Label : Thundering Records/Manitou Music

Review by Tony Cannella

Karmic Link is the progressive/atmospheric metal project founded by Stathis Kassios. The band had previously released their debut in 2008 and now they are back with their latest output, “Esoterica”. Mina G. from Greece’s The Rain I Bleed returns to contribute her vocals to “Esoterica” which weaves a complex tale that should be well received by fans of conceptual metal. Definitely at the heart of “Esoterica” is the stellar musicianship that the band displays and the stunning vocals of Mina G. that offers such a great compliment to the music that is being played. The songs range from up-tempo to atmospheric to soaring metal tracks, and all are expertly played. The story that unfolds throughout “Esoterica” is quite involved so I won’t go into it here (if you want to read more about it, you can do so at their official MySpace site). The opening number, “Cold” is a strong beginning that sets the story in motion. The following track, “Esoterica” is a fast paced, pounding metal number that also features quite a few tempo changes, the band follow that up with three more standout tracks, “Fire”, “Whispers on a Breeze” and “Still” became instant favorites. “The Separate Reality” is one of the more interesting tracks as the band features male and female newscasters accompanied by some great instrumental backing, I don’t know if that description does the track justice, but it is one that should definitely be heard. Other highlights include: the instrumental track, “Pleasure Is Nothing Without Pain”, “Twisting Patterns” and the closing number, “Vanilla Skies”. Stylistically, I would say that Karmic Link compare favorably to “Operation: Mindcrime” era Queensryche. Mina G. continues to be a great choice by Stathis Kassios to be the lead singer, her voice has many different layers to it, she can do the more melodic, commercial metal stuff and at times even an operatic style, she is quite the complete vocalist. With a playing time of about 48-minutes, Karmic Link offers the listener a challenging 11-song opus that picks up strength as the album progresses and never gets boring. “Esoterica” is not only a great concept album, but a great album period.

Rating – 89/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Cold
  2. Esoterica
  3. Fire
  4. Whispers on a Breeze
  5. Still
  6. The Separate Reality
  7. Pleasure Is Nothing Without Pain
  8. Twisting Patterns
  9. This Affliction
  10. A Tattered Canvas
  11. Vanilla Skies

 

Line Up

  • Mina G. – Vocals
  • Evan Hensley – Guitars, Bass
  • Stathis Kassios – Keyboards

 

Links

MySpace * Facebook * Site

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