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Symphonic Prog • Ukraine

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Karfagen biography
KARFAGEN (meaning Carthago) is a symbol of glory and wisdom, a never-ending journey into the world of the forgotten past and unpredictable future.

KARFAGEN is the brainchild of multi-talented musician and composer, Antony Kalugin. The name was first used in 1997, when Antony formed a band at school. While he was studying at the architectural university a year later, he began to record the first Karfagen compositions in one of the local studios, and a few tracks from this period can be found on the `Key to Perception' compilation from 2009.

In 2005 Antony Kalugin with his assembled musicians went into the studio to record `Continium', the first Karfagen album, which led the band to sign with Unicorn Digital (Canada) the following year. It was highly acclaimed by listeners, which inspired Antony to continue his work and release a second album `The Space Between Us' in early 2007. Later that year he signed with Caerllysi Music (UK).

In order to expand the boundaries of the musical landscape, Antony often collaborated with many different unique musicians. Therefore, in 2011 on the `Lost Symphony' album, Roberto Diaz (Cuba) from ANIMA MUNDI took part as an additional guitarist; in 2013 on `Aleatorica', Tomek Mucha provided electric violin and Sergey Klevenskiy added clarinet, whistles and flutes. In 2014 Mathieu Spaeter appeared as a main guitarist on `Magicians Theatre' as well as Pascal Gutman playing some stick-bass on the `Yuletide' track.

Karfagen is mainly an instrumental band that shows imaginative use of keyboards and guitars, classical and ethnic instruments. Their style can be described as symphonic art-rock with a hint of new-age, folk, jazz-rock and neo-prog in places. Their influences are CAMEL, FOCUS, HAPPY THE MAN, GREENSLADE, THE FLOWER KINGS, UK and KAYAK.

Also inspired by the composers Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergei Prokofiev, Edward Grig and Pyotr Chaikovskiy, Antony's compositions are always well-constructed and thoughtful. The sound is enhanced by such instruments as oboe, bassoon, accordion, violin, cello, flutes, saxophone and pipes.

In addition to imaginative music, every Karfagen album cover is picturesque and charismatic in the tradition of the classic progressive rock era.

Antony doesn't stand still. On one hand, the sound of Karfagen is unique and recognisable, but on the other hand, with each consecutive album Antony brings something new and special, and always fresh and innovative. ...
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Imports 2016
Audio CD$10.49
$10.48 (used)
The Key To Perception - Early Days 1997-2007The Key To Perception - Early Days 1997-2007
Double CD · Import
Caerllysi Music
Audio CD$21.93
The Space Between UsThe Space Between Us
Unicorn Digital Inc. 2007
Audio CD$11.68
$8.84 (used)
Imports 2015
Audio CD$13.49
$13.48 (used)
Magicians TheaterMagicians Theater
JFK 2014
Audio CD$23.39
$45.36 (used)
Unicorn Digital 2006
Audio CD$19.99
$13.99 (used)
Audio CD$75.27
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Seven by Karfagen (CD, Sep-2015) USD $12.15 Buy It Now 13h 43m
KARFAGEN-SPEKTRA-JAPAN CD G35 USD $27.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Karfagen - Seven [New CD] UK - Import USD $15.12 Buy It Now 3 days
Karfagen - Seven [New CD] UK - Import USD $24.92 Buy It Now 3 days
Karfagen CD The Space Between Us 2007 Prog USD $15.00 Buy It Now 5 days
KARFAGEN - Continium - CD - **Excellent Condition** USD $34.95 Buy It Now 8 days
KARFAGEN-SPEKTRA-JAPAN CD G35 USD $120.22 Buy It Now 8 days
KARFAGEN - SEVEN NEW CD USD $20.92 Buy It Now 16 days
KARFAGEN - Continium - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $35.49 Buy It Now 18 days
KARFAGEN - SEVEN USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $17.99 Buy It Now 19 days
Karfagen - Spektra [New CD] UK - Import USD $14.40 Buy It Now 20 days
Karfagen - Spektra [New CD] UK - Import USD $14.66 Buy It Now 20 days
Karfagen - Spektra (CD Used Like New) USD $12.39 Buy It Now 21 days
Karfagen - Seven (CD Used Like New) USD $13.11 Buy It Now 21 days
KARFAGEN-SPEKTRA (UK) CD NEW USD $22.31 Buy It Now 21 days
KARFAGEN-SEVEN (UK) CD NEW USD $20.93 Buy It Now 22 days

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KARFAGEN discography

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

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

3.73 | 60 ratings
3.15 | 56 ratings
The Space Between Us
3.90 | 99 ratings
Solitary Sandpiper Journey
3.99 | 229 ratings
Lost Symphony
3.86 | 107 ratings
3.80 | 103 ratings
Magician's Theater
3.88 | 119 ratings
3.88 | 65 ratings
4.01 | 76 ratings
Messages from Afar: First Contact

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

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

4.40 | 5 ratings
Breaking Free Tour Live by AKP (Karfagen / Sunchild)

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

4.13 | 55 ratings
The Key to Perception

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

4.50 | 6 ratings
Seven Gates


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spektra by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.88 | 65 ratings

Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Although I reviewed the debut album from Antony Kalugin under the Karfagen name a few years ago, I hadn't heard anything since, and this 2016 album was his eighth studio release. Over the last few years I have been listening to a great deal of Camel, especially 'Snow Goose' which has become one of my "go to" albums, and my initial reaction was that this had a great deal of similarities in some ways. Then add in some classical guitar, which in style is very reminiscent of Antony Phillips and early Steve Hackett, and one is starting to get incredibly interested in what is going on musically. There are some incredibly delicate sections in the album, with beautiful violin, and it feels very much as if this is a band as opposed to one musician then employing another 15 to help him complete his vision.

The tempos mix and change, the arrangements are complex and layered, yet one never feels stifled in what is going on. There is still light and space within the music, enough room to move without becoming suffocated. Although Antony has some obvious influences, he has definitely just taken these as a starting point and then moved on, definitely making the style his own. Heavily Seventies influenced in both sounds and styles (love the Mellotrons and Moogs), this is an incredibly easy album to listen to and enjoy as it is so accessible. Well worth investigation.

 Messages from Afar: First Contact by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.01 | 76 ratings

Messages from Afar: First Contact
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by ale73

4 stars I knew this band (and the other project named "Sunchild" by the mastermind Antony Kalugin) only recently at a festival in Italy. So I cannot say I have followed their evolution so far. Anyway I listened to almost all their music now and I must say that what strikes most is their eclecticism: even though their sound is perfectly recognizable, you can find in it classic prog with many shades of folk, jazz, even some new wave...p In this record I would say the bearing structure is made of symphonic prog. The album begins with "First contact" and both the voice and the guitar sound remind me of David Gilmour (I dare to say Pink Floyd 90's era). But it is only the first section of the song, that soon developes into something different: a long instrumental part and then again some great guitar moments. This emotional rollercoaster will be a constant throughout all the album.p Other strong dish is the trio "Faces in the clouds"/"Vale of dreams"/"Golden fields of rye". The three songs flow as they were one single piece of music (at least it is my feeling) but in this streaming I can find several moods and emotions: everything is in its right place, from an astonishing guitar work to some delicate piano and sax interludes.p The record ends up with the longest track, the 15-minute long "Constant flow". Despite its name, the song is not so "constant", but it is an intricacy of different melodies, among which stand out some Genesis influences (or again it is my feeling). The closure is a sort of reprise of the Pinkfloydesque initial tunes.p I think in this record they focused mainly on the richness, warmth and complexity of the music, more than on some musical research like in other Karfagen works, and from this point of view the result has been perfectly achieved. Everything sounds very warm and emotional, and it is not always common when you play this kind of music. Special mentions for the guitar musicianship, with a lot of different and intricate tunes but always focused on the feelings, and for the wonderful cover art. I know there will be a continuation of this concept in the new Sunchild opus; I am looking forward to listening to it.p
 Messages from Afar: First Contact by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.01 | 76 ratings

Messages from Afar: First Contact
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

3 stars One of Antony Kalugin's 2017 releases. Apparently it's a companion to a soon-to-be-released SUNCHILD album.

1. "First Contact" (7:14) a trip-hoppy David Gilmour song?! That's exactly what the opening music and vocal sound like. After the vocals have played out and the vast instrumental mid-section takes over, it sounds a little more original with some nice non-Gilmourian guitar work from Max Velychko. The chunky fretless-sounding bass throughout is nice. (8.5/10)

2. "Foreign Land" (7:23) bass and sax are the featured instruments over the first ninety seconds of this one as the rest of the band supports by helping to create a kind of spacey, jazzy PINK FLOYD sound. This is even more strongly developed as the song goes on, as the electric guitar solo screams and wails. At the end of the fourth minute things quiet down so that a flute can solo. But then the guitar takes over again and everybody amps up their volumes in support. Unfortunately, nothing very special happens here--save for the Pink Floyd reminders. (7.5/10)

3. "Curious Talk" (3:30) nice easy listening lounge adult contemporary jazz music; nothing very proggy or barely even NeoProggy here. (7/10)

4. "Volcano Rabbit & The Frog" (5:33) some cool IQ-like keyboard sounds and synth work here but that's really what the song feels like: a straightforward set up for supporting showy guitar and keyboard solos. (8/10)

5. "Faces In The Clouds (3:08) spacious slow music that helps support some nice synthesizer and guitar work--probably my favorite sounds and feels, both in the solo instrumentation as well as the support tapestry. I haven't heard this wonderful guitar sound since PAUL SPEER was using it in the 1990s. Piano opening with synth "violins" joining in for the intro before drums and bass jump in and the music falls into line like an good World Music/soft jazz/New Age song from the 1990s. The overall weave and sound palette here is actually quite nice, quite workable. (9/10)

6. "Vale Of Dreams (8:34) virtually a continuation of the previous song with synth-created orchestral and vocal instruments joining into the weave. Again, the Paul Speer guitar sound is used--which I can't seem to help enjoying. Max actually does some really nice soloing here in that second minute. Tempo shift and disco bass at the 2:30 mark should derail my enjoyment but it doesn't. The FIXX-like work in the fourth minute is a bit odd but they make it work okay. Frequent returns to the guitar-led, synth-choral supported melody helps keep me engaged, to be sure. Definitely a brain worm of a melody. The sax in the final two minutes is tolerable. (Not a sax fan.) (9/10)

7. "Golden Fields Of Rye (2:15) bleeds over from the previous song, carrying the main melody, but using a piano and more sparsely instrumented base for support. Pretty enough. (8/10)

8. "Riding On A Rainbow (2:53) the same melody of the previous two songs shifted over to a different group of instruments and woven in with harmonizing second and third instrumental tracks. I'm glad Antony realized that he had, in fact, created quite a nice melody--enough so to try it in a variety of settings and soundscapes. I suppose the listener should have been notified of the "suite" nature of the past four songs. (8/10)

9. "Constant Flow (15:45) multiple tracks weaving together variations on a nice melody. At times in the first few minutes there is a very familiar feeling and sound here--like it's from Todd Rundgren's UTOPIA's "The Ikon," but then it switches to more GENESIS territory (despite the heavy use of "horns" sounds). Again, I wish these compositions weren't so familiar sounding, that they had more fresh, innovative energy to them. Pure Neo Prog if only because of the use and imitation of old sounds and styles. Nothing very special here. (7.5/10)

Antony's projects are always pleasant and sophisticated. My biggest complaint is the use of what feels and sounds like 1990s equipment and sound standards and rarely creating songs that sound innovative or boundary-pushing.

3.5 stars; an album that lovers of old sounds and Neo Prog will probably really enjoy.

 Messages from Afar: First Contact by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.01 | 76 ratings

Messages from Afar: First Contact
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by proghaven

4 stars To begin with: amazing, fantastic, absolutely superb musicianship of the guitarist. This is the first impression from the album. The music bears a faint resemblance to Space Circus and maybe also another Japanese prog fusion band, Kennedy. Unfortunately, when they sing (what occurs, let's say, not too often), they sing in English. There's nothing to be done, I strongly prefer native languages, my apologies. However their English is good (I asked specialists). Not sure that Karfagen provides a correct idea of Ukrainian prog scene/school as a whole. In other words, not sure that Karfagen is representative enough for Ukrainian prog. But anyway this band is very interesting. Golden Fields of Rye reminds me not of real fields of rye (which, I believe, are indeed as golden in Ukraine as in my home village near Borovsk) but rather of water-flooded green fields of rice in Karakalpakstan (before the shrinking of Aral). The final 16-minute track is expected to be an epic but in actual fact breaks the prog standards for constructing epic suites appearing to be no more than just a very long - and very enjoyable - instrumental piece.
 Messages from Afar: First Contact by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.01 | 76 ratings

Messages from Afar: First Contact
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by Han

4 stars The musicly masterbrain Anthony Kalugin has done it again! His child Karfagen grew and grew and reached the point of being adolescent. What a fine album this has become. Ive seen Anthony play live wirh Kargagen/Sunchild at the Progdreams V festival at culuurpodium Boerderij Zoetermeer, Netherlands. Line-up Focus, Mastery, Dave Kerzner, District97 and others. Mindblowing live performance, great musicianship by all members of the band. They deserve to be headliner someday! If you like instrumental prog this new album is a must have. Listen and close your eyes and drift away into a world of messages from afar and make first contact with Karfagen.
 Messages from Afar: First Contact by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.01 | 76 ratings

Messages from Afar: First Contact
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by Cylli Kat (0fficial)

4 stars Okay, my bad... (Really, really, really bad)... Usually, I will ALWAYS adhere to the listen and delete after 24 hours rule...

Four days later... This is still blaring through my stereo... I think (correction: KNOW) I'm going to have to shell out the money for this... Think: Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse of Reason Part II... But, decidedly different... There are some guitar and compositional bits that so remind me of David Gilmour, Steve Hackett, and then, some bits that remind me of Steve Howe... The album starts of with a vibe of "Learning to Fly", and moves on almost into a mid-period Yes... I'm much better with a guitar than words... All I can tell you is that this is a high quality album, and well worth your time..

I'm a guitar player, and a horrible reviewer of albums... (Sorry)... BUT: I know what I like; and I love this!!! If you can find it, give this a test run...

Well worth the time and money...

As always, your actual mileage may vary...

Grace and peace, Cylli (Jim Calistro)

4.62 on the progarchives score I love this, you may not...

 Messages from Afar: First Contact by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.01 | 76 ratings

Messages from Afar: First Contact
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by MalenaRoss

5 stars Our world is quite wonderful in oh so many different varieties: feelings and smells, colors and emotions - all that are in our daily life can also appear in music. All these emotions and feelings you can "taste" when listening to Karfagen's album "Messages from Afar: First Contact". This opus is full of haunting popular motives. With Karfagen's unique individual harmonies and complexity within its compositional structures. From the very first heartbeat it's music takes you to another reality a different plain, where you so easily greet the sky and brush the wind, crossing the night skyline. You are astonished by the evolving change of picturesque landscapes. Ascensional lines of bass with syncopate guitars alternate with magic saxophone and much more mysterious voices from vale of dreams and golden fields of rye. Whilst the music rocks nothing can disturb your flight. However, when the travelling finally ends your mind is fully loaded like a rainbow in the brightest sky: boundless thoughts - that brings us so many messages from afar?Highly recommend to listening!
 Messages from Afar: First Contact by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.01 | 76 ratings

Messages from Afar: First Contact
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by GarfunkelSi

5 stars The territory of good progressive rock can be easy described as the country of "unspeackable intelligence". The number of albums that might be described this way growes faster and faster last years. There is a few among them that can satisfy me completely. Because the obvious lack of long-term promotion, new Karfagen release "Messages from afar: first contact" can be surprise for you. It was announced as the extremely melodic instrumental symphonic prog and this description perfectly fits the album. Let's look closer now. The album divided into three parts ? messages. First track of the first of them opens the album and reveals the general intro ? kinda announcing the concept that lies ahead. That is the only informative vocal fragment and it is very important for album structure. After the intro makes step beyond, the optimistic and calming movements from the "First contact", the title song, take the scene. Here is a lot of key and guitar melodies, structured with the strong rhythm. Typical Karfagenic sound, similar in some points to "The Seven Gates" from "7" sounds solemn until the fading. After that new bass rhythm arises with the start of "Foreign land" ? a lot of leading saxophone and guitar, enriched with numerous instruments and harmonic phrases. A lot of "sound gaps" inserted in general scheme reveal the strong rhythmic basement of the song. The first message finishes with short but well-ballanced "Curious talk". On the one hand, the song is energetic and major; on the other one, it sounds very carefull, as the final of album part should. The second message starts with a-capella saxophone, that reveals the contouring structure of message II. "Volcano rabbit and the Frog" is probably the most dynamic and techno-aggressive part of the album. In some movements it brings us back to the "Magician's theater". It is quite predictible because of the Frog semantic of the song title. The images, delivered by the "Faces in the Cloud", the next song, reminds us another part of Antony Kalugin discography. It also has a few transmissions to the "First contact" and developes themes from the previous track so it's quite informative for three minutes. The central part of message II shows the main theme on the background, while the song texture filled with a lot of different movements, including cosmic sounds and saxophone solos. "Golden Fields of Rye" after that appears as light and calm song, which drives us to the end of message II ? "Riding on a rainbow". This part is the conclusion of all previous ones in cosmic manner. It also finishes the contouring of the message II with final saxophone sound. Third message consists one track ? "Constant flow". This is the most fragmented song of the album, which combines different dynamic movements in flow of energetic and melodic sounds changing. It finishes with vocal fragment, that closes the general contouring structure of the album and makes the first cycle of messages complete. There is some details that can be improved. Probably, the promotion is among them. There also is some defects on the songs and movements connection and transitions. I wish it to be more fluent. But it means nothing comparing to great quality of the album. To conclude, Messages from Afar is wonderful instanse of symphonic prog. It is intelligent, smart, perfectly ballanced and sounds awesome. It has interesting inner and outer structure and a lot of transmissions. Finally, the design of new album is also great. Thanks, Karfagen! I definitely recommend to listen and enjoy it.
 Spektra by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.88 | 65 ratings

Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

2 stars I came to this group attracted by the reviews. Well, the review I must say, because there is only one so far, absolutely flattering. I like to taste prog music from East Europe countries because they still have musical motifs that are not common to western listeners, and this is always a blow of fresh air. However, this time I have to say I was very disappointed. Listened the album twice, just in case the first time I lost myself, but ? It is like a salad with no dressing. Lots of bits without any structure or theme underneath. Tasteless, no changes of rhythm, no impressive musicianship, no composition or musicality, nothing to remember. It is close to ambient music, the kind of stuff you would pick if you don't want to be distracted by the music. At times close to new age music in the early 90's, at times music for elevators... Can't give it more than 2. I've scored the same to regular albums of major acts and they were far better than this. Sorry men, I don't see any inspiration here.
 Spektra by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.88 | 65 ratings

Karfagen Symphonic Prog

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

5 stars Ukranian multi-instrumentalist Antony Kalugin is one of the proud modern flagbearers of the symphonic prog sound, and his Karfagen project has delivered a string of eclectic and colourful works in that style that mix vocals and luxurious instrumentation for many years now. But every once in a while, Antony and his musical collaborators deliver a purely instrumental grand work, with 2011's `Lost Symphony' being particularly special, and 2014's `Magician's Theater' a heavier one, but here he returns to that initial approach for late 2016's `Spektra', and it is without question their most wondrous artistic achievement under the Karfagen banner to date.

`Spektra' is keyboard-dominated symphonic music often accompanied by exotic instruments such as accordion, flute and violin, and it calls to mind everything from The Enid, `Snow Goose'-era Camel, the early Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips solo albums, Gryphon and Pink Floyd, as well as modern influences like the Flower Kings and the Ayreon project in its occasional heavier bursts. Running just over an hour, the album is split into three multi-part suites each running between fourteen and twenty-four minutes, the whole resembling a continuous concept piece, although the sparse CD packaging doesn't state implicitly that it is (and there's no CD booklet either) in this instance.

The opening title track of `Phase 1' introduces the disc with a massive fanfare of alternating guitar and keyboard grand themes - some mysterious, some darker and dramatic, but all truly magical. It's peppered with David Gilmour-esque guitar strains, a touch of E.L.P-like vigour, sparkling piano and some drowsy guitar strums in the opening minutes that almost sound like they're right off Porcupine Tree's `Sky Moves Sideways'. The suite proceeds to dash through a series of shorter interludes, which finds `Troy' starting as a warmer acoustic reflection flecked with the lightest of unease before rising in power with some snarling bluster, and `Transaleatorica II' adds a touch of classical piano, spooky Mellotron choirs and Moog bubbliness that could have popped up on Bo Hansson's `Lord of the Rings' album alongside some dashing harpsichord. The closest the album comes to a vocal piece is the booming Latin choir around swooning violins of `Terra Incognita', `Celebration' is a victorious electric guitar and shimmering Hammond organ theme, `Homonymous (Part 1)' offers Genesis/Steve Hackett-like classical guitar prettiness, and `Angel Tears' closes the first set on a spooky Mellotron lament.

`Phase 2' encompasses the four part, twenty-one minute `Olympia' movement. `Zeus' is a brash, up-tempo and bombastic heavy symphonic blast frequently in the E.L.P tradition with plentiful aggressive keyboard soloing, while the quirky and gently dangerous `Dionis' lovingly recaptures that breezy and rollicking seafaring sound that permeated Roine Stolt's underappreciated water-themed `Hydrophonia' solo disc from 1998 in between bouts of electronic weirdness. `Poseidon' brings relentless guitar bursts, fluid bass leaps and bashing drums, `Aurora' offers plenty of reprising electric guitar themes, sighing female wordless harmonies and some Flower Kings-like unexpected psychedelic touches, and the section closes on a delicate Steve Hackett-like acoustic reprise of `Homonymous' from earlier in the disc.

`Dios Pyros' opens the third `Phase' as a whirring accordion and synth fanfare, then `Natural Charm' is a classy symphonic piece highlighted by lightly jazzy and beautifully romantic piano runs and gorgeous flute playing in the winning Camel tradition. `Eye Witness' is a wistful and ghostly interlude, and the contemplative and deeply moving album closer `Juggler And The Cloud' (which the CD proudly boasts as being recorded in the studio live!) casually comes to life with swooning prettiness yet great dignified restraint, and it might be one of the most truly beautiful moments to ever appear on a Karfagen disc - what a way to end such a wonderful disc!

So there you go, folks - modern symphonic prog works don't get much more exquisite, rich and impeccably performed than `Spektra', a disc that would make for the perfect introduction to Antony Kalugin's works for newcomers to look into. It sits alongside Monarch Trail's `Sand', Cellar Noise's `Alight' and Barock Project's `Detachment' as one of the finest symphonic works of the last twelve months, and also serves as one of the greatest discs under the Karfagen name to date.

Five stars - symphonic listeners are in for a real treat!

Thanks to chopper for the artist addition. and to Michael Hodgson (Aussie-Byrd-Brother) for the last updates

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