who's the Boss the word comes back in Send a Message from the Heart. Obsession, coincidence ? Only the brothers know. Nice song this by the way (3,25*).

At the speed of light is somewhat longer again and much more electric guitar dominated than the first two, great guitar by the way. Another good/very good song, bit better than previous (3,5*).

Do you Tango ? I always considered this a pretty strange one, for a change this one is more of a bass song accompanied by acoustic guitar and keyboards. It's a pretty fast song, mainly instrumental (just a lady asking: excuse me, do you tango ? I want to dance a few times) with Jonas giving his best shot here (3,25*).

5th track it's epic time again and to me this is the album's highlight: Where Earth meets the Sky. For me the tough job to explain why it's better than the opening epic. Not easy, this one is more like one flowing song, better melody, simply a better composition, a true classic for me. Of all songs (also including Who's the Boss!) this is Goran Edmans best performance; here he proves he's an outstanding vocalist but also the instrumental contribution is excellent (4,5*).

Hindby is a guitar instrumental, much slower than we are used to by Karmakanic but very well executed without being outstanding (3,5*).

The title track is the most cheerful track of the album, accessible, positive, optimistic, nice flute, nice vocals, those are the keywords in this song. It resembles to Moon Safari, another fine Swedish band. I like the song but it's not the highlight of the album for me (3,75*).

Last song is Masterplan pt.2, a very nice ballad-like but not really impressive closer of the album (3,5*)

The whole thing is a very enjoyable listening for over an hour, no really weak tracks but not many highlights either. The album is better than the debut but by far not as great as the latest, Who's the Boss in the Factory ? But if you like the other two by Karmakanic and certainly if you are a bit of a fan of them, this is a must have. 4 stars (3,7).

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Second release by this interesting side project of Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, The Tangent). Clearly this is a transitional album. And this means good and bad news, at least for me. The good news: they were finding their own sound and straying away from The Flower Kings (although not too much). The bad news is that they were also too much driven this time by Reigngold´s bass, to the point of almost self indulgence. In the end Wheel Of Life is quite enjoyable and well crafted, although a bit overshadowed by both their previous and next efforts.

While on their first, the excellent Entering The Specter, it was hard to find a band in there (actually it sounded too much like a TFK album, sometimes even better than the latter´s releases at the period), this time they made it clear it was a group, even if, among its many guests, some members of TFK do participate. Now with singer extraordinaire Göran Edman taking charge of all the vocals, they manage to create a unique sound. And the addition of brilliant guitarrist Krister Jonzon did help matters even more. The guy is simply fantastic and you won´t miss Roine Stolt´s style at all.

The tracks, for the most part, are quite good although I really don´t like some of Reingold excesses in tracks like Do You Tango. Fortunately those moments do not happen very often. In fact Reingold proved to be almost as much a good prog songwriter as he is proficient on his instrument of choice. Production is top notch, enhancing every little detail and nuance. As you should expect from such seasoned and talented musicians, they playing is utterly superb.

Conclusion: this is probably their less melodic and more jazzy CD. But it is also inspired and very well done, so it all depends on your personal taste. For me it is still pleasant and powerful, although not as strong and accessible as their other works. If you´re into the Flower Kings (or symphonic prog in general), then you can´t miss it. 3,5 stars.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This second "Karmakanic" album is more personal than their debut one, which had very close roots with TFK.

Even if this is another TFK & friends work, the relation is maybe less obvious (although still very much present). Probably because Roine doesn't sing and only appear as lead guitarist on two songs (Bodin's case is almost similar since he appears on three tracks).

The pičce de résistance is the long opener "Masterplan part I" which nicely combines jazzy aspects with symphonic prog nes. It is probably in this song that the TFK influence is the most obvious. It is also my preferred one from this work.

The jazz side is somewhat too dominant to my taste from time to time: when I heard "Do U Tango", I was quite embarrassed and balanced between the experimental start and the fusion style of the rest. Not my cup of tea.

I'm more at ease while listening to the very good "Where Earth Meets The Sky" thanks to its symphonic (again) and "Yes" oriented style. Actually, both long tracks available here do share this influence and therefore, this is my second fave: keyboards are splendid (especially the piano) and the rhythmic section is nicely performing.

There are these delicious and melancholic vocals so typical (even if Roine is not in charge) and some real nice melody as well. The middle instrumental part seriously leans on a jazz affair: it is the occasion for Jonas to deliver some very good bass play.

The title song is also full of poetry and sweetness. Flute is helping a lot to reach such a nice feel. The guitar sound is really close to Roine's one and therefore, this track seems to come out of a TFK album. Another highlight.

This is a very enjoyable album. The closing track ("Masterplan II") is the occasion for ROine to perform a great guitar part that will satisfy any TFK freak. Four stars.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars 3.5 stars really

Karmakanic from Sweden make parte from The Flower Kings family , many musicians from TFK were part from Karmaknic including other guests from other bands aswell. The sound is very similar with TFK and The Tangent , but in places I like more then anything TFK rlease over the years. The second offer from 2004 Wheel of live is to me their best album from their overall 4 release so far. With Jonas Reingold as had of the band helped by drumer of TFK Zoltan, the voice Göran Edman from Yngwie Malmsteen fame, with invited guest as Tomas Bodin, Richard Anderson on keyboards from Space Odyssey, Time Requiem, Majestic , Roine Stolt. The music is quite complicated in parts, syphonic prog is what is about, with fine moments as opening track Masterplan, Part 1 or At the speed of light, fine musicianship for sure, some of the instrumental section are really solid, but not all of them and aswell the voice fits perfectly into this kind of music. Even this is quite great symphonic prog very similar with TFK, The Tangent I can't say is very original or groundbreaking, has many fine moments but fail to impress me big time. 3.5 stars to this one, better then over rated Who's the boss in the factory..

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ''Entering the spectra'' was warmly received by the prog press, but entering 2003 most Karmakanic members were involved in tours and other projects.The Flower Kings gained great success with ''Unfold the future'', while Reingold, Stolt and Csorsz became part of the The Tangent project of Andy Tillison.After several lives and recordings it was time for a fresh line-up to record Karmakanic's second album ''Wheel of life'', most part of which was recorded at Reingold Studios during the second half of 2003.Edman, Reingold and Csorsz welcome guitarist Krister Jonsson, while Stolt and Bodin appear only as guest musicians in some tracks, among other great figures such as Hasse Bruniusson or keyboardist Richard Anderson.The new album, released in 2004, was again a product of the Regaine label.

Despite the limited presence of Bodin and Stolt on this work, Karmakanic now sound like a bit heavier version of THE FLOWER KINGS with references to SPOCK'S BEARD in the vocal arrangements and acoustic lines, while a light Fusion flavor is evident in some of the instrumental themes.More deep into the album a BEARDFISH comparison would also seal the deal.The Hard Prog style of the debut is sacrified in the sake of more refined and elaborate compositions with lush orchestrations, sudden tempo changes and beautiful melodies.In a display of monumental creativity the band offers two long epics next to a bit shorter pieces, full of time signatures, multiple influences and incredible technical skills.A nice balance between vintage colors and contemporary sounds is kept throughout the album, with newcomer Krister Jonsson showing often his tendency towards more virtuosic or jazzy stylings.The album is basically walking on the path of modern Symphonic Prog with fantastic dual keyboard themes, including Mellotron and organ, and thrilling, melodious textures, highlighted by some great vocal lines.However the styles constantly change, featuring also strong Pop vibes in the choruses and extremely technical Fusion in a dose of instrumental palettes.The amalgam works very well in a pleasant and enjoyable river filled with memorable sounds and intricate changes, covering a wide spectrum of moods.The tight connection between lighter themes, as these based on pianos, synths and acoustic guitars, and the more challenging creations, like the harder tunes or the dense interplays, offer constantly moments of pure music art for the listener.

Very mature work, based on the principles of legends like THE FLOWER KINGS or SPOCK'S BEARD.Diverse Progressive Rock with instant melodies and monster instrumental longruns.Highly recommended, one of the best albums of 2004.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is, by far, my favorite Karmakanic album of the 3 I've heard. This is a fun album featuring incredible playing by four very talented and skilled musicians. This band is Jonas Reingolds baby, and he writes all the music. Masterplan is a two part epic, that bookends the album. I must say th ... (read more)

Report this review (#468138) | Posted by infandous | Thursday, June 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Karmakanic, plus a retro prog band, now with a mixture of art rock, progmetal. What will differentiate it from "The Flower Kings" will be the clear placing of electric guitars to keyboards ante. The prejudice in a way the TFK are excess keyboards often so similar, what we hear in Karmakanic ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#380432) | Posted by nandprogger | Saturday, January 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Man!An album that deserves all the congratulations in the world,because it's someting really of high class!JONAS RHEINGOLD is a monster bass player,a sensational musician and everybody knows the fact that he is an important wheel in the luxurious prog vehicle called THE FLOWER KINGS!Some p ... (read more)

Report this review (#265105) | Posted by Ovidiu | Tuesday, February 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Ah yes, another album that has been somewhat overlooked. Jonas Reingold of the Flower Kings and company created a fantastic album on their 2nd effort. The music is constantly changing throughout and their sound reminds me very much of a Transatlantic release more than that of a Flower Kings a ... (read more)

Report this review (#179306) | Posted by cutsofmeat | Saturday, August 9, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Now that I've had time to digest this album WHEEL OF LIFE, I can confidently report that it is really very good. Being a sucker for bassists in the style ofJaco and Percy Jones, I enjoy Jonas's fretless playing very much. He, of course ,also favours that harder edged plectrum style ... (read more)

Report this review (#96394) | Posted by mrgd | Tuesday, October 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. It blows me away that no one has given this gem of an album 5 stars- so I shall be the 1st. I've been on a Flower King kick as of late- cycling them into my listening more than any other band- but Karmakanic- may be better than every Fl ... (read more)

Report this review (#83832) | Posted by Drew | Saturday, July 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This cd is awesome, i´m impressed with this guys, this one really beats Entering the spectra !! My favourite track is Masterplan pt 1... Maybe this cd will atract more progrock fans, cause it´s really close to TFK style. Es uno de los mejores cd que me he comprado!!! realmente impresionante... ... (read more)

Report this review (#30645) | Posted by diabloprog | Wednesday, June 9, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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