For all the talk of trying out new music more often, it’s a comfort to return to the type of music you have that particular connection to. For me, generally speaking, that’s heavy metal, but more specifically the high energy rocking of progressive metal in the style of classic outfits from the early 90s when the genre really solidified. Sure the balls and chunk of metal with its headbanging abandon held everything together, but the musical dexterity on display tweaked a more sophisticated sensibility much in the way that jazz does (which explains my fusion leanings). It was through that mélange of predilections that I came to know and love the music of Dream Theater and Enchant.
And now from Rome comes Karnya with their debut concept album, Coverin’ Thoughts. While billed as being heavily influenced by 70s era prog, they are much more like the aforementioned progmetal bands with a strong sense of dynamics, deft musicianship and the right amount of drama to lend weight to the music without straying into the overwrought territory of so many failed wannabes. It’s actually kind of exciting to hear how much of this album’s spark comes from the impressive vocals of singer/guitarist Riccardo Nardocci – who ain’t too shabby in the soloing department either. Sounding a bit like Saga’s Michael Sadler, Nardocci belts it out like such a total pro and I can’t get enough of it. Check out the vocal extravaganza Sliver (with its cool Shy Boy riff sneaking around) to get an idea of what I mean. Oh, and check out that sweet bass playing on Hariel!
The Bottom Line: Nobody’s claiming that Karnya’s [re-]inventing the progressive metal wheel, but damn they sure make really great music. This is some of the freshest, most energetic, and (most of all) impressive progressive metal to come along in a long time. Genre fans, GO GET IT!
Tracks To Make You Risk Carpal Tunnel From the Air Guitaring: Fallen Angel, Stronger, Sliver, and Ego’s End
- Genghis is searching for those old Enchant CDs…