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




Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 492 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars One of the last (and best surprises) of 2008! And I must thank my PA friend Progrules. If I hadnīt see his review Iīd probably skip this record. I had the first Karmakanic CD a few years ago and I didnīt like it: it sounded too derivative and some of the tunes seemed to me like just pointless jams, all done by great musicians, but definitly not my cup of tea. Well, it had a couple of tracks that I liked, but that was not enough and I gave that CD to a friend who was a Flower Kings fanatic (something I now regret). So I decided to forget about this project assuming they wouldnīt do anything better. But when I saw Progrules review (and others after that) I knew it might be good, since we have a very similar taste. The praising were so high I decided to take my changes and get the new album without hearing it.

Fortunatly all the reviews were right. Unlike its debut, Whoīs The Boss In The Factory drips with conviction, passion and personality. And they are writing fantastic, symphonic prog songs! It is ok to me that the first track, the massive 19 minute epic Send A Message From The Heart sounds a lot like a Flower Kings tune, but boy, is it good! In fact it could be in any of TFK best classic albums of the 90īs. It has all the elements that made TFK the giant band they were: melodic, epic, complex, varied and holds your atention all the way through. That track alone is worth the price of the CD. But there is more.

In the second song bassist and leader Jonas Reingold seems to be revisiting his own hard rock past (with band Midnight Sun): Let In Hollywood is the perfect short track between two great epics, being at the same time different and totally in harmony with the spirit of the album (great synth solo in the middle). From then on all TFK connections fade away and the band shows they do have a very strong sound and image. And more importante, know how to craft fine symphonic tunes. It is a sound that is both complex and accessible. They have a host of guests featuring on this album (including the ominous Roine Stolt) but what it is very clear here is that they are just that : guests, for the band itself is the main atraction (something missing from their debut). Only Theo Travis (of The Tangent) sax is really outstanding on Two Blocks From The Edge.

It is hard to point a highlight since this is one of those few CDs that every track is so good and different from the other that you canīt really compare them. The three epics are my obvious choice, but all songs are excellent. Only the two parts of the poignant Eternity (Reingoldīs homage to his late parents) seems a bit out of place overall, but it is beautiful anyway (fine, emotional vocal perfomance by Göran Edman). And it is a proof of the bandīs versatility and great musical skill. I hear this record non stop since I got it.

Conclusion: a must have for any prog lover. 4,5 stars at least. Thanks again, Henk!

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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