Charisma - Karma

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Massacre Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 45:33:00

After the split of the German prog metal band Ivanhoe back in 1997, guitarist Achim Welsch and bassist Giovanni Soulas founded a new band, Charisma. To complete the line-up, the band was joined by female vocalist Annette Kienzle, Richard Sibel (k) and Markus Blind (d) although you can actually hear four different drummers on the CD.

Basically what we get here is very much like the stuff that was offered on Ivanhoe's last CD Polarized. In other words, semi-technical melodic prog metal. And it is the guitars that bring the close resemblance to Ivanhoe. Achim's guitars are crunchy, playful, groovy and really tasty whilst Annette's voice is also a big plus. Originally she [was] a jazz singer and also works as a vocal-teacher. She has a controlled, beautiful voice and she sings with both passion and soul. It's really cool though as there are very few prog metal bands with female singers. Her voice fits the music so well. The songs have a lot of groove and power and the melody-lines and choruses are also very good. There are some really beautiful slow and atmospheric verses too where Annette shows off her wide range and subtle control. The songwriting is excellent being both thoughtful and innovative.

Although the music is very guitar-dominated there is still room for some really tasty bass, keys and drumming. The absolutely stunning production and mix strengthen the final impression and makes this disc a must for all progressive metal fans. What if more prog metal discs had such a production?

The band has also made a cover version of the Abba song "Rich Man's World." Their interpretation is simply awesome and is much better than At Vance's version on their No Escape disc. Charisma also covers Ivanhoe's "Deeper Ground" [in a version] that rivals the original. I highly recommend this CD to all fans of prog metal and semi-technical melodic metal. This one was a really nice surprise and a big thank you to Massacre for having faith in this band. Highly recommended!

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
State Design / Karma / The Prophets / Rich Man's World / Warm My Soul / Find Me In Space / Openeye / Serpent / Deeper Ground

Annette Kienzle - vocals
Achim Welsch - guitars, vocals
Giovanni Solas - bass
Richard Seibel - keyboards
Markus Blind - drums
Frank Dapper - drums
E.T. Hammer - drums
Lars Hörnig - drums
Markus Britsch - piano and keyboards
Toni Farris - piano and keyboards

Karma (1999)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website:
Hits: 1031
Language: english


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