Wednesday, June 1, 2016

KIAMA: "Sign of IV"

Rating: RRRr
Label: Cherry Red/Tigermoth 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Kiama is the brand new band project from previous members of The Reasoning, Shadows of the Sun (vocalist Dylan Thompson), The Tangent, Machine (guitarist Luke Machin) Magenta, Kompendium (bassist Rob Reed), and IQ, Robert Plant (drummer Andy Edwards). Drawn from a pool of music and references that came from the early 70's and from bands that were largely thought of and considered as classic rock, but also made some of the great Prog Epics of the era: Led Zeppelin (Stairway To Heaven, Kashmir), Rainbow's Stargazer and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. These became Kiama's template.

To be perfectly honest though. I can't pick up a lot of or any Queen sound and influences on this record? If anything, it's classy and organic Prog-Rock with its roots deeply buried in the modern production. It's not really either the retro album in my humble opinion. Sure. Absolutely. It's got these tiny bits and pieces of Led Zep and also The Who and their Quadrophenia release. However, the majority of tracks are showing all the elements of modern prog drifting into the Marillion structure and mode which they've been using on their latest releases in the 2000's.

They've actually recorded this at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios and I quote, "We felt there was no point in making music that sounded like our previous bands. We wanted to do something different". Easier said than done. If only more musicians would think and do the same thing. I never quite understood the idea behind recording... for instance, the solo album in the same style as your band's music. The result is a debut album that transcends trends or not, and filled with all the half remembered sounds of past classic rock or rather prog nights. Final verdict: Nice, structured stuff with organic and spacious arrangements, if only just a bit too pretentious?

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