Karmic Juggernaut Unleashes Trippy New Single Sun Puzzle Off Upcoming Album

There’s nothing conventional about the psychedelic progressive rockers Karmic Juggernaut.

There’s nothing conventional about the psychedelic progressive rockers Karmic Juggernaut. The band from Asbury Park, New Jersey, formed initially as a quartet in 2004 and has earned a reputation for its intense musicianship, eccentric songwriting, and the soaring vocals of singer Daimon Santa Maria.

Karmic Juggernaut has released a new single, Sun Puzzle, from its upcoming full-length LP, Phantasmagloria. The band’s funk/fusion sound has earned comparisons to King Crimson, Zappa, and The Mars Volta, among others. After listening to the intricate, epic sounds of Sun Puzzle, you’ll see why. Legendary drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo) has also praised the band, including their album The Dreams That Stuff Are Made of in his Top 10 albums of 2018.

Sun Puzzle was recorded at the band’s studio, The Hangar. The six-plus-minute composition is equally hard-driving and emotive with the whimsical but complex intensity the band’s become known for. The song navigates through various feels, colors, moods, and time signatures on a foundation of powerful vocals, rhythms, driving bass, heavy guitars, and a wall of keyboard sounds. 

The lyrics offer a perspective on the cyclical nature of existence and the feeble insignificance of humanity’s self-worship. Vocalist Daimon Santa Maria sings, “You make a spark to make a fire/With two cold and lifeless stones/We’re not all hopeless entirely/There’s still a chance we’ll grow.” So, basically, we humans are pretty foolish, but there’s still hope for us, right?

The track’s release is accompanied by a rad music video directed by drummer and electronic musician Faye Fadem. Fadem produced the hypnotic representation of the music that features footage of the band playing juxtaposed with trippy and celestial imagery. Some good psychedelic viewing here.

Karmic Juggernaut’s upcoming album, Phantasmagloria, is a concept record borne out of the pandemic that deals with the thematic elements of idol worship, conspiracies, anti-intellectualism, the occult, and lucid dreams. So, it’s perfect for the strange times we’re living in. The album takes place within a lost radio broadcast from the imaginary WKRM The Kream (the band’s private label). They explored this lost radio broadcast concept before on their 2018 album The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of.

Mark your calendars as the new album drops on April 28, 2023. Phantasmagloria will be available via streaming, download, and CD, with a vinyl edition slated for early August via the band’s website and live performances. 

Karmic Juggernaut is also having a release party on April 28th in Asbury Park, NJ, along with bassist Cody McCorry’s We Used to Cut the Grass collective and Beardfest curators Out of the Beardspace. Grab your tickets through AXS.com if you’re interested.

I love concept albums, so I’ll be looking forward to this release. I think concept albums about lost radio stations are even cooler, reminding me of the classic Queens of the Stone Age record Songs for the Deaf, one of my all-time favorite records.

Give Karmic Juggernaut a listen, for sure. Their musicianship will blow you away, and their funky fusion style reminds me of early Incubus, a little bit of the rich progressive legacy of Rush, and a band we covered here on the site called Pharm. The music is psychedelic in the best way possible!

Support Karmic Juggernaut by checking out their official website or find them on Bandcamp or social media (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter).

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