Friday, October 1, 2010

Karnivool-Sound Awake (2009)

Post #110
Karnivool are a new band out of Perth, Australia, and anyone interested in the cutting edge of rock and heavy music should pay attention to them. These guys blend elements of rock, metal, progressive, alternative, and psychedelic rock in ways I've never heard before. They employ ambitious musicianship to create such moods and ambiance that you can't help being sucked into their new album Sound Awake like it was a black hole.

A brief sampling of a song or two is not enough to truly experience Karnivool's Sound Awake. This is more than a simple collection of 11 songs, it is a genuine listening experience, a journey into sound. The first track, 'Simple Boy', fools you with a few quiet notes of a synthesizer before giving way to a drum roll and heavy bass guitar riff. Just when you think the bass overtones are about to cause your speakers to implode, contrast is brought in with melodic lead guitar and vocals. Karnivool's vocalist, Ian Kenny, brings the final, perfect ingredient to the musical formula, tugging your mind along the path of their progressive rock music.

'Sound Awake' is an appropriate title. Open to interpretation, but accurately capturing the crux of this album however you read it. This band takes full advantage of a huge spectrum of sound through their music. Progressive rock is the backbone, the primary element consistent in each track. The sound of the music can range from heavy riffs, to smooth melodies, but always building layer upon layer of sound. The result is an epic masterpiece of heavy, progressive rock.

Each successive track continues to introduce new combinations of their ambitiously conceived sound. I'm alternately reminded of Tool or Pink Floyd or Dream Theater throughout the course of hearing this album. Ultimately, in the end, it is all Karnivool. By the time the last track, 'Change', finally draws to a close with a cacophony of drums lingering after the other instruments have silenced, I conclude that Karnivool are in a class of their own. Young, new masters of this genre they could redefine in the years to come.

Here are some highlights from Sound Awake:
-Simple Boy (The opening track. Keeps growing on me each time I hear it. Heavy, melodic, mind-blowing!)
-New Day (My personal favorite. Easy to see why they named their recent US tour after this song. Simply epic!)
-Set Fire to the Hive (A harder-edged number. Rough-edged tones, with some aggressive emotion in the vocal delivery)
-All I Know (Another favorite of mine. Like so many other songs on this album, I like it more every time I hear it!)
-Deadman (Another perfect example of their progressive, thematic song-craft. An epic piece of music that clocks in at 12 minutes.)

Hear some of these songs for yourself at the band's website:

or on their myspace page:

No comments: