We tend to overlook older bands, unless of course they are a personal favorite. We assume that groups that have been around for twenty-plus years have left their best music behind them, and in many cases, that’s a fair assumption. That said, Sweden’s Kaipa is definitely the exception, not the rule. The band has been around since the 70s, so there’s a chance your parents remember them. However, based on how little buzz Sattyg is getting, I’m guessing the band’s reach has been limited. If the sounds on the band’s tenth record are any indication, most of us have been missing out. This band is still going strong.
The foundation of the band is keyboardist/guitarist/founder Hans Lundin, but he’s recruited quite a talented group of musicians, including Scar Symmetry guitarist Per Nilsson. That talent is on full display throughout Sattyg. The band plays a flashy style of progressive rock that’s definitely rooted in Swedish/Nordic folk music, where folky melodies weave in and out of the band’s sound. These songs are long (and very strong), but they don’t really feel like arduous or grueling listens. “Screwed-Upness” has an epic feel, but every time the track name is sung, you know you’re in for a treat. Kaipa loves to mix it up, playing around with song structures and dynamics, showing a remarkable ability to make multiple ten-minute-plus songs easy listening.
As for the whole album, the extended instrumental breaks and solos can’t get slightly repetitive, but it doesn’t ruin the enjoyment of the album. Kaipa is a progressive rock force to be reckoned with, with impressive songs and even more impressive musicianship. (Nicholas Senior)