Karnataka - The storm - 2000


This band of a strange name comes from Wales. It is led by Rachel Jones (vocals), and is accompanied by Ian Jones (bass), Jonathan Edwards (keyboards), Paul Davies (guitars) and Gavin Griffiths (drums). They have achieved certain international status thanks to their concerts with Jump and to the good critics reached to this album. In the last few years, there has been an increasing quantity of symphonic-progressive bands led by feminine vocals and whose proposals are certainly similar. From the softest ones like Arise from Thorns or Butterfly Tree to the more powerful ones like After Forever or Fountain of Tears, as well as some risky bands like the Universal Totem Orchestra, it seems that nowadays the fashion is putting in front of the bands more women with great voices.


In this case, the music of Karnataka, according to progVisions opinion, includes many elements for and only one point against them. "The Storm" is a collection of 10 beautiful themes, no doubt about it, perfectly produced and correctly performed and arranged. These Welsh musicians offer a symphonic rock very connected to the elements of what has been called the "new Celtic music" (that has nothing of Celtic; on that case, it is "folk-rock") and that, according to each track, can sound to many different bands like Marillion in "Easter" –you can get an idea, this reference is very relevant to the music -, Clannad, Lorenna McKennitt, The Wishing Tree, or even The Corrs. The negative point -if it can call it that way - is the predictability of the songs, something that should not even be considered knowing that the band’s purpose is not to create something new.

Rachel's voice is really beautiful, evoking, with a great quantity of vocal arrangements that make the melodies sound more interesting. After the undeniable role of the vocal parts, all the elements familiar to this style are developed: keyboard layers, plenty of acoustic guitar parts, electric guitar solos, bagpipes, etc..., creating a very pleasant and descriptive result. Especially refined moments are "The journey", "Everything must change", "The Storm" or "Heaven can wait", even though the whole album keeps a certainly acceptable level that is not lost in any moment.


Without going even further in this critic, there is only one thing left: recommending this album vividly to all those that like the British progressive rock, "song-oriented" albums and elegant music (not neoprog). Ten beautiful themes sung by an impressive voice that are worth being listened carefully in your most melancholic moments in autumn time. A very brilliant and honest CD.

author - date - rating - label

Alfonso Algora - July 2000 -   - Immarama