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CARPTREE

Neo-Prog • Sweden


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Carptree biography
Life·long - adjective
lasting or continuing through all or much of one's life

Friend·ship - 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

Carptree official website

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CARPTREE Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy CARPTREE Music


Man Made MachineMan Made Machine
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$15.09
$10.94 (used)
InsektInsekt
Import
CD Baby 2007
Audio CD$16.96
$33.90 (used)
CarptreeCarptree
Import
2007
Audio CD$50.03 (used)
SuperheroSuperhero
CD Baby 2003
Audio CD$20.04
$18.95 (used)
NymfNymf
Fosfor Creation
Audio CD$21.99
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CARPTREE discography


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

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

3.48 | 24 ratings
Carptree
2001
3.47 | 50 ratings
Superhero
2003
3.62 | 80 ratings
Man Made Machine
2005
3.36 | 42 ratings
Insekt
2007
3.94 | 82 ratings
Nymf
2010

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

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

CARPTREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Superhero by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.47 | 50 ratings

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Superhero
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 Nymf by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.94 | 82 ratings

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Nymf
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On Nymf, Carptree's dark, almost gothic take on Floydian neo-prog comes to a brilliant 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 indeed. 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, when the music's this good that's a secondary consideration.

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 Man Made Machine by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.62 | 80 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.

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 Nymf by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.94 | 82 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.

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 Man Made Machine by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.62 | 80 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.

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 Nymf by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.94 | 82 ratings

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Nymf
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The Swedish combo CARPTREE was formed by Niclas Flinck and Carl Westholm back in 1997, and released their self-titled debut album four years later. 4 more productions have followed, of which "Nymf" from 2010 is the most recent.

The slightly bleak symphonic art rock universe explored on "Nymf" might be something of an acquired taste, but those who have enjoyed the previous efforts by this band as well as those who have a soft spot for Westholm's metal-based endeavor Jupiter Society should feel right at home with this CD. As far as further recommendations go, I'd imagine that many who enjoy acts like Porcupine Tree might appreciate this one, and those who tend to be captivated by the gentler and sophisticated varieties of progressive metal might be an additional possible audience.

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 Nymf by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.94 | 82 ratings

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Nymf
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

3 stars While I really enjoy the music of CARPTREE upon first listen--it never fails to entertain, has good melodies and very lush sound production--I eventually lose interest; it becomes nice background music but nothing I want to fully attend to or engage with. The music of Nymf is, however, IMHO the best I've heard from them. "Land of Plenty" has me sinking back into the best of 80s MARILLION. "The Weight of Knowledge" could have been a good PINK FLOYD outtake from the 80s or 90s. The albums weakest moments are, for me, in "Between Extremes, Prelude" (a derivative of the album's first song) and "Sunrays" which have me feeling really stuck in the 80s--as if I'm listening to PSYCHEDELIC FURS or PETER SCHILLING. The opener, "Kicking and Collecting," suffers from the syndrome of many CARPTREE songs: What initially feels like tension and drama in each song, over a whole album- -and over time--begins to feel like melodrama. Again, nice production and keyboard work.

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 Nymf by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.94 | 82 ratings

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Nymf
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by robbob

5 stars I recieved one promo copy.I am sure I ll get one original.

!!!!What an intense album is this ˇˇˇˇ

Caprtee is a kind of dark,emotive .neo prog...very dramatic..

Sometimes i feel i am hearing a Devill Doll album,sometimes Marillion (today's era)..sometimes Pendragon......some heavy neo-prog some psychedelic neo prog ..

This album if of course the best in their career a mature album ..with very good songs...very original songs so different to what we are accustom to listen in neo prog nowadays... This is a excellent really addition to prog music...something refreshing...something strong and emotive...something new.. So congratulations to Carptree for such an inspired work.

You can love this work or you can hate this work..because is very complex...you have to listen to it many times..

In neo prog matters in my opinion this is a 5 stars album

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 Nymf by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.94 | 82 ratings

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Nymf
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by DeKay

2 stars Brand new fifth album from the neo-prog duo of Niclas Flinck and Carl Westholm. Carptree have made a very good impression to prog fans over the years and earned respect, especially after "Man Made Machine" in 2005. According to the band's website, this is a sequel to "Insekt". "Nymf" is in the same vein: melodic vocals (reminding Pendragon) with dramatic (sometimes dark) arrangements. Their collaboration with the No Future Orchestra is once again successful. Carptree manage to sound like a band, more than a project of two old friends who undoubtly love what they do and a have an obvious thing for insects.

The music here is very good, especially Westholm's keyboard playing and the texture of the songs is the typical Carptree thing, i.e. a combination of modern neo-prog with pop elements and very emotional vocal lines. The album begins with "Kicking and collecting", with a very interesting intro, which gives way to Flinck's dramatic vocal lines and a great keyboard solo towards the end. "Kicking and collecting" and "Between Extremes", the only instrumental track in the album, are probably the best moments in "Nymf". The compostitional standards are generally not very high, apart from some melodic lines and very good solos by Westholm. This is my objection to "Nymf" and maybe the music of Carptree in general. While appreciating Westholm's ideas (not only in Carptree by the way), I find Flinck's singing so melodramatic and cheesy, that it makes it really difficult to be positive after listening to the album several times.

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 Man Made Machine by CARPTREE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.62 | 80 ratings

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Man Made Machine
Carptree Neo-Prog

Review by Brendan

3 stars This is amazing. I wasn't expecting to like this, it took me by surprise.

Yet when I put on the album "Man-made machine" I found this album to have a fragile beauty. The songs are extremely well crafted, the atmosphere surrounding the songs is eerie. The songs have such beautiful melodies, underscored by some beautiful piano playing. The melodies on this album are spine-tingling and I think carefully conceived. There's no throwaway improvs. There are a lot of inspiring backing vocals that really add to this release.

Although their style is based on modern rock, their sound is full of bucket loads of symphonic rock. Their music is genuinely 'ethereal' . However, this is not overproduced, nor does it have a 'big' sound. yet their choices of synthesiser tones make a great impression. The singer has a small voice but the production is good and places his voice in the front so I can understand everything he says. His voice is very good at conveying feelings and emotions. In fact this album is quite moving, even if you don't really understand the meaning of the lyrics. They're a bit complicated.

Are they original? They definitely don't lean on the sound of the classic masters like a crutch,unlike some other modern bands. In fact you would have to wonder if they have ever heard of Yes or Genesis at all! I guess they have but they didn't want to recreate the sound of those bands.

My favourite tracks are the opening "Titans Clash aggressively", the haunting beauty of "The weakening sound", "The man you just became" which reminds me a bit of 'Visions of Angels' from the Genesis album 'Trespass' and "The recipe" is a nice change of pace.

That said, they made a lot of mistake in the second half of this album. The title track, "Man made machiene", tries to be a big 'metal-epic' but is a metal slug that sits there for over six minutes and takes all the momentum away from the album. The track "Burn to something new" has some impressive vocal harmonies, and while not quite a masterpiece, starts to regain that momentum, but that momentum is lost again when "In the centre of an empty space" rolls around, which is pretty much a reprise of the title track, a long, slow, metal slug, and lacks any excitement or tonal dynamics.

"The recipe" and the closing "This is home" regain the album somewhat, hence the three star rating. But this is a very lopsided record, the first half could be rated 4.5 stars and the second side 1.5 stars. The weak points for this album are that there is a lack of changes in pace, they just seem to be lacking. You get that modern-rock meets symphonic sound from beginning to end, and 'The recipe' feels more like taking a breather than a part of the musical progression of this album. Also, does this album have to be so heavy hearted from beginning to end? There's not any cheerful numbers to balance all the serious times on the album.

That said, it is a great achievement and a highly enjoyable album, there are a few songs that can be appreciate by fans of prog and pop/rock alike. You just may find it's a bit inconsistent.

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Thanks to Eric Walker for the artist addition.

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