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Good but nowhere near as good as the follow-up to this...
on 15 August 2010
I've only recently discovered Karnivool (just by clicking on viewing 'friends' lists on similar prog-bands' websites like Oceansize, Dredg etc.. and seeing what else people have bought on Amazon) and am so glad that I did. The first song I heard of theirs was 'Goliath' off of their 'Sound awake' album. Having loved it and quickly purchasing that fantastic album, I quickly wanted to check out their other stuff. I purchased 'Themata' without having listened to any of the tunes on it and on playing the first song ('Cote') I was again so pleased I had bothered. With a start like that I was worried that the others wouldn't be as good - I was wrong but unfortunately only about 'Themata'. After the first 2 tracks the album degenerates slightly into a splurg of 90's nu-metal influenced stuttered guitars and just doesn't really do it for me. Here's a quick run down of each song...
1. Cote - Great tune; well constructed, very melodic but with driving guitars, interesting drums, beautiful vocals and super bass lines. Probably my favourite on the album. (5 stars defo)
2. Themata - Another great tune; nice big thick slice of modern prog (4 stars)
3. Shutterspeed - it's ok just doesn't have enough character
4. Fear of the sky - far too deftones-esque and doesn't really excite
5. Roquefort - better tune (3rd best on the album)
6. L1fel1ke - their earliest tune on the album and yes can imagine it was probably good back in the day but compared to their new stuff it's very dull
7. Scarabs - just an instrumental metal track, hints of deftones, hints of meshuggah, ok but they could have developed it and made it into a proper song and less of a segue.
8.Sewn and silent - a more gentle tune (probably joint 4th favourite), pretty good actually but doesn't really get me going that much.
9.Mauseum - a slow but driving tune, another good one acutally but doesn't really go anywhere to be a prog-band's tune
10.Synops - actually I forgot about this one, this is more interesting - a <reasonably> thick-ish slice of prog.
11.Omitted for clarity - utterly pointless 20seconds of silence, is it an 'in' joke or something, very happy to admit that it's significance is lost on me
12. Change (part 1) - knowing what (and how good) 'Deadman' and 'Change' on the 'Sound awake' album, this is just a frustrating snippet that always serves to remind me what I'm missing from their 2nd album. But at least it does make me put on that album instead (not that I need making...)
Anyway, I'm probably being a trifle unfair calling some of it nu-metal but I guess once you taste the sweetness and depth of 'Sound awake' it's very difficult to go back to it's rather bland predecessor. Don't get me wrong though, Karnivool are very, very good band.