KariBoW -
Three Times Deeper

(CD 2020, 62:54, Nikomi Records NIK AYCD 0025)

The tracks:
  1- Lose Your Way(4:44)
  2- World Designs(13:41)
  3- The Lame And The Flyer(8:45)
  4- Greed (bonus track)(7:17)
  5- Echoes, Part I: Ache(9:33)
  6- Echoes, Part II: The Code(5:22)
  7- Echoes, Part III: Ode(5:30)
  8- The Lame And The Flyer (acoustic) (bonus track)(8:00)

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Oliver Rüsing and his musical project KariBoW are very much loved amongst the fans of progressive rock. This German multi-instrumentalist is in many ways also a sort of workaholic. Always in for some new releases and therefore his fans never have to wait a long time to get hold of Rüsings new achievements. Even now with the Covid 19 all around the world and no concerts to be done more time was left to get busy on some new things in his recording studio. Oliver found it was time to revisit his 1999 release Three Times Deeper.

The third reissue of his discography having brought up to date Man Of Rust in 2016 (the original dating of 2011) and Supernatural Foe (see review) in 2019 (the original dating from 1998).

So what to expect and is this release different from its original release? Moreover do we get the same kind of exciting progressive rock as can be heard on his most recent albums? Well I can't compare it to the original album because I never got hold of it unfortunately. Well this is what SymfoCity wrote at the time: “From Germany we can welcome Karibow. Their latest mini-album called Three Times Deeper contains some unorthodox neo-prog that is difficult to describe. It has something with the sound of Simple Minds and U2 from the begin 80's, but also a real powerful neo-prog atmosphere. It will not be an average album. But for those who wants to broaden the prog horizon it is worth to listen to. It has only four songs but gives a good idea of what Karibow is or will be in future”. Well this certainly makes your eyebrow frown, doesn't it?

But music wise there is much more to enjoy. The album was originally just a four track disc containing 33 minutes of music and this is new version is now nearly 63 minutes long and has 8 tracks instead of 4. His very first concept-album has compared to the first edition much longer tracks. These are mainly the compositions World Designs (now 13:41 was 8.39) and Echoes (now 20:25 was 13.34) which make the album much longer. But also the two bonus tracks are to blame. Namely the new piece Greed and the acoustic version of The Lame And The Flyer. Of course you also have taking into account the techniques of today compared in the days it was originally recorded. You have to know there are 21 years in between both releases. When looking back to the original versions you always hear things which can be improved and that's what Oliver certainly did I guess.

I am not going into a detailed track by track review this time around. But I can tell you that Oliver introduces here for the first time narrations and vocals in radio mode. The dialogue between a child and his grandfather and a dark voice works very well on the opening piece Lose Your Way and throughout the rest of the album. Telling the story-line in a perfect way! The music which comes along with this concept is of a very high calibre again, as I am used to hearing on his most recent albums. The compositions always have room for fantastic melodies and excellent guitar and synthesizer solos. All done by Oliver himself. It's not easy to sit quietly on a chair because there are always great up tempo parts. On the other hand you can also dream away on the more mellow parts. The combination of up tempo and mellow parts is completely in control. Also there are no weak compositions at all. No leftovers from other recordings which are just fillers to give the album a longer length of time. No way! Everything is just of a very high level as we are used to on all Karibow releases. So this means that the new composition Greed and the acoustic version of The Lame And The Flyer are great additions to this newly recorded album. The first title is a rather mellow piece with some fine up tempo parts. The electric guitar has rather leading part on it. The latest title brought me back to last year's release Essence (see review). The first disc of this double album featured also great acoustic versions of earlier recorded studio tracks. This recording is no exception to it. So bravo to Rüsing for putting it all together in the right way!

Of course Three Times Deeper is not a new album but the choice to bring up a new version of this concept album was most certainly the right one to do. Most of all because the original version is nowadays probably hard to get. You might say don't try to change the past. Sure listening to the past has its charm and it's nice to see how an artist develops throughout the years. But if you could give it a twist this way I am the last one to tell not to do! So thumbs up for Oliver Rüsing and his musical project KariBoW! Hopefully more revisits of his earlier works can be enjoyed in the not too far future. Covid 19 or not!

Listening tips World Designs and Echoes!!!

**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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