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Kaipa - Kaipa/Inget Nytt Under Solen/Solo album review

Luxury coloured vinyl releases featuring a teenage Roine Stolt – before he became a King

KAIPA Kaipa/Inget Nytt Under Solen/Solo cover art

Although there’s much to commend Kaipa from a musical standpoint, what will be of real interest here is that these three albums feature the teenage Roine Stolt. And you can hear the seeds of what he’d later do with both Flower Kings and Transatlantic.

These limited editions are available on 180g vinyl – blue for Kaipa, orange for Inget Nytt Under Solen, green for Solo – and have been remastered, as you might expect. The self-titled debut originally came out in 1975. It has a symphonic tread, but the production from the band themselves is a little halting. Probably the best song here is Skogspromenad, which is also the simplest. Incidentally, Stolt was responsible for the cover painting.

Inget Nytt Under Solen, from 1976, is a considerable improvement. The centrepiece is Skenet Bedrar. Nearly 22 minutes long, this is divided into five sections, and is a magnificent amalgam of emotion and virtuosity. Kaipa also introduced the Mellotron to their armoury; you can hear this to particular effect on the soaring Korgståg, where it’s wielded impressively by keyboard player Hans Lundin.

Incidentally, there’s an irony in the title, which translates as ‘nothing new under the sun’. The band were actually determined to prove this maxim was wrong in their case.

Third album Solo, the last with Stolt, came out in 1978. This is clearly the best of the three, because Kaipa were adroitly moving away from the Yes/BJH confines of the previous releases, giving Stolt more rein to expand his range. And Lundin’s keyboards show a deft sleight of hand.

Tracks like Sen Repris show a definite Queen influence, while Frog Funk nods towards Mike Oldfield as Tajgan moves into space rock realms. Such a pity this line-up fell apart in 1979; Solo suggests what might have been.

CDs are included with each album, with bonus tracks. But the richness comes through on the vinyl.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.