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STRANGE KARMA-2


STRANGE KARMA 

"Cold Blooded"

By Dark Starr 

I reviewed an earlier CD from these guys and really liked it a lot. I said that they were hard to pin down sound-wise. Well, that's still true. Ultimately I suppose you could call this classic rock styled hard edged music. That wide description fits, but there are more modern elements at play, too. This album shares territory with acts from Kingdom Come to Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses and more. Yet, it also lands in the neighborhood of prog rock at times. 

The first side of the LP starts with "Freedom." This hard rocker is classy stuff. In some ways it makes me think of early Scorpions a bit. At times this is almost heavy metal. There are parts of it that are more purely melodic, though. Overall, this is the kind of hard rock that was such a big part of the 1970s - think the hardest stuff from Aerosmith and Van Halen. 
Leaning more on the metal end of the equation, "Devil From The Moon" is another killer tune. It has a lot of power and a lot of magic. 
I love the guitar soloing on "Crying For Your Love." It's so evocative. The whole cut seems to ooze emotion and feeling. It has a nice balance between mellower and more rocking sounds. It's probably best described as a power ballad, but that's only so accurate. Whatever you call it, though, it's a highlight of the set. 
I think I would definitely call "Realize" metal. It has a more modern edge than a lot of the rest of the music here. It's a fierce tune, and an effective one. 

Next up is "I Believe (London Town)," and now we're back out of the metal zone. This is another hard rocker that has some ties to 70s rock. That said, this is perhaps closer to something like Guns N' Roses in some ways. I love the expressive guitar soloing on this tune. The hard rocking instrumental section at the end of the song is classic. 
The first song on the second side of the album is "Heartbeat." Acoustic guitar starts things off. A melodic guitar solos over the top. The song grows out from there into a melodic rocker that's still meaty and a bit crunchy. This feels a bit along the lines something like Kingdom Come to me. It has a classic hard rock sound for sure. 

I like the cool rhythmic element to the rocker bearing the title "Should've Seen It Coming." It's a bit more modern in some ways. The sound is intriguing. The vocal performance is among the most unique, too. All in all, this is a highlight of the set. It has some catchy hooks, too. 

"Cold Blooded" is next, and this riff driven stomper has a lot of crunch at its core. I love the soaring exploratory guitar soloing on this. The vocal performance is rocking and edgy. The song seems to occupy a space between melodic rock and hard edged GNR like stuff. This is very classic in sound in so many ways.

Piano starts "Hey Man." The cut works out into a fast paced, rocking jam that's almost proggy in a lot of ways. This is a killer cut that's a good change of pace. The drop back to a piano led movement mid-track definitely reinforces that prog rock comparison. The guitar there gets decidedly metallic at times, though. All in all, this is classy. It's a nice bit of variety and one of the highlights for sure. This is dynamic for certain.

The first instrument on the closing instrumental is also piano. "Dreams" is a melodic number that is another prog-like portion of the album. It fits in well with the set, and almost feels like a second part of the previous piece. It's an effective closer.