KARMAKANIC

"Who's the Boss in the Factory?" (InsideOut; 2008)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The symphonic progressive rock revival of the last few years has sustained itself through a variety of bands utilizing the power of creativity to explore new avenues of expression. Jonas Reingold is one of the moving forces of the symphonic prog-rock movement.

Reingold is a busy man with his bass playing duties prog-rock stalwarts The Flower Kings and lesser known outfits Tangent, Time Requiem, Kaipa, and Karmakanic. It’s been four years since Karmakanic released “Wheel of Life.” Karmakanic’s latest effort, and third overall, is titled “Who’s the Boss in the Factory?” I’m sure most folks won’t be able to figure much from that title – and I’ll not be of much help either.

“Who’s the Boss in the Factory?” features songs that run from five minutes to nearly twenty minutes – it’s the variety in compositions that gives Karmakanic its strength. The rocking “Let in Hollywood” is a jumpy and an unexpected gem. “Two Blocks from the Edge” features the tone of desperation rarely heard in symphonic prog-rock. The epic “Send A Message from the Heart” is heartfelt and most evocative of early Yes.

Reingold’s skills as a composer have improved since the last Karmakanic disc; his bass and keyboard playing are stellar as always. Guitarist Jonzon relies on patience and understated melodies to brighten the band’s music. Edman’s vocals approach near-David Bowie tenor. Csorsz is an exemplary drummer who can really turn it on when the music calls for it.

“Who’s the Boss in the Factory?” was produced by Jonas Reingold. The clean production enhances the quiet nature of the songs into broader spectrums of sound in a near

Karmakanic is Goran Edman on vocals, Krister Jonzon on guitars, Jonas Reingold on bass and keyboards, and Zoltan Csorsz on drums.

For more information visit http://www.reingoldmusic.com or http://www.myspace.com/reingoldmusic.

"Wheel of Life" (The End / Regain Records North America; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Progressive rock newcomers Karmakanic have released their second effort "Wheel Of Life" on the Regain Records North America label. Regain is a label that is best known for their semi-official slogan 'quality not quantity' and that certainly applies here. Regain has a modestly sized roster of bands, but you've probably heard those bands or at least heard of them. Except Karmakanic – you've probably not heard of these guys. But that's okay because this is where the 'quality' part plays such an important part of the label's philosophy.

The Regain roster of bands leans heavily towards the black metal style. As such, you could almost say that it doesn't help that Karmakanic sticks out like a sore thumb because of their symphonic progressive rock style. But, after one spin of Karmakanic's "Wheel Of Life," you'll know that the quality of the music is more than enough to exceed the bounds of people's perceptions of what a Regain Records band is all about.

The symphonic style of Karmakanic's music harkens back to the prog-rock heyday back in the '70s and of course the recent late '90s/early '00s resurgence of the genre. Of course, the music is very much in the accomplished manner and it is not difficult to call these guys virtuosos. The crazy thing about most symphonic prog-rock albums (to me anyway) is that I tend to like certain parts of the songs rather than the entire songs themselves. The eight songs on "Wheel Of Life" run the gamut from under five minutes to over fourteen minutes. And the cool thing is that I like pretty much everything about each song as a separate entity and the album as a whole. Additionally, the album clocks in at more than 65 minutes, but never seems that long due to its effortless flow.

Karmakanic's "Wheel Of Life" is exquisitely performed. "Wheel Of Life" is for fans of The Flower Kings, Spock's Beard, RPWL., early Yes, and Kaipa.

"Wheel Of Life" was produced by Jonas Reingold. The production is clean and crystal clear – no doubt it was of paramount importance that Reingold as a member of the band knew exactly what he wanted and was able to achieve it as the producer.

Karmakanic: Goran Edman on vocals, Krister Jonzon on guitars, Jonas Reingold on bass and keyboards, and Zoltan Csorsz on drums. There are numerous guests not the least of whom is Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings).

For more information visit http://www.reingoldmusic.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 05 Nov 2017 10:54:34 -0500.