KARMAKANIC hold a special place in my heart. They were the first band I got a promo to review, so in that sense, they are special to me. Itís a side project by Jonas Reingold (THE FLOWER KINGS) and although Iíve never heard his main band, Iíve heard good things about them (although them getting Daniel GildenlŲw AKA GOD within their ranks is enough to convince me to check them out), mainly from the Progressive Rock/Metal circles.
KARMAKANIC will also be classified under Progressive Metal/Rock, but not in the vein of DREAM THEATER/SPIRAL ARCHITECT, where the emphasis is mostly on technical prowess, odd times and sheer musical lunacy (in some cases). The band is more focused in adding a Jazz groove and exploring Fusion and having tasteful improvisation in between verses. The music is also generally happier and more fun for the most part this time around, as a lot of times, as the music just reminds me of springtime.
The band is comprised of very intense and sick musicians, but their talent doesnít shine through mach-speed shredding, yet through instrumental parts that are seemingly put together from thin air, yet that fit and flow together perfectly. The solos arenít as note-y as most other Progressive Metal/Rock albums, but they do contain a heavy Jazz influence by adding notes and patterns outside of the songís general tonality, yet make it tasteful within the context.
The instrumentation is done PERFECTLY. All of the instruments can be heard clearly and they all play around each other to complement each other, adding to the song. The production isnít crunchy on the guitars, but that would have taken a lot away from the music. The production is more akin to what you would hear on a Jazz record, yet thatís what would suit this album better.
I canít complain about this album at all. Highly recommended to all you Prog-heads that want to hear something new. (Online March 28, 2005)