Exposé Online banner

Kalaban — Edge of Infinity
((Not on label) no#, 2017, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-08-23

Edge of Infinity Cover art

It’s been around 18 years since the last release by Kalaban, most listeners probably figured they were gone forever, so what we have at hand is truly a surprising comeback. Through a number of changes, the band today is multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, lyricist and producer Randy Graves, and drummer Kyle Nish, with a couple of guests playing bass and woodwinds, track depending. For those who remember the Kalaban albums from the early 90s like Don’t Panic and Resistance Is Useless, the essential foundation of their sound remains intact: a powerful and aggressive guitar and keyboard driven progressive rock with a strong rhythmic foundation, lengthy multi-part compositions being the rule rather than the exception. Edge of Infinity features five cuts, from the two-and-a-half minute closing instrumental “Dusky Loch (Preview),” a beautiful guitar driven piece that will be expanded upon in some future release, to the sprawling “Opus Octopus,” a lengthy progressive rock tour-de-force that starts as an indictment of the banking industry and ends up as a general condemnation of consumerist society, with an intro and an outro, three verses each with a chorus of protesters, numerous instrumental sections connecting them, and even a Max Headroom styled TV commercial to lighten things up, all clocking in at a total of 31 minutes. The opener, “God Is an Avon Lady,” deals with possibilities and missed opportinities wrapped around nine minutes of paced Rush-like prog with an interesting steel-pan effected solo in the middle. From a lengthy spoken intro with interesting sound effects and layers of primordial rock grooves, we are introduced to “Berlin,” not the city in Germany, but the name of a girl. Again, there are only two verses and a chorus with numerous instrumental interludes, and eventually we arrive at an epilog that seems to ask more questions than it answers, then onward to another extended instrumental section that closes the piece. “Fields of Night” is essentially a dream put to words and music, sublime echoey guitars and vocals intertwine with a slow-paced rhythm, reminiscent of mid-70s Floyd. Throughout, there’s a lot to absorb here, both in the lyrics and the multi-layered arrangements that bond all the compositional ideas together; don’t expect everything to reveal itself on the first couple listens.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Kalaban

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Talking Heads - 2006 Rhino Reissues – Now that CBGB's has finally closed its doors in New York City, it's a good time to explore the reissued back catalog of one of the few valid early inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame....  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues