Review Summary: Karnivool give us some of this, and a lot of that...
Karnivool; a band that is one of the most phenomenally talented and structurally sound in Australia. Karnivool are on the front line and deep in the trenches with The Butterfly Effect in the great Prog Rock assault Australia is giving out at the moment. Though on their debut effort Karnivool were yet to hit their straps as one of the leading bands in this genre with a mediocre EP including a few catchy hooks, but some boring stagnant sections that they were thankfully able to iron out before having the mainstream success of Themata.
The opening track ‘Fade’ is everything Karnivool has become, with a 15 second long vocal introduction, we discover right up and down, there is talent in front man Ian Kenny, this is quickly chased by crunching guitars, bass and a very raw sounding drums. The song is extremely well created with a coherent flow from start to finish, as well as introducing an element of Karnivool that was not really that common on Themata, being a heavy ‘breakdown’ interlude. Thus showing how much they changed from Persona to Themata. 'Fade' is followed by the amazingly bland ‘Da – Reka,’ meaning" Who the hell knows! This being one of the heavier songs on the album, even having Kenny screaming some backing vocals in the opening verses, the track really doesn’t extend or vary from the opening second, and continues rolling down a hill like a proverbial ball of cheese from there on. Though thankfully ‘Headcase’ evolves out of this song, even if the first couple of minutes sound like you have been sucked up by a UFO and an alien with a anal probe is encroaching, but that’s another story. Instead an intricate bass line picks this song up, and then it soars like a butterfly with an amazing vocal showing from Kenny and some lovely guitar twiddling as such, leading into an amazing chorus section that will have you humming for days.
Unfortunately then come the ending two tracks, ‘Featherweight’ and ‘Some More of the Same,’ and we are treated to two boring generic Prog Rock efforts as both of them are quite similar sounding to earlier tracks, ‘Headcase’ and ‘Da – Reka.’ Positively we are given an insight to Karnivool’s amazing technical ability, with some interesting sections of odd time signatures and clever guitar riffs, like the ending 2 minutes or so of ‘Featherweight,’ which is lead in by a gut wrenching scream from Kenny, and then fades into nothingness. Though these moments are two few as the epically long 9 minutes track ‘Some More of the Same,’ showcases. Of those 9 minutes, the final minute before the song fades out are the only minutes that you really want to engage your ear buds with, since you get the whole song with a taste of what is to come with future Karnivool, before once again the songs fades into oblivion.
In glimpses and glances we are able to see through the strong mist and see that Karnivool always had the chance to have a brilliant future. Thankfully when they went into the studio to record Themata they also could see through that mist.
Just download ‘Fade’ and ‘Headcase’ and all shall be fine!