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KARFAGEN

Symphonic Prog • Ukraine


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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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Solitary Sandpiper JourneySolitary Sandpiper Journey
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$15.21
$9.15 (used)
Lost SymphonyLost Symphony
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Ais 2011
Audio CD$18.49
$27.54 (used)
Magician's TheaterMagician's Theater
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Caerllysi Music
Audio CD$19.25
$14.95 (used)
AleatoricaAleatorica
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Ais 2013
Audio CD$18.49
$13.33 (used)
ContiniumContinium
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Unicorn Digital 2006
Audio CD$22.74
$8.44 (used)
The Key To Perception - Early Days 1997-2007The Key To Perception - Early Days 1997-2007
Double CD · Import
Caerllysi Music
Audio CD$18.08
$14.95 (used)
The Space Between UsThe Space Between Us
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Unicorn Digital Inc. 2007
Audio CD$17.99
$13.98 (used)
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KARFAGEN discography


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

3.72 | 45 ratings
Continium
2006
3.10 | 42 ratings
The Space Between Us
2007
4.09 | 54 ratings
The Key to Perception
2009
3.94 | 80 ratings
Solitary Sandpiper Journey
2010
3.95 | 205 ratings
Lost Symphony
2011
3.86 | 99 ratings
Aleatorica
2013
3.69 | 88 ratings
Magician's Theater
2014

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

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

KARFAGEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Magician's Theater by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.69 | 88 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.

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 Magician's Theater by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.69 | 88 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.

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 Aleatorica by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.86 | 99 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!

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 Magician's Theater by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.69 | 88 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

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 Lost Symphony by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.95 | 205 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.

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 Solitary Sandpiper Journey by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.94 | 80 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.

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 Lost Symphony by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.95 | 205 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.

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 The Space Between Us by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.10 | 42 ratings

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The Space Between Us
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars After Karfagen debuted with ''Continium'', things were much easier for Antony Kalugin and everything started rolling.The next year he returned with another Karfagen album on Unicorn Digital, this time though he is accompanied be several guest musicians (except for the usual suspects Sergei Kovalev, Kostya Shepelenko and Oleg Polyanksiy) on guitars, bass, flutes and choirs, forming a 12-piece team.The new album carried the title ''The Space Between Us''.

While the first album of Karfagen was just an under-40 minutes introduction to its sound, now a more confident and secure Kalugin launched a release containing over an hour of diverse and creative Progressive Rock.Musically the style follows more or less the lines of debut, always led by Kalugin's accomplished keyboard textures and efficient composing, which blends Symphonic Progressive Rock with Jazz and Ethnic Music.Release by release, Karfagen seems the closest comparison to Fabio Zuffanti's project HOSTSONATEN.Kalugin uses the Prog fundamentals of grandiose orchestrations, Classical inspiration and rockin' attitude and mixes them with ethereal synth-drenched soundscapes, ethnic orientations or jazzy interludes, eventually creating a work full of rich instrumental nuances and flavors.Additionally the guest singers use their voices here and there mostly like an additional instrument with simplistic but nicely delivered choirs.The music remains melodic and dreamy all the way with a fair amount of heavier leanings to keep things balanced.Kalugin shines once more with his keyboard work, offering awesome piano preludes, massive organ runs or both bombastic and more relaxed synth waves.

Very talented composer and pretty nice instrumental Progressive Rock, which never forgets to rock a bit among the symphonic/folky arrangements through the use of electric guitars.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Continium by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.72 | 45 ratings

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Continium
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Karfagen is the name of the project that was first started in 1997 by Antony Kalugin whilst studying at architectural college in the Ukraine. He formed a band that played a few gigs but they soon fell apart with only Sergei Kovalev remaining with Antony. In 2002 Antony released a solo album and over the new few years either composed or performed on more than 40 albums which gave him the impetus to get back into the studio himself and the result is 'Continium'. This is mostly an instrumental album, with both Antony and Ikeg Polyanskiy providing keyboards and Koysta Shepelenko on drums, Sergei on accordion and then various guests providing bass, guitars etc.

This is a very dynamic album, obviously very keyboard oriented, which as well as hints of Camel also contains many folk influences. There are strange woodwind sounds to be heard, and the music is very heavily arranged with instruments moving in and out of the melody. If one was to guess which country the music originated from one would probably guess Eastern Europe, just from some of the nuances and touches, but that certainly isn't overpowering and the result is a well constructed instrumental album that at times has more than a hint of Karda Estra about it as well as some strong brass. www.unicorndigital.com

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 Aleatorica by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.86 | 99 ratings

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Aleatorica
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by MusicMike

5 stars Aleatoric is a term that is coined by musicians/composers like Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and Pierre Boulez in 1957 at the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt (Hessen/Germany). It is, to tell it most easy, music that lets you hear circular themes in music in different costumes. That is what Antony Kalugin does here with his band Karfagen. My opinion is, that this has a start in the Sandpiper-album where you can also listen to a kind of conceptional continuity (FZ) but on Aleactorica it is more intensiv. You have only to regular songs on this album, and "A day without rain" is my favorite (it reminds me to "Last minute on earth from the FloKi's). but also Mad dogs of destiny has high quality ? listen to the words listener! This album is coherent and has brilliant ideas of the composer and the band. Karfagen is build of most musicians from "Sunchild" and some of the songs are written by and with Sergii Kovalov (I think, he can play each instrument, but I only know by 7 of them). This album is made in the time of nearly 4 years and I think, they waiting is recompended. For everyone who likes conceptual records and new ideas in prog/rock music ? I advise this album to buy! Thankx Antony and Karfagen for the music!

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Thanks to chopper for the artist addition.

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