Review Erik Neuteboom
I am familiar with Ukrainian multi-instrumentalist Kalugin his musical project Karfagen (which means Carthago) from the very first beginning,
the debut album entitled Continium, from 2006, I was delighted about the dual keyboard work. Since then Kalugin has turned into a very prolific musician: he has released many albums with Karfagen, but also founded other musical projects, from Hoggwash
and Sunchild to AKKO and AKP. And now, early 2022, Karfagen delivers a new album entitled Land Of Green And Gold.
We can enjoy trademark Karfagen: melodic and harmonic, mainly instrumental
compositions, alternating between symphonic rock and Neo-Prog, with wonderful work on keyboards and guitar, and flowing shifting moods. My highlights.
Land Of Green (part 1) (11:00) : It starts dreamy with soaring keyboards, sounds of nature,
then a slow rhythm with sensitive electric guitar (Latimer inspired) and spacey Minimoog-like synthesizer flights. Gradually the music turns into more bombastic and dynamic, with a tight beat, fiery guitar and pleasant keyboards (organ and synthesizer). Halfway
the propulsive percussion and sound of the saxophone evoke a sultry Middle-Eastern climate, followed by a saxophone solo. In the second part lots of shifting moods, with fine work on keyboards and guitar.
Land Of Green (part 2) (3:30) : A mellow
piece with a jazzy climate, topped with electric piano, fragile electric guitar and spacey synthesizer. Halfway a sumptuous outburst, then a moving and howling guitar solo in slow rhythm, goose bumps. The final part is again jazzy and mellow. During this track
Dutch master Focus comes to my mind.
Solis Festum (1:39) : A short, mellow track, with fine guitar play and cheerful accordion.
Land Of Green (part 3) (4:58) : This one contains a swinging rhythm with fat synthesizer
runs and brass, a good example of Karfagen its pleasant variety.
Pastoral (1:34) : A very short track featuring classical guitar in the vein of Steve Hackett, simply wonderful.
Garden Of Hope (part 1) (7:49)
: Another jazzy oriented composition, between a slow swinging rhythm and bombastic eruptions, embellished with electric piano, saxophone, warm vocals, mellow organ and finally a flashy synthesizer solo and fiery guitar runs, wow.
Land Of Gold
(13:20) This epic composition is my favourite one featuring lots of strong moments. From dreamy with spacey Minimoog-like synthesizer flights to a mid-tempo with tight beat and delicate work on the flute. From use of the distinctive vocoder sound to a fiery
guitar solo. From a sensational pitchbend driven synthesizer solo to wah wah drenched guitar leads. And from a Latimer-like guitar solo to a flashy synthesizer solo with pitchbend and a mellow saxophone solo.
Finally Land Of Jazz
(6:37) : This is one of the 3 bonus tracks, it sounds dreamy with soft saxophone, a freaky synthesizer solo and finally tender piano.
A wonderful, very melodic and harmonic effort, a bit more towards jazz, with strong and pleasant work
on keyboards, guitar and saxophone.
**** This review has also been published on https://www.backgroundmagazine.nl/