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KARFAGEN

Symphonic Prog • Ukraine


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Karfagen picture
Karfagen biography
Karfagen - (means Karthago) a symbol of glory and wisdom and also it is a never-ending journey into the world of the forgotten past and un-predictable future.

The name Karfagen was first heard in 1997 when Antony Kalugin formed the band at school. While he was studying at the architectural university (1998) he began to record the first KARFAGEN album.

And then they were two. Antony Kalugin and his close friend Sergei Kovalev (accordion and harmonica).

In 2002 Antony completed his first solo album "the Water" Then there was another period of silence where Antony worked on commercial new age - relax projects.

From 2003 - 2005 Antony composed and performed on more than 40 albums, that were released in Russia and Ukraine. With those projects, Antony gathered the necessary funds to record the first KARFAGEN Album and in 2005 the band reformed and went into the studio to record CONTINIUM, the first KARFAGEN album which led the band to sign with UNICORN DIGITAL .




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Karfagen is the brainchild of of Antony Kalugin. Mainly an instrumental band, they show imaginative use of keyboards and guitars with a hint of new age in places. Their influences are Camel, IQ, Saga, Focus and The Flower Kings.



Discography:
Continium, studio album (2006)

Karfagen official website

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KARFAGEN Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy KARFAGEN Music


Solitary Sandpiper JourneySolitary Sandpiper Journey
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$17.99
$17.98 (used)
Magician's TheaterMagician's Theater
Import
Caerllysi Music
Audio CD$17.99
$16.99 (used)
Lost SymphonyLost Symphony
Import
Ais 2011
Audio CD$17.99
$15.99 (used)
ContiniumContinium
Import
Unicorn Digital 2006
Audio CD$22.74
$14.99 (used)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER JOURNEY by KARFAGENSOLITARY SANDPIPER JOURNEY by KARFAGEN
PID
Audio CD$65.25
Lost Symphony by Karfagen (2011-12-13)Lost Symphony by Karfagen (2011-12-13)
Ais
Audio CD$69.18
The Space Between Us by Karfagen (2007-07-17)The Space Between Us by Karfagen (2007-07-17)
Unicorn Digital Inc.
Audio CD$75.28
Seven by KarfagenSeven by Karfagen
Imports
Audio CD$78.48
Magician's Theater by Karfagen (2014-08-03)Magician's Theater by Karfagen (2014-08-03)
Caerllysi Music
Audio CD$58.98
Aleatorica by KarfagenAleatorica by Karfagen
Ais
Audio CD$50.98
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KARFAGEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.71 | 50 ratings
Continium
2006
3.11 | 47 ratings
The Space Between Us
2007
3.90 | 90 ratings
Solitary Sandpiper Journey
2010
3.98 | 217 ratings
Lost Symphony
2011
3.87 | 98 ratings
Aleatorica
2013
3.79 | 93 ratings
Magician's Theater
2014
3.94 | 88 ratings
7
2015

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

KARFAGEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

KARFAGEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.08 | 52 ratings
The Key to Perception
2009

KARFAGEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 3 ratings
Seven Gates
2015

KARFAGEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Magician's Theater by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.79 | 93 ratings

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Magician's Theater
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Karfagen - this excellent band that for some good years is a name in prog rock circles, conducted by no other then Antony Kalugin - the head master behind the band, responsable for all the music is to be heared here as on previous albums. Magician's theater is the name of the game here, and is a truly great work in same league with Solitary sandpiper journey and Lost symphony (their most acomplished works so far, at least for me). Graced by another excellent art work, as all presentation, Karfagen done it again, musicaly speaking this is awesome, lots of twists and turns, musical mystical adventure is all I can saying about this release. Fans of vintage prog, will love this one as previouses releases , lot to offer and Antony Kalugin is a name to remember and a true talented musician in prog circles and is respected all over the world with each band where is he involved as Sunchild or Hoggwash for example. Each piece is great, maybe with a plus on ending giant tune Magician's Spell , clocking around 22 min, this is pure pleasure and delight, here is happening lots of memorable instrumental passages and all is magic. Symphonic prog complexity with acustic guitars, folky parts, all is here at highest level . So, all in all Magician's theater is another worthy album in Karfagen discography and this band is among the best and most intresting ones listner ever experince in prog rock realm. 4 stars for sure.
 7 by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.94 | 88 ratings

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7
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Talented Ukranian musician and composer Antony Kalugin has been releasing a range of progressive-related music for almost twenty years now, each work revealing new styles and a honing and refining of his musical skills. His solo album `The Water' had a New Age/ambient sound, and AKKO (the Antony Kalugin Kinematic Orchestra) contained a Mike Oldfield influence, but his works under the Karfagen project name have frequently been in a proudly symphonic prog style. This leads us to their seventh release titled, well, `7', and in his own words, Antony describes the album as being "a journey into myths and legends, concerning the mighty luck and inexplicable power of the number 7"! Each Karfagen album sounds quite different to the previous one, and `7' is no exception, equally balancing retro and modern sounds with both instrumental and vocal pieces.

The 28-minute opener `Seven Gates' takes up over half the album, and it is grand, theatrical, briefly whimsical and romantic symphonic prog at its finest. Narration and ambient field recordings of nature weave in and out of this symphonic epic that is dramatic and full of purpose yet tastefully performed with restraint and class. Mike Oldfield, Focus, the Flower Kings and `Snow Goose'-era Camel come to kind in several spots, but only as soft influences and never merely imitated, and a range of guest players contribute flute, recorder, oboe, bayan and accordion to give the piece a rich and wordly evocative flavour. Max Velychko's guitars move between heroic electric bursts and thoughtful acoustic delicateness, Oleg Prokhorov's silky bass murmurs sweetly throughout and Kostya Sheplenko's drums effortlessly navigate the changing sounds. Antony himself delivers plenty of regal church organ, whirring Moog, dazzling Hammond, glistening electric piano, delicate Mellotron bristles and sprightly synth runs, a trademark of all Karfagen releases. Without exploring the CD booklet right away and glancing over the credits, listeners could almost be forgiven for assuming this was going to be another fully instrumental Karfagen release like the exquisite `Lost Symphony' and the previous album `Magician's Theater', but Antony's charmingly accented David Gilmour-like voice enters unexpectedly just after the 18-minute mark, and the punchy `Seven planets, seven wonders' chorus really soars on repeated listens.

The second half of the album turns to more vocal driven compact pieces with a strong emphasis on reflective personal lyrics, perhaps comparable to Phideaux, the Winter Tree and possibly even Mostly Autumn, as Antony is joined by female singer Olha Rostovska sharing lead and backing vocals. `Now and Ever' is a lightly gothic story-telling tune with ghostly piano and weeping guitar, and `Hopeless Dreamer' is an optimistic and upbeat soft-rocker with traces of Pink Floyd. `Alight Again' opens with softer ambient moments and slow-burn electric guitar, but the repeated `My heart is alight again' chorus has a big 80's Floyd/`Momentary Lapse of Reason' power, and the track is joyous and full of a love for life that makes for an uplifting album closer.

Excluding a bonus track re-edit that closes out the disc, it's nice to discover a 52 minute, almost vinyl length release from Karfagen (the CD itself actually is presented like an LP), so this avoids too much filler and bloat. While the epic that opens the disc is the strongest material here, it's refreshing to hear Kalugin and his musical friends deliver some simpler, more approachable and melodic music in the second half that still works in satisfying instrumental flair that displays their versatility. Housed in Igor Sokolskiy's gorgeous colourful artwork (now THAT deserves to be seen on a larger vinyl edition!), `7', the most unassuming and sweet-hearted Karfagen release to date, is another tasteful collection of lavish instrumentation and pleasing vocals from a talented group of musicians who never disappoint.

Four stars.

 7 by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.94 | 88 ratings

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7
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by CAERLLYSI

5 stars GREAT MELODIES. Melodies are the gold bar currency of Progressive Rock and there's enough of them in AKP's latest offering to sink a battleship! Remaining loyal to the gorgeous ethnic sound that is the bands trademark as ever Kalugin also stays true to his love of early CAMEL, FOCUS and THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT to name just a few.

The seventh Karfagen chapter is a journey into myths and legends, a search for the truth within the figments of the imagination, everything and everywhere.

It concerns the mighty luck and inexplicable power of '7'. Things that impress folk so much that it can even become an obsession taking over there whole lives. WOW such power. '7'

Centred around the epic 28 minute monster track 'Seven Gates' this is a journey you must get your ticket for and climb on board another MAGICAL CARPET ride from the great man and LONG MAY IT CONTINUE.

I was safely seated on that ride from the begining, it was 4 months of the most exciting exhilarating musical experience I have been lucky enough to be involved in and thats saying something with the list of quality albums I have been privileged down the years to be on board with. SO CHECK OUT you lucky folks !

THE FLAME REMAINS ALIVE AND BURNING BRIGHT FOR OUR GENRE

Will - CaerllysiMusic

 Magician's Theater by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.79 | 93 ratings

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Magician's Theater
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars The reason why I chose to listen to and review this album was I really liked the previous album "Aleatorica" from 2013 and also that I was so amazed that this was a Ukrainian band. I actually visited Ukraine with my brothers this summer(Lviv and Kyiv). Unfortunately "Magician's Theater" doesn't manage to be as beautiful as "Aleatorica". The only thing that is better with 2014's album is the colourful cover which is appealing with all of its childish loveliness. It is a quite long album Antony Kalugin(keyboard, vocals, percussion,arrangement)and his partners have done. It lasts almost an hour and has nine normal length tracks and one long.

The last record was unique and special in my ears but these songs shine out just mainstream prog. I find it too heavy. The drums are beating and a lot of symphonic attempts are shown here and there. I though find it hard to feel the continuity within the tracks and the album. Over all, I find it rather pleasant to hear but not interesting and it definitely not gives my anything new. The shortest songs are also the best. "Turret"(8/10) is a lovely piece with medieval feeling and "Figment of the imagination 2"(6/10) are sweet too. A lot of songs are nice and works well but the "epic"(relating to its length""Magician's spell" are not coherent. It feels fragmented and a lot of ideas has been put together to perhaps create a long and impressive track. I wouldn't call it impressive though even if the instrumentalists are talanted(6/10).

My song to song rating ends at 2.85 which becomes three stars so it is fine music it is a big oppurtunity you like. I though am quite disappointed beacause I liked "Aleatorica" so much.

 Magician's Theater by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.79 | 93 ratings

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Magician's Theater
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars For prog listeners that adore vintage symphonic prog, there's not many other artists working in progressive music today that so strongly capture that particular style in a modern setting as convincingly as main Karfagen composer Antony Kalugin. He delivered a career best work with the lush and lavish `Lost Symphony' back in 2011, and `Magician's Theater' offers more of the same, just with an increase in heavy guitars this time around. Predominantly an instrumental work, it's fifty seven minutes of the bombast and classical flare of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Triumvirat, the romantic guitar moods of Camel and even the quirky qualities of the early Steve Hackett solo albums, but with added Ayreon-styled heavy guitar bite. Anthony handles all the keyboards (and make no mistake, this is a very keyboard-dominated album!), with additional musical guests brought in to bring a more full and rich satisfying sound.

All of the ten tracks flow into each-other, creating a varied and continuous musical adventure. The title track overture opens the first Act of the album with booming and dramatic E.L.P synth fanfares full of regal pomp and crashing stomp, a nice plodding groove and roaring electric guitar powering it forwards. Dream Theater fans will like the driving guitar soloing over wavering synth caresses throughout `The Birth of Mankind', with plenty of dreamier relaxing moments to balance it out too. `Turret' is a pretty synth, flute and classical guitar interlude full of mystery, then `Yuletide' throws in everything from Jethro Tull-like flute over rambunctious folk guitar, an upbeat repeated synth theme and even brief Celtic flavours, really foot-tapping stuff! `Figment of the Imagination part 1' is a short regal synth theme, and the amusingly titled `The Fibber's Diary' lurches along as a heavy crashing fanfare that's actually almost comical in a few spots, before the wild heavy metal attack of `The Juggler's Boast' closes the first half.

The second Act begins with the stirring and gently melancholic `Figment of the Imagination part 2', with gorgeous flute and choir Mellotrons singing together over electric piano and acoustic guitar. Then what would a symphonic prog album be without a twenty one minute epic?! It's a tour de force for Kalugin, as he unleashes all manner of symphonic synths, creaking grand organ and whirring Moogs galore. It takes Karfagen's music to new levels of sophistication and daring, with fleeting sedate classical guitar tastefulness, brief electronic diversions, brooding moody guitars, maddening spoken word passages, reflective thoughtful breaks, triumphant medieval fanfares, and even some whimsical Steve Hackett child's toy-like percussion sound-collages. Be sure to listen out for the nice introduction where accordion duets with menacing gothic Mellotron, and the heartfelt then joyful saxophone solo in the climax over delicate piano and chiming guitar. The album then finishes on a gutsier heavy guitar reprise of the opening piece.

Sadly, the only particular element holding the music back here a little that stops it achieving constant greatness - the frequent heavy wailing electric guitars. If you're a listener who loves plenty of soloing hard-rock guitars, or are a fan of the above mention Ayreon project, then this won't be an issue. But for others, it can get a little draining in several spots.

But there's still no denying that Antony Kalugin is a musician of great talent and variety (fans of this project should also investigate his solo album `The Water' from 2002 and his project the `Anthony Kalugin Kinematic Orchestra' from 2013 for a different side of the artist), and each new Karfagen release hones his vision of fantastical and colourful progressive music even further. `Magician's Theater' is a true love letter to symphonic progressive music, jammed full of memorable themes, performed with so much confidence and conviction, and it's yet another Karfagen album well worth discovering. Antony and his musical associates here should be immensely proud of their efforts!

Four stars.

 Aleatorica by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 98 ratings

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Aleatorica
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Karfagen is a Ukrainian symphonic rock band which mostly seems to perform instrumental music. It is made up by the composer Antony Kalugin and one this record from 2013 a lot of other musicians too. Together they play a wonderful world of songs and melodies, played on a lot of symphonic instrument with not so little inspiration from folk music.

When this record was released last year I noticed it got good ratings but noone reviewed it and the music was hard to find. This summer I went to Ukraine, I came home today and I found the music a week before I went away to the east. I loved Ukraine, its culture and a romantic undestroyed touch in the society. This music perhaps takes inspiration from all of that, and of course the whole world of progressive rock.

The record is a unit of well composed musical material which is performed on various instruments and shows different aspects of life. A few songs have lyrics and they are good, but not what's making the album special. My favourite tracks are the first: "Aleatorica"(10/10) which gives a little of everything, "D'Ale" where I guess I hear bag pipes in a mediaval harmony(10/10) and "Whirlabout" which is amongst the album's most glamorous and symphonic(10/10). Almost as good are "Gnome in a bathroom"(9/10) and "Solar cydes"(9/10), also medieval. I wouldn't say that any song here lacks interest and they become as their best if you listen to them together.

I look forward to hear more from Karfagen, they seem to have made an album even this year 2014. I also like the cover of "Aleatorica" with a lot of pictures, which aren't very symphonic but quite pretty. Aleatorica is a fine 4/5 record which I recommend!

 Magician's Theater by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.79 | 93 ratings

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Magician's Theater
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by CAERLLYSI

5 stars The new "Symphorock Adventure" AKP heralds another instrumental masterpiece from the musical king from the east.

Two dynamically contrasting lead guitarists light the flames for the famous Kalugin keyboard sounds, add some brutal bass and drum sounds, gorgeous sax and flute and he has created the recipe for one hell of a fireball and an instrumental storm, musically its game on and Kalugin delivers majestically.

As ever with Kalugin, immense thought and detail goes into each album, "magicians " itself taking several years to complete. I first heard most of the tracks in the famous Kalugin demo format some 18 months ago and I am so excited that finally i can share this joy with you.

It's a musical fairytale played out within the mind with some of the most inventive, powerful and expressive tracks I have had the good fortune to be involved with, the as ice quality production creates a fitting atmosphere and platform which takes the listener on an exhilarating journey, satisfying even the most challenging of music minds, all of AKP music can be enjoyed on so many levels and are like an Aladdin's cave of melody and track composition.

Its a "Symphorock Adventure" which will give you so much enjoyment. I know you will continue to press that repeat button on your CD player - its Kalugin's finest statement yet and that's a huge endorsement in itself, enjoy folks - the hottest symphorock of 2014

Will - Caerllysi Music

 Lost Symphony by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.98 | 217 ratings

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Lost Symphony
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The natural follow up Lost symphony issued in 2011 after the top notch Solitary sandpiper journey, is no less awesome then the predecesor. Keeping the same attitude as before, with splendid passages where Antony Kalugin really shines on every tune, as rest of the musicians involved here. Another long album from Karfagen , over an hour, but is not a problem for me, the album is keeping me conected with every piece. This time all album is instrumental, that is for sure quite great, because the musicnship is excellent as the ideas. Divided in 3 parts, each part aswell divided in small little pieces that flows from one to another very well. The mood is great and is a damn fine captivating journey to my ears. I never though that I'll like so much Karfagen, to me is one of the most acomplished and inventive bands around in prog rock realm. Lots of tempo changes, lots of musical styles combined and melted together, but the result is simply said amazing. For instance the opening part The frog, the beast and the wizard with 6 pieces , really kick ass, going from sections that remind me of Gryphon to symphonic prog a la The Flower Kings (but 100 times more intresting then the sweds) , jazzy passages all with good sense , elegant and inventive. Again recommended, Karfagen , is for sure now, I mean in last years a driving force in prog, that every one intrested in style must check this band because they kick ass all the way. 4 stars easy, nice art work on this digipak.
 Solitary Sandpiper Journey by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.90 | 90 ratings

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Solitary Sandpiper Journey
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Karfagen from Ukraine is one of the best and most intresting bands I've ever heared in last years. Formed in 2002 by the prolific musician Antony Kalugin, Karfagen soon turned to be a real force in prog rock world, with 6 albums released so far. Solitary sandpiper journey from 2010 is a real gem of an album, here we have every ingredients to be a fairly solid and damn catchy album from first note to last. Antony Kalugin is a competend musician who really knew to compose an unforgetable release to my ears and I was very very pleasent surprised by this band when I've discovered them some years back through another bands where Antony Kalugin was involved Hoggwash and Sunchild. Karfagen music is quite complex with many instrumental passages going from symphonic prog with celtic elements thrown in to eclectic parts to jazzy interplayes and folky arranements all wraped in superb final product. Here we have lots of invited musicians, I guess around 20 , each one bringing a special mark to the album. Violins, cello, flute combined with traditional instruments, the result is impressive. Very good the vocal parts, while are not many, are very strong, Marina Zacharova is a very fine and smooth vocalist who fiting here like a glove in the music. All pieces are strong , no weak moments here, captivating instrumental sections, very original and intresting that only few bands are capable to offer in last years. For example ending track Mystery clocking around 23 min is killer, not else, Antony Kalugin is a genius and one important musicin in prog rock world in last years. The atmosphere and overall mood is brilliant.To me 4 stars easy and recommended, truly excellent album, from excellent art work to the music this is a gem.
 Lost Symphony by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.98 | 217 ratings

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Lost Symphony
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Antony Kalugin's impressive portfolio of musical projects threaten to position him as a Ukrainian answer to Steven Wilson - a prolific creative force capable of playing progressive and prog-influenced music in a variety of styles. Here, Kalugin - particularly in his keyboard playing - along with his musical collaborators offers a tribute to the symphonic prog of the past. Alongside Kalugin's delicate playing, Alexandr Pavlov also works in some rather enchanting classical guitar passages which remind me of some of Anthony Phillips' material on his Private Parts and Pieces albums.

If the band has a weakness, it's in editing and trimming the fat off their compositions, often allowing particular musical themes or sections of their compositions drag on somewhat longer than necessary to little useful aesthetic effect. Still, it's a competent job and makes me interested to hear other projects by Kalugin.

Thanks to chopper for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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