Karelia – Golden decadence

karelia - golden decadenceFrench band Karelia was formed in 2002 and released their first album, ‘Usual tragedy’ in 2004. ‘Golden decadence’ is the band’s fourth album and was written after they toured with the Scorpions.  ‘Golden decadence’ was released in France in 2011 on Seasons of Mist, but is now finally getting a wider release through Rocksector  records who are releasing it in the UK and the rest of Europe.  Strangely the original release had 14 tracks, but on this release we only get 12, losing ‘My TV sucks’ and the cover of the Queen song ‘The show must go on’ which is disappointing.

Brief comments on a few tracks..

‘Animals’ has a real Faith no more vibe to it at times, but it’s a very complex track as it changes the feel several times during the course of the song, so while the start and end really have that Faith no more sound, the middle part of the song sounds nothing like them.  It’s a great song.

‘Vanity label’ is a song with a strong Rammstein sound at times, which comes primarily from the vocals but also the heavier guitars, but as with other songs, it varies significantly through the course of the song.  This is the first single to be taken from the album.

‘Keep watch on me’ is one of two tracks on the album to feature a guest performance from the Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker (the other track he appears on is ‘The way across the hills’).  It’s a good heavy rock track.

‘The way across the hills’ is one of the slowest tracks on the album and has a more conventional hard rock ballad feel to it.  It’s yet another great track.

This is probably the most difficult album I’ve listened to in quite a while to actually pin down and describe.  It’s got such a huge variety of sounds, so while one minute it’s sounding lkike Faith no more, the next it’s more like Rammstein, the next it’s more Power metal, then it’s heavy rock – it’s constantly changing.  While this does make it very hard to describe the album, it does result in a fantastic album with some great songs and the album is one that while it takes influences from other bands, ends up sounding totally unique overall.  It’s a really enjoyable album to listen to though and is highly recommended.

Karelia will be the special guests on Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock / Lovedrive reunion UK tour in April.
Dates are Salisbury City Hall (April 18), Oxford o2 Academy (April 19), Nottingham Rock City (April 20) and Norwich Waterfront (April 21).

‘Golden decadence’ will be released on 15th April on Rocksecor records.

Rating: 8.5/10

Track listing:

1. Bill for the Ride
2. War Party
3. Animals
4. Vanity Label
5. Housekeeper
6. Keep Watch on Me
7. The Way Across the Hills
8. Ride it Wild
9. Body’s Falling Apart
10. Out for a walk
11. Child Has Gone (bonus track)
12. Unbreakable Cordon (bonus track)

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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