Once in a while something magical happens. If you have been listening to progressive rock for as long as I have these moments come less and less but when they do, it creates another memory to cherish on a musical journey. One such magical moment was hearing You by Gong for the first time. Here was an album like nothing I had heard before. The jaunty little tunes, space whisper, jazz, and Steve Hillages guitar playing alongside Daevid Allens unique vocals took me to places I never been to before.
As soon as I started listening to the new album from Knifeworld I was instantly reminded of that time lying in my bedroom listening to You on headphones. This album is different to your usual progfare. There has been a lot of thought and effort put into this. The closest I could come to comparing this to a modern day prog band would be The Tangent. The songs have complicated arrangements with great use of woodwind instruments that keeps the listener transfixed for the whole album. I couldn't wait to hear what the next track was going to bring.
There is everything on this album. Jazz, heavy rock, riffs, classical, pop, prog, and even theatre.
Karvus Torabi (guitar and vocals) played all the instruments on their last album Buried Alone - Tales Of Crushing Defeat (2009). But this time is surrounded by quality playing from Melanie Woods (vocals percussion), Emmett Elvin (keyboards), Charlie Cawood (bass), Ben Woolacott (drums), Chloe Herington, (bassoon, saxaphone vocals) Josh Perl (alto saxaphone vocals) and Nicki Maher (tenor saxaphone, clarinet vocals).
Karvus has been playing with a modern version of Gong recently and it would be hard not to be influenced by Daevid Allen, but this album really does stand out on its own. There is no point in selecting highlight tracks. They are all brilliant and different to each other. If you want to hear something refreshing and entertaining in our wonderful genre of music you could do a lot worse than listening to this album. Will be in my top 10 of 2014 for sure.
***** Dave Smith
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