[Review] Kaprekar’s Constant – The Murder Wall

Kaprekar’s Constant is a Progressive Rock collective, brainchild of childhood friends, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Al Nicholson and Nick Jefferson. The band is joined by high-level artists such as saxophonist David Jackson, Mike Westergaard on keyboards, vocals Dorie Jackson, Bill Jefferson & drummer Mark Walker. The third and new album “The Murder Wall” was released on March 25, 2022 via Talking Elephant Records and containing 17 tracks. The album opens with “Prologue” where male and female voices intertwine, while the sound is a Prog Rock with Folk influences, melodic and engaging. The following “Theme – Hall of Mirrors” opens with a rhythmic session and a ballad style atmosphere, with a good orchestral background. In the central part the sax is inserted that accompanies us to the finale with a good solo cue. “Tall Tales by Firelight” is characterized by a dreamy atmosphere with a delicate and sweet vocal and a soft sound with passionate traits. A good blend of Prog and Folk traits with fine phrasing between winds and keyboards and a refined solo. An atmospheric intro connects the next track “Failure Takes Care of Its Own” which opens with a dreamy plan on which the vocals are inserted. The vocal is warm and expressive and tells us another story, maintaining the arousing features of the band’s sound, creating intense passages full of pathos. Markedly Folk Prog “Another Man’s Smile” combines the 70’s tradition of bands like Strawbs with the personal and modern traits of the band. Pleasant vocal and musical intertwining, with good textures between guitar and keyboards, leaving little space, however, for the instrumental section. “Years to Perfect” is a delicate passage, characterized by a long intro that develops with an intense sound and vocal with melancholy features. Returning to the Folk Prog sounds “Hope in Hell” moves slowly and creates a delicate and dreamy atmosphere with an excellent female vocal. Very intense and with the intensity that increases in the second part it is an emotional track. More energetic and engaging “Victorious” mixes Soft Prog and Pop traits with fine intertwining between sax and keyboards, with good guitar inserts. A pleasant track that recalls the Folk Rock bands with Prog hints of the 70s, revisiting the genre with its own personal and modern touch, very intense. “The Rain Shadow” is a short 2 minute passage with a good background with guitar arpeggios and an intense and emotional vocal. The longest track on the album “Third Man Down” opens with a long intro with guitar and orchestrations on the keyboard, and then develops with a warm vocal and piano notes. In the central part, with the entry of all the instruments, the intensity increases and develops by skilfully mixing Prog and Folk, with very refined passages. “A Silent Drum” continues the musical discourse undertaken in the previous track with a good female vocal, with a softer first part. While in the second part, with the entrance of an energetic rhythmic session, it develops with a good Folk Rock, involving and with a retro feel. After a short atmospheric intro “The Stormkeeper’s Daughter” develops with the acoustic guitar and the warm and expressive female vocal. In the central part the winds and the rhythm session enter, creating a passionate Folk Prog track with good inserts of electric guitar. “A World Beyond Man” is characterized by guitar arpeggios reminiscent of the Baroque style, enters the vocal that intertwines the male and female voices. An intense and elaborate track of Folk Prog, with retro reminiscences and a valuable use of orchestrations. Returning to the melodies of the previous “The Stormkeeper’s Reprise” with a touch of Folk and Rock, pleasant and smooth, it follows the sound of the initial theme. “Endeavor” has more Pop Rock features with references to the late ’70s, with an intertwining of keyboards and winds and the guitar as protagonist in the second part. Soft and flowing ends with a second more atmospheric part. “Mountaineers” opens with a background of keyboard and sweet piano notes and a warm and expressive vocal, telling a very intense story. The intensity increases with the flow of the song which still remains soft and dreamy. The album ends with “Hall of Mirrors” which continues on the sound of the previous one, and then develops with orchestrations and keyboard and wind inserts. the vocal is very warm and expressive and the sound is sometimes pompous, concluding with a good instrumental cue. An album that combines the softest and most dreamy traits of Prog with Folk Rock, combining tradition and retro sounds with the personal and modern touch of the band. Confirming what they heard in previous releases, this band manages to create intense and pathos-laden tracks with a warm and expressive vocal. A listening recommended for lovers of the more delicate sounds of Prog, with intense vocals and a marked Folk matrix, a pleasant listening.

Decibel Peak // Gamblin' Man (f...

Tracklist

01. Prologue (4:57)
02. Theme – Hall of Mirrors (2:23)
03. Tall Tales by Firelight (5:00)
04. Failure Takes Care of Its Own (4:21)
05. Another Man’s Smile (6:02)
06. Years to Perfect (2:30)
07. Hope in Hell (3:00)
08. Victorious (6:13)
09. The Rain Shadow (2:07)
10. Third Man Down (7:20)
11. A Silent Drum (5:00)
12. The Stormkeeper’s Daughter (3:28)
13. A World Beyond Man (3:44)
14. The Stormkeeper’s Reprise (3:48)
15. Endeavour (3:43)
16. Mountaineers (4:58)
17. Hall of Mirrors (6:15)

Lineup

David Jackson / Saxophones, Flutes, Whistles
Mark Walker / Drums & Percussion
Bill Jefferson / Vocals, Backing Vocals
Dorie Jackson / Vocals, Backing Vocals, Vocal Arrangements
Mike Westergaard / Piano, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Al Nicholson / Guitars, Piano, Keyboards
Nick Jefferson / Basses, Keyboards

Kaprekar’s Constant |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

Talking Elephant Records |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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