Every now and then a CD comes along in the progressive rock genre that strays from the more complex and bombastic nature of the art form. Such is the case with the latest release from symphonic masters Karda Estra. Basically the brainchild of composer/multi-instrumentalist Richard Wileman, Eve is described by the composer as a soundtrack to the short story "The Future Eve" by Villiers de L'Isle Adam, which follows a similar storyline to "The Bride of Frankenstein" film from the 1930's. Together with a handful of musicians, Wileman and the cast weave a somber and gentle pallette of color and tones that is quite compelling to the ears.
Having never read "The Future Eve", but quite familiar with the Frankenstein film, I imagined this CD as background music to that great film, and found that many of the movements and arrangements just might fill well in that context. "Andraiad" and "Sparks that Flash and Fall" are two lovely pieces, highlighted by Wileman's lush guitar passages and keyboard washes, plus melodic textures featuring oboe, saxophone, and violin. There is an inherant sense of foreboding tragedy throughout the CD's seven tracks, all accomplished through an atmospheric haze that is beautiful as it is haunting.
Eve is a pleasant surprise from many of the more neo-prog releases that come from the Cyclops label. Wileman and the rest of Karda Estra have created a warm platter of sounds that would be a perfect recipe for a quiet evening at home in front of the fire while sipping hot tea and enjoying a dramatic book.