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Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009

Karmakanic

Who’s the Boss in the Factory (InsideOut Music)

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What began as one of numerous side projects for members of The Flower Kings, Sweden's purveyors of traditional progressive rock, has evolved into a respectable five-man entity. Karmakanic, helmed by Flower Kings bassist Jonas Reingold along with a handful of distinguished guests, is rooted in classic prog with twists of jazz and fusion.

The band's strangely titled third and most diverse album opens with the sound of Reingold's 5-year-old son, Alex, singing the short first verse of "Send a Message from the Heart" with acoustic-guitar accompaniment. The 19-minute symphonic rocker is loaded with musical references to Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd and Reingold's main band while relying on uplifting lyrical messages. At the other extreme is the two-part finale, "Eternally," a classical-piano piece turned smoky lounge song that gains in significance as it evolves into a tribute to Reingold's parents, who died in a car accident days before Christmas 2007.