Carptree - Insekt

Year of Release: 2007
Label: Fosfor Creations
Catalog Number: CWNF4
Format: CD
Total Time: 65:15:00

The dynamics heard here are tremendous - from subtle to strident, usually in the same piece - making Insekt an intense and tightly focused album, and it sounds all so sophisticated and classy. And moody. Sometimes Flinck's voice becomes almost fragile. Listen to the opening of "Taxinomic Days" for example, or "The Secret," which by the mid-point verily explodes in rolling piano, crashing drums and searing guitars after beginning in such a quiet manner. The tension is palpable in "Pressure," which reflects the word in almost every aspect (a passage of effects-treated vocals changes the tenor), the percussion heavy music, the short, quick vocal lines? And for all the metal-like ferocity that is displayed on occasion throughout the album, the rockiest track is "Big Surprise," with lots of boomy percussion and bass and barely constrained excitable energy. All the tension that's built up in the previous tracks bursts out here in a full-on explosion.

What I loved about Marillion's early albums was this sense that there was more to hear in the arrangements than one would get on the first, second, third, etc. listens. There is the same kind of layering of elements here, an added depth created by the use of a real choir on many of the album's tracks.

Thus, if you dig post-Marillion Fish (who truly is so "post" now, why add that qualifier?), then you will also dig Carptree. Coincidence or not, vocalist Niclas Flinck sounds uncannily like Fish, if a bit accented. For example, one can?t hear "Where Your Thoughts Move With Ease" and not think of a balladeering Fish?though not because of, I'd say this is the weakest track vocally, though the romantic and sonorous piano sounds beautiful, especially in contrast to the subtle, industrial-like keyboard accents that lurk about. And yet, the thrust of the piece is quite powerful.

Also in the mix are hints of Pink Floyd and Gabriel-era Genesis. The middle vocal part of "Slow Corrosion Of Character" is an example of the latter; it's a piece that also features a lovely, delicate piano solo. While the Fish/Gabriel element is mainly in the vocals, some of the dark arrangements and more subtle and understated aspects recall Pink Floyd's The Wall period -- specifically "Stressless;" think of "One Of My Turns," a mellower "Hey You" or various other "softer-spoken" moments. And for some moments, also a bit like the Momentary Lapse Of Reason period as well.

"Mashed Potato Mountain Man" might have a silly title, but it's not at all a silly song. Sonically, it's a bit dark - throaty instrumentation, throbbing bass, gloomy presentation, all bookended by parpy keyboard passages. The title is a vague reference, I think, to Richard Dreyfus' character in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind; and although it references the same idea - wondering what's "out there," it is not a musical version of the movie. Actually, it's more an inner monologue of the character, if you will (at least a like-minded character).

Tracks that I particularly like include "Sliding Down A Slippery Slope," a slinky, gauzy, smooth, mellow track (that reminds me, incidentally, of the Aussie band Icehouse). Quietly chiming and shimmery guitars and vocals take center stage, enveloped in hazy clouds of keyboards. "Evening Sadness" is a musically uptempo piece that varies between epic, uplifting, swirling keyboards and parpy ("proggy") keyboards passages and a chorus that begs to be sung along to, even as it's underlying message stands between gloomy and hopeful? mostly gloomy, though. And I like "Stressless." Although, truth be told, I like the whole album, and heartily recommend it.

Taxonomic Days (5:29) / Mashed Potato Mountain Man (6:52) / The Secret (6:20) / Pressure (7:14) / Sliding Down A Slippery Slope (4:59) / My Index Finger (6:27) / Slow Corrosion Of Character (5:54) / Evening Sadness (5:57) / Where Your Thoughts Move With Ease (5:00) / Big Surprise (6:55) / Stressless (4:08)

Niclas Flinck - vocals
Carl Westholm - piano, synthesizer, melodica, vocoder & cymbals


Cia Backman - background vocals
Ulf Edel?nn - guitar, bass
Stefan Fand?n - bass, guitar
Jejo Perkovic - drums
?ivin Tronstad - background vocals
Jonas Waldeveldt - tambourine & percussion
with Trollh?ttan Chamber Choir conducted by Olle Zand

Carptree (2001)
Superhero (2003)
Man Made Machine (2005)
Insekt (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: July 3rd 2007
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1278
Language: english


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