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On this, their fourth studio offering "Insekt" (65 min, 11 tracks), Sweden's CARPTREE still appear basically as a duo of keyboardist Carl Westholm and singer Niclas Flinck. This time around the men are backed up by six guest players, though only three of those, guitarist Ulf Edelonn, bassist Stefan and Carl's old friend drummer Jejo Percovic (both played in Candlemass / Abstract Algebra in the '90s), have really solidly contributed to the album's performance department. Additionally, "Insekt" features a chamber choir, conducted by Olle Zanden. I can't say I am passionately fond of any of the project's releases, but I must admit Carptree's creative upgrowth from album to album is more than merely obvious, "Insekt" being their most diverse and original effort to date, which is in total synonymous to "best" in my understanding. Overall, there is rather much common ground between their previous recording, "Man Made Machine", and this one, but while the music here is still Neo Progressive, it is at once more hard-edged and darker than ever before. What seems to be most important however, it has now a distinct sign of what should already be regarded as the group's signature style. All in all, "Insekt" makes a very good impression on me and is probably the very best neo-prog-related creation I've heard this year.
VM: June 8, 2007
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