I’m thoroughly excited to be reviewing Kaipa’s 4th modern release. I discovered Kaipa as I think many of us might have through Roine Stolt from the Flower Kings’ involvement. I have to say, with Kaipa’s newest release Angling Feelings, Roine who?
Many nay-sayers may have stated that Kaipa could not succeed without Roine, but Hans Lundlin is the driving force in this band. He proves it by releasing perhaps the best Kaipa since 2000’s release Notes from the Past. The instrumental prowess on this CD is solid and the singers turn in phenomenal performances. This is one wild ride from start to finish.
The disc opens with a monstrous guitar lick that is soon joined by the rest of the band at breakneck speed on the title cut “Angling Feelings.” Major props to Per Nilsson, who fills the mighty big shoes of Mr. Stolt with aplomb. He has a slightly more metal edge than his predecessor (especially on the solos), yet still plays always in service to the song. This is a thoughtful, extraordinary tune. In fact, every song on this CD is of superior quality. Let me just call attention to the two longest songs.
“The Fleeting Existence of Time,” a piece measuring twelve minutes plus. On this track Aleena takes lead vocal. Patrick Lundstrom and Aleena Gibson trade vocals and harmonize together throughout this entire recording. Of course, Patrick is the leader of Swedish band Ritual, and has his own following. Aleena on the other hand is not as well known. Can I just state here I love Aleena’s voice. I’m serious, much love. Anyway, “The Fleeting Existence of time” has everything you would want in a tight melodic prog epic. Fast breaks, big harmonies, incredible solos, a fast paced duel keyboard/guitar section… wow.
“Path of Humbleness” is almost ten minutes long and begins slow with special guest Fredrik Lindqvist (also from Ritual) on recorder and whistles bringing forth an almost Gaelic sound. Again, Aleena turns in an inspired vocal. It gets to a mid section that rollicks along remarkably and calls attention to the incredible rhythm section of bassist Jonas Reingold and drummer Morgan Agren. Don’t even get me started on Hans Lundin’s feel for the hook when performing his keyboard solos. The song then slows down to an ending that recalls those grand slow burn finales classic Genesis is so famous for.
I have investigated Kaipa’s back catalog by purchasing 2005’s Decca Years box set. My favorite disc from that set is the 2nd album, 1976’s Inget Nytt Under Solen. I was certainly a prog fan in the mid-70’s when the first albums came out, but did not have much sensitivity to European music at that time. Thank god for the Flower Kings’ success, as it has brought attention to so many other offshoots of excellent quality music in Kaipa, Tangent, Karmakanic, Transatlantic, and others.
I suppose I can’t finish up without mentioning “Pulsation.” Its dissonant harmonies and appealing island feel during the verse are quite enjoyable. “Broken Chords,” whose chords seem to be in excellent shape as far as I’m concerned is another notable song. I really could go on bringing attention to one song after another, but for brevity’s sake I’ll end on this: This is memorable, high quality, song-oriented progressive rock. Buy it.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on August 3rd, 2007