With a cry of joy from Aleena Gibson, "Yah!", Kaipa has returned from the forests of Sweden to provide their unique and beautiful sound to the realm of progressive rock. Their latest album Sattyg, has some familiar chord romps from their last two albums, but this new album takes us to new realms of wonder.
Hans Lundin, the band leader returns on keyboards & vocals. Per Nilsson, provides those unique signature chords that set Kaipa apart from all other bands in the world of prog with electric & acoustic guitars. Morgan Argren, will rock your walls or ear drums with his powerful drums.
Jonas Reingold, returns as one of the most innovative electric bassists left in progressive rock. Patrik Lundström and Aleena Gibson team to provide vocals and tell us the story of Sattyg.
Special guests for Sattyg include: Fredrik Lindqvist, on recorders & whistles; and Elin Rubinsztein, on violin.
We hear Fredrik Lindqvist's recorders & whistles, early on the opening epic track, "A Map of Your Secret World". In fact this epic opening mirrors the preceding two albums with a powerfully strong opener that takes you deep into the forest and allows you to wonder and gaze in amazement at the delightful sounds that linger about the tall Swedish furs. It is a deep personal journey with Aleena and Patrik egging you on to lose yourself within its mystery. Nilsson's unique signatures chords help create spirals of eye catching wonder at the height of the trees and the amazing natural surroundings you are entering in this journey of the mind. Reingold's bass helps anchor the foundation and provides deep thunder to offset Nilsson's high chords and Lundin's mystical keyboards. Lundström's vocals create the map and wonder of which he speaks, "You move around in your train of thoughts. A silent trip around your own globe. Beyond the end of your winding road. Is there a place for you waiting? You live your dreams in a secret shell. A home beyond lost horizons. I need a map of your secret world". Lost Horizon, yes, they got me on that line. One of my favorite books and movies. Gibson answers, "Come dance with me. You don't need a map. Inside a corner of time. Be bewildered and amazed". Yes. Right back where they left off, only this time it's easier to let yourself follow.
"World of the Void" starts off with Nilsson's electric guitar chords and Aleena Gibson singing lead vocals this time. "Still the clouds are passing by my day. Is this a precious dream. Are these my tales untold. Life's mysteries?" Then she proceeds to lay out the storyline, "I tried to escape from my world of the void". The careful art of illusion and escape that was once the sole domain of progressive rock. Until the realism of the harshness of the world began to enter the music of progressive rock in the late '80s and '90s. Remember "Squonk". Could that have ever been made today? Well, Kaipa is trying to do just that with this album. Take you away. Like Genesis' "Scenes from a Night's Dream"…oh the list goes on. And boy do we need them now more than ever. This is a wonderful escape from reality.
"Screwed-upness" is a departure from the usual fun and happiness you most associate with Kaipa's music. But it is a commentary on the state of the world and how it prevents us from dreaming and imagining a better world. Especially the one of the past. Ah that "fox on the rocks" is back, but this time the captain leaves him on some deserted beach. The track features some excellent guitar licks from Nilsson and Reingold, with Lundin's keyboards and Fredrik Lindqvist's recorders & whistles providing highlights throughout the over 13 minute epic.
The title track, "Sattyg", is a regal instrumental with Fredrik Lindqvist's recorders & whistles and Elin Rubinsztein's violin. Nilsson and Reingold add their special touch and Ågren keeps perfect time on drums. Excellent break in the action. Full of melody and wonder.
If the title alone, "A Sky Full of Painters", doesn't spark your interest, then why are you listening to a Kaipa album? This is Lundin, Nilsson, Reingold, and Ågren doing some of their best work. A symphony of fantasy that will leave your ears sweating at its end. Gibson and Lundström pop in now and again to remind you of the title but this is an instrumental tour de force. They add Elin Rubinsztein's violin to encapsulate the whole experience.
Fredrik Lindqvist's recorders & whistles open "Unique When We Fall", with Lundström singing, "Driving away on a cold winter's day. All these snowflakes keep falling…filling the air. Then he changes it up with a wonderful thought, "Driving away through a cold winter land. All of these letters from Heaven sent through the air through our visions and dreams". Gibson joins in, "Let them melt in our hearts. Let them color our thoughts. They are all individuals". Yes, finally…the wonder we have all been missing from music. Kaipa never let go of it. Thankfully. The wonderful music matches these blissful lyrics perfectly to create a dreamscape you don't want to wake from. Easily one of my favorites, and one of the best songs I've heard about appreciating cultural difference in years.
"Without Time – Beyond Time" is another epic closer at over 9 minutes that opens with a familiar Yes presence that immediately captured my attention. Lundström and Gibson sing, "Go down to the bottom of the ocean". "Go down to the bottom of my soul". Gibson sings about the future with wonder in her voice, "I tried to climb the stairs to my own watchtower. So I can behold my realm. Follow the past of my thoughts into the dawn of a new era. There is no up or down. I'm moving though the emptiness….beyond time". Yes, the kind of exploration that used to be commonplace in progressive rock. Outside and beyond the limited existence we see before us each day. In search of a better day.
Sattyg will be released in Europe on November 10th 2014, and in the US on January 13th 2015, through the Inside Out/Century Media label. The set will be available as a CD Digipak, or a gatefold 2 LP with CD.
Close your eyes and dream again, as you listen to some of the best music Kaipa has performed. If you are a fan of the band this is easy, you will want this album as part of your collection. If not, don't miss one of the best albums of the year.
1. A Map of Your Secret World (15:02)
2. World of the Void (7:49)
3. Screwed-upness (13:06)
4. Sattyg (3:13)
5. A Sky Full Of Painters (14:42)
6. Unique When We Fall (5:17)
7. Without Time – Beyond Time (9:49)
Added: November 18th 2014
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: http://www.kaipa.info/
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