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Articles Home » 2000 Articles » Kharma - 2000 Wonderland
Kharma - 2000 Wonderland

Goran Edman - vocals
Dragan Tanaskovic - guitars
Atilla Szabo - keyboards
Joel Starander - bass
Imre Daun - drums

Here's another gem from the past resurrected for all melodic rockers to drool over. Formed from the ashes of the legendary Swedish outfit Vanessa, who some years ago paraded a battery of demo's which toured the AOR underground scene during the late eighties/early nineties with reverence among the fraternity. It was a pity that these never saw the light of day at the time, and it really is a travesty that some of the best unsigned bands of that era were overlooked. For instance we had In The Pink, Stun Leer, Odessa, Freelance, Tour De Force, and Rings Of Saturn. Some of them have since resurfaced, and that says a lot about this genre, and how it can survive through years of being in the wilderness. You couldn't say that about these 'one-hit' pop machines on the charts nowadays can you? Anyway, Vanessa were another band to die a death, but stayed a life when our friends at MTM stirred the souls of Edman, Tanaskovic, Szabo and co, to get some of their older material mixed in with some new. The result was Kharma, a name which the band invited members on the AOR OneList Forum to choose for them!

The Songs
For a Swedish outfit they sound very American, very professional, and with a diverse sound mixing the best elements of Kansas, Styx and Queen on their grandiose moments, like the title track 'Wonderland' and 'Burn Forever' for instance. 'Knowing You' is primetime Foreigner(debut album), while 'Standing Alone' drifts unerringly close, the chorus is one I'm sure is straight out of the Mick Jones copybook. One of the Vanessa demos 'In Chains' makes an appearance, and it's awesome finally listening to this in CD quality. Makes my old MP3 positively redundant. The 'change up' moment mid way through the song is pretty cool too. 'Spell On You' has some early Rainbow touches, like the Tony Carey styled keyboard solos from Atilla. His keyboard flurries on the track 'Hold On' has to be heard to be believed. One of my favourite tracks is 'Don't Close Your Eyes' which sounds like Foreigner playing the most melodic AOR while on steroids!

In Summary
Goran Edman's reputation as a class act on vocals preceeds him, and after listening to his work on Street Talk and Brazen Abbot ('Eye Of The Storm' in particular), he has earned my respect twice over. Atilla Szabo is also an exceptional player, and if given the chance to blossom, could end up in the same league as those Dutch keyboard meisters like Robby Valentine, Joby Bos Boom or Ron Hendrix (Terra Nova). Quality abounds here. Soaring vocals, luscious keyboards, cutting guitar and delicate instrumentation bordering on orchestral in some places. Kharma have given us something to cherish, and a pertinent reminder of where the current genre has gained it's influences from. Wonderful 'Wonderland'. Get it now.

Track Listing:
01 Free Yourself
02 Wonderland
03 Knowing You
04 Burn Forever
05 In Chains
06 Standing Alone
07 Part Time Lovers
08 Angel Eyes
09 Ray Of Sunshine
10 Spell On You
11 Don't Close Your Eyes
12 Hold On
13 Wings Of History

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#1 | Jez on June 14 2008 17:04:06
Another outstanding release from MTM. Pomp to the max on this one . Lots of influences popping up everywhere, especially Foreigner & Kansas . Production and Musicianship are superb, especially the vocals of Goran Edman, and not a bad track in sight. One of the best of 2000 without a doubt.
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