Band: Karnataka

CD Title: “The Gathering Light”

Band Website:

Label: Immrama/VoicePrint Records

Label Website:

Release Date: 2010


This is the fourth studio release for Karnataka and so much has been written about the various personnel shuffles that have taken place so I won’t even go there. The band’s line-up looks like this; Ian Jones (bass guitars, keyboards, bass pedals, piano, percussion, bodhran, programming), Lisa Fury (vocals, percussion), Ian Harris (drums), Gonzalo Carrera (keyboards) and Enrico Pinna (lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars). The band have also enlisted a number of guests; Troy Donockley (Uillean pipes, whistles arrangements on 4, 6 & 8), Hugh Mac Dowell (cellos, cello arrangements on 3, 6, 7 & 8), Philippe Honore (violin) Bridget Davey (violin), Jane Fenton (cello) and Clive Howard (viola). Comparing the musical output from different line-ups is always a tricky thing. Suffice to say I like what I hear on The Gathering Light. I like it a lot!   


The Gathering Light consists of 8 mostly long compositions, the first two, “The Calling” [1:59] and “State of Grace” [8:53] being instrumentals. They get things underway in a moody Celtic fashion with pipes, the sound of waves lapping at the shore and thunder in the distance, then acoustic and electric guitars slowly and softly enter the frame as underneath a rhythm slowly takes shape. The tempo picks up as does the intensity and the drama. After a couple of moments of this the song explodes into a majestic, melodic symphonic masterpiece. That Celtic influence keeps rearing its head in a number of places sometimes in more subtle fashion than others. Another one of The Gathering Lights highpoints is the song “The Serpent and the Sea” [10:20]. The song revolves around two or three beautiful melodies, each one sweeter than the last. Easily one of my favorites. Each of these compositions features any number of musical transitions all executed masterfully. The addition of the strings adds a lot to the emotional impact of many of the tracks and works really well with Lisa Fury’s vocal tone.  


The Gathering Light is a superb CD in every respect. To me it’s one of those discs that doesn’t really have any weak spots. Not that its perfect, but it’s just so good and pleasant to listen to over and over again. Fans of Karnataka must already have this disc in their sweaty palms so it’s left up to the newbies to grab hold. Trust me; it’s a great addition to the prog library.