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Karakorum — Fables and Fairytales
(Tonzonen TON058, 2019, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-08-18

Fables and Fairytales Cover art

With their second album, Karakorum further develops an interesting combination of progressive rock influences that’s quite distinctive. The title Fables and Fairytales may hint at some kind of airy-fairy nonsense, but in this case it’s more indicative of humor and irony than dwelling in realms of fantasy — I don’t think anyone serious about the universal truth behind myths would call a track “Smegmahood.” The three tracks on the album range from nine minutes to 23, and all of them are chock full of a dizzying array of styles and sounds. At one moment, you’re hearing cosmic blues rock reminiscent of classic Nektar, then you get a heavy organ section the brings to mind Uriah Heep, then some complex vocal harmonies that clearly relate to Gentle Giant, then a bit of goofy space-jester frivolity harking back to Gong’s pothead pixies. But wait — there’s more! Too much is never enough for these guys, but somehow they manage to hold it all together. “Fairytales” is the side-long epic here, and it starts with a quiet, spaced-out throbbing rhythm underpinning flights of Middle-Eastern inspired wordless vocalization. But of course there’s much more to it than that, and it develops into a dramatic march rhythm, then a slower melodic section, finishing off with a propulsive arrangement featuring mallet percussion. Fables and Fairytales certainly isn’t for listeners looking for a quick thrill, but patience is rewarded with these imaginative compositions.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Karakorum

More info
http://karakorum.bandcamp.com/album/fables-and-fairytales

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