Atonal. It means not written in any key or mode.
It’s one way to describe this album musically.
But it’s not the correct word either as the album is full of melody and atmospheric melodic passages.
The voice even acts as an extra instrument in some songs with the Ohhhs and ahhs.
Karnivool are pushing boundaries here. There are no genres you can use except the word progressive.
But progressive in the sense of how the songs are stuctured and arranged. Because when people think of progressive rock, they think of virtuosos playing super fast passages over complex time changes.
Even progressive is not the correct word.
The band was burnt after a massive worldwide tour in support of their second album, “Sound Awake”, so they took a break in 2010.
Vocalist Ian Kenny started work on his, Birds of Tokyo project.
The band would get together on occasions over a two year period and write the album.
“Asymmetry” is the third studio album by Karnivool released in 2013.
Produced by Nick DiDia, he got the band of Ian Kenny (Vocals), Drew Goddard (Guitar), Mark Hosking (Guitar), Jon Stockman (Bass) and Steve Judd (Drums) to fire on all cylinders and record the album in 3 months.
It divided people.
One review I read said that the band needed someone to tell them “No”. Another review said to “listen to this album with headphones to fully appreciate the album”.
It’s a short atmospheric ambient introduction that’s hard to even hear.
The words “Hash” and “Nac” is backwards for Can and it sounds like they used hash writing this.
The drumming is dominant, the bass is distorted and progressive while the guitars feel jagged and grey.
Vocally, Kenny is channeling his love of Maynard from Tool.
At some stages it’s hard to keep track of the beat as the tempo competes with the other instruments.
There is a lot happening so press play.
If you like funk and the kind of funk that Omar Rodriguez is known for, then you will like this.
Stockman rumbles throughout on the bass and Kenny is singing with passion.
Goddard and Hosking are going nuts decorating on guitars.
Like all albums that are classed as progressive, this song is like the commercial song. If you want to call it that.
Bass guitarist Jon Stockman does the screaming vocals. It feels dystopian and industrial. Almost like early Tool.
It’s atmospheric and echoey with fast picked guitar notes in the beginning.
The song moves between full heavy sounds and clean tone sounds. And by the time the 6th minute rolls around and Kenny is singing about chemical fires signaling our death, you can only press repeat.
It’s like Muse but like the other songs, there is so much going on.
This is how the live child of Tool and U2 would sound like.
A little interlude that sets up the next song.
The Last Few
The love child of Tool and The Mars Volta.
It feels frantic yet restrained.
Psychedelics are back. Kenny’s vocal is like an instrument throughout the song.
Tool and Led Zeppelin this time get together and out comes “Alpha Omega”.
A weird way to finish the album with a spacey instrumental
In Australia it went to number 1 and a Gold certification.
One thought on “Australian Method Series: Karnivool – Asymmetry”
I had a quick listen to some of it, very interesting stuff. It’s certainly something that will require repeated listens to take in, nothing immediate here.