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Delicate Flame of Desire
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Top Customer Reviews
I'd become aware of the band through the Clssic Rock Society run by Martin Hudson and purchased their last album 'The Storm' about 18 months ago. This new offering takes the elements that made 'The Storm' interesting and enjoyable and develops them into a sumptuous experience which demands repeated listenings.
There isn't a bad track on this CD but songs such as 'Time Stands Still', 'The Right Time' and 'One Breath Away' are supreme.
The band hail from Wales and could be compared to Clannad in some respects as the lead singer Rachel Jones has the same skill at evoking images of windswept shores and rugged, celtic scenery. However, her crystal clear voice is complemented beautifully by some excellent bass playing and drums, piercing but melodic guitar solos and lush keyboard work. Karnataka are definitely a rock band with a solid, yet mellow sound. The icing on the cake is the production which is warm and full and as such the overall impression is of an album that cheers the soul on cold, wintry days.
Bob Harris has been giving this band much deserved airplay on his Saturday night Radio 2 show. It is to be hoped that this album rewaches as wide an audience as possible
Rachel Jones voice is beautiful and the subtly different character of Anne-Marie Helder's voice has greatly augmented the vocal harmonies. Paul Davies' guitar soloing is second to none and slightly more prominent in the mix compared to the earlier albums, which in my opinion is a improvment as it is closer to their live sound. All in all its a finely crafted piece of work, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. If there is any justice these guys should be massive.
Karnataka influences are a combination of Celtic and prog, and somehow manage to make their sound accessible, memorable and yet be truly adventurous and progressive. Their sound is multi layered that grows on you with each listen.
All too often people are put off with bands because with the association of "Prog Rock". Genesis, ELP, Yes, and other 70's Prog rockers now seem dated not so much because of their sound, but because of all the bands that have subsequently used their sound and pushed out similar material without actually being progressive. Karnataka are no such act. They are a truly original and enjoyable sound. From the Clannad(ish) vocals to the searing guitar solos, this is an uplifting, emotional masterpiece - a pleasant change from the usual pap that is churned out.
Karnataka deserve success, and I recommend them to any discerning music lover.
The lush overture, significantly titled 'Karnataka', certainly encapsulates the above remarks. It also hints at the main musical subject of the second part of the final song 'Heart of Stone', which is a nice touch.
Apart from this gorgeous instrumental (which also includes Sami-like vocalise by lead singer Rachel Jones), the one song that personally blew me away was 'Time Stands Still'. To me it was genuinely uplifting, and I don't mean that in any simple dance-floor kind of way. It is about returning to the place where you once experienced deep sorrows of the heart. As with just about all the other songs on this album Jonathan Edwards laces this one discreetly with felicitous keyboard phrases. It also features marvellous backing vocals by the new band member, flute-playing Anne-Marie Helder (--isn't it funny that so many prog rock bands feature a flautist?) and guest performer Heather Findlay of Mostly Autumn, both very talented women indeed. I only wish this song could have been longer, more expansive, for it almost makes me believe 'I'll love again' (to quote some of its lyrics)!
Generally, the gist of the album's lyrics (all written by Rachel) seems to be about the ambivalence towards success once you've attained it.
Whereas I think Karnataka's melodic lines are often refreshingly original, the band are naturally not without their influences. Sometimes I think they sound a bit like Enya meets Camel; the multi-layered vocals here and on the previous album are certainly Enya-esque in their close harmonies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this album by accident, and I am so grateful that I did. It is like a breath of fresh air. In fact I enjoyed it so much I have ordered two more. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Julian
The one thing that spoils the album for me are the percussive 'clicks' that start about 30 seconds into the second track 'Time Stands Still'. Read morePublished 15 months ago by briank
One of the most underrated bands in the Uk today. This is a masterpiece.Published 17 months ago by Thomas A Rattray
Just got into Karnataka although I love Mostly Autumn which has featured Heather Findlay & Anne-Marie Helder. Read morePublished 17 months ago by ChisChas
Band has shown a general progression through their releases whilst still retaining their celtic influence. Read morePublished on 31 Jan. 2014 by Old codga
This is my third studio album by Karnataka, and whilst I continue to buy them all in the wrong order I'm finding a real consistency of songwriting and a strong central thread of... Read morePublished on 29 Nov. 2013 by S. Bateman
This, the bands third album, is one superb piece of work. Great songs and lovely vocals and backing vocals from Rachel Jones and Anne-Marie Helder. Read morePublished on 23 Jan. 2013 by basiltheanorak
Powerful,dramatic,soaring chiming singing guitar solos,sublime female vocals with layers of harmonies & huge hooks that stay in your head for days. The greatest album of all time.Published on 6 Jan. 2012 by Riverside Rocker
A definite improvement on the first album, you can definitely hear the band evolving. Very heavy overtones of Marillion rather than Genesis, IMHO, but no issue with that and you... Read morePublished on 19 Jan. 2011 by Northern Warrior