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Karmamoi - Odd Trip Award winner

Karmamoi
Odd Trip
by Daniel Fox at 02 January 2014, 7:59 PM

I can't say indie Prog is my daily jam, but as a Metal and Rock enthusiast my mind is always open to a genius jam. Sufficed to say, Italy never fails to impress me with the multitudes of diverse and highly skilled bands that hail from there – from RHAPSODY OF FIRE to LACUNA COIL. Indie band KARMAMOI can, at the most, be somewhat comparable to the latter. At 12 tracks it is a reasonably meaty, filled-to-the-brim musical endeavor; but the crowning jewel is the thought put into diversifying the tracks.

"If", funnily enough, comes across as something Maynard and the gang thought up while recording TOOL's "Undertow". However, the track is very quick to mellow out into discordant harmonics, and we are graced by Serena Ciacci's smooth, yet gorgeously melodic voice; at times it is powerful and in control, much like Cristina's (of the aforementioned LACUNA COIL). However at other times, I feel as if she deliberately allows it to crack ever so slightly, to let some tenderness and emotion creep through. In the end, it really just has the effect of adding some organic-ness to the tracks. However, in the breezy, jazzy and incredibly relaxing "If I Think of the Sea", we hear proof of her masterful control over dynamics and grasp of melody and pitch.

Definitely my favorite track on the record is "Yours". I would go as far as calling this, literally, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS with a female vocalist. Albeit, lacking the rapping. The entire track is over 5 minutes of funky, indie rock with hints of Prog; but like a good funk track, the real highlight is the bass. Alessandro Cefali comes across here as an exceptionally talented musician, switching from the warm, dulcet, deep-end croons from the previous tracks to an infectiously upbeat, funk-based groove, and is by no means afraid of breaking out a slap in other parts of the record. This vibe is somewhat carried over into the final track, "Aria", which ultimately is essentially an indie Rock track. However, it contains a larger-than-expected amount of diversification amongst the passages of the track. Ciacci's vocals revert back to the commanding power found in LACUNA COIL, and the bass makes sudden switches between fast-paced funk-walks, crunchy chugs and warm, deep croons.

The only criticism that I can even think of with regards to this ambitious, yet successful endeavor is a lack of a sign of even the slightest showy-off lead guitar work. But then, I come from a metal background; if what the guitarists look for are an indie-proggy groove, blended in with discordant, yet beautiful harmonics and distant melodies, then they too succeeded.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Oxygen
2. If
3. Labyrinth
4. If I Think of the Sea
5. Oxygen 2
6. Samvega
7. Yours
8. Odd Trip
9. Oxygen 3
10. 5+
11. Lost Days
12. Aria
Lineup:
Daniele Giovannoni – Drums
Serena Ciacci – Vocals
Fabio Tempesta – Guitars
Alex Massari – Guitars
Alessandro Cefali – Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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