KARMAMOI’s new album ‘Odd Trip’ is promoted as a concept album of heavy prog. However, I find that it will most appeal to fans of trippy, psychedelic music.
The best moments on this album are the instrumentals when the band goes into a beautiful psychedelic trip, like the longest track, ‘If I think of the Sea’, or into soft post rock territory, like ‘Samvega’. Then there are other songs, of commercial female – fronted rock, which impress. Serena’s voice is beautiful and to the point, no meandering operatic cacophony. At times commercial, but she throws these chord changes in the most easy – listening choruses and makes the whole mix a lot tastier. The title track reminds me of ‘Mandylion’ era GATHERING, with the addition of some odd tempo changes. There are also some softer moments that don’t overstay their welcome, such as the beautiful ballad ‘Lost Days’.
The only reason why someone could possibly include them in the heavy prog category is some heavy riffs. Unfortunately, they are repetitive rhythmic riffing on the same note or pointless TOOL – style riff sections, and I can’t see what they have to do with the concept of the album. Also, there is no cohesion between these parts and what comes before and after – and that is a weakness of this album. It doesn’t flow as well as a concept album should. The three one-minute ‘Oxygen’ pieces throughout the album are interesting but don’t help much in this aspect – neither does the phone ringing at the end of the song ‘If’.
There is great potential in this band, as all components needed to create a monumental record are present. I was really impressed with the spacey artwork of the album, which perfectly fits the trippy direction of most of the music here. All they have to do in order to create a really impressive record that will blow all our minds to distant galaxies is work on the cohesion of their album; maybe songs leading into other songs or a better use of instrumental interludes. Also, I’d recommend that they look into the history of progressive rock – metal to find examples of how the Heavy Riff has been used to promote the feeling of space’s cold emptiness. There are many around, (take Cygnus X-1 Book 1 or ANDROMEDA’s 2=1 album for example), and their music would greatly benefit from similar riffs because it has such a great potential!
All in all, despite my objections, ‘Odd Trip’ is still a well produced album, worth listening. I am sure that fans of female fronted bands and space psychedelia will really enjoy it!
3 stars out of 5