Review by: Victor Guimarães
Album assigned by: Roland Bruynesteyn
After listening to In the Wake of Evolution for the first time, I had one single word in my mind: amazing. And that statement wouldn’t even be completely true, as I was bedazzled by the record since the very first song — way before it was finished. Advancing through the record, Kaipa showed their high-leveled arty, progressive, sophisticated rock, with creative melodies and outstanding instrumentals. Expect creative guitars, great percussion, tempo changes, beautiful keyboards and even flutes, violins and some folk elements, other than lots of sounds that were probably added in the mixing part. Now, add these elements to their trippy, folky approach and we’ve got something great. For me, In the Wake of Evolution, sounded like a folkier, more peace-and-nature (but a bit less progressive) Dream Theater. Which is a great compliment coming from a hard DT fan.
As a man who’s never believed in love at first sight, I gave the record another run. This time paying more attention to its details and lyrics. Kaipa explores similar themes in all songs, seeking inner peace and harmony from nature as well as dealing with changes in life or in the world with different approaches depending of the song: sometimes reflective, sometimes mourning, sometimes critical.
The second run also opened room for criticism: as it seems, they tend to repeat some riffs and passages in some songs, and I feel the lack of a more cohesive element in the album, between the songs, to make the album flow smoother. For the lyrics and themes, as metaphorical and philosophical as it might look, the feeling I got was always a bit empty.
Finally, if I need to point a song or two, I’d pick the amazing bass, progression and melody in “The World Are Like Leaves” and the timeless sensation from the passages and guitars in the nature-contemplating epic, “Electric Power Notes”. Great songs, which deserve a chance to introduce you to this amazing work of art.
And what about Kaipa? A band who has just came and it’s already fighting for a window seat? A quick look shows this is another great band from Sweden! Both Odin and King Carl Gustaf must be very proud of their blessed countrymen (and countrywomen). Further reading revealed that the band was formed in the 70s, undergone name changes, had players who left the band, formed their own musical group, and then returned only to leave again. After a reunion in ‘02, they kept the magic on, composing and touring up to present day. Which I hope they consider passing through South America in their next venture.
In short, In the Wake of Evolution is an outstanding album that caught me from its first notes and left me wanting more at the end. Now, Kaipa’s got a new fan. If you’re fond of brainy, arty, sophisticated progressive rock with a light mood, give this album a try. You might become a fan, too.