"There once was a tiny little man in a tiny little town, that lived in a tiny little house on a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny planet called the Earth". I'm not sure about you, but if you heard a CD with an opening track like this, you'd probably throw the damn thing out the window. Frankly, the intro almost ruined the CD for me. It just rambles on and on, as if telling some cheesy story for kids. Folks, when you first get this CD, just skip the intro.
KARMAKANIC is a side-project from Swedish Prog-heads THE FLOWER KINGS, and contains the singer on Yngwie Malmsteen's "Fire And Ice" album, Göran Edman, plus a slew of other musicians within the Progressive genre, including Jonas Reingold & Roine Stolt (THE FLOWER KINGS, and tons of others), plus more people who seem to be known in the Prog world, but whose names I don't recognize (sorry guys!).
This is one of the purest examples of how Progressive Rock/Metal could be pure musical indulgence, sometimes replacing the need to write a song with the need to display musical prowess and the will to experiment. KARMAKANIC seems to be infatuated with displaying skill. However, this band does so within the song context, creating a masterpiece of epic proportions.
Every song goes through a boatload of mood and style changes, ranging from Jazz to Hard Rock to Easy Listening to some Lounge music. The music is catchy at times (the first verse of the first song), extremely dissonant and just plain bizarre in others (the breakdown that starts at 2:38 minutes in "Space Race No: 3"). The band also can write catchy melodic riffs that are almost radio worthy, due to them being not that heavy, but they will stick to your head for a long time. The juxtaposition of a simple rock beat next to some extremely off-time breakdown has been executed PERFECTLY, giving each section of the song an extra dimension, and it shows that the band can not only show it's skill, but it can use it to make the songs they write better.
I have never heard anything from THE FLOWER KINGS when I wrote this, so I can't compare KARMAKANIC to them. However, if KARMAKANIC is not unlike THE FLOWERKINGS, I will eagerly check them out!
Get the CD now. You will enjoy it immensely if you're a fan of Progressive Rock and/or Metal. Just skip the first track when you first put it in the CD player. (Online February 5, 2003)