Karnivool
Themata


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mongi123 CONTRIBUTOR (133 Reviews)
July 27th, 2013 | 120 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A fantastic debut that proves to be engaging, catchy and the shape of things to come.

Though this has elements of progressive rock and alternative metal, nu-metal also happens to find a place inside too. This record has elements of all three and the final genre certainly gets a bad reputation for being bland and juvenile. Fortunately, this impressive debut combines these aspects with undeniable finesse. Make no mistake that the more nu metal esque parts won't take away the experience of this record and despite the records underwhelming ending, it makes for quite the enjoyable ride. Karnivool's debut into the Australian scene certainly left its mark as one of the most essential bands to come from it.

Be rest assured that Karnivool can really play their instruments in a mature manner. Unique time signatures, skillful guitar riffs, and Ian's best vocals are not hard to come by on Themata. The band as a whole sounds great and the production is rock solid with every band member getting to shine at particular moments. The music is capable of being very heavy and the drumming is outstanding for the most part with no intrusive snare drums to be found like in their latest release. Mind you this has more of an alternative metal sound, there are essences of what the band would later become in songs like "Fear Of The Sky" and the albums outstanding opener "Cote."

The album kicks off with a bang in "Cote" with an ambient opening as the intense guitars jump in shortly after. Excellent guitar riffs compliment Ian's emotional vocals and Ian never has to aggressively shout or scream to get the point across. He just sings with a great vocal range and he demonstrates excellent falsetto sections in "Cote." The excellence continues into the title track where the guitar riffs are the true height. The riff is catchy and Ian gives a fantastic vocal delivery in the verses. However, what really stands out in "Themata" is how well written the lyrics are and how undeniably badass that main guitar riff happens to be. The song is without a doubt one of the highlights of this gem.

The entire first half of the album follows the same trend as the first two tracks, but they miraculously pull this off without any song sounding the same. "Fear Of The Sky" mixes the music up with a fantastic time signature that is both tough to follow and unique. It also contains a incredible chorus that is catchy and memorable. Once we come to "Scarabs" the entire album shifts into different territory. "Scarabs" is a heavy metal-like instrumental this is masterfully played and intense. The style change continues into the last three tracks. "Sewn And Silent" is a mellow track with acoustic track driven by Ian's once again emotional vocals. "Mauseum" and "Synops" are two tracks that would feel right at home on their newest record and they could have easily replaced some of the lackluster interludes.

There are two more tracks on the record, but can we really consider them tracks at all" "Omitted For Clarity" is literally twenty seconds of complete silence and nothing else. "Change" has all of this ambient build up with quiet vocals and just as you think the song is coming to a thrilling climax, it ends abruptly. What they were thinking with these final tracks, I have absolutely no idea.

Themata exists as a truly engaging record that triumphs on every front that includes musicianship, accessibility and potential. It has overwhelming amounts of passion and only makes the listener want more in the best way possible. "Change" many be a disappointing album closer, but what it does assure the listeners is that the band will surely be back for more. Be rest assured that they return with a bang years later.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Cipieron
July 27th 2013


3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is nu-metal eh? huh

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2013


18907 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's got some progressive qualities but it has more of a nu metal sound definitely. Mauseum is very nu-metal imo.

Cipieron
July 27th 2013


3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'll give that to ya. good review though man, i pos'd



i've been making my way through reading your reviews, i like em

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2013


18907 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a lot dude. I still have lots of trouble trying to not write them like "this album is great and here is why"

Mad.
July 27th 2013


4675 Comments


Inb4 Baseline

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2013


18907 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea where's baseline when ya need em

CK
July 27th 2013


6104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Better than Sound Awake

Ecnalzen
July 27th 2013


7157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought this was more on the hard rock side, but, to be fair, I am not entirely sure what nu metal is. I just know it's associated with a bunch of bands I don't like from the early 2000s.

Cipieron
July 27th 2013


3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i don't know if i read on this site or wherever, but that this album has hooks and Sound Awake has lures. made a lot of sense to me

PistolPete
July 27th 2013


4506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I don't really get the nu-metal comparisons, their first EP was definitely nu-metal but this has more hard rock and progressive rock in it. I love it regardless, but the band has substantially improved since this album.



Mauseum and Themata are my faves off this. Even Scarabs is pretty kick-ass for an instrumental. Good review dude!

Cipieron
July 27th 2013


3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the second half of this album is a little weaker than the first, otherwise i'm sure i'd have this at a 5

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2013


18907 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! And it's all in the sound for me. No traditional guitar solos, heavy focus on guitar riffs, a focus on pain and self loathing in most of the songs on here. That's pretty much nu metal. But like I said, it definitely combines it with a little prog stuff.

PistolPete
July 27th 2013


4506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you like Karnivool and Rishloo (another review of yours I read) you need to listen to Cog if you haven't done that already. "The New Normal" is an insane album and probably one of the Top 3 best rock albums to come out of Australia.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2013


18907 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't man I'll be sure to give them a try eventually!

Ecnalzen
July 27th 2013


7157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed; Scarabs is a bitchin' track.



I haven't given this a proper listen compared to Sound Awake. Band kind of wore off me last fall and I have been meaning to try to get back into their stuff since they have the new album coming out and all.

PistolPete
July 27th 2013


4506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Asymmetry was the biggest grower of an album ever. Took even longer than Sound Awake for me. But it's actually amazing how much it clicks after a while. I've gone from a 3 to 4 with it, and considered a 4.5 today after "Sky Machine" clicked on my morning run.

Ecnalzen
July 27th 2013


7157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't heard it yet. I missed out on their official stream (think it was only up for a few days), and it doesn't come out until next month in the states.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2013


18907 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's on spotify now if you have an account

Ecnalzen
July 27th 2013


7157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I did not know that. Thank you!

thumbcrusher
July 27th 2013


3753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pre good album



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