CD Title: Children of the Sounds
Label: InsideOut Records (2017)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
This is studio release number thirteen (not counting The Decca Years box set) for the Swedish band Kaipa that started life back in the mid-seventies and is still around today. Still around and making great symphonic Progressive Rock music and each time a new album is released there are small elements of new things to hear. Of course all the familiar sound elements are here; male and female vocals from Aleena Gibson and Patrik Lundstrom, a solid rhythm foundation Jonas Reingold, and Morgan Agren, excellent guitar in all the right spots from Per Nilsson and of course classic keyboard work from founding member Hans Lundin. Everything I like about the Kaipa sound is amply on display in these five mostly long compositions that seamlessly weave different musical segments together into a complete whole. It’s classic symphonic prog in every way: big and bold dramatic compositions that are constantly shifting in time, tempo and mood that ebbs and flows between contrasting feels. When not soloing lush keyboard orchestration fills out the background creating grand and majestic ascending swells of music that are punctuated by great keyboard and guitar interplay. Long introductions give way to warm vocals which then make way for plenty of instrumental interludes. Unlike many modern bands, here the keyboards stand on equal footing with the guitar creating as many or perhaps more lead lines. But then these are, as I say long songs so there’s lots of opportunity for not only keyboards to be in the spotlight but everyone including bass and drums. These are compositions that allow for each instrument to contribute to the sound as well as share the lead. Fans of any earlier music from Kaipa will find plenty to appreciate and enjoy with Children of the Sounds but for those of you who’ve never heard the band, this would be an excellent place to start that adventure. Great stuff and highly recommended for fans of symphonic prog.