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KARMAKANIC

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Karmakanic biography
THE FLOWER KINGS family, one of the wonders of the world. It seems that nearly every member has his own solo project. But not only solo projects, their members have enough power to take part in projects like THE TANGENT or innumerable other projects. Countless as well are their guest apperances.

KARMAKANIC is a kind of solo project from Sweden's finest bass player Jonas Reingold. But how could it be any different (anyway we are talking about the FLOWER KINGS), many of his band mates are featured in this project, it seems as if they can't live without each other. KARMAKANIC is one of the better side projects and released two albums so far, "Entering the Spectra" and "Wheel of Life". The difference between these two albums is Roine Stolt's influence. The first one sounds like the FLOWER KINGS with exception of some bass dominated parts. You will get Roine Stolt on vocals and guitar. Unlike "Entering the Spectra" Roine plays a very small role on the new album "Wheel of Life". It sounds more independent and disengages a little from the typical FLOWER KINGS sound, maybe because Roine just plays some guitar parts and Krister Jonzon took over the main guitar work. What both albums have in common is the dominating bass, not really astonishing because we are talking about a project that is led by Jonas Reingold.

So if you like the FLOWER KINGS you will love KARMAKANIC, but will also like them if you never heard of the Kings. I recommend to start with the second album "Wheel of Life" because it has not so many similarities to their main project like the first release.

: : : Martin Dietrich, GERMANY : : :

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DOTDOT
Inside Out Music 2016
Audio CD$12.16
$12.33 (used)
Who S the Boss in the FactoryWho S the Boss in the Factory
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$5.45
$5.24 (used)
Live In The USLive In The US
Import
Reingold Records 2015
Audio CD$9.69
$9.68 (used)
In A Perfect WorldIn A Perfect World
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$10.67
$10.66 (used)
Wheel of LifeWheel of Life
The End Records 2004
Audio CD$325.81
$56.45 (used)
Entering the SpectraEntering the Spectra
Regain Records 2003
Audio CD$54.94
$29.89 (used)
In A Perfect World by Karmakanic (2011-08-09)In A Perfect World by Karmakanic (2011-08-09)
Inside Out Music
Audio CD$48.98
Who's The Boss In The Factory by Karmakanic (2008-11-18)Who's The Boss In The Factory by Karmakanic (2008-11-18)
Inside Out / SPV
Audio CD$62.22
Wheel of Life by KarmakanicWheel of Life by Karmakanic
The End Records
Audio CD$515.81
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KARMAKANIC discography


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KARMAKANIC top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.59 | 144 ratings
Entering the Spectra
2002
3.74 | 162 ratings
Wheel Of Life
2004
4.06 | 423 ratings
Who's The Boss In The Factory?
2008
3.62 | 171 ratings
In A Perfect World
2011
3.99 | 151 ratings
Dot
2016

KARMAKANIC Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.65 | 45 ratings
Karmakanic & The Agents of Mercy - The Power of Two
2010
4.24 | 23 ratings
Live in the US
2014

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KARMAKANIC Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Who's The Boss In The Factory? by KARMAKANIC album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.06 | 423 ratings

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Who's The Boss In The Factory?
Karmakanic Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Though I knew of the band Karmakanic, I had never heard any music until I picked up this album over the summer. A friend had recommended this album after seeing a prog playlist of modern bands that I had made and posted in a prog group on Facebook. Without even given the band a listen, I ordered the album and, fortunately, to no regret. (Credit going to my friend who clearly understood my playlist!)

I knew nothing of the band as I listened to the first track, "Send a Message from the Heart" but it wasn't long before I concluded that there were very strong similarities to the Flower Kings. Of course, as it turns out, Jonas Reingold (bass, fretless bass, keyboards, production) also plays bass with the Flower Kings. Additionally, Flower King keyboard player Tomas Bodin appears on this album and Roine Stolt provides some guitar and mixing, too. Now it all makes sense! Very much a song in a Flower Kings' vein.

"Let in the Hollywood" might be the weak track for some because it is short and sounds like it was prepared for a hopeful radio single. It has an eighties pop melody accompanied by a more hard rock sound that, in the middle, gets heavier (my favourite part!). The funny thing is that even though this sounds like it could have been a radio single, the chorus sings, "I can't hear a single / This song in seven eight". By coincidence, I had recently watched a YouTube video explaining simple time signatures in popular music and the video mentioned that Pink Floyd's "Money" is in seven eight. So not only was I able to pick out the 7/8 time of the chorus but I also enjoyed the ironic statement claiming this song couldn't be a single in 7/8 even though "Money" was a huge single success!

My favourite track on the album has to be "Who's the Boss in the Factory?". It begins like a requiem and then changes heading towards a slightly upbeat sound before turning into a proper rock song that then gets a little heavy again before easing back. The instrumental part stretches out a bit with some piano and lead guitar.

"Two Blocks from the Edge" is different but still follows the same thread of blending pop melodies with progressive rock music. The solo piano of "Eternally Pt. 1" is really lovely and it demonstrates the classical piano talents of, I'm guessing, Mr. Lalle Larsson (three people receive keyboard credits but only Larsson is credited solely with keyboards).

The album is, as I said, very similar to a Flower Kings album but with some touches, such as the piano, that stand apart from FK. One should also note that the bass guitar is often easy to pick out and even gets some lead work. One part is clearly composed for piano and bass guitar. I do love the bass, so this album appeals to my bass fetish side very nicely. (My playlist also included a lot of songs that feature bass guitar prominently and my friend mentioned above is a bass player.) As a modern progressive rock album it plays very well with my personal preferences being for the three songs in the middle.

 Live in the US by KARMAKANIC album cover Live, 2014
4.24 | 23 ratings

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Live in the US
Karmakanic Symphonic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Aye, over there in Gettysburg, KARMAKANIC have sent a message from the heart indeed. Due to a quite appealing first impression, I already had this album on my checklist for a while ... and fortunately came back to it in time. Considered with enough care and concentration now, this one finally appears to be a flabbergasting affair. I'm thinking of the instrumental finesse first of all, the top-notch compositions, this paired with playfullness par excellence. And it is superb how they are blending different rock music styles with ease.

Recorded in 2012 during the Rites Of Spring Festival here we have a set of songs taken into account from their previously produced albums, except the debut however. 'Live In The US' is quasi embraced by the composition When The World Is Caving In, presented in two incarnations, the reprise initiated by a Genesis cover. Reprise and surprise. For example you will be faced with rather odd impressions on this album. Just take Do U Tango where they are freaking out a lot, a drum solo inclusively. Appears to be close to avant respectively zeuhl somehow, yes!

Partially there's a rather strong jazzy attitude to state. By way of example I want to emphasize Where Earth Meets The Sky, which makes my day especially. The song bears an intriguing instrumental part of about six minutes, decorated with a fine piano solo by Lalle Larsson and Krister Jonsson's soaring space guitar later on. Grandezza! I love this! Turn It Up is a MUST to sing along with, in the same way 1969 which shows reminiscences to Yes. When listening to Eternally sooner or later you'll know what dramaturgy in music means.

This is all directed by Jonas Reingold's bass, fretless for the most part, charming and virtuoso at once. Fans of bands like Syzygy, The Flower Kings, and surprisingly Karmakanic, are welcome here! Swedish prog rock live on stage in Gettysburg, a complex setting, rich on styles. They are leaving nothing to be desired. And this applies to Göran Edman's vocal presence as well. In German I would use the adjective 'Herrlich!'. An almost perfect performance - 4.5 stars!

 Dot by KARMAKANIC album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.99 | 151 ratings

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Dot
Karmakanic Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars This time, Jonas Reingold added plenty of musicians to help him make this album, a concept about the evolution of the universe. We are in the usual style of symphonic prog rock that doesn't shy away from the Jazz and the heavy prog which gives to the music both vintage and modern sound. It starts really in a big fashion with the epic "God The Universe and...." 24 minutes of pure symphonic prog going into different moods with crunchy guitars, delicate piano and that Jonas tasty fretless bass. The vocals are beautiful with a lot of vocalists contributing. "Higher ground" starts innocently but take a rather heavy twist in the middle to end peacefully with those vocals harmonies. "Steer By the Stars" is the most standard rock song of the album, nothing groundbreaking, a little breather nothing more. "Travelling Minds" starts with some piano and bass, a smooth intro that gets a little more intense for a short time in the Yes accessible style. The second part of God The Universe and..." brings back the more heavy stuff of the beginning of the album with that Flower Kings influence nothing surprising here. Not a perfect album, but enough good music to satisfy the Karmakanik fans. 4 stars
 Wheel Of Life by KARMAKANIC album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.74 | 162 ratings

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Wheel Of Life
Karmakanic Symphonic Prog

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.

 Who's The Boss In The Factory? by KARMAKANIC album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.06 | 423 ratings

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Who's The Boss In The Factory?
Karmakanic Symphonic Prog

Review by Mr. Mustard

3 stars Swedish groups have been at the forefront of prog ever since its inception with great bands such as Kaipa, the Flower Kings, and Anglagard, to name a few. So when I got Who's the Boss in the Factory by Karmakanic, I had similar expectations. Unfortunately, the album didn't quite meet them. I didn't quite feel the same strong songwriting of the band's I mentioned. There are a few nice melodies here and there, but they're few and far between. I also feel as though many of the songs are aimless and really don't go anywhere.

The opening song, 'Send a Message From the Heart,' is perhaps an exception. It is filled with catchy melodies and exhibits a diverse but identifiable structure, not to mention the musicianship is top notch. But even here the band is prone to some aimless noodling around two-thirds of the way through.

The remaining songs don't really contribute anything interesting. 'Let In Hollywood' and 'Two Blocks From the Edge' are popper songs with catchy hooks, and nice sax work in the latter, but are structurally predictable.

The title track and 'Eternally' just don't go anywhere. There aren't any hooks, and as mentioned, they just ramble.

After numerous careful listens I simply cannot find anything I like in this album, apart from the first song. Usually after five or so listens I am able to do a decent job of memorizing an entire album, but I simply can't with this one. Perhaps it is because of the lack of hooks and memorable melodies. Whatever the reason, there is much better music to be heard from Sweden.

4/10

 Who's The Boss In The Factory? by KARMAKANIC album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.06 | 423 ratings

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Who's The Boss In The Factory?
Karmakanic Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Third album of Karmakanic named Who's the boss in the factory released in 2008 is to a little let dawn from previous one, who already was not a masterpiece to my ears. I saw that this album is their most praised one and I didn't get it why. Again the musicianship is solid, the excellent keyboardist Lalle Larsson enter in the team here and what he does is more then ok. I said that to me this is truly over rated, because has some very cheesy moments hard to like for my ears like Let In Hollywood and Two Blocks From The Edge, specially this later piece is absolutly filler. The only truly great piece is the opening 30 min track Send A Message From The Heart that show Karmakanic in good form but also a very TFK sound, much more present then on previous album. Not very much to say or add, even has decent moments overall, I can't love it and is far less intresting then previous release, this type of sugary symphonic prog with loveble instrumental parts is not really my thing, but in same time I can't say is a bad record. Hardly 3 stars.
 Wheel Of Life by KARMAKANIC album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.74 | 162 ratings

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Wheel Of Life
Karmakanic Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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..

 Who's The Boss In The Factory? by KARMAKANIC album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.06 | 423 ratings

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Who's The Boss In The Factory?
Karmakanic Symphonic Prog

Review by mohaveman

4 stars After listening to this album many times, I can say that it is very very good. It took some time to appreciate but I have arrived. Not a perfect 5, but certainly worth a solid 4 stars. Karmakanic have created a nice mix of pleasant tunes with my favorites being the title track and "Let in Hollywood". I believe I actually prefer this to much of the releases from the outfits these musicians come from. Especially The Flower Kings of which I have never acquired a taste for. As I stated before, 4 stars is fair. Hope something else comes along from Karmakanic.
 Who's The Boss In The Factory? by KARMAKANIC album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.06 | 423 ratings

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Who's The Boss In The Factory?
Karmakanic Symphonic Prog

Review by Progosopher

4 stars This band shows that The Flower Kings is not merely a Roine Stolt vehicle. Karmakanic, led by fellow flower king Jonas Reingold displays a lot of elements of that seminal band, many of which I associated with Stolt. Yet even with all the connections, this is not The Flower Kings by another name. The bass is more prominent, naturally, and every song is augmented by short bass bridges. Note that I said "augmented." Highlighting Reingold's awesome bass chops is not the purpose of this album. Nothing interferes with the songs themselves. There are plenty of good melodies, strong lyrics, and top-notch musicianship. There are also plenty of good instrumental passages throughout.

The album opens with the nineteen-minute epic, Send a Message From the Heart, which is my favorite song. The cynical may see such a title, say "Meh" and pass on it, but with that time span you can imagine the piece goes through a number of twists and turns. It certainly represents positive orientation to music (as opposed to doom and gloom). Perhaps the weakest song is the title track, with its relatively simple and repeated chorus, but at thirteen minutes, it has a lot to offer as well. Two Blocks From the Edge is the hardest track, while the two part closer, Eternally, is dramatic and thematic, enhanced by some beautiful piano played by Lalle Larson. All the elements work together here quite well. Everything is designed to augment everything else. The final product is a seamless collection of well crafted songs.

Who's the Boss in the Factory represents the current mainstream of Prog, and what some would call Retro-Prog. It is Prog in that it has the sound, which was established in the 70s, and in that all the songs progress with variations and expansions of basic melodies and themes. Well produced and executed, the album hits on several levels. First, it is highly enjoyable and pleasant. It rocks, but it doesn't pound your ears. It is melodic, and avoids getting too catchy. The lyrics have meaning and emotion, yet fortunately do not wallow in the sentimental. So, one can enjoy without getting too involved with it. At the same time, the music is complex enough that a deeper dive into the sound will reveal much to be appreciated. A professional work all around, yet there is little that makes it truly stand out.

 In A Perfect World by KARMAKANIC album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.62 | 171 ratings

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In A Perfect World
Karmakanic Symphonic Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars Up ontil now, I only knew this band from "Who's The Boss In The Factory", a good, but not great album. This one takes a step up in a few places, with an occasional step back. But overall, I like it a bit more than the previous album.

First, the good parts. 1969 is a beautiful prog epic, that sounds very much like a Flower Kings piece. I don't consider that a bad thing. I find that it surpasses Send A Message From The Heart from the previous album, by containing all of the wonder, but avoiding the schmaltz of that song. Can't Take It With You is another high point. This latin flavored song is just so much fun, it's irresistable. And Bite The Grit is a nice heavy prog piece.

As for the bad, Turn It Up leads the charge. It sounds like something Trevor Rabin might have pushed Yes to do during their pop years. And to make matters worse, there is a radio edit of the song at the end of the album that has any parts that held any interest in the full version lopped off.

The other aspect that bugs me is placing When Fear Came To Town at the end of the album. I prefer albums that end with a bang, not a whimper. This song, while not bad, is too light, and doesn't leave me wanting to come back for more.

My CD also has a video, a documentary piece called Send A Message From The Heart. It's a not bad overview of the band, but it's not the type of thing I'd watch repeatedly.

3.5 stars, rounded up.

Thanks to ProgLucky; Eric Walker for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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