Karcius - The First Day,
Karcius is a Canadian group that was formed in spring 2001 with Simon L’Espérance on guitars, Thomas Brodeur on drums, Mingan Sauriol on keyboards and Sylvain Auclair, who joined the band in 2009, on bass and vocals. This is their fourth album to date, but the first with Sylvain as there has been a four-year gap since ‘Episodes’ which was released in 2008. Karcius refuse to sit within the ‘normal’ prog boundaries, as they are also heavily influenced by jazz, RIO and even African rhythms. The end result of the melding of these is an album that is always interesting, always pushing the boundaries, but not always necessarily easy to listen to. There are times when the music just feels angular with sharp edges as the staccato use of piano chords puts a menacing edge onto the proceedings.
There is no doubt that this is often challenging, yet for those who persevere you will find some great music contained within. “The Word” starts as if it is going to be a metal monster before changing into something that is quite different, with vocals that are quite laid back and feel almost throwaway/demo in atmosphere which puts a very different slant on the whole song. There is often a strong use of piano and fretless bass in combination, and this mix of cold and warmth is a very powerful dynamic.Truly progressive, this album will alienate a lot of listeners but is definitely worth investigation.