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23
4.3 out of 5 stars
Asymmetry
Format: Audio CDChange
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2013
I was I little disappointed on the first listen, although I identified that it would be a grower of a record.
like the first time listening to Tool or The Mars Volta it isn't instantly accessible, but the more you put in to it the more you get out. Less euphoric moments than Sound Awake but a solid, solid album. Better than Themata, a touch behind sound awake (in my opinion)
If this is the standard Karnivool fans should expect, going forward... sign me up. I've been reading comparisons to Tool and I have to say, they are warranted. They are different bands, but if you like one, you'll no doubt like the other.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2013
The final track titles on both the great (Themata) first album and the excellent (Sound Awake) second album are appropriately called "Change".

Perhaps this is due to some forsight by the band that they had something up their sleeves regarding the release of their third album, because God is Asymmetry different. And, sadly, not in a good way.

I am like most of the other reviewers a huge Vool fan, and i remain one despite the efforts on this CD. I am indeed going to see them rock out live in Glasgow in November, but i genuinely hope they dont play much of this album because if they do i may fall asleep, which is not at all what Karnivool are about. They are (were) in my opinion about sucking you in, delicately yes, but then slapping you across the face with an almighty whallop of lyrical pantomine or a guitar or bass riff that makes your pants quake. I love this sort of music, but unfortunately i have to say no pants quaking has occurred in the multiple listen-throughs i have done with Asymmetry.

Do not get me wrong there are 3-4 good songs on the album, namely We Are, Eidolon (the best) and Sky Machine. But these songs genuinely would not have made it on to a b-sides album of Sound Awake studio recordings.

I do encourage you all to still purchase this CD, i do not believe my opinion is universal. And i want Karnivool to remain around so they can wake me back up with a sterling return in the 4th album. I just hope to Jesus that the Vool dont go down the Opeth path... please please no!!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2013
Am a huge 'Vool fan already, so was REALLY hoping Asymmetry would be a stonker,
and it is!
Abit of a slow burner to begin with, and kind of an eclectic mix of tracks - heavy and light, refined and raw, gentle and brutal (is the only way can describe it).
A really clever album, and doesnt at all feel like a bunch of singles on a disk, feels like a proper flowing album.

Loved Themata, loved Sound Awake ...loving this now too. It's like a velvet-wrapped sledgehammer dipped in Monica Belucci's tears (probably).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2013
Listen, learn and understand what this album is all about. I can never doubt the sheer genius that these guys put across in their glorious music. Opinions are opinions, but have you really listened to this... really?
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on 3 December 2013
I have been trying to figure out what it is about new albums which don't engage me. Probably a combination of post production 'perfection', lack of band cohesion, lack of originality and lack of melody, harmony and rhythm.

Anyway I could tell I was engaged because for once I wanted to sit through the whole experience. I think Karnivool have found their sound. It is difficult for Tool type bands not to be pigeonholed, and not to plagiarise. For me Karnivool influences were evident, and made it like listening to a school band, albeit a great one.

The album flows well throughout, and is organic and natural. They suit their darker sound (unlike many bands who get heavy for the sake of it). I didn't feel like I was listening to a bunch of mp3s that I wanted to skip to the good bits. They I think unintentionally give a Mars Volta vibe, which again suits them.

The drums are jazz like at times. Expecting a generic break down', instead it becomes a flowing passage uninterrupted by drum chops. He does overcomplicated while losing groove occassionally, but no big concern. The guitars are probably my favourite part of this. Original and serving the song.. you don't feel like anything on this record is contrived.

I'm not a huge fan of the vocals, but I appreciate that a band finally has made a rock album which catches your ear and will stay on tour play list. Probably the best prog album since 10000 days imo.

For those prog fans not into this change, give it more listens. 4.5/5
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on 21 December 2013
This is the only Karnivool album I own, although I have listened to their earlier stuff and do intend on purchasing the other albums at some point. This album is very dark, just the whole vibe is incredibly... I dunno, a bit unsettling. Not in a bad way either. It's a very good experience to listen to the entire album as a whole. I think that's the best and only way to really get this album. There is no "hit single" and if there was then I think it'd defeat the purpose of the album. I mean yeah okay you've got "We Are" which obviously works by itself and was released as a single but again you don't listen to it and think "instant hit" and I highly doubt that that was the intention. What Karnivool have created here is a very disturbing, artistic and also rather beautiful piece of work. Like I said, I don't own any other Vool albums and have only just go into them really, so it's not as if I'm here defending my favourite band or anything. I really recommend taking some time just to put the album on and listen to the entire thing all the way through. It won't appeal to everyone, but that's just the nature of the music. Enjoy it for what it is.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2013
Firstly let me qualify this review by stating I am a big fan of Karnivool's output; I thought 'Themata' was excellent and 'Sound Awake' total genius. I'm also a huge fan of prog rock in general, from 70s bands like Yes/Rush to contemporary stuff like Tool/Meshuggah. I had high expectations of this album and was utterly blown away on my first listen. Blown away by how incredibly devoid of songs this album is.

Here's a song by song guide:

Track 1: Instrumental intro songs can often be tedious or unnecessary. Never fear because 'Aum' is a minute or so of absolutely nothing. It sits somewhere between super minimalism performed quietly and pure silence. I wouldn't even call it an instrumental because there is pretty much no instrumentation.

Track 2-13: Nothing much happens here. Twelve tracks of forgettable meandering averageness with a bit about 'chemical fire' somewhere in the middle. I remembered that line not because it had a killer hook or beautiful melody, but rather it was just repeated quite a lot and on that account was more memorable by default.

Track 14: An instrumental outro that somehow endeavours to be even more nothing than the intro. 'Om' is essentially someone playing a single piano note very quietly every 12 seconds. It's not 'arty' chaps - it's lazy nonsense.

I listened to the album on multiple occasions on accounts that it might be a grower - I love albums that you don't 'get' until about 5 listens, but this is categorically not one of them. I take that back, in a way it is a grower; it grows even more laborious with every listen.

I'm sure the die-hards will despise this review, but I'm afraid it is just pure honest opinion from someone who loves Karnivool and was desperate for an album even half as good as 'Sound Awake'. Do yourself a favour and pick up something by DeadLetterCircus or the most recent albums by Earthtone9 or Katatonia for some alternate rock/metal that actually contains some SONGS.

Generously awarding 2 Stars because the artwork is cool and there is a DVD.
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on 23 November 2013
At first listen I didnt really enjoy this too much. I didnt understand it. I think it was my preconcieved ideas about how it should have been , and comparing it sound awake. Both in the mix/production of the of whole album and the songs and feel too.

But once of all of this completley subsides and you give it a bit of space it grows on you. Songs i thought i would never like on first listen are now my favourites, and I actually like it just as much as sound awake.

Some of the guitar work is fantastic and the overall lyrics and message behind the songs are great.

I would not recommend this album to new karnivool fans as it will sound messy .

Its now a 5/5 album for me, the variety of songs are great , loving it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2013
Themata was a very good album to start with for Karnivool and Sound Awake was simply genius. Obviously I've had, like many others, great expectations of what "Asymmetry" would be like.

Let me start with the good bits first: Some of the melodies are quite uplifting, 'Sky Machine' has a nice ring to it and 'We Are' reminds of what Karnivool was like before Asymmetry. Generally speaking the album sounds more rough and emotional, I think most people would agree.

Sadly the overwhelming majority of my criticisms is negative: Karnivool, to me, has always been synonymous for 'being composed' in two ways. First of all the instruments always sounded like an orchestra, everything sounded planned, in a good way. Secondly, it felt composed, emotionally. Karnivool was never a band that broke out like a volcano and celebrated musical eruptions. It was rather a band that made 'controlled' music with ups and downs that would feel alive enough to identify with them. I really liked that composed style but Asymmetry has none of it. It's brutal at times, mostly uncontrolled, and sounds more like an average jamming session with chords that aren't bad, but not karnivoolesquely good. Before the album was released I've only known "We Are" so I expected a lot of the song giving the album its name: Asymmetry. Well, what a letdown. It's basically a barrel organ on repeat.

TL;DR: No catchy songs, the Karnivool-feeling is nearly entirely absent. Regardless of that it's worth buying as a memorial for what great bands can turn into. Let's hope for a better fourth album - both for the sake of Karnivool and their fans.
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on 6 December 2013
I was a massive fan of Sound Awake and pretty uncertain about whether I would enjoy this album. It's very easy to listen to, but, I don't feel that same intense punch of emotions to the gut that previous songs have given me. So far Sky Machine is the only track to evoke something close to that. But like i said, really enjoyable album.
Gorgeous vocals, tight sound, just great.
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