Release Date: 2001

Track Listing
1)  An Ordinary Mortal 4.33
fast
2)  Andraiad 8.27
fast
3)  The Pale Ray 3.28
fast
4)  Super Electrical 4.40
fast
5)  Eve 7.37
fast b
6)  Sparks that Flash and Fall... 10.23
fast
7)  Thoughts and Silences 3.23
fast

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Member: ffroyd (Profile) (All Album Reviews by ffroyd)
Date: 7/9/2002
Format: CD (Album)

Iím in love! This album is one of the most beautiful works of art I think Iíve ever heard. Usually quieter stuff like this makes me either bored or depressed but Eve is just such a well-crafted and enjoyable piece of music that I canít help but be totally enraptured by it. The sounds are very lush and sensual within a surreal soundtrack atmosphere. Although there are many classical instruments and influences, the progressive element plays a very big part in the music. Those that are familiar with Steve Hackettís mellower moments should be right at home here.

The main ingredient in Karda Estra is Richard Wileman, who writes the music and plays guitars, basses, keyboards and percussion. Joining Richard on the album are 5 wonderfully talented and beautiful women. Ileesha Baileyís voice is just angelic and although there are no lyrics, her oohs and aahs are just gorgeous. Helen Dearnley and Rachel Larkins play the violins. Zoe King contributes quite a bit, playing flute, alto saxophone and clarinet. And last but certainly not least is the contribution from Caron Hansford, who plays haunting oboe and cor anglais. The oboe is featured quite prominently and to great effect.

The music on Eve was inspired by Villers de LíIsle Adamís 1886 short novel The Future Eve in which a wealthy Lord has an android replica of his perfect woman created for him. Although Iíve never read the book, I would imagine the haunting music from Eve would go perfectly with it.

While the material is often quite soothing and relaxed, it also has the excellent dynamics of great progressive rock. For those that appreciate Dead Can Dance and other 4AD artists, you donít want to miss this wonderful offering.
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Member: rarebird
Date: 7/9/2002


This CD lets one wonder how progressive rock should be defined. It isn't rock in the way groups like Yes, Genesis and Renaissance used to make. When punk and new wave were coming up as a reaction to the music of this groups, with often members showing their virtuosity, some groups, like Cocteau Twins, Bel Canto and especially Dead Can Dance took music in a different direction. The latter became more and more inspired by classical music, especially from the middle ages. The rock aspect of the music, with drums providing a strong rhythm, disappeared. Karda Estra makes music which can be compared with this, though for Richard Wileman, the inspiration seems to come more from the impressionistic period of classical music.

The opening "An Ordinary Mortal" sounds very classical, with strings and a violin starting a melody. Later they are joined by the somewhat ethereal vocals of Ileesha Bailey. Sometimes I have to get used to them. The oboe is putting the icing on the cake and there is also the acoustic guitar.

"Andraiad" starts with some bells, which reminds me of Dead Can Dance. The oboe is starting a beautiful melody and the violin helps to create the atmosphere. This is strange music. Not very happy sounding, but dark and gloomy. I can see the mist on the moors and feel the loneliness. In "The Pale Ray", we hear Ileesha Bailey again, featured by piano and clarinet.

In "Super Electrical" we hear for the first time some percussion. Played in a classical way, not providing rhythm, but adding some ornaments. The electrical guitar provides some eerie effect. "Eve" is sounding a bit like a waltz, with some snare-drum and a beautiful melody, I seem to have heard earlier, but I can't find it. "Sparks That Flash And Fall" starts really dark and gives you the shivers. Don't play this if you are depressed. It has some waltz-like interludes, but it is all very lonely. It provides an atmosphere, fitting with the video-clip of "Viena" by Ultravox, or some old movies, like "Rebecca".

The closing "Thoughts And Silences" starts with a piano again. I must say I wonder how it would sound if a real grand piano was used. But you don't hear them much on this kind of music nowadays. I wish Richard Wileman had a bigger budget to do this. He really deserves it.

I would say a warm applause for Richard Wileman (classical, electric and bass guitars, keyboards and percussion) and his girls: Ileesha Baileey (vocal), Helen Dearnley (violin), Caron Hansford (oboe, cor anglais), Zoe King (flute, alto saxophone, clarinet) and Rachel Larkings (viola, violin). They all deserve to be mentioned here.
If I should give this music a label, it would be something like neo-impressionistic classical. But why bother about this. 'What's in a name' Shakespeare said already. This is just beautiful music. And I don't care how to call it. If you are interested in the music of Dead Can Dance, I think you also will appreciate Karda Estra, and for all other music lovers who want to stretch their musical horizons, I would say, give this a try.
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