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Karmakanic - Who's the Boss in the Factory? CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 482 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Though I knew of the band Karmakanic, I had never heard any music until I picked up this album over the summer. A friend had recommended this album after seeing a prog playlist of modern bands that I had made and posted in a prog group on Facebook. Without even given the band a listen, I ordered the album and, fortunately, to no regret. (Credit going to my friend who clearly understood my playlist!)

I knew nothing of the band as I listened to the first track, "Send a Message from the Heart" but it wasn't long before I concluded that there were very strong similarities to the Flower Kings. Of course, as it turns out, Jonas Reingold (bass, fretless bass, keyboards, production) also plays bass with the Flower Kings. Additionally, Flower King keyboard player Tomas Bodin appears on this album and Roine Stolt provides some guitar and mixing, too. Now it all makes sense! Very much a song in a Flower Kings' vein.

"Let in the Hollywood" might be the weak track for some because it is short and sounds like it was prepared for a hopeful radio single. It has an eighties pop melody accompanied by a more hard rock sound that, in the middle, gets heavier (my favourite part!). The funny thing is that even though this sounds like it could have been a radio single, the chorus sings, "I can't hear a single / This song in seven eight". By coincidence, I had recently watched a YouTube video explaining simple time signatures in popular music and the video mentioned that Pink Floyd's "Money" is in seven eight. So not only was I able to pick out the 7/8 time of the chorus but I also enjoyed the ironic statement claiming this song couldn't be a single in 7/8 even though "Money" was a huge single success!

My favourite track on the album has to be "Who's the Boss in the Factory?". It begins like a requiem and then changes heading towards a slightly upbeat sound before turning into a proper rock song that then gets a little heavy again before easing back. The instrumental part stretches out a bit with some piano and lead guitar.

"Two Blocks from the Edge" is different but still follows the same thread of blending pop melodies with progressive rock music. The solo piano of "Eternally Pt. 1" is really lovely and it demonstrates the classical piano talents of, I'm guessing, Mr. Lalle Larsson (three people receive keyboard credits but only Larsson is credited solely with keyboards).

The album is, as I said, very similar to a Flower Kings album but with some touches, such as the piano, that stand apart from FK. One should also note that the bass guitar is often easy to pick out and even gets some lead work. One part is clearly composed for piano and bass guitar. I do love the bass, so this album appeals to my bass fetish side very nicely. (My playlist also included a lot of songs that feature bass guitar prominently and my friend mentioned above is a bass player.) As a modern progressive rock album it plays very well with my personal preferences being for the three songs in the middle.

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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