John Milton who wrote the epic poem, Paradise Lost says, “For who would lose, though full of pain, this intellectual being. Those thoughts that wander through eternity. To perish rather, swallowed up and lost. In the wide womb of uncreated night.” A journey into something that a man building his own utopia, for people to come and start their new lives, may be not the smartest idea, but it comes with a heavy price and it crumbles upon him.
That and Carptree’s sixth studio album entitled, Emerger combines good, catchy melodies with a progressive and dramatic arrangement. The Swedish duo who formed the band 20 years ago have released five albums. Now while I’m very new to the Carptree ride, I knew listening to their new album released on the Reingold Records label, it was going to be an adventure I was about to embark on.
I can remember coming back for my afternoon walks and low and behold a new mail from Glass Onyon which has always perked my ear up for new progressive bands and artists that peak my interest and they have never disappointed me. Carptree have hit a gigantic home run. While they are a duo (Niclas Flinck and Carl Westholm), they are almost accompanied by the No Future Orchestra (NFO) which are a group of people who are both known and unknown acts from Sweden whilst bringing their personal sound that are more or less frequent.
Niclas’ voice resembles the minds of Strawbs’ Dave Cousins, Peter Hammill, and Phil Collins. He could nail those arrangements thanks to the keyboards (mellotron sampler on software), bass, 12-string guitar and a few other instruments by Carl himself, it’s a story for what is happening right now this year. Opener, The Fleeting Track starts with the line “Where do I go/To find a space for necessary/distance or detachment?” The song deals with the question on finding out who we are.
With keyboards and the synths delving through a revolutionary arrangement, featuring the orchestral atmosphere it reminisces of Genesis meets Van Der Graaf Generator setting as if both Peter Gabriel and Hammill himself worked together to create the theatrical voyage. In the spirits between 10cc, Queen, and Klaatu’s Hope, Between Extremes deals with the chance of stand up to fight and no turning back whilst walking into the lion’s den.
The acoustic ballad Porous features of a desolation scenario of what was, making the circle almost in full while Ultimately Lifeless which features an electronic introduction merges into a nightmare in the styles of a Muse-sque melody as the stories taken from the inspirations of a crossover between Ayn Rand, Philip K. Dick, and H.G. Wells brings the mellotron lush inside of the underwater city.
The bonus track Dwindle Into Darkness which is the remixed version of the song, deals with the scenario of what’s going on which I’ve mentioned earlier. Niclas sings about the detail and adds a chance that it’s a ride that will turned into a frightening location set in a parallel infinite universe. The music fits the situation and price to be paid for the enemies coming down on you and the pain as well for the king to be taken down as city crumbles upon him.
Those who are interested in the novelists I’ve mentioned along with some of the bands, Carptree’s new album is a story that holds an intense setting. Worth checking out. And in the words of Richard Adams’ Watership Down, “All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”