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CARPTREE

Neo-Prog • Sweden


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Carptree picture
Carptree biography
Founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 1997

Lifeˇlong - adjective
lasting or continuing through all or much of one's life

Friendˇship - noun
1. the state of being a friend; association as friends: to value a person's friendship.
2. a friendly relation or intimacy.
3. friendly feeling or disposition.

The Swedish band Carptree are lifelong friends (Niclas Flinck and keyboardist Carl Westholm) who in 1997 decided 'to combine good, and sometimes catchy, melodies with more dramatic and progressive arrangements.' In 2001 they released their self-titled debut to some mixed reviews. Some felt that they were a talented band, but others felt they relied too heavily on programmed synths. Their follow-up of Superhero in 2003, however, was a bit more accessible and appealed to fans of Genesis and Fish-era Marillion alike, while flirting with spacier textures in the form of Porcupine Tree.

In 2005, Carptree took on a much darker tone with Man Made Machine. It still had that neo touch, but dabbled on what some have described as art rock. As with Superhero, No Future Orchestra (Ulf Edelönn, Stefan Fandén, Jejo Perkovic, Cia Backman, Jonas Waldefeldt) are brought in and lends a true feeling of a band.

2007 proved to be a pivotal year with the release of Insekt, with (again) the help of the No Future Orchestra. Additionally, Carptree played their first ever gig together as a band at ROSFest 2007, which surely opened them up to an even bigger audience.

Eric Walker

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SubimagoSubimago
Reingold Records 2018
$11.69
EmergerEmerger
Reingold Records 2017
$12.93
$12.15 (used)
Man Made MachineMan Made Machine
Inside Out U.S. 2005
$19.99
$9.95 (used)
NymfNymf
JFK 2010
$19.64
$25.91 (used)
InsektInsekt
CD Baby 2007
$15.93
$14.99 (used)
SuperheroSuperhero
CD Baby 2003
$19.64
$26.01 (used)
Man Made Machine by CarptreeMan Made Machine by Carptree
Inside Out U.S.
$62.95
Superhero by CarptreeSuperhero by Carptree
Progress
$106.72
Between ExtremesBetween Extremes
FOSFOR CREATION 2016
$18.71
CarptreeCarptree
2007
$35.00 (used)
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CARPTREE discography


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

3.20 | 53 ratings
Carptree
2001
3.53 | 78 ratings
Superhero
2003
3.65 | 112 ratings
Man Made Machine
2005
3.50 | 72 ratings
Insekt
2007
3.76 | 115 ratings
Nymf
2010
3.71 | 60 ratings
Emerger
2017
0.00 | 0 ratings
Subimago
2018

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

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

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

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

5.00 | 4 ratings
Between Extremes
2016

CARPTREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nymf by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.76 | 115 ratings

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Nymf
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The first four albums were all released two years apart, but it took three years for the fifth to see the light of day, and what wasn't understood at the time was that this would be the last album until a return some seven years later with 2017's 'Emerger'. Edelönn, Fandén and Perkovic were all still involved alongside the duo of Flinck and Westholm, but there had been a musical shift between this album and the previous ones. There is now a bleakness, almost a desperation, while the music has also become heavier and more symphonic. There is definitely the feeling that the band has become much more of a quintet than just a duo, and while the orchestral feel from the earlier albums is still here, this is a band starting to move away from what they had been doing.

Between this album and the previous one, Westholm had released a couple of albums under the name of Jupiter Society, which were musically very different to Carptree and there is no doubt that at this point this band were moving into a much rockier direction than they had previously. Carl was to become heavily involved in HM acts, including the mighty Candlemass, and although this could never be thought of as a heavy album, it is indeed a step change from what had happened before. Niclas has a voice that I have seen compared to Hogarth, but in fairness to both of them he is much more like Gabriel, and while he has always seemed at home in the gentler material, when given the opportunity to put himself more to the fore, as on the dynamically changing and challenging "Land of Plenty" he relishes the opportunity.

Of the four albums I have heard from Carptree this is definitely the most diverse in its approach, while also the most interesting. I may be behind the times, but I am so glad that this 2010 album has finally come my way.

 Insekt by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.50 | 72 ratings

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Insekt
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Although I really enjoyed Carptree's second and third albums, I somehow lost touch with what happened after that, and it is only now that I have heard their third album, 'Insekt', which was released in 2007. As with their earlier albums, the band is still a duo of singer Niclas Flinck together with keyboard player Carl Westholm, plus a few guests. Ulf Edel'nn (guitars, bass), Stefan Fand'n (guitars, bass) and drummer Jejo Perkovic were all involved with the previous few albums as well, while Edel'nn goes all the way back to the debut, so although these three may not be seen as being full members there is no doubting there impact on the overall sound and the knowledge of what is required.

The No Future Orchestra, which first appeared on 2003's 'Superhero', and continued through 'Man Made Machine' is still here on 'Insekt', while the use of the Trollh'ttan Chamber Choir on a couple of songs is inspired. This all assists in providing Carptree with a sound that really is quite unlike many others around. There will always be some who feel that the guys belong in neo-prog, but in reality they mixing the likes of Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel together, while interestingly one can hear later period Big Big Train in what they are providing here, but of course 'Insekt' was released more than ten years ago so who influenced who? It may have taken me way too long to finally hear this album, but I am so glad that I have, as this is yet another great release from the Swedish duo.

 Man Made Machine by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.65 | 112 ratings

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Man Made Machine
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Carptree are a Swedish duo comprising Niclas Flinck on lead vocals and Carl Westholm supplying piano, synthesizer, vocoder, and Theremin. They are joined by various unnamed guest musicians to provide the sound of a full band, and this is a band that definitely sounds very full indeed. They go from beautifully delicate passages (such as on opener 'Titans Clash Aggressively To Keep An Even Score' ' what a great proggy title) through almost lounge core on 'Sunshine Water' to areas that are far more dramatic and powerful. At times they remind me of Floyd but that is not really a fair comparison as Niclas's vocals are far more melodic and warm. Easily their best work to date 'Man Made Machine' is an essential discovery for all progheads.

Originally appeared in Feedback #85, Nov 2005

 Emerger by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.71 | 60 ratings

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Emerger
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Metal / Heavy / RPI / Symph Prog Team

4 stars I discovered the duo Niclas Flinck and Carl Westholm with the album "Superhero" and I enjoyed it enough to continue following the band's music. The duo is playing with others musicians (No Future Orchestra). The music still has a Neo-Prog influence but there is more than that. And I think their sound have matured here with some emotional atmosphere and brilliant arrangments. The distinctive voice of Niclas is very intense and emotional as the music that contains a lot of symphonic tones. "Fleeting Deep" is a strong opener with his edgy prog with those nice keyboards lines. The band has the knack to create some strong melodies, the second track "Between Extremes" is another her good example and display some heavier guitar parts. "The River" stars innocently with some ambient atmosphere but after a break, the song succeeds to build an emotional crescendo. If you enjoyed beautiful songs filled with a little melancholic feel and music that is very melodic, you will enjoy this one.
 Carptree by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.20 | 53 ratings

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Carptree
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Huuum. What to say about this album ?

Not too much, I am afraid. The Swedish scene offered more to the Symphonic/Eclectic genre than theNeo scene. And when you listen to this album, you know exactly that you are not in front of a great work.

Actually, there are no outstanding tracks out here?Influences are difficult to describe, and according to me there are none. A boring tune as ''Give Myself Away'' is just a press next tune as there are so many on this album. It is a difficult exercise to find a highlight on this album.

Some easy listenting tunes like ''It Doesn't Know It'' is probably on the higher edge of this rather weak album. Not because of its great instrumental parts, but only due to some (short) catchy vocals.

This poppish album has really little to offer in terms of prog. The whole is a junk of poor tunes which are really of no interest although the second highlight is the sweet and melodic (somewhat mellow though) ''Looking For Something''as well as the good closing number ''Tiny Salty Drops''.

This whole album is rater difficult to diggest. I was only happy to reach the end of it after almost one hour of very average music? Two stars, no more.

 Superhero by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.53 | 78 ratings

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Superhero
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Carptree are a new progressive rock band to me, but 'Superhero' is their second album. They are unusual in that this is a two man line-up with extra guest musicians. Niclas Flinck (vocals) and Carl Westholm (keys) got together in 1997, having known each other for some twenty years, and released their debut two years ago. This is quite an unusual album to try and describe as they are a keyboard-oriented band that have taken on elements from many different acts yet have managed to create a sound that is very much their own. Imagine Peter Gabriel-era Genesis getting involved with Pink Floyd and then you may have some idea of what this is like, but only some.

It is very much a songs-based album, with the longest being only six and a half minutes long, and it has a great deal going for it. It is extremely accessible and while I have seen reviews on their web site (www.carptree.com) calling them a neo-prog outfit they are in fact quite different to the bands in that scene. Of modern bands I think that the closest I can think of is Jadis, but without the guitar. Overall an immensely enjoyable album that can be listened to closely or also works extremely well in the background.

Originally appeared in Feedback #74, Jun 03

 Nymf by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.76 | 115 ratings

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Nymf
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars On Nymf, Carptree's dark, almost gothic take on Floydian neo-prog comes to a polished fruition, sounding extremely modern and building on the musical traditions represented in it rather than slavishly imitating them. Within the neo-prog sphere, the band definitely tend towards the current Marillion format of prizing evocative, atmospheric soundscapes over technical complexity, and they soundscapes they choose to explore are evocative if generally familiar. At turns morbid, melancholy, reflective and resigned, the band seems to follow a vague sort of concept, but whether or not you can follow it is another matter - still, if you can't get enough of this sort of thing, that probably won't matter to you. That said, the vocals this time around are a little overplayed, to an extent where it ends up overpowering the music.
 Man Made Machine by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.65 | 112 ratings

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Man Made Machine
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars On Man Made Machine Carptree play a spooky and very modern blend of gothic atmospheres and neo-prog instrumental performances and compositional approach, with just a mild pinch of Mercury Rev (particularly in the vocal delivery of Niclas Flinck). It's an intriguing blend, but I find that the album flags a bit in the mid-section, with a lot of the songs outstaying their welcome and not offering quite enough variety to keep me interested. I'm inclined to agree with b_olariu's assessment here that whilst none of the tracks or performances here are flat-out bad, there's nothing particularly exceptional about the album either. It is acceptable, nothing less and not even a little bit more.
 Nymf by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.76 | 115 ratings

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Nymf
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by ShW1

4 stars He finally sings!

Let me announce, that the 5th album from this neo Swedish duo, is by far their best. As they say themself in a PA interview (and I'm still willing for a link between artist pages to interviews), this album is another step in their maturation. I definitely agree. The songs are as good as in the previous album 'Insekt'. Maybe a bit less deep and versatile, but on the other hand gain a better flow, cohesiveness and catchiness. However, the main benefit here is a huge improvement in Niclas Flinck's vocals and performance, and that's make the whole difference. I quite agree with the reviewers that pointed on some flaws on Flinck's singing so far, but I always felt that there is a real potential there, that maybe one day will be fulfilled. In this album it really happens, and that's wonderful.

This album is relatively short, 46 minutes long, and holds 7 excellent songs, with a few schmaltzy moments here and there. But still it's on the right side of the fence, and these not- to-many moments are always balanced by some intricate harmonies and less expected melodies. Apart from this we get great moog solos (or moog-like), a real grand piano, (not the usual dubious piano samples), and a bit of keyboards strings, that, due to a clever sound and playing from talented Carl Westholm, really sounds like STRINGS. Generally there are interesting arrangements, and great sound and production. Along with Flinck's improved vocals, we get a lovely package, and a true 'album experience', which is so hard to find nowadays.

The album opens with 'Kicking and collecting'. The atmosphere moves between contemplative to some dramatic moments. It continues with even more dramatic 'Land of plenty', with a very powerful finale that suit to the tragic lyrics. There are some other mood changes along this album, and it ends up with the lyrical and calm 'the Water' song, with great moog solo, and soft and gentle fender-like sounds toward the end.

So kudus to Carptreee for this album. Now just one thing: They said in the PA interview that in nowadays realm, they are quite desperate to release another albums, and will concentrate from now in publish songs as standalones, EP's, or something alike. Now it's our job to dissuade them from doing so, simply by buying this album. For now, (review date), due to a brief search on the internet, there are some physical copies only at the 'just for kicks' recordstore. Hence maybe this duo will change their mind and offers us another album soon, and another addition of this one. Yes, maybe I'm just na've but I decided at least to try. They really deserve this little effort from me, due to an excellent and very enjoyable album. 4 shining stars.

 Man Made Machine by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.65 | 112 ratings

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Man Made Machine
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Carptree is an intristing band coming from Sweden formed by Carl Westholm a keybordist that played in progressive metal band Abstrakt Algebra in mid '90's, a band that I've appreciated a lot in my youth. Man made machine is from 2005 and is their third album. Carptree performs a kind of neo prog quite dark with modern arrangemts, not far from Blackfiled, no comparations here with for ex Iq, Marillion or Palls, this is the kind of mid tempo neo prog with a specific scandinavian feel, an ok album in the end but I don't considered something special. Overall are no weak tracks here, but aswell no highlights, th sound fall in the category that at least to my ears is to modern kind of neo prog. I'm maybe old fashioned even I'm young and prefer the Pallas, Iq and so one kind of neo in comparation with allbums that sound like Man made machine. Is an ok album to me nothing more, 3 stars, the arrangements are pretty decent like on Burn to something new or the title track, the rest are nothing to talk about.
Thanks to Eric Walker for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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