I made a comment in my review of Sphere, the excellent debut from Montreal's Karcius, that as good as that album is the best is probably yet to come. Well, the new album Kaleidoscope is here, and damn if I wasn't right in my assessment. This is instrumental progressive music of the highest order, mixing elements of jazz-fusion, intricate progressive-metal, and symphonic prog for some of the classiest sounds going on the scene today. The group is comprised of bassist Dominique Blouin, guitarist Simon L'Esperance, drummer Thomas Brodeur, and keyboard player Mingan Sauriol, and they make for quite the smoking combo.
With the finesse of a jazz band and the intensity of a heavy rock or metal band, Karcius take their highly energetic, melodic, and complex style through eight blistering tracks here. From the heavy riffs and majestic electric piano of "Destination", to the blazing metal riffage of "Tunnel" (Liquid Tension Experiment fans will love this piece!), to the effective marriage of jazz and hard-hitting prog on "Hypothese A" (check out the tasty guitar solo from L'Esperance on this one), the band throws a myriad of styles and textures at the listener in each track.
Not all the material is ultra-aggressive though, as the band settles into some Latin jazz grooves on the laidback "Maintenant", and dive head first into dark & moody prog waters on the epic "Hypothese B", a song that has plenty of solo spots for the whole band, but features some splendid bass grooves from Blouin.
With the release of Kaleidoscope, Karcius are sure to shoot to the forefront of the instrumental prog & fusion community. This is a highly recommended release from one of the most impressive new bands on the scene. Fans of Planet X, Spaced Out, and Liquid Tension Experiment take notice-there's a new heavy hitter on the scene!
1- Hypothèse A 6:44
2- Maintenant 6:02
3- Destination 6:10
4- Tunnel 7:11
5- Hypothèse B 11:02
6- A-0-14 5:10
7- Épilogue 6:35
8- Hypothèse C 7:56