Monday 17 July 2017

Review: Karakorum - Beteigeuze

Germany is one of the premier suppliers when it comes to quality guitar music. This is also the case with progressive rock and metal. Bands like Colour Haze, Dark Suns, RPWL and Eloy have almost become household names. The Germans from Karakorum may not have that kind of fame, they’re every bit as good as the aforementioned acts. The one thing that sets this quintet apart is their collective admiration for vintage progressive rock from the seventies. 

King Crimson, Yes, Camel and Genesis, just some random names that come to mind when you’re listening to the band’s brand new outing Beteigeuze. The abundant presence of several types of vintage organs and synthesisers, the analog sound and warm vocals echoes the band’s love for seventies progressive rock. That’s actually an understatement when you listen to all three compositions the album is made of. 

It’s the band’s genuine love and sheer joy of playing this kind of music that makes Beteigeuze such a memorable album. There are some darker overtones here and there, but generally speaking the overall mood is pretty light-hearted. Another striking feature are Karakorum’s innate ability to write memorable compositions and their Frank Zappa inspired ditto frolics. 

Beteigeuze thrives on its warm and analog sound, which really strengthens the overall seventies atmosphere and the jazzy swing of this album. 

Okay, Karakorum may not be the most original band around and at times they’re trying so hard to duplicate that vintage sound it tends to get under my skin. However, I have to admit that few do it better than Karakorum nowadays and that Beteigeuze is a thoroughly enjoyable effort. Excellent album! 

Beteigeuze is available from Tonzonen Records. Follow the band on Facebook.

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