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KARNATAKA

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Karnataka biography
Following in the wake of Mostly Autumn, Karnataka aim to synthesise traditional Celtic music with melodic Progressive rock. Formed in the mid 90's, the original line-up of the Swansea based band included Rachel Jones (vocals), Ian Jones (bass), Jonathan Edwards (keyboards), Paul Davis (guitars) and Gavin Griffiths (drums), with Steve Simmons guesting on Saxophone.

Their eponymous debut demonstrated the bands capability in creating romantic, melodic, Camelesque and Floydian soundscapes, laced throughout with strong folk and Celtic influences (enhanced through the use of flute). These often atmospheric ambiences provide a backdrop for the beautiful, haunting voice of Rachel Jones; again reminiscent of Mostly Autumn's Heather Findlay, both in terms of her range, and in the harmonies she is able to create. The consequence is that Karnataka may be compared favourably with bands such as Enya, Clannad & Iona, and would be recommended for fans of those bands.

After two further studio albums; The Storm (2000) and Delicate Flame of Desire (2003), key members of the band broke away to form or work with other projects. By the time Rachel Jones (Cohen) had joined 'The Reasoning' in time to add her vocals to their 2007 debut Awakening, Jonathan Edwards, Paul Davis and Gavin Griffiths had already broken away to form 'Panic Room' with Anne-Marie Helder, who had performed backing vocals on Delicate Flame.

Sole survivor Ian Jones however has recently resurrected Karnataka with a new line-up consisting of Lisa Fury (vocals), Ian Harris (drums), Gonzalo Carerra (keyboards) & Enrico Pinna (lead & acoustic guitars). Having recently started touring together, the new band are also writing material for a new studio album, 'Chasing The Monsoon' which is set for a Spring 2009 release, and will include an appearance by Troy Donockley.

:::: Bio written by Jared, aka Fandango, Herefordshire, UK ::::



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KARNATAKA Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy KARNATAKA Music


New Light: Live in ConcertNew Light: Live in Concert
Import
Immrama Records 2012
Audio CD$12.54
$16.61 (used)
Delicate Flame of DesireDelicate Flame of Desire
Import
Immramma UK 2003
Audio CD$12.82
$10.07 (used)
Gathering LightGathering Light
Import
VOICEPRINT UK 2010
Audio CD$14.32
$75.31 (used)
StormStorm
Import
Immramma UK 2003
Audio CD$12.31
$15.98 (used)
Strange Behaviour LiveStrange Behaviour Live
Import
Immramma UK 2004
Audio CD$29.69
KarnatakaKarnataka
Import
Immramma UK 2003
Audio CD$471.60 (used)
Live In The USALive In The USA
Classic Rock Legends/Ka 2003
DVD$80.25
$99.99 (used)
In ConcertIn Concert
Classic Rock Legends 2002
DVD$73.95
$55.55 (used)
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KARNATAKA discography


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

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

3.43 | 16 ratings
Karnataka
1998
3.49 | 38 ratings
The Storm
2000
3.30 | 54 ratings
Delicate Flame Of Desire
2003
3.51 | 127 ratings
The Gathering Light
2010

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

4.41 | 11 ratings
Strange Behaviour
2004
4.33 | 3 ratings
New Light Live in Concert
2012

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

4.00 | 3 ratings
In Concert
2002
4.28 | 6 ratings
Live In The USA
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
New Light Live in Concert
2012

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

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

KARNATAKA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Gathering Light by KARNATAKA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.51 | 127 ratings

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The Gathering Light
Karnataka Prog Folk

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The gathering light is the forth album of this UK act, released in 2010 with an almost completly new line-up. Sole survivor Ian Jones recruted new musicians and they compose and performed this album taht is to me almost same as previous one, in manner of composing, only that is some sections, some arrangements are little more up tempo and with more electronic keyboards added in the mix. Still is very melodic, pleasent and accesible kind of prog. This is no better no worse then Delicate, I like both albums almost equaly. Pieces like State of Grace or The Serpent and the Sea are instanly catchy and has all the ingredients to be great tunes, both are excellent performed, with top notch musicianship. Some fantastic keyboards and guitars on State of grace, maybe the best track of the album. The new voice who appears here, of Lisa Fury is more then ok, but I like more Rachel, she had a more deeper profound type of voice then Lisa, but in the end this is more then ok vocal lines. All in all decent towards great in places, Karnataka proved with each album, despite the line up problems, that is a band to watch in the future, they had enjoyble, pleasent and warm music to offer. 3-3.5 stars. For fans of Iona, Mostly Autumn and alike.

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 Delicate Flame Of Desire by KARNATAKA album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.30 | 54 ratings

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Delicate Flame Of Desire
Karnataka Prog Folk

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Karnataka is a progressive folk/celtic band from UK with 4 albums released so far. Delicate flame of desire is their third album and I think , at least for me their best. Also this is their final album with original line-up, the female vocalist Rachel Jones will join The Reasoning on the first album, the rest of the musicians minus Ian Jones - the keyboardist Jonathan Edwards and the drumer Gavin Griffiths will form later on the band Panic Room. As the title implies the album is very delicate, gentle with many melodic lines, the voice of Rachel Jones being quite intresing and catchy specially on Time Stands Still. The music is moderatly complicated with celtic and folk passages, remind me of Iona or Mostly Autumn. A pleasent album with enough memorable arrangements to be intrsting for most of the prog listners. Nice instrumental sections combined with dreamy vocal lines Delicate flame of desire is a good album for sure. 3-3.5 stars for this one.

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 The Gathering Light by KARNATAKA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.51 | 127 ratings

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The Gathering Light
Karnataka Prog Folk

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Waiting and waiting (and waiting) for the tide to fall...

After the band's dissolution five years ago Karnataka regroup with a lineup built almost from scratch.

The Good: If you are looking for an introduction to the world of modern Progressive Folk then this is a good place to start. The album kicks off with a short instrumental, sounding like a cross between Lord of the Rings and Braveheart, before moving onto the main event, State of Grace. For me, this is the highlight of the whole album and flows effortlessly, with brilliant guitar and keyboards combining throughout in a style that is as symphonic as it is folk. Other standout tracks include The Serpent and the Sea, The Gathering Light and Forsaken which features some excellent drumming from new member Ian Harris.

The Bad: The lyrics are very basic and incredibly repetitive. To put this into context; if I had a pound for every time I heard the words "into the gathering light" then just listening to the title track would make me exactly Ģ43 richer! Clocking in at the just over 68 minutes the album is also far too long and a bit of quality control (read: ditch Your World and Moment in Time) would not go amiss.

The Verdict: As warm and welcoming as its artwork.

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 The Gathering Light by KARNATAKA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.51 | 127 ratings

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The Gathering Light
Karnataka Prog Folk

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

1 stars It's that time when I start thinking about albums of the year but ''The Gathering Light'' won't be making my shortlist that's for sure, unless it's as the most disappointing release of 2010. After reading a number of reviews across the internet I had great expectations of this album being a bit of a modern classic, blending Celtic elements with progressive music. Also, a couple of my friends here at ProgArchives have already rated the album highly but I'm afraid I don't share any of this enthusiasm for it. Sorry, guys.

I haven't heard any of Karnataka's other albums but the prog quotient on this one seems to be borderline at best and the folk influence is pretty well non-existent into the bargain, unless you count the intermittent use of uillean pipes and whistles.

Camel seems to be an influence but Karnataka's melodies just don't cut it. Several songs actually remind me of the Evanescence ballad ''My Immortal'' and that's another problem here, the lack of any great variety between tracks. To me this sounds like an insipid collection of songs with formulaic arrangements, fairly rudimentary drumming and incessant piercing guitar solos.

If it's New Age/ Celtic folk you're after then I'd recommend Enya. Titter ye not, Enya is a wonderful musician and songwriter. If you need convincing just listen to ''Watermark'', a truly progressive and groundbreaking album from 22 years ago! ''The Gathering Light'' sounds like muzak in comparison.

The running time of this disc is a bit over an hour but, honestly, listening to this seems longer than spending a week in the jail. My first 1-star rating, 'nuff said?

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 Karnataka by KARNATAKA album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.43 | 16 ratings

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Karnataka
Karnataka Prog Folk

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars Now that also Heather Findlay has left the Mostly Autumn I was looking for a band able to replace them in my preferences and thanks to PA I discovered this South-Welsh band. My first impression with this debut album was that they are closer to neo-prog bands like Marillion than to Mostly Autumn. Of course Rachel Jones can remind to Mostly Autumn, but there's not that obstinate attempt to sound like David Gilmour that's typical of Bryan Josh. They also don't have the celtic riffs of the first MA albums.

In brief they are different.

Try to imagine Steve Hogarth singing instead of Rachel and if you don't consider a slow song like "Until Next Time" that's effectively very close to Mostly Autumn,they could be the Marillion of the first Hogarth's period.

Said so, is this a good album? I think yes. It's a debut, it's well played and it's promising.

I need to listen to more of them but this CD makes me wishing to try more.

3 stars by now.

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 The Gathering Light by KARNATAKA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.51 | 127 ratings

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The Gathering Light
Karnataka Prog Folk

Review by Theo Verstrael

4 stars It was a long wait, as this album was announced as far back as the start of 2009, but at last we can enjoy it. Or undergo it, it just depends if you like Judy Tzuke. Judy Tzuke? Well, for me Liza Fury is an good choice to replace the unreplacable Rachel Jones and she really delivers very good vocals on this album, but she simply sounds like Judy Tzuke. And that does not fit in quite well with Karnataka's spherical music, to my taste. And I really liked Judie Tzuke back then! But let's start from the beginning. The album opens with a short track that has no other meaning than to set the stage. In fact it is really superfluous, it does not add anything new neither does it irritate. Then the band really bursts out in 'The state of grace', a beautifully crafted instrumental. Well, it could have been if the band had decided to split it in half and record two shorter instrumental pieces. Because the break halfway the song is so horrible, so ugly, so non-melodic, it is unbelievable that they recorded it this way. Before this horrendous break the song is gentle and slowpaced, after the break there is some loud guitar playing that really caresses the ears. It could have been a classic, it is not now. 'Moment in time' is one of my favourites. The vocal line is beautifully crafted and strongly sung, the chorus is touching and it has the perfect length. The long pieces are a bit too long as they are quite repetitive in some parts, especially the end section of the title track. All other tracks on the album are actually quite beautiful and rather quiet, although the guitar playing can be loud in times. The overall sound is slightly more dreamy, even more symphonic than 'Delicate flame of flowers' which makes sense now that a fully new band is playing. The addition of Donockley's pipes is absolutely superb and gives the music the folky element that is probably not very necessary but yet very nice to listen too.

All in all I really like this album but I can't enjoy it as much as I did 'Delicate'. I discovered the band by that last-mentioned album and was completely blown away. This rendition of Karnataka is promising, especially in its symphonic moments, but it should never play those ugly breaks again as in 'State of grace'. And they do have a new lead singer as Liza Fury left the band after recording this album. 4 stars

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 The Gathering Light by KARNATAKA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.51 | 127 ratings

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The Gathering Light
Karnataka Prog Folk

Review by Machauer

2 stars This is my very first contact with Karnataka but I have to agree with the only reviewer (if i've seen correctly) who gave this album a bad rating that The Gathering Light is not prog in any way.

I do listen to quite a lot of neo-prog but this is even cheesier than the cheesiest of neo-prog. Magenta could be a good example of modern prog (with female voice) that stands on the borderline between prog and debatable-prog, but this album has nothing in common with progressive rock.

Nothing challenging, nothing complex. Just some new-age-ish music with sterile guitar solos and an overly emphatic voice (beautiful in its way). The band might have a chance at Eurovision, and the vocalist could easely perform in trance music.

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 Delicate Flame Of Desire by KARNATAKA album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.30 | 54 ratings

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Delicate Flame Of Desire
Karnataka Prog Folk

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This band is often compared to MOSTLY AUTUMN and IONA, I suppose because it's Folky with a female vocalist. No Celtic flavour here but like IONA there is some good atmosphere on this album, just not nearly enough. For me this is a little too sweet if you know what I mean.

"Karnataka" is the opening instrumental with lots of atmosphere early and some vocal melodies 2 minutes in. Drums late. "Time Stands Still" features some guest vocals from Heather Findlay (MOSTLY AUTUMN). I like the bass in this one more than anything else. "Delicate Flame Of Desire" has laid back vocals early with bass and drums. Guitar before 3 minutes and even better guitar 4 minutes in that goes on and on. "After The Rain" is more of the same really but brighter.

"Strange Behaviour" opens with atmosphere and wind as vocals join in. This is fairly mellow with a beat and vocals. "The Right Time" opens with vocals and a beat. It's fuller before 1 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue. Not a fan. "One Breath Away" opens with samples followed by a catchy beat (gasp) with vocals. "Out Of Reach" features strummed guitar and vocals. Not a fan. "Heart Of Stone" opens with atmosphere as vocals join in. Guitar 3 minutes in. Not a fan of the sound after 5 minutes. Vocals and a fuller sound before 7 1/2 minutes.

I feel like this deserves 3 stars but must admit i'm disappointed overall.

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 The Gathering Light by KARNATAKA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.51 | 127 ratings

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The Gathering Light
Karnataka Prog Folk

Review by Katsuhisa

5 stars I have become the member of this website just because I wanted to let everybody know that the new album from KARNATAKA is an excellent prog album. For 32 years I have been a prog rock fan and their The Gathering Light is surely one of my 20 best favorite prog albums. When I was at a prog rock CD store a few months ago, I was struck by the CAMEL-type beautiful guitar tune (that was "Forsaken") and I found myself having the CD in my hand in 10 seconds or so. Since then I have been amazed until now with the graceful guitar tunes of this Gathering Light. It is so perfect that there is no "B-side" song. "State Of Grace" sounds like Andy Latimer playing with Rick Wakeman, and the other songs are also much melodic. If you are fan of CAMEL, PINK FLOYD, SEBASTIAN HARDIE, AMAROK (from Porland), I recommend that you should get the CD.

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 The Gathering Light by KARNATAKA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.51 | 127 ratings

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The Gathering Light
Karnataka Prog Folk

Review by Gandalfino

1 stars DEAR PROG REVIEWERS, PLEASE WAKE UP!!!

Iīm just listening new album of Karnataka third time and reading recent reviews of it at the same time. And till all is blue I wonder... (Maybe Iīm listening different CD? Maybe I donīt tune in to "possitive vibrations"?)

Sorry, I canīt be in cahoots with others and I must to give low rating. There is my reasons:

1. Preamble: I think this IS NOT PROGROCK, maybe Prog pop...

2. Syrup tunes (but forgettable, paradox!) comparing to Blackmoreīs Night or even Enya. (Gosh! Blackmoreīs Night is on this site too, wow!)

3. General sound is very flat, therefore each song is similar to each other. No rhythm changes, no crescendos, no musical surprise! (By the way, thatīs basic elements of a structure of Progressive Rock!)

4. Guitar solos is all alike. Protracted, boring, without ideas... trust me, itīs my ears torture!

5. Vocals are so inexpressive and tearful, as well as lyrics.

6. The bass is very soft and flat. I like hard, compact bass sound - if not the case itīs not rock music.

7. Long compositions are counterproductive here - because where is no idea, nor the Death donīt takes...

Look! Attention! Isnīt your Idol a little bit swinging?

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