The German vehicle KariBoW is a joint venture of many well-known artists from all over the world. The band of leader Oliver Rusing comes with a new concept album entitled “From Here To The Impossible”. Following the info sheet it features 72 minutes of powerful melodic and passionate Neo-progressive rock music that will immediately catch your attention and captivate it until the very end. It's main subject is the everlasting human struggle with limits and impossibilities. The album features contributions by Jim Gilmour (Saga), Mark Trueack (UPF, Unitopia), Monique van der Kolkata (Harvest), Sean Timms (Southern Empire, Unitopia), Marek Arnold (Seven Steps to the Green Door, Toxic Smile, UPF, Cyril, Damanek), Daniel Lopresto (Clearway, Southern Empire) and others. When I met Oliver Rusing at the Night Of The Prog Festival last month, where the band had the opportunity to present the new album to a large audience of prog enthusiasts, he told me that you could listen to the album on several and different levels.
Oliver Rusing - vocals, drums, guitars, keyboards, bass; Monique van der Kolk - vocals, narrating voice; Marek Arnold - soxaophone, keyboards; Jim Gilmour - keyboards; Daniel Lopresto - vocals; Mark Trueack - vocals, narrating voice; Sean Timms - keyboards; Kai Warszus - narrating voice; Gerald Nahrgang - percussion; Thomas Wischt - fretless bass; Jorg Eschrig - guitar, mandolin.
Multi instrumentalist Oliver Rusing is of course the driving force behind this project. He is responsible for all the lyrics, the music, the arrangements and the production. To understand the storylines of the concept better I would like to give you the texts that are printed on the first page of the the beautiful designed 20 page booklet that comes with the 6 panel Digipak. You can believe me without any hesitation because I am a graphic designer myself.
“It's your story, it's your journey. Escape from here! Will the raw beauty of the search and the rebellion of youth survive, the process of aging and constant change?”
“Our passion will last forever, some of us once said. but they are long gone.”
“How close can you get to a beloved heart? What makes you feel connected to someone and what keeps you from fusing? Welcome to the core. Welcome to the impossible.”
“Will your dreams remain strong in spite of the limitations of time, space and life? What if your creative power fades away to vaporize into black air?”
“Do you want to live forever?”
But what about the music? The album is divided into the following five parts. “The Great Escape”, “For Love And Greed”, “Mercury Hearts”, “Of Inner Beauty” and “In Sight”.
“The Great Escape” includes the songs “Here” and “My Time Of Your Life”. After hearing a announcement one of the three narrative voices that you can find on this album, the song “Here“ develops into an uptempo Neo-prog song with great into your face drumming, nice melodic guitar parts and supporting keyboard orchestrations. And in the end you can find a lovely synth solo played by Saga keyboardist Jim Gilmour. Neo-prog at it's best, nice opener of the album. This is followed by the song “My Time Of Your Life”. The music stays in the same vein, great drumming, a combination of aggressive and melodic guitar parts, and a lot of keyboards. Halfway the song slows down a little bit to make room for some beautiful melodic moments. You can fine lovely vocal harmonies on the track. But this counts for the whole album.
The next part “For Love And Greed” includes the songs “Passion“ and “Never Last”. ”Passion“ opens with an aggressive guitar part and develops into an uptempo prog song with lovely melodic vocal refrains. And again I am impressed by the fine drumming of Oliver. The second song “Never Last” is a beautiful ballad with nice piano and acoustic guitars. A welcome change after all that powerful music of the previous tracks. I like the delicate sung vocals and the nice melody of the song. In the end Marek Arnold plays a nice saxophone part. Harvest singer Monique van der Kolk ends the song with a delicate narrative vocal part.
Monique is also singing in the next track “Lost Peace”, one of the four songs of the third part entitled ”Mercury Hearts“. The other songs of this part are ”A Cresent Man”, the instrumental “Requiem” and “Inside You”. The vocal duties in the first song “Lost Peace” are divided by Monique and Oliver. The song has a powerful ending that seamlessly flows into the next song “A Crescent Man”. The atmospheric opening is very beautiful. But soon the powerful character of the music is restored. You can find some nice guitar parts in the song. And Monique does a wonderful job. As you will know she has a very beautiful voice. The instrumental “Requiem” has a beautiful classical orchestration and a delicate piano part. A welcome rest point in the music. The last song of this part is called “Inside You”. It has become one of my favorite tracks of this album. Great vocals by Oliver and Monique. The combination of a male and feminine voice is working very well. I'll touch down in Neverworld.
The forth part is entitled “Of Inner Beauty” and includes the songs “System Of A Dream” and “Black Air”. The opening of “System Of A Dream” has an aggressive metal influenced guitar part. The great keyboard solo's in this song are played by Sean Timms. You can find also nice melodic vocal parts in this song. “Black Air” has a beautiful opening with saxophone, fretless bass and acoustic guitars. I love this part ... very well done! It develops into a fairytale part by the orchestration. For me one of the highlights of this album. A song with a great diversity and some jazzy atmospheres.
The last part of the album is entitled “In Sight” and consists out of the song “The Impossible”. With more than eleven minutes it is also the longest track of the album.
“This is the end of your journey. Now prepare to face the ultimate struggle and dance with immortality. think again!”
For me this song is the highlight of this remarkable album. Beautiful musical themes, melodic vocal parts and lovely keyboard orchestrations. The atmosphere is more on the mellow and melodic side of the progressive spectrum. The intensity of the music is slowly building up towards to a kind of climax. The atmospheric ending of the song is very beautiful. A worthy ending of a remarkable album.
Well this was a nice introduction to the music of KariBoW for me. I must admit that the first time I listened to the album I did not connect to the music directly. But after several spins in my player the album revealed it's true beauty to me. Oliver Rusing is surrounded by capable musicians who all made fine contributions to this album. The powerful Neo-prog songs are alternated by some beautiful melodic atmospheres. Recommended to the lovers of Neo Progressive music.