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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 Excellent Symphonic rock album from Sweden.

The album is a side project from the bass player from the Flower Kings. Frankly, I did not know what to expect, and I did not like the sample in this website (from another album) very much. However, the extremely high reviews around this net interested me. The cover intrigued me as well, thinking that this will not be light stuff like the Wheel of Life sample here in progarchives. When it arrived, I gave it a spin and got a little worried: the epic sounded very similar to the Flower Kings' positive side while the second track sounded like a throwaway tune from The Tangent. Fortunately, the cynical third track caught my attention, the fourth sounded very good on first listen, and the last two tracks amazed me. What about the first two tracks? well, the epic grew on me a lot.

Karmakanic's Who's The Boss In The Factory? is an album which seems to be divided into three parts:

The first part consists of happy and melodic progressive rock in the form of The Flower Kings and The Tangent (or if you don't know these bands, think of the melodic side of 70s Yes or Genesis). Send a Message From The Heart starts very innocent, developing its main theme, until it grabs you with another theme played in heavy format (I love that part), then plays the main theme on guitar and the singing starts. The music has its changes, but it always stays positive and around minute 8, there's time for soloing and the amazing Zoltan&Reingold rhythm section. Afterwords, the song continues its peace&love theme. Lost in Hollywood is my least favorite track and I do not like the fast-paced pre-choruses, but I admit that it has a very catchy and amusing chorus in 7/8.

The second part is darker and features two long tracks. Who's The Boss In The Factory is a cynical dark track with unusual vocal-led choruses in a Roger Waters kind of style. They might take a bit to grow on you, but are quite easy to singalong to. The instrumental break might be the best part of the CD, starting with a synth solo in front of a metal riff, continuing with dark and mellow moods featuring a piano, and finishing with an excellent piano theme that is revisited in the end with fiery electric guitars. Two Blocks From The Edge is probably the most accessible track. It is mostly a blues track with some twists, such as catchy choruses with strong sax lines. The song is not as dark as the title track, but not as light as the first two songs.

The last part is the melancholic part of the album, featuring the song Eternally which is divided into two parts. The music here has much less emphasis on being flashy, virtuosic, or catchy. It focuses on pure raw emotion instead, and succeeds at it. pt.1 is a beautiful piano solo played by a Weather Report founding member! pt.2 introduces the lyrics after a subdued introduction and are not too direct. This is actually a song written about Reingold's parents who both died in a carcrash. It's heartbreaking and you feel sad when hearing the music, despite not being dramatic in the case of The Cure or Radiohead. Eternally features accordion, which fits in perfectly and brings in an European flavor. You can tell the accordionist is a virtuoso and the notes he chooses are spot on. The climax is a beautiful guitar solo and after it, strings and piano remain until the CD ends.

Give it a chance, especially if you are a fan of The Flower Kings or The Tangent.

Zitro | 4/5 |


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