To be honest, I'm more familiar with the names than the product itself, I'd heard tracks from their previously released cd "Who's The Boss In the Factory?" I liked them and anticipated hearing"In A Perfect World"the fourth release from the band, featuring founder, Jonas Reingold(The Flower Kings & The Tangent, among a host of others), on electric and fretless bass,The vocal talents of Goran Edman(Yngwie Malmsteen, Glory and many more), Zoltan Csorsz (The Flower Kings, Agents Of Mercy), who is known as one of the busiest drummers in Sweden, Krister Jonsonn (Solo and with The Tangent)reknowned for his Jazz/Rock guitar skills. Special guests provide additional keyboards, yembes, Hammond organ, flute, congas & other things to hit.
"1969".A time of innocence,change,a time of revolution, around the globe, and in the ever mind-expanding rock music scene with albums like The Moody Blues "On The Threshold of a Dream"and YES's debut. This song (and album,for that matter), is a tip of the hat to that era in so many ways. With peaceful keys and fretless bass "1969" initially brings to mind a childrens song,the music then gathers intensity to become a 14 minute epic prog rock saga. At times gentle, reassuring, suddenly startling. A long song to listen to, but everytime my mind began to wander, the lyrics and music caught my ear. Lush keyboards, great guitar, a little quirkiness towards the end, it's got it all.
Moving the clock forward is "Turn It Up". With a Peter Gabriel-esque (His solo work that is)/Joe Jackson intro, it's a radio friendly tune, bringing to mind the proggier 70's AOR bands with an 80's pop influence. Really a catchy song, that sticks in your head easily. I find myself singing it at random.
Waves crashing against the shore, a soft almost anguished lament about the frivolity of man lead into "The World is Caving In" the piano joins in for what soon becomes more of a guitar driven uptempo rock ballad, done KARMAKANIC style.
A little doodling around on the piano becomes a latino flavored jingle that seems to serve as an underpinning for an 80's kind of Split Enz/INXS style song, Initially I wasn't sure what this was doing here, but after repeated listening, it all seems to fit within the theme of this album.
"There's Nothing Wrong With The World" is one of the proggier tracks on this album,In a classic sense, Standout drums & heartfelt keyboards here, fretless bass, vocals reminescent of Gabriel, Collins, Fish. This song is sure to be a favorite.
The hook filled "Bite The Grit" is another song that would fit in on a 70's/80's rock station. And that was Boston! coming up! The Buggles followed by Gary Wright & Styx. I was a teen/young adult during that era,so this has a really familar sound. Another catchy tune.
The fretless bass is what sets this song apart in "When Fear Came To Town" a surprisingly Eagles/Jackson Browne-ish tune for a large part, before becoming a bluesy guitar tune that at one point seems to say "We did it our way", the album goes out the way it came in,the same lullaby puts this baby to bed. Not what one would expect on a "prog" album perhaps, but still quite good.
Karmakanic comes across as a band that while paying homage to their influences, doesn't take themselves too seriously, There seems to be a sense of humour present throughout. All of the songs have enough hooks to make them memorable. Overall, an enjoyable album, Garon's vocals have a comforting progressive rock familiarity, Jonas's driving virtuoso bass is showcased while not overshadowing. Journeyman musicianship all around, soaring guitars, powerful drumming, wonderful piano & keys. This album grows on you after repeated listening. A nice introduction to Karmakanic for me.
Reviewed by Chris Erbeck on August 3rd, 2011