MCH Band's first album since the 1993 Gib Acht!!!, Karneval (Carnival) stands among Mikolás Chadima's strongest efforts. The singer/guitarist/saxophonist has written a convincing set of dark songs revolving around the treachery of Church and the State. Ten years after the Velvet Revolution in the former Czechoslovakia, his discontent with democracy had become virulent, stemming disillusioned songs like "Karneval," "Aréna," and "Zvíreci Farma" ("Animal Farm") -- the masks of politicians portrayed in the booklet also relate to the general theme. Ivan Wernisch penned the lyrics of four songs, including "Zpívají Hvezdy" and "Zpivá Válecnik," both based on Native American songs and therefore adding the treacherous White Man to the iconography of this Carnival. Chadima is backed by keyboardist Vladimir Linek and the rhythm section of Hynek Schneider (drums) and Martin Schneider (bass). The creative but heavy drum work and fat bass, along with the leader's guitar tone, all evoke the music of Roger Trigaux's Present, although less complex. Occasional leftish solos and unexpected bridges keep things interesting, but for the most part this music is gloomy, straightforward rock. The writing is sharp, and Chadima's guitar has never been this tortured; the musicians are locked together in a tight unit. Recommended. The booklet includes English translations of the lyrics.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture