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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Karcius - The Fold - 2018



    

“... an album of contrasts ...”
The Canadian band Karcius was founded in Montreal in 2001. In the first years the band made a kind of mix between Prog and Jazz Fusion. And if my mind is not playing tricks, I believe they made instrumental music. After the albums “Sphere” (2004), “Kaleidoscope” (2006) and “Episodes” (2008) Sylvain Auclair joined the band in 2009 on bass and vocals. In the year 2012 the band released an album with the title “The First Day”. Fast forward to the year 2018 ... the band just released their new album “The Fold”. Their previous albums were released on the Canadian label Unicorn Records. The band now took matters into their own hands. “The Fold” is an independent release.¬†
Sylvain Auclair - vocals, bass, percussion; Thomas Brodeur - drums, percussion, loop programming, sound design; Simon L’Espérance - guitars, mandolin, synths, Wurlitzer, Mellotron, keyboards, percussion, sound design; Sébastian Cloutier - piano, B3, synths, Mellotron¬†

Eric Jarrin - rhythm guitar on The Fold
Pierre St-Jean - brainstorming and concept development 

String Quartet:
First violin - Lizann Gervais; second violin - Dominic Guilbauh; Viola - Amina Tébini; Cello - Elisabeth Giroux
“The Fold” is a concept album that plays around the idea that what if our perception of reality could be interpreted as a form of dementia? “At the heart of every living being resides a power that lurks in the deepest corners of our minds. It can alter thoughts, render unconscious and feed on memories”. The band sees the songs as pictures, scenes and soundscapes and used a cinematic storytelling approach. So I think it is a natural decision of the band to work together with the real strings of a String Quartet. With this intriguing concept a broader sound palette is desirable.

The album opens with the longest song of the album, the ten minute long “Absence Of Light”. It has a nice slow atmospheric and cinematic opening with delicate piano, guitars and keyboards. After almost 4 minutes the drums announce the start of the storytelling. Slowly the tension of the music is increasing. Would describe the music as a kind of Art Rock. But after a rest point with a delicate vocal part the music gradually change into a almost Prog Metal atmosphere with heavy vocals. Those vocals are not my cup of tea but the freaky electric guitar solo in the end is great. But this does ensure that the album has a high degree of diversity. Just listen to the following track “Something” that has a slow start with delicate sung vocals but slowly develops into a song with catchy vocal refrains and heavy drumming and fast guitar parts. In the next song “Hardwired” you can hear besides the Mellotron strings also the String Quartet. I love it when the Prog and Classical worlds are merging into something new. In the last part of this fine song you can enjoy a soaring guitar solo. In “Goodbye” you will find beautiful vocal harmonies and lovely keyboard string parts. But there is also jazzy guitar work and a fine synth solo before the song becomes more powerful and uptempo. After the abrupt ending of the beautiful climax the vocal harmonies are returning. This section of the album is very strong because the following song “Burning My Dreams” is also a real beauty with a great mix of real strings and keyboard orchestrations. The aggressive and melodic vocal parts sometimes reminds my of the Swedish band Pain Of Salvation. Fine drumming and soaring guitar parts are the icing on the cake. The album ends with the title track “The Fold”. This song includes the most heavy parts of the album with metal guitar parts and an almost grunting singer. The contrast with the other delicate sung parts is high. The tension of the music is slowly working towards a climax.
The fifth studio album of the Canadian band Karcius is an album of contrasts. The concept album “The Fold” has a high degree of diversity. Cinematic Art Rock atmospheres are injected with flashes of Prog Metal. The String Quartet gives the band an even broader sound palette. I like the cinematic approach of the storytelling. As the band already said on their website “The Fold is atmospheric, catchy, heavy and adventurous. The production of the album has attention to detail, so I am very curious about the announced remixed 5.1 Surround version of this intriguing album. Check it out for yourself.
Douwe Fledderus - November 2018
rating - Independent Release

 

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