Highly praised by this blog, KARIBOW's last effort was one of past year's best neo-prog albums. Now, Oliver Rüsing, the man behind KariBow, is re-releasing his 2011 record "Man Of Rust" as a 'Special Edition', and this is really true as the album has been partially re-recorded, re-mixed, re-mastered and there's a lot of new music added.
Honored with the German Rock & Pop Award in the Best Arrangement category, "Man Of Rust" mix neo-prog, melodic rock and rock&pop in equal measures of delight.
Oliver first formed KariBow as a six-piece band somewhere near the end of 1996, but as other obligations pressed upon the lives of each member, the band dissolved. Oliver himself went on to be an art professor and as well as drum teacher.
But Oliver has a gift for writing songs and composing and playing music. KariBow became a personal project for which he wrote, composed, played all instruments (guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums), recorded, and produced all on his own.
A steady succession of albums followed over the years, released in small numbers and not for a broader market beyond friends and a small interested fan base.
That began to change in 2011 with the release of "Man of Rust". His very wise and perceptive wife told him to stop making albums for the shelves and to get his music out there. Oliver submitted the album to the German Rock & Pop Musicians' Association (DRMV) and it was chosen for the award of best arrangement.
Three years later, he released "Addicted" and it too won the same award, this time for best progressive band. That led to Oliver's most ambitious project yet, the phenomenal "Holophinium" featured exclusively on this blog last year. A full album of progressive melodic rock with a band and a cast of stellar guests including Sean Timmins, Colin Tench, and Michael Saddler of Saga.
KariBow toured with Saga and have since played some festivals in Germany as well. With KariBow's fan base suddenly growing, an interest developed in earlier albums (at the time of the release of "Holophinium", only "Addicted" was also available on CD and "Man of Rust" was a download only).
Oliver, fresh of the tour with Saga, took a brief holiday and then jumped back into the studio. The result is a re-release of "Man of Rust", remixed and remastered, with three extra studio tracks not included on the original version.
In an interview, Oliver stated that he weighed heavily the choices of simply remastering the album and re-recording the songs. A friend encouraged him to keep the originals, but Oliver felt some parts could be improved upon.
So he decided to re-do some parts but leave the rest and just remix the album. The new version of "Man of Rust" was released in November.
As to be expected from a KariBow album, on "Man Of Rust" there's a generous offering of heavy, melodic rock with many tracks hiding underlying complexities as well as a few more obvious progressive (i.e. longer an more complex) numbers.
Oliver excels at writing beautiful catchy melodies, and songs like "Ceraneo", "The Big Y", and "Ceremony" are outstanding examples of his talent.
The title track is probably the most complex song on the album moving through different changes to the music, sometimes quick and challenging, other times soothing or passionate.
Indeed, "Man Of Rust" is more melodic rock than neo-prog. Oliver doesn't try to make KariBow a progressive rock band; however, he's a creative person (he does all the album artwork himself, by the way) and when a song grows into something more than a four-minute melodic masterpiece, Oliver permits his muse to dictate the course.
This record is deep and rich in melodic rock waves with a heavy guitar side and that also goes without restraint into more musically complex territory which earns KariBow a place in the progressive rock world.
If you love Saga, Asia, '80s Yes Trevor Rabin era, you need to check this great album.
01 - Ceraneo
02 - Man Of Rust
03 - Reasons To Fly
04 - Drowned In Delay (new track)
05 - The Big Y
06 - All Form Is Illusion (new track)
07 - Ceremony (new track)
08 - Till We Are Gone
09 - Sound Of The Shade
10 - Just A Light
11 - The North Wall Tale (new track)
12 - A Little Bit Of Rust (new extended live version)
Oliver Rüsing / All instruments and vocals
BUY IT !