Originally featuring a 17-year-old Roine Stolt, Kaipa hold a special place in the hearts of fans, but were largely unknown outside Scandinavia until regrouping after a two-decade hiatus for 2002’s Notes From The Past.
Sattyg (‘Mischief’) is the seventh release since then and sees the band in fine form. Strong symphonic elements sit alongside dreamlike and playful Scandinavian folk and medieval influences, topped off by the terrific and instantly recognisable vocal talents of Patrik Lundström and Aleena Gibson. This combination works well on long album opener A Map Of Your Secret World – a mystical love duet in frenetic multi-layered sections tempered by excursions into gentler territory. It’s strong too on A Sky Full of Painters, with its hints of psychedelia giving way to upbeat jazzy grooves and some tasty playing from guitarist Per Nilsson. Tweeness can creep in, most notably on the hornpipe/jig of the title track, but founder member and main composer Hans Lundin keeps the prog flowing. With powerful and lush tracks like Without Time – Beyond Time and the teasing, building Unique When We Fall, Kaipa create an exquisitely surreal musical landscape.