Strange behaviour indeed for a band to release a 2 CD live album after only 3 studio albums, but this album is justified in that it offers far superior interpretations of songs from those albums plus two brand new tracks added for good measure. Karnataka, along with Mostly Autumn and Iona beautifully mix celtic influenced music with a progressive rock edge. Their last studio album "Delicate Flame of Desire" earned them much praise and increased their fan base quite considerably. This live document is a neat way of taking stock of what has gone before and showcasing how much the band has progressed over the last few years.
With the addition of vocalist and flautist Anne-Marie Helder augmenting the superlative vocals of Rachel Jones the band has now settled into its current impressive line-up. Though the material on the previous studio albums is very strong I have always felt that it has been let down by the production. Especially on "Delicate Flame of Desire" it is very difficult to distinguish individual instruments clearly. This may be more to do with the arrangements, but the whole sound has a murky, claustrophobic feel to it. No such problem on this live album, where the sound is vibrant and energetic as are the performances. The band sound on top form, with older material in particular given a fresh, electrifying slant which will please those already familiar with the studio albums. It's good to hear a band willing to progress their songs live, rather than just retread the studio versions.
This album acts as an excellent overview of where the band is at present and a good companion to the studio albums for existing fans, especially for the new songs. It is a fine testament to a band who are quickly becoming one of the best of its type. It firmly puts a mark under where the band has progressed to and promises great things for the future.