Karmamoi - Room 101 - 2021



“... inspired by George Orwell's novel "1984" ...”


The Italian band Karmamoi presents with "Room 101" their fifth studio album. An album inspired by George Orwell's "1984". It revisits some of the novel's themes and concepts, adapting them to the present day and focusing on the human mind and its weaknesses. This independent release includes some interesting and big names as guest musicians like Adam Holzman, Steve Unruh and Francesca Zanetta.


Daniele Giovannoni - drums, keyboards, backing vocals; Alex Massari - guitars; Alessandro Cefali - bass

Guest musicians: Adam Holzman - piano, Moog solo on "Newspeak" Steve Unruh - violin and flute on "Newspeak", "Memory Holes", "Drop by Drop" Sara Rinaldi - lead vocals Emilio Merone - piano and key solo on "The New World" Valerio Sgargi - tenor and backing vocals Francesca Zanetta - Solina on "Memory Holes"


The album opens with a song called "Memory Holes". After a mysterious opening, we hear the special guest Sara Rinaldi which is the lead vocalist of this album. In the last and best part of this song, we can hear the violin of guest Steve Unruh. The track has a nice building up to a kind of climax. The next track "Drop by Drop" has more diversity with beautiful melodic violin parts, nice vocal melodies and great instrumental parts. You can enjoy lovely and melodic guitar work and also worthy of mentioning are the wonderful orchestrations (arranged by Emolio Merone). Also, this song is working towards a musical climax. For me the first highlight of the album. This is followed by "Dark City". It has a slow and mysterious opening with beautiful vocals of Sara Rinaldi. In the middle and end sections, the music becomes more powerful with the nice drum work of leader Daniele Giovannoni. Then it is time for the longest track of the album "Zealous Man" (10:53). It has a beautiful slow classical piano opening. The vocals of Sara Rinaldi are playing an important role in this song. In the middle section, we can enjoy a melodic guitar solo. In the end, the (neo) classical piano and the slow and delicate vocals are returning once more. After this, the music suddenly becomes more uptempo and the song ends with nice keyboard orchestrations and electric guitar. In "Newspeak" special guest Adam Holzman is responsible for the piano parts and the excellent Moog solo. Also, Steve Unruh is present on this track with his violin and flute. Especially the wonderful Moog solo catches the eye and takes the music to greater heights. This instrumental piece has a nice jazzy piano ending. The piano is accompanied by the electric violin. Another highlight of this fine album. The ending of the title track "Room 101" is also very nice with the great electric guitar work of Alex Massari. But the last highlight of the album is the last track " The New World". In this track, we can hear special guest Emilio Merone on piano and a keyboard solo. The song has beautiful vocal melodies and great instrumental parts. It is the most powerful song on the album. A song of great diversity. Especially the epic ending is very beautiful with a nice synth solo played by Emilio Merone. A wonderful ending to this fine album.


Like on the previous album "The Day Is Done" guesting lead vocalist Sara Rinaldi does a wonderful job. Also, the other guests are transporting the music of Karmamoi to another level. I love the electric violin (played here by Steve Unruh of United Progressive Fraternity) in progressive rock music. And the contributions of Adam Holzman on the piano and the Moog synth are also great. My personal favourite tracks are "Drop by Drop", "Newspeak" and "The New World". By chance the tracks which include the violin and keyboard solos of the guest players? Daniele Giovannoni is responsible for the drumming, keyboards and backing vocals. So he is doing a lot on this album but nowhere he bogged down in ego-tripping and that's admirable. Your reviewer enjoyed listing to this fine album.

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - August 2021 -  - Independent Release / Nineteen-73