Kaipa – Urskog

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Reviewed: June 2022
Released: 2022, Inside Out Music
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Kira Levine

Active for almost half a century, progressive rock fusion band Kaipa from Sweden have released their fourteenth album, Urskog, through Inside Out Music. Today, the lineup consists of founder Hans Lundin. Per Nilsson, Jonas Reingold, Patrik Lundström, and newcomer Darby Todd. Kaipa explore themes such as nature and mythological creatures, allowing listeners to be lost in their Swedish enchanted forest for just over an hour.

“The Frozen Dead Of The Night” transports the listener into a fantasyland as they will be hit with Lundström’s majestic singing and Lundin’s ethereal keyboard playing simultaneously. The phrase ’dead of the night’ can be heard many times during the nineteen-minute opener, but never feels boring as the vocalists deliver the words in such a fashion that one will appreciate them every time they are uttered.

Singer Aleena Gibson brings the album cover to life “In A World Of Pines”. Accompanying her dreamy voice on the journey through the trees is a mix of acoustic melodies, intertwined with spellbinding keys and electric riffs that keep the magic alive.

“Urskog” is sung in Swedish, with a rather intense-sounding intro. Patrik Lundström takes over as the lead vocalist once again, as the mood returns to the usual uplifting state. There is something about when a band from a non-English speaking country have lyrics sung in their native tongue that just seems naturally authentic. It also shows their international audiences that they are confident enough in themselves to let their music take precedence and convey the mood of the track for almost eight minutes.

Instrumental “Wilderness Excursion” possesses a funky jazz beat that ventures back into the album’s usual prog territory, illustrating the song title beautifully with all its twists and turns. Classical and folk flavours find their way on to “In The Wastelands Of My Mind”, thanks to violinist Elin Rubinsztein and Nilsson’s acoustic guitar strumming. All the other instruments seem to dance around these two elements, while Patrik’s commanding voice adds human emotion to the (relatively) short but sweet composition.

“The Bitter Setting Sun” showcases some fantastic drumming from Todd and brilliant bass work from Reingold, who demonstrate how compatible and versatile they are in the rhythm section. Saxophonist Olof Åslund’s appearance sees the jazzy elements resurface, albeit in a smoother manner. The way in which the instrumental melodies and vocal hooks start to reprise each other around halfway through is really remarkable, adding another level of catchiness to the album.

If you need a dose of prog-positivity, look no further than Kaipa’s Urskog. Their nature-inspired tunes will take you on an uplifting aural voyage.


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Band line-up:

Hans Lundin – keyboards & vocals
Per Nilsson – electric & acoustic guitars
Jonas Reingold – electric basses
Darby Todd – drums
Patrik Lundström – vocals
Aleena Gibson – vocals

Guest musicians:

Elin Rubinsztein – violin
Olof Åslund – saxophone

Tracklisting:

1. The Frozen Dead Of The Night
2. In A World Of Pines
3. Urskog
4. Wilderness Excursion
5. In The Wastelands Of My Mind
6. The Bitter Setting Sun

Websites:

Order Urskog via…
Inside Out (transparent green double vinyl + CD)
Inside Out (double black vinyl + CD)
Inside Out (digipack CD)
Amazon Music (digital)

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