Karda Estra - Last Of The Libertine (English version),
I have been a fan of Richard Wileman’s work since I first became aware of his previous band, Lives & Times, yet I was surprised to see that this 2007 release was actually his eleventh as Karda Estra. The concept this time is of a man who exchanged his soul for a life of indulgence and the inevitable sadness when it comes to an end. Richard has again brought together a strong line-up to assist him in bringing this story to musical life, and as always has delivered an instrumental album of incredible complexity and depth. In previous reviews I have often commented on the cinematic quality of his work, combined with a great breadth of almost orchestral stylings. This album contains those elements but is now very tightly focussed with some almost jazz-stylings from the brass and woodwind. It is also interesting to hear Richard adopting some of the rockiest guitar playing I have heard from him on “Life Drawing” which is very much in direct contrast to “Atom Of Warmth”.
I have been playing a lot of Antony Phillips in recent weeks and I can hear some of the same use of instrumentation and acoustic guitar here, especially when Richard produces some of his acoustic touches. Interestingly there are also sections that are quite reminiscent of Steve Hackett, but there is no way that his could be considered a homage to Genesis! Yet again Richard has produced a stand out work that lovers of good music are encouraged to discover for themselves. It may not be rock, it may not be jazz, it may not be truly classical, but as an amalgam of all three plus much more, this is a delight from the first note to the last.