The origins of Swedish progressive rock band Kaipa goes back to 1973, when keyboard player Hans Lundin, bassist Tomas Eriksson, guitarist Roine Stolt, and drummer Ingemar Bergman, the group releasing a trio of albums over the next 5 years that would stand the test of time as some of the best from that country during the golden prog era. Though Stolt would leave to pursue a solo career before the end of the decade, the band would continue on until the early '80s when they all went their separate ways, ironically enough Stolt the one who saw the most success with his band The Flower Kings as well as Transatlantic and multiple other projects. In 2002, Lundin & Stolt put Kaipa back together, but the guitarist only hung around until 2005, leaving Lundin to carry on the torch, which has seen Kaipa release seven studio albums. Fast forward to 2016, and Stolt has once again decided to resurrect another version of Kaipa, this time without Lundin, but including Eriksson & Bergman, as well as Michael Stolt on lead vocals, guitar, and keyboards, and Max Lorentz on keyboards. This new union goes by the name of Kaipa DaCapo (so as not to confuse with Lundin's Kaipa) and their new album is titled Dårskapens Monotoni, released under Stolt's label Foxtrot Records.
With lyrics sung in Swedish, it's vintage sounding Kaipa as you would imagine, the bands symphonic style clearly in full swing once again, led by Roine's tasty guitar work, plenty of classic keyboard passages, and Michael Stolt's powerful vocals. Most of the tunes are quite lengthy, leaving plenty of room for extended instrumental journeys and soaring vocals, as on the rocking title track or the energetic "När Jag Var En Pojk", the latter complete with a sizzling Hammond organ solo followed by a searing lead guitar excursion courtesy of Roine. "Vi Lever Här" has a strong pop feel, but also an immediate Yes influence, the band creating some alluring melodies to go along with tasty instrumentation, while "Det Tysta Guldet" again sees Kaipa DaCapo going into lengthy musical explorations featuring more stellar guitar and keyboard solos. The lush, pastoral "Spår Av Vår Tid" brings to mind late '70s Genesis, and the 17-minute "Tonerna" is chock full of sizzling keyboard & guitar exchanges, punctuated by emotional vocals and a touch of acoustic guitar. It's an epic piece that goes through many twists and turns, Eriksson's leathery bass lines weaving around the tight drumming courtesy of Bergman, allowing keys and guitars to really breathe. The album closes with the haunting, Pink Floyd influenced "Monoliten", Lorentz' swirling Hammond organ and gentle piano taking things out in majestic, dreamy fashion.
As with much of the Kaipa catalog, Dårskapens Monotoni is a fine example of Swedish symphonic progressive rock. While it would be nice if all the original Kaipa members would just play nice instead of having two separate factions, either way you slice it, quality prog will certainly be delivered. Kaipa DaCapo have a good one here as we close out 2016, and once again, another fine example of how anything Roine Stolt is involved in just always seems to come out a winner.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. Dårskapens Monotoni (10:30)
2. När Jag Var En Pojk (10:40)
3. Vi Lever Här (6:20)
4. Det Tysta Guldet (10:20)
5. Spår Av Vår Tid (5:40)
6. Tonerna (17:20)
7. Monoliten (5:45)