Band: Karda Estra
Band Website: www.kardaestra.co.uk
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2011
It’s nice to know that in an ever changing world there are some things you can rely on to be somewhat constant. In this case it’s the music of Karda Estra. They’ve just released their 13th recording entitled New Worlds and fans of the band, who know what to expect will I think, be very pleased. While main-man and composer Richard Wileman has maintained a constant musical thread, with each album he’s pushed the band’s musical landscape just a little bit more. This time Wileman has surrounded himself with fourteen other musicians and vocalists to help in the interpretation of his musical vision. As on previous outings there is a unique blend of haunting chamber prog mixed with lush symphonic progressive rock.
New Worlds is made up of 12 different instrumental tracks, many of which are as short as a minute or two and then some others that are around four-minutes. The music is classic movie styled cues, each one conveying a variety of emotions. The pieces are atmospheric, spacey, moody and more than a little jazzy in a cool, “blue-note” way. The overall feel is not quite as dark as some of the band’s previous work but there is still a haunting melancholy tone that pervades these compositions. One of the features that makes the music of Karda Estra so unique is the prominent use of instruments such as oboe, flute, violin, clarinet and trumpet. This time even though Wileman is the classic multi-instrumentalist performing on everything from guitars to keyboards he has surrounded himself with no less than four other keyboard players! As on previous releases, the vocals here are more dreamy, ethereal vocalizations layered in the background to provide added atmospheric depth to the tune. But while each of these bits, short or long may sound like a fragment of something larger, each oozes infectious melodies. It’s not unusual after a few listens to find yourself humming some of these themes.
In the end, what you have here is about 40-minutes of intriguing music that is distinctly Karda Estra. The amazing thing is that the disc is being offered as a free moderate-quality download or for a few shekels a high quality one. Fans will be all over this I’m sure. Karda Estra’s New Worlds is a lovely work and I recommend it to fans of chamber influenced symphonic prog.