Karma to Burn – V

February 6, 2012 in Reviews by Dagg

Karma To Burn

So, after much deliberation, I bring you Karma to Burn’s lastest album, V. For the unitiated, the first thing likely to stand out is that the songs are numbered arbitrarily from 47 to 51, with two named tracks (“The Cynics” and “Jimmy D”) and a cover (Black Sabbath’s “Never Say Die”).

First of all, lets establish what Karma To Burn is and isn’t, because what they are is done with precision and grace, and what they aren’t, I’ve seen held against them a lot. Karma to Burn has been plugging away now for 5 albums, with a 7 year hiatus thrown in the middle, crunching out stoner rock instrumental work with some serious groove and great riffs. Really. Great. Riffs. They’ve always had a tradition of naming the songs numerically as they come about, and so that’s what they appear as on the album.

They are not in any sense progressive, highly technical, or really trying to do anything other that jamming out some numbers. There is very little long term appeal to this album, and I wouldn’t exactly call it active listening. If you enjoy the groovy stoner rock jams, than this is going to keep you occupied for a bit, and I’d imagine you will feel satisfied with the product (I did), but the album has a relatively small scope, and so I would caution to keep your expectations at a similarly small level.

As for the vocal aspects, the vocalist they had been recording with quit after the release of the album, so I wouldn’t expect much more of this in the future. Overall though, I’d have to say that the vocals are good, and they add some extra flavor. Finally, I’ll comment on the cover of “Never Say Die”. The original song was nothing special, nor was the album, but with modern production and a special brand of revisionist history that only covers can accomplish, Karma to Burn seeks to reveal a better side of Sabbath’s genius on this one, and in the process the band comes out looking pretty slick itself. So again, low scope, high delivery, probably worth it if you’re into this stuff.


Dagg’s Rating: 3.0 out of 5