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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
5 stars When I won this album on the PA monthly giveaway, posters said I was in for a treat. They were absolutely spot on. This is a cracking, fantastic LP, and one I am very grateful to PA for adding this to my collection.

The opener, Send a Message from the Heart, has epic written all over it, clocking in at over 19 minutes. The start is amusing, when a little boy grabs hold of the microphone and begins to sing. This gives way to a track full of keyboard and guitar solos of epic proportions and some incredible vocals by Goran Edman. As you would expect from a symphonic band's track of such a length, there are many mood changes, varying from the delicate to the very heavy. It is a very complex piece of music and more than worth the price of the album alone, although, as I will make clear, even this is not the highlight of the album.

Things get a lot heavier on Lost in Hollywood, as an acoustic beginning gives way to a powerful riff. It's very good, certainly for those who enjoy the heavier side of prog.

The title track clocks in at over 13 minutes, and I absolutely adore the thoughtful intro with piano and bass to the fore. The bass playing on this track by Jonas Reingold absolutely deserves special mention. When my wife & I played this for the first time at the weekend, both of us said it could well be Chris Squire - there is no higher compliment. At times reminiscent of Floyd, at others Yes, there are also some heavier moments, but throughout the musicianship is superb, and the mid One by One, Step by Step passage is a joy to listen to, with the bass literally holding all together. The guitar solo towards the end is also epic, with large and loud organ bringing a great track to a pulsating close.

Two Blocks from the Edge is easily the darkest piece of the album, and the sax pieces are very enjoyable. The rhythm section again keeps the track moving along at a fair pace. The guitar solos are, again, a joy for anyone who was brought up on hard rock. This track rocks.

Then to the conclusion, Eternally Parts 1 & 2. Quite simply the best new prog I have heard in many years. I am not familiar with the history of the band members, as such, but it is dedicated to family members who clearly died in a car crash. Part One is a lovely piano solo, and then part two really does tug at the heartstrings. Piano and bass in tandem create a melancholic mood. There are strings to add to this, and the whole piece shrieks with loss. Then, after one & a half minutes, Edman kicks in with such a heartfelt vocal, accompanied by, of all things, an accordian solo (certainly the finest I've heard in prog!). This track simply cannot be compared to any other band or influence - it is utterly unique. Again, when we first listened to this at the weekend, we were both reduced to utter silence, before I was instructed to place it on my wife's MP3 player - there is, believe me, no higher honour from someone not naturally predisposed to prog. But the mood, playing, including one of the finest guitar solos I have ever heard in 32 odd years, make a track that pulls you into a tragic event, but also uplifts you in the way that only the finest such tracks do.

The joy of this site is that it introduces us all to new experiences in prog. I freely admit that, prior to becoming a member, I had slipped into a comfort zone, and would never have listened to this and other bands. I think we all do at times. No more - I am hooked, and if you buy this LP, I swear you won't regret it. By the way, when you listen to it, see if you can spot the Radiohead/Deep Purple moment in the chant. I'll say no more!

Having thought long and hard, I am going to give this the perfect five. Send a Message & Eternally make it worth it.

lazland | 5/5 |


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