My Sleeping Karma – Mela Nanda – Live (Napalm)

Friday, 17th February 2017
Rating: 8/10

With the instrumental rock/metal boom having long since passed (we’re probably at the decade mark), the style is effectively cornered by a few well-meaning bands, like Germany’s My Sleeping Karma. Formed in 2006, the band has six albums to their credit, the most recent, Moksha, being released on the venerable Napalm Records. Perhaps as a way to demonstrate their live chops, the band saw fit to release their first live album, Mela Nanda – Live.

Playing off the loose, back-behind-the-beat angle that is often found in post-metal, My Sleeping Karma’s ability to weave hard-jamming riffs (see: “Enigma42”) with delicate hues and space-trucking vibes is their strongest suit. The gorgeous melodies peddled on “Glow11” (clearly the band likes to put a number behind song titles; at least they’re not like Karma to Burn who use just numbers), and the spacy, if not trippy vibes found on the excellent “Brahama” find My Sleeping Karma in equal footing with stoner and classic rock, all without the benefit of a singer.

The real trick with instrumental music is finding the dynamics to make a song work. Without it, such bands are lost. My Sleeping Karma have come close to perfecting the art of tension-filled, easy-day melody-driven, and swirling psych jams, all performed without an iota of pretension. Clearly, Mela Nanda – Live is the result of four dudes just getting up on stage and jamming. Doesn’t get any more simple (or better) than that.

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