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Kaipa Urskog album cover
3.82 | 78 ratings | 4 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Frozen Dead of the Night (18:52)
2. In a World of Pines (10:04)
3. Urskog (7:58)
4. Wilderness Excursion (8:58)
5. In the Wastelands of My Mind (6:14)
6. The Bitter Setting Sun (15:20)

Total Time 67:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Patrik Lundström / vocals
- Aleena Gibson / vocals
- Hans Lundin / keyboards, vocals
- Per Nilsson / guitars
- Jonas Reingold / bass
- Darby Todd / drums

- Elin Rubinsztein / violin
- Olof Åslund / saxophone

Releases information

Cover: Per Nordin (from original photos by Björn Forenius)
Label: Inside Out
Format: Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 180g 2LP + CD, Digital album
April 29, 2022

Thanks to projeKct for the addition
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KAIPA Urskog ratings distribution

(78 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(61%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KAIPA Urskog reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars The Flower Kings have become one of my bread and butters. They usually deliver some great A+ Prog that leaves me wanting more. Their lead Roine Stolt has sort of became the mastermind behind many Prog outfits such as Transatlantic and The Tangent. This masterminded aspect of his work even goes far back into the 70s with a band that has gained very high recognition in modern light throughout the years, and that band is Kaipa. I heard a ton of stuff surrounding them, mostly good stuff about them, but I also heard that after they broke up in the 80s, they no longer had Roine Stolt's help anymore, which made me pretty interested on how a band that had one of Prog's biggest faces can achieve such marvelous praise throughout their life after their reunion in the early 2000s. With their release of their new album, Urskog, I knew it'd be very fitting to dive into the band for the first time and hear what they have to offer.

Starting things off is The Frozen Dead of the Night. This starts the album strong, with a very great 18 minute epic that immediately shows off the album's themes of the changing seasons, starting with the change of Winter to Spring. This song also introduces the band's more keyboard and guitar driven stylization where they combine the use of guitars and keyboards to create very symphonic and organic sounding melodies. I also applaud how uniquely they sound, usually bands like this have a smoother, more water-like flow with their music, but here it is a lot more rhythmic, which is a nicer change of pace than what is usually done, and I like that a whole lot. I also do enjoy how the beginning loops back around to a reprisal for the ending, closing the song with a nice payoff, though I find it a tad weak and would prefer something else, but otherwise it is a great song to start the album with.

Next is In a World of Pines. Keeping up with the same flow as the song before, we are now fully developed in Spring, with that we have lyrics based on growth and going forward despite a world filled with thorny and spiky pine trees. I really like the interpretation and use of nature within the lyrics because it allows the use of relating things in the world like societal issues or personal conflicts with more nature focused metaphors as a veil. Plus, Aleena Gibson's vocals really set those lyrics to some strong heights. The instrumentation styles are similar to the first song, but with a little acoustic bits to spice things up. Pretty dang good.

Next up is the title track, Urskog. It's rare to hear a Swedish Prog band sing in their native language, so hearing a song sung in Swedish is pretty cool. Anyways, this song is another gemstone of a song, super rhythmically grand, super catchy, and just super well done all around. What I love most about this song is the drums. I feel like drummer Darby Todd is on his top game here and really drives the song to some really cool movements that I really love, so it definitely gets a thumbs up for me.

After that we got Wilderness Excursion. Now I feel like here is where I start to feel some problems with this album. Obviously this band has a really good and fun style, however they seem to not stray away or try new things all that much with it and it is evident with this song. After 3 great songs that are similar in tone and feel, I'd expect a little change, but when I got to this song, I was a tad let down. Obviously I liked their sound so I wasn't mad or sad about anything drastically changing, but I did expect something a bit more, and I guess that's the main issue with the album, it's a bit closed minded with its sound. It feels a bit formulaic and doesn't use the genre of Prog to create something a bit more fresh. I am not saying that they should pick oranges off a branch when you were picking apples before, I'm just saying that they should pick different types of apples, if that makes sense. Anyways, besides that I do think this song is quite good, the sound they create is super fun and with its instrumental focus, we can get a good understanding on how the band creates their sound a little more, which I dig a lot.

Next is In The Wastelands of My Mind. Now this is something I wanted for a bit. When I first heard the intro with that whirly keyboard, I knew I was in for something neat. I have always been a fan of bands taking inspiration in sound from other regions in the world, like Japanese bands taking notes on British and American psych bands who were also taking notes on stuff like Indian music and sometimes German krautrock bands. It's always fun to hear bands doing their homework and using it to create some great songs. Here you can hear a mix of more French violin styles with a more Spanish sounding guitar. Those two aspects of the song really helped this album shine way more, where Wilderness Excursion left me wanting for something more, this song redeemed the faults of the former and really allowed this album to really be one of my favorites. And I have to say, more bands should really use more Spanish guitar, it just sounds super good and I bet they can do some great stuff with that instrument.

That ain't the last song though, there is one more and that is a 15 minute epic, The Bitter Setting Sun. If you liked the songs before, you'll very much like this one. It continues that rhythmic symphonic rock sound from the last several songs while continuing the themes of seasons and personal growth throughout, leading to a climactic finish where we loop right back around to Winter, after we and the band grew to new heights through the album. While the ending of the song could've use some work, it definitely felt like it ended a bit abruptly, I felt like it was a great payoff for this album, simple, effective, and gets the point across for its themes. Instrumentally, it's sorta the same as songs before, but that's fine at this point, though it's a little cut and dry. Overall a very good closing for a very good album.

So far, this has to be my favorite album of 2022. There has been a lot of good ones, but this one definitely does a lot of things right to where I could see this becoming my favorite of the year, especially how it's structured and how it plays out, though we're still only halfway through the year so this very well may change, but right now this has been a very good ride despite its faults.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars For some reason or another it has been years since I last reviewed Kaipa, and I actually think Roine Stolt was still playing with them back then but he left some years ago, which means the only founder member still there is keyboard players Hans Lundin. However, since they reformed in 2000 there has been some wonderful consistency with singers Patrik Lundström and Aleena Gibson plus bassist Jonas Reingold having been there throughout, and then guitarist Per Nilsson replacing Roine in 2006. The only recent change is the departure of drummer Morgan Ågren who left the band prior to this album as he was unable to commit to the recording, so he has now been replaced by Darby Todd (Devin Townsend, The Darkness, Gary Moore, Martin Barre etc.).

Apparently, most of the songs were written in 2018 when Hans was working on the six CD set 'Hans Lundin: The Solo Years', and listening to his older songs influenced what he was working on, and in some cases he actually took a fragment of an old song and turned it into something new as well as sampling some '80's sounds which were included. It would be very easy for people to say Kaipa cannot exist without Stolt, especially as he has formed Kaipa Da Capo, but unless he is working with another very strong individual it is very easy for Roine to turn the band into The Flower Kings, which is why Transatlantic work so well as there are four musicians who all have their own very strong identities. Pers is a very fluid and enjoyable guitarist who is not Roine and so consequently plays in a quite different manner but with Hans at the helm as he has since the very beginning some 50 years ago, this is most definitely Kaipa. There are some wonderful instrumental passages on this album, with "In A World Of Pines" containing some fine examples with both Pers and Hans having a blast with some wonderful runs, while Jonas delivers the melodic and bouncing basslines we have all come to expect. Darby may be a new member of this band, but he has worked with different progressive and metal bands over the years and he has fitted in incredibly well, not sounding like a newbie at all as he brings structure and plenty of nuances to his performance. I do prefer Patrik's vocals over Aleena, but she does have a nice range and when they are both singing at full blast it is quite something.

This rarely sounds like a modern progressive rock album, and is quite firmly in the Seventies with some Eighties influences, but given that this band has been around for so long I have no issue with that, and who can resist a Mellotron anyway? A very strong album with much contained within for any proghead.

Latest members reviews

3 stars If I counted correctly KAIPA arrives in this year at fifteen albums released. What about with this latest installment, did they finally stand out from Roine's weight? 'The Frozen Dead of the Night' to have fun and realize that the KAIPA sound has evolved; layered keyboards from Hans, a guitar ... (read more)

Report this review (#2787579) | Posted by alainPP | Thursday, September 1, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars In my view, the more recent albums by Kaipa can't be compared to their early material, since they lack in the guitar department the original and sheer intensity of Roine Stolt. Having said that, there is still a lot of musical quality infusing each track of this album: the vocalists are really good ... (read more)

Report this review (#2743190) | Posted by Heart of the Matter | Tuesday, May 10, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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