Sphere Karcius
CD Review by Scott "Dr. Music" Itter

July 2006


  Let me tell you about the first song on this disc&

It starts with almost an East Indian sitar or classical guitar sound that bows to a traditional acoustic strumming, which later ushers in a jazzy piano and drum arrangement. While all of this is forming, bassist Dominique Blouin is jamming on complex charts that play out like a lead guitar role. And speaking of the lead guitar role, right about four minutes into the song we hear a dazzling jazz guitar stir and sway with precious tone and finesse. Then all hell breaks loose. We get heavy chords, harder and faster drumming, and a blazing guitar solo to close the song. "Hello" to you too, Karcius!

This is a band on the always adventurous prog label Unicorn Digital, and they have a unique mix of jazz and rock instrumental. Karcius has a wonderful way of laying the groundwork for tempo and mood, and then leaving the song dangle while they explore the instrumental possibilities. When they return to the groove and tempo they had established early on, it seems as if they had never left. Not only is it rare that a band takes risks like these, but it is extremely rare that it is done successfully. Their success is due in large part to their instrumental prowess. With guitarist Simon L'Esperance noodling incessantly, and drummer Thomas Brodeur playing intricate cymbal patterns and rolling drum signatures, it is only natural for the other two Karcius members, keyboardist Mingan Sauriol and bassist Dominique Blouin, to keep pace. Many of these songs consist of classical piano pieces being played simultaneously with a heavy rhythm section and aggressive and detailed guitar work. They peacefully exist together, and harmoniously converge more than just a few times. Much of the Karcius sound seems to rely on a scat and improvisational sound. Some of this stuff sounds like a Miles Davis piece that has been adapted to piano, and has a big booming rhythm section and a screaming guitar added to it. Mmmm&.I get hungry just thinking about it.



CD track listing



Liquid Meat


Evolution Lunatik


Highway to the Moon




Back to Earth





Bois ta Musique
Absolute Decadence
Label: Unicorn Digital / Release date: 3/4/06