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Carptree: Nymf

It should come as no surprise that a Swedish band has released another stellar album. Niclas Flinck (lead vocals) and Carl Westholm (piano, grand piano, synthesizers) became friends many years ago and have been putting out albums together ever since Carptree's debut in 2001. The band's next album Superhero featured the No Future Orchestra which added an extra dimension to the duo's sound and have played on every album since. Man Made Machine, released in 2005, had the band going for a darker art rock sound and that trend continued with Insekt which brings us to their brand new album entitled Nymf.

The darker themes continue with Nymf which is one of the band's strongest efforts and a fitting sequel to Insekt. As to be expected the keyboard work is excellent adding dark symphonic touches that are lush and moody often venturing into space rock territory. The vocals of Flinck may be an acquired taste for some but I personally think he does a great job behind the microphone. While he probably will not blow anyone away with his vocals he is able to inflect just the right amount of emotion and his voice matches the band's brand of moody progressive rock rather well. A case in point are his spoken word vocals in "The Weight of the Knowledge" where he manages to sound a little like Roger Waters while still injecting his own unique style. In "Kicking and Collecting" Flinck's heartfelt vocals are matched by heart stopping symphonic crescendos, lovely piano, heavy guitar riffs and a rippling synth solo. The synth and piano playing is great throughout the album and nowhere is it more evident than in the aforementioned "The Weight of the Knowledge" where huge piano chords and stellar synth work adds to the album's dramatic intent.

"The Water" is the album's last song and just may be its prettiest and most moving moment as lilting synths, lovely acoustic guitar and choral background vocals create a lasting impression of pure beauty. Flinck's vocals are his most heart wrenching yet.

Nymf is an exceptional piece of art and one of the best albums of the year. If you liked Insekt you are going to love this album and I cannot recommend it enough.

Track Listing:
1. Kicking and Collecting (7:05)
2. Land of Plenty (7:34)
3. The Weight of the Knowledge (6:51)
4. Dragonfly (8:20)
5. Between Extremes (Prelude) (2:12)
6. Sunrays (6:35)
7. The Water (5:46)

Added: December 1st 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2727
Language: english

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