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Karmamoi: Room 101

Italian progsters Karmamoi are back with their 6th studio album, Room 101. Officially a trio fronted and directed by multi-instrumentalist Daniele Giovannoni with help from his longtime collaborators and bandmates Alex Massari (Guitars) and Alessandro Cefali (Bass), Karmamoi are a band that focuses on long songs with ethereal sonic soundscapes and diverse genre bending twists and turns instead of the note-rich hard rock-isms of their prog power trio contemporaries Rush. I suppose that's where the "neo prog" label that has been used to describe them fits in.

Room 101 is a bit of a slog, if I'm being honest. There's some interesting flashes of instrumental prowess to be had throughout, but the tempo throughout the album never seems to escape from it's determined crawling pace and the album as a whole suffers from it. There's certainly a time and a place for music that oozes and drips out of your speakers, doubly so if it's well crafted and engaging. Sadly, I find that Room 101's seven tracks (totaling an hour) tend to blur together and leave little to no lasting impressions or memorability to speak of really.

As I said earlier, there are some neat instrumental curiosities that will have the listener perking up their ears from time to time. The piano is very well done when it's featured, and the drums at times flash with gusto and energy. My personal favorite bits and bobs from the album are the flute in opener "Memory Holes", and the keyboard/moog work in "Newspeak". These are unexpected and very welcome surprises that broke up the monotony of what is largely a full hour of impenetrable boredom.

When your album is an hour long and composed of only 7+ minute songs you are going to need more than the occasional "that's neat" to have people sit through it to the end. All the credit in the world to Giovonnini and co., they are clearly good musicians and are 6 albums deep into Karmamoi's run as an act, but I just can't muster the interest to listen to something when the band itself sounds like they are falling asleep while playing it.

1. Memory Holes
2. Drop by Drop
3. Dark City
4. Zealous Man
5. Newspeak
6. Room 101
7. The New World

Added: September 29th 2021
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 392
Language: english

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