Kaipa: Vittjar

Excellent latest chapter from the resurgent Swedish all-stars.

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Swedish proggers Kaipa have been around for nearly 40 years. The band formed in 1973 and released their debut two years later. There was however a 20-year hiatus between 1982 and 2002, when they returned out of the blue with Notes From The Past. Good job they did too, or we’d have been deprived of this superb piece of folky, symphonic prog.

There’s a really crisp production job on Vittjar and some extremely vibrant playing from the supergroup, comprising keysman Hans Lundin, über-guitarist Per Nilsson, Morgan Ågren and Flower King Jonas Reingold on bass.

Twelve-minuter Lightblue And Green sums it up. A sweet, epic song redolent of nature is animated by hummingly tight bandplay and adorned by both Elin Rubinsztein’s fiddle and Fredrik Lindqvist’s woodwinds. His Ritual bandmate Patrik Lundström sings with passion throughout, often evoking the spirit of Jon Anderson, especially in his harmony parts. At 22 minutes, Our Silent Ballroom is a sustained showcase, with vocalist Aleena Gibson shining bright.

There’s a nice balance of golden-age and modern prog on this gem. Many bands aim for it and fall short. Kaipa make it sound easy.