Karmamoi - Odd Trip

(CD 2013, 52:01, Crisalde Music K01)

The tracks:
  1- Oxygen 1 (Interlude)
  2- If
  3- Labyrinth
  4- If I Think of the Sea
  5- Oxygen 2 (Interlude)
  6- Samvega
  7- Yours
  8- Odd Trip
  9- Oxygen 3 (Interlude)
10- 5+
11- Lost Days
12- Aria

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The Italian prog rock band Karmamoi was formed in 2008. In 2011 their first eponymous album was released by the following line-up: Daniele Giovanoni (drums), Serena Ciacci (vocals), Alessandro Cefali (bass), Fabio Tempesta (guitar) and Alex Massari (guitar). One year later they recorded the EP Entre Chien Et Loup in order to create a connection between the commercial pop sound of the debut and the new musical direction they were aiming at: a mixture of straightforward rock and progressive rock. Now two years later the result of this change in musical style can be heard on the second official studio album called Odd Trip.

The new record can be considered as a concept album. The band members describe Odd Trip as 'a journey through the mental and physical states of a person.' This can be heard throughout the album mainly by using sound effects such as the sound of alarm bells. If you look at the line-up − consisting of two guitarists and no keyboardist − you might expect that they would have recorded an album with a rather heavy guitar sound in the vein of metal, hard rock or even gothic rock, because of the female singer. However, this isn't the case at all. The music goes in the direction of a style that many fans of prog rock will enjoy. I heard influences of bands like Genesis, Rush, Yes, Pink Floyd, but also The Police, Radiohead and Portishead seem to inspire them. However, the band that inspired them most is without doubt Porcupine Tree.

Karmamoi didn't copy the music of Porcupine Tree like a lot of bands did before them, but they used their sound and turned it into a sound of their own! This worked out very well throughout the album of which the first part is rather up-tempo, but gradually shifts to a mellower direction. I would like to compliment the musicians of Karmamoi for delivering a professional sounding prog rock album. Hopefully they'll continue this musical style on forthcoming records!

*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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