“Notes From the Past” marked a return to music by Hans Lundin, the original founding member of Kaipa in the mid 70’s. Roine Stolt joined the band as a teenager, and remained until the early 80’s to pursue a solo career. After 20 years of silence (running a music shop in Sweden), Mr. Lundin came back, along with Roine Stolt with last years “Notes from the Past”. The album was very well received; musically it was structured very well and the vocals strong. With just over a year’s absence, the exact group has returned with “Keyholder”.
“Lifetime of a Journey” (track 1) has been favorably compared to the music of Queen. It is very pompous, with dual guitars and harmony vocals. Although written by Lundin, this song has a strong Flower Kings vibe. “Weed of all Mankind” is fairly lengthy and somewhat agressive and also gentle. “End of the Rope” is the album’s longest track, at almost 14 minutes. Shades of light and dark, angry vocals. Big stretches of interlocking bass/guitar/keyboard lines.
The best song on the CD is “A Complex Work of Art”, with beautiful lead vocals by Aleena (She was on the last album, but has a greater presence here). “Across the Big Uncertain” has a very pastoral sense to it; gentle, soft, flowing, peaceful. “Distant Voices” is another typical, very long tune. Mostly instrumental, with varying elements of timbre and dynamic range. The final track, “Otherwordly Brights” is very positive and melodic.
In comparison to the last release, this album is much more aggressive, more song-driven. Roine Stolt is arguably in a period of greatest production, and his guitar playing is top notch. Drummer Morgan Agren is quite skilled and competent, and bassist Reingold is in fine form, if providing more of an accompanying role as opposed to his often virtuoso and skillful performances in Karmakanic and Flower Kings.