Female vocals, Neo, Symphonic
"With "Requiem for a Dream", Karnataka offers us an album to be placed between the ears of all those for whom progressive rock is above all a source of pleasure and emotion."
TONYB (27.07.2023)  
(0) opinions (2) comment(s)
For almost 25 years now, Ian Jones - also the brains behind Illuminae and Chasing the Moonson - has steered the Karnataka ship with a firm hand, apparently taking great pleasure in renewing the band's line-up. With "Requiem for a Dream", the band's sixth album, things are at least clear: Karnataka is Ian Jones, a singer and guests including Luke Machin on guitars, a former band member (Gonzalo Carrera) and the inevitable Troy Donockley.

What hasn't changed, however, is our artist's incredible ability to compose top-quality neo-progressive Rock, made up of silky melodies magnificently enhanced by his female performers. Following in the footsteps of Rachel Jones, Lisa Furry and Hayley Griffith, it's now Setari's turn, and the result is just as magnificent as her prestigious predecessors.

The general tone of the album returns to the band's first love, and the metal aspects of "Secrets of Angels" are reduced in favor of a generally mid-tempo rhythmic and symphonic keyboard arrangements crossed by incredible guitar soli delivered by Luke Machin, whose feeling is once again extraordinary.

Alternating between epic tracks with multiple variations in themes, tonalities and even modes, and more refined tracks with the allure of a single ('Say Goodbye Tomorrow'), the album can be enjoyed in one go and, despite its 79 minutes, rarely generates boredom, except on the occasional haunting repetition of themes ('Dont Forget my Name'). Two peaks stand out in particular. Firstly, there's 'Forgiven', which, over its almost 12 minutes, takes us through all kinds of emotions. A delicate theme recurring three times in various arrangements, Gregorian-inspired backing vocals, a magnificent guitar solo and a symphonic finale all combine to carry the listener away in a tremendous emotional surge.

And, of course, it's impossible not to mention the title track, which, at 25 minutes long, delivers all the best that neo-progressive rock has to offer: killer melodies, silky arrangements, an initially discreet accompaniment from Troy Donockley and his uileann pipes and an emotionally-charged double solo of flute and uileann pipes, and that voice that bewitches us all the way through on a journey that begs to be repeated.

A final word to underline the exceptional quality of the production, which, through its balance, contributes wonderfully to the delivery of this magnificent object.

As a true craftsman, Ian Jones has once again concocted an achievement to be placed between the ears of all those for whom progressive rock is above all a source of pleasure and emotion. With "Requiem for a Dream", Karnataka fulfills the contract without a moment's hesitation.
- Official website

01. All Around The World
02. Sacrifice
03. Look To The East
04. Forgiven
05. The Night’s Dance
06. Say Goodbye Tomorrow
07. Don’t Forget My Name
08. Requiem For A Dream

Ian Jones: Guitares / Basse / Claviers
Sertari: Chant
Chris Allen: Batterie / Invité
Gonzalo Carrera: Claviers / Invité
Luke Machin: Guitares / Invité
Troy Donockley: Invité / Uilleann Pipes, Low Whistle
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(2) COMMENT(S)    
Merci TONYB pour cette belle chronique qui a attirée mon attention. C'est vrai qu'aujourd'hui, avec les abonnements de musique en streaming, on peut prêter plus facilement attention à des albums que nous n'aurions jamais achetés par le passé. En lisant ce magnifique résumé j'ai donc tenté ma chance et quelle agréable, surprise. Alors certes, il n'y a pas de grandes nouveautés mais c'est très bien exécuté, les envolées sont remarquables et la présence d'un chant feminin qui me rappelle Dolores O'Riodan, renforce l'atmosphère de l'ensemble. Pour ceux qui veulent passer un bon moment, allez-y sans hésiter 4/5.
Un album certes mélodieux mais bien trop lisse à mon goût. Ceux qui aiment les airs qui enchaînent les thèmes qu’on peut siffloter agrémentés de voix féminines vont se régaler, mais tout cela a un air de déjà-entendu et de fort convenu qui laissera de marbre ceux pour qui le rock progressif doit contenir un minimum de surprises.
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