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Kaipa - Children Of The Sounds album review

Pagan prog-folkers thank the Wicker Man for the harvest

Cover art for Kaipa - Children Of The Sounds album

Often described as Swedish cousins of Yes or Genesis, old-school prog veterans Kaipa have enjoyed a prolific second act since re-forming in 2002. Featuring just one survivor from their foundational seventies phase (guitarist Hans Lundin), the current configuration rack up their eighth album together with Children Of The Sounds.

Partly inspired by the wide-open landscapes around the city of Uppsala, these five extended pieces are mostly grand prog-folk pastorals with a smooth jazz-fusion sheen, their nature-worship lyrics woven with filigree threads of bagpipe-style guitar, gleaming synthesiser fanfares and Celtic-meets Nordic fiddle flurries.

Much of this baroque retropagan whimsy inevitably hovers perilously close to Brian Pernlevel parody. The nine-minute grand finale, What’s Behind The Fields, is certainly guilty of proggy bloat and late-period Floydian guitar sprawl.

Otherwise, Lundin and his younger cohorts bounce along with a pleasingly agile and melodic zest – even during the album’s mammoth, 17-minute centrepiece On The Edge Of New Horizons, which shades into Queen and Radiohead territory in places.