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Richard Wileman biography
As every Symphonic Prog fan knows, a multi instrumentalist Richard WILEMAN is the founder / frontman of KARDA ESTRA. As a solo artist, he's released his debut EP "Ghost" in August 2017, and debut full-length album "Veil" in February 2018.

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Cabal Of A Thousand SoulsCabal Of A Thousand Souls
No Image 2019
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Believers Roast 2018
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RICHARD WILEMAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 52 ratings

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

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

4.05 | 3 ratings


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 Veil by WILEMAN, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.91 | 52 ratings

Richard Wileman Crossover Prog

Review by mitarai_panda

3 stars Richard Wileman is the lead singer and founder of the pre-symphonic rock band KARDA ESTRA from the UK. KARDA ESTRA has released many works over the years. It is dark and mysterious in style, with complex orchestral choreography and a sense of horror soundtrack. Wileman released his first solo album "Veil" this year, with a slightly different style, although it is also multi-machine music (especially the use of woodwind instruments, which makes the music sound beautiful and rich), and his wife has dedicated beautiful but still dark The vocals, but overall relatively small and fresh, the songs are mostly very short, like dark pieces, this is a very charming and cute album, but I think that did not reach the height of the KARDA ESTRA, a Samsung half to four star rating.
 Veil by WILEMAN, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.91 | 52 ratings

Richard Wileman Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars A few years ago, if I had been asked what I would have expected from a solo album by Richard Wileman, I know for sure that I would not have expected this. But, having heard the 'Ghost' EP last year, I was sure that I was in for something different to what he has been producing up until now. Richard and I first got to know each other in a different existence when I was running the Feedback fanzine in the UK, and he was in Lives & Times, who were signed to the Dutch SI Music label. After that, he moved seamlessly into Karda Estra, which have had a much more modern classical approach. Richard is a multi-instrumentalist, and he would also bring in other key musicians along with his wife Ileesha and her amazing wordless vocals, to create soundscapes quite unlike any other. Richard, like myself and many others, have been putting our favourite top ten albums onto Facebook, and it has been no surprise at all to me that Richard has not only been picking artists I have never heard of, but also included Vaughan Williams in his list.

So, after 14 full-length albums with Karda Estra, where he has been the main musician, arranger etc., how different would an album under his own name be? Given that 'Infernal Spheres' only came out I guess I was expecting something quite similar, but while some of the songs are re-workings of KE numbers, and some others (such as 'The Sea Witch') sound very much as if they could be with delicate acoustic guitars and clarinet, Richard has surprised me by singing himself! The biggest shock is not that Richard has a voice that suits his style of music very well indeed (or vice versa), but that he has kept it hidden for so long? Even going back as far as 1992's 'Rattlebones', I don't think that Richard has provided vocals on any album, so it must be down to him having such a strong mental image of what the music needed to sound like and his voice had no part to play at all in that. But, on 'Mephisto Portrait' for example, his vocals are perfect with the Karda-Estra style of music. True, there is less orchestration than one would normally expect, and in many ways the songs have much simpler arrangements, but the use woodwind fits perfectly.

I guess the one question for me is where to from here? I have always greatly enjoyed Richard's work, so what will the next album be like? Will it be another under his own name, or will we see something that is more orchestral and like a cinematic soundscape? What it is, I already know that I am going to love it, and look forward to whatever happens next with great interest.

 Ghost by WILEMAN, RICHARD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2017
4.05 | 3 ratings

Richard Wileman Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars And so, Richard is commencing on a new musical journey. I think I first came across his music about 25 years ago, when he was the driving force behind Lives & Times. In turn that became Karda Estra, and now here he is releasing an EP under his own name for the very first time. No room for the haunting vocals of Ileesha, but instead we have Richard providing vocals himself on the title cut. This is the furthest removed from KE of all the songs, as it really is a song, as opposed to an almost orchestral soundscape. But, even on the others, especially 'Chaos Theme For Clarinet' we can hear that Richard is taking a different approach, as although he has worked with Amy Fry in the past, here she has providing a far jazzier style to her clarinet than she has in the past.

Just four songs, with a total playing length of twelve minutes, it will be interesting to see what else he releases in this style, as it is an interesting progression from where he has been in the past, although with his use of acoustic guitar and arrangements it is still something that will appeal to fans of his other works

 Veil by WILEMAN, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.91 | 52 ratings

Richard Wileman Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Richard--of KARDA ESTRA--sings! And beautifully!

1. "Ghost" (3:34) Steve Hackett never did anything as profoundly emotional or powerful as this. It's just gorgeous! In the Ben Watt/Tracey Thorn pantheon of folk songs! (10/10)

2. "Last Grains" (3:34) a throwback to the halcyon days of late 1960s Burt Bacharach. So catchy! Where is Laetitia Sadler? What a beautiful background vocal voice Richard has! Like Ben Watt. (9/10)

3. "The Sea Witch" (3:21) a more introspective version of a KARDA ESTRA song. (8.5/10)

4. "Mephisto Portrait" (3:53) reminds me of the sensitive older vocal songs of ANTHONY PHILLIPS except with more engaging chord progressions. (9/10)

5. "Cassiopeia" (3:33) a familiar KE favorite (one of my all-time favorites from my second most favorite KE album) recreated with a very different, more deeply dimensional and somehow raw, human soundscape. Brilliant! Such emotion brought to the performances! Nice work, Amy Fry! (10/10)

6. "Three Occulations" (3:33) "live" piano background for another simple folkie song. I love this singing voice! It's so real, conveying such a vulnerable human side of Richard. (9/10)

7. "Andromeda Variations for Guitar" (1:56) a personal classical guitar etude with a little Steve Hackett flare to it. (4/5)

8. "Chaos Theme for Clarinet" (1:56) (4/5)

9. "Unmarked on Any Map" (3:26) not as good as the other vocal songs but still remarkable for the up-close and personal side of Richard being revealed here! Bravo! (7.5/10)

10. "The Veil" (2:14) more like a simplified KE song but a nice representation of the "hidden" side of the man behind KE. (4/5)

11. "Introduction and Ceres" (2:25) a reworking of another old KE song, stripped down to acoustic guitar and clarinet (and some little electric strums in the "Ceres" part). For some reason the music hear reminds me of Woody Allen's Gershwin soundtrack to Manhattan. (5/5)

12. "Wine of the Cosmos" (2:40) Gorgeous singing, choosing some interesting melody lines over some duplicitous guitar chords. Reminds me of Serge Gainsborough song from the 1960s/70s. I love this voice! (9.5/10)

13. "Alice Afternoon" (4:32) now THIS is one sounds like a gem from an Anthony Philips Private Parts and Pieces album. Stunning! (10/10)

14. "Golgotha Dancers" (1:45) due to the percussion and melodies used, this one has a world music, even African or at least Moorish, feel to it. Love the horns. Great closer! (5/5)

I must admit to being rather shocked to hear Richard's voice. It's gorgeous! And conveys sush wonderfully accessible human emotion. Why has he been hiding this from us all these years? I love the stripped down versions of some of his old Karda Estra classics, as well. They give the songs the same human accessibility that his YouTube videos through the years have done. Lovely album! Truly lovely!

Five stars; a masterpiece of classical-infused prog folk music--or "unpluggedness."

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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