The Unravelling

SKU: 0685-2
Label:
Inside Out Music
Category:
Art Rock
Add to wishlist 

"It’s been five years since their last album, Buried Alone: Tales Of Crushing Defeat, but in that time, the lord of Knifeworld, Kavus Torabi, has been very busy indeed. He’s been part of Gong and various other bands, hosted a prog radio show with snooker legend Steve Davis (who is in fact, more interesting than people might have ever suspected) and of course spent his time working on more Knifeworld material.

Since his days with Monsoon Bassoon, Torabi has always been someone who writes dense yet strangely hookladen songs. With Knifeworld things are no different, if anything this album is about as ambitious as anything in Torabi’s long and extensive career to date. The Unravelling is an eight song cycle, is performed as an octet, and is nothing if not grandiose in its intensions. The idea of a song cycle might well sound pretentious, and perhaps it is, but what keeps The Unravelling from unravelling into a unwieldy mess is Torabi’s deft songwriting nous and keen ear for a hook. These songs might well form a cycle, but they are all quite capable of operating independently too.

Opening track I Can Teach You How To Lose A Fight starts in muted fashion with delicate keyboards and strummed acoustic guitars complimenting Mel Woods’ beautiful but understated vocals. The whirring of clock parts and machinery in the background give a wonky Victorian feel, but also suggest that the cogs that drive the album are slowly clunking into life. Before long the full band has launched into a freakish prog-hymn, like a kind of feral Rick Wakeman freakout. “Why’d you grow those teeth in your heart?” asks Torabi sounding as if his has been chewed up and spat out by an evil Queen. It’s essentially the dialogue of a relationship winding down, but with its winding musical motifs, joyful honking sax parts mixing with solemn vocals and dramatic guitar stabs, the introduction to the album feels like a kind of synopsis of what’s to follow or an overture of sorts. There’s joy, threat, love, anger, fun and a fair bit of magic too.

Send Him Seaworthy starts life as a kind of lurching boy’s own adventure, with nautical themes and a sense of wonder seeping into the orchestration, but come the telling conclusion it becomes tale of paranoid love. Don’t Land On Me meanwhile meanders along in a faintly jazzy way until a sharp stabbing rock riff cuts across its bows. Suddenly, it becomes a curious mix of swing, The Osmonds‘ Crazy Horses and Kenny Rogers‘ version of Condition. The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes meanwhile is a woozy old-school nursery rhyme that contains a requisite amount of grotesque imagery.

Destroy The World We Love is the pop nugget around which the album truly revolves. It possesses a laid back lollop, a very deliberate hook with the line “secret in your hands” digging deep into the ears early on, but it quickly reveals itself to be an expansive and exquisite journey. Fans of Genesis (and naturally Cardiacs) will find plenty to appreciate here but as usual Knifeworld stop short of being self-indulgent and ensure that the song never disappears up its own firmament.

If The Skulls We Buried hinted at something a little unsettling, then This Empty Room Was Once Alive confirms that there is something genuinely creepy lurking under the surface of this album and it just so happens to be in the form of a Victorian ghost story. Fortunately I’m Hiding Behind My Eyes quickly takes over and steers back towards folk inflected prog before things get to terrifying. Once again, the Octet are in fine form creating a bucolic world for the band to inhabit and explore.

The key to this album is in its title. It is well written, and beautifully performed, but in order to get the most out of it, a certain amount of unravelling needs to be done. The five year wait has been worthwhile, and Torabi’s Knifeworld seems ready to begin creating its own universe. As strange and creepy as it seems at first, it is fun to spend time exploring." - MusicOMH

 

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • Musician/producer Billy Sherwood has been milking his association with Yes for years. Now he's collaborating with exploitation label Cleopatra Records on a new project. Cashing in all his prog rock street cred in one shot, Sherwood has created a "supergroup" of sorts, although I doubt any of these people were ever in the same room together during the recording of this album. I'll give him credit - its an impressive list of contributors..."The idea of assembling a collection of amazing artists from the progressive rock genre all on one record was an especially exciting concept to me. Inspired, I began writing and recording the 7 songs that would become this album. I then sent those recordings out to some of my friends and musical heroes from bands like King Crimson, XTC, Asia, Gentle Giant, and of course my former band Yes. Soon, I started receiving vocal tracks and guitar and keyboard overdubs from studios all over the world, which I then mixed at my recording studio in Los Angeles. Despite the distances in geography, however, the feeling of the entire production is one of musical and spiritual unity - The Prog Collective! - Billy SherwoodThe biggest super group of Progressive Rock players ever assembled!Features performances by John Wetton (Asia), Tony Levin (King Crimson), Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Geoff Downes (Yes/Asia), Alan Parsons (Alan Parsons Project), Chris Squire (Yes), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Gary Green (Gentle Giant), Annie Haslam (Renaissance), Steve Hillage (Gong), John Wesley (Porcupine Tree), Tony Kaye (Yes), Colin Moulding (XTC) and more!"
    $15.00
  • Fantastic 2 CD set of their complete performance at Progfest '97 as well as a new 1 minute studio track.
    $24.00
  • "This 1971 release also went gold, here with an unreleased live version of Travellin' in the Dark (to E.M.P.) ."
    $5.00
  • Hyperdrive marks a new era for Knight Area.  The long running Dutch progressive rock band had previously released four studio albums and toured Europe and USA extensively, performing at all major prog rock festivals.  1n 2012 the band welcomed guitarist Mark Bogert as well as legendary bassist Peter Vink (Q65, Finch, Ayreon) into the fold. With these newcomers onboard, Knight Area introduced a heavier element and fuller sound to their repertoire.  All the classic symphonic rock traits of their previous albums are still clearly evident but the songs on Hyperdrive are more immediate and concise.The band invited noted prog guitarist Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One) to participate as a special guest on one track.  Joost van den Broek, who is known for his production work with Epica, Mayan, and After Forever, mixed the album.   Rounding out the package is startling artwork by Gustavo Sazes.
    $14.00
  • Killer one off from Italy. Originally released in 1972, Scolopendra is one of the rarest Italian prog albums. The band was led by keyboardist Patrizio Alluminio. He slays the mighty Hammond in the tradition of Keith Emerson. This isn't to say that its all keyboards. There are some nice fuzzy guitar bits all over. One of my favorite Italian albums.
    $16.00
  • What needs to be said about this album? It's a complete masterpiece. This is the typical US Warner Bros pressing that's been kicking around for years.  CHEAP!
    $5.00
  • Tremendous pedigree follows this new Swedish band. Dionysus was put together by Johnny Ohlin, guitarist from the late lamented Nation, and drummer Ronny Milianowicz late of Sinergy. Fronting the quintet is Olaf Hayer who has sung on Luca Turilli's solo projects. The album was produced by Edguy's Tobias Sammet and mixed by Tommy Newton (Helloween and Ark). This is well crafted melodic power metal with touches of speed and neoclassical guitar. To my ears this sounds like Angra or perhaps a stripped down version of Rhapsody - it's more direct and less bombastic. I was a big fan of Nation so it's great to hear Johnny Ohlin playing again.
    $12.00
  • HDCD remaster available in the US again.
    $15.00
  • HDCD remastered digipak with 3 bonus tracks."As the second long-player by the Grateful Dead, Anthem of the Sun (1968) pushed the limits of both the music as well as the medium. General dissatisfaction with their self-titled debut necessitated the search for a methodology to seamlessly juxtapose the more inspired segments of their live performances with the necessary conventions of a single LP. Since issuing their first album, the Dead welcomed lyricist Robert Hunter into the fold -- freeing the performing members to focus on the execution and taking the music to the next level. Another addition was second percussionist Mickey Hart, whose methodical timekeeping would become a staple in the Dead's ability to stop on the proverbial rhythmic dime. Likewise, Tom Constanten (keyboards) added an avant-garde twist to the proceedings with various sonic enhancements that were more akin to John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen than anything else coming from the burgeoning Bay Area music scene. Their extended family also began to incorporate folks like Dan Healy -- whose non-musical contributions and innovations ranged from concert PA amplification to meeting the technical challenges that the band presented off the road as well. On this record Healy's involvement cannot be overstated, as the band were essentially given carte blanche and simultaneous on-the-job training with regards to the ins and outs of the still unfamiliar recording process. The idea to create an aural pastiche from numerous sources -- often running simultaneously -- was a radical concept that allowed consumers worldwide to experience a simulated Dead performance firsthand. One significant pattern which began developing saw the band continuing to refine the same material that they were concurrently playing live night after night prior to entering the studio. The extended "That's It for the Other One" suite is nothing short of a psychedelic roller coaster. The wild ride weaves what begins as a typical song into several divergent performances -- taken from tapes of live shows -- ultimately returning to the home base upon occasion, presumably as a built-in reality check. Lyrically, Bob Weir (guitar/vocals) includes references to their 1967 pot bust ("...the heat came 'round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day") as well as the band's spiritual figurehead Neal Cassidy ("...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel on a bus to never ever land"). Although this version smokes from tip to smouldering tail, the piece truly developed a persona all its own and became a rip-roaring monster in concert. The tracks "New Potato Caboose" and Weir's admittedly autobiographically titled "Born Cross-Eyed" are fascinatingly intricate side trips that had developed organically during the extended work's on-stage performance life. "Alligator" is a no-nonsense Ron "Pigpen" McKernan workout that motors the second extended sonic collage on Anthem of the Sun. His straight-ahead driving blues ethos careens headlong into the Dead's innate improvisational psychedelia. The results are uniformly brilliant as the band thrash and churn behind his rock-solid lead vocals. Musically, the Dead's instrumental excursions wind in and out of the primary theme, ultimately ending up in the equally frenetic "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)." Although the uninitiated might find the album unnervingly difficult to follow, it obliterated the pretension of the post-Sgt. Pepper's "concept album" while reinventing the musical parameters of the 12" LP medium. [The expanded and remastered edition included in the Golden Road (1965-1973) (2001) box set contains a live performance from August 23, 1968, at the Shrine in Los Angeles. This miniset features an incendiary medley of "Alligator" and "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)" concluding with over four minutes of electronic feedback.]" - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "Abnormal Thoughts Patterns is a new technical metal trio that comes onto the scene equipped with twenty-plus years of experience. Featuring Mike Guy on drums and twins Jasun and Troy Tipton on guitar and bass respectively, ATP is perhaps better known as the musical backbone of underrated prog metal purveyors Zero Hour. Apt comparisons between the Californian three-piece and acts such as Death and Animals as Leaders have been made, but when Abnormal Thought Patterns are at their most frenetic, they also share Blotted Science's aptitude for conjuring up aural insect swarms. Some of this stuff is guaranteed to make listeners' heads spin.Manipulation Through Anesthesia is ATP's debut full-length release, and it gets off to an excellent start, extending on the saga of the very first tracks they wrote, "Velocity and Acceleration" parts 1-4. These songs, numbered from 5 to 8, flow together as one connected work, clearly taking place in the same universe and containing shared motifs. It's 13 minutes of some of the finest instrumental metal out there. The album then takes a left turn in the form of "Calculating Patterns", a pleasant, jazzy cooldown. It is the first of several mellow tunes that demonstrate Abnormal Thought Patterns' diversity."Harmonic Oscillators", the album's most challenging cut in more ways than one, is also worth a mention. Here, the guys in Abnormal Thought Patterns lose themselves in mathemathics for the first and only time on the album. It's the type of song to make aspiring musicians seethe with envy and set their instrument of choice on fire, being a technical tour de force full of mindboggling time signatures and incredibly dexterous playing. It's also, again with the maths, the only 7+-minute song on an album where the average one clocks in at 4 minutes, and without changing the formular around much. For many, this all-out assault will no doubt be considered the highlight of the album. For others, it'll be a bit too much of a good thing.Speaking of the formular, ATP seems to have carved out a more than solid niche for itself already. Though the notes-per-minute count is oftentimes off the charts on Manipulation Under Anesthesia, the majority of its content manages to stay quite musical. The main event of their faster songs tend to be a heavy, hypnotic, repeated guitar riff, assisted by the always-very-audible bass humming surprisingly melodic tunes while the drums keep everything in place, usually prioritizing cymbal and snare patterns over flashy tom fills. On that note, the album is in no way lacking in heaviness or rhythmic depth despite foregoing the use of double kick drums. Quite an unusual feat in the shred-based instrumental metal environment.For anyone familiar with Zero Hour, it should come as no surprise that ATP succeeds in shredding with style. But there's a lot more to them than that. Abnormal Thought Patterns keep an excellent balance between all three instruments (which are occasionally joined by some light synth accompaniment), making sure there's always something worthwhile happening on several fronts, and they're able to impress even when venturing out of their comfort zone. Manipulation Through Anesthesia does lose a bit of steam towards the end, but is nonetheless an impressive album and a very promising debut." - Metal Revolution
    $14.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the next release in the continuing series of reissues of the entire catalogue by the legendary classical rock band SKY. Formed in 1979, Sky brought together the worlds of rock and classical music in a highly successful and inspiring way. Featuring the gifted talents of guitarist JOHN WILLIAMS, percussionist TRISTAN FRY, legendary bass player HERBIE FLOWERS, former Curved Air keyboard player FRANCIS MONKMAN and guitarist KEVIN PEEK, Sky recorded their debut album at Abbey Road studios in the early months of 1979. The band’s self-titled debut reached the UK top ten in May 1979 and went on to achieve Platinum status in the UK and was also a major hit in Europe and Australia. Also a huge live attraction, SKY released their second album in April 1980. "SKY 2” was a fine achievement, featuring the hit single "Toccata”, and topped the UK album charts upon its release. For the band’s third album, STEVE GRAY replaced Francis Monkman on keyboards, but the band continued their run of success as SKY 3 reached the UK top ten upon its release in March 1981. The album’s success followed a highly memorable concert by the band at Westminster Abbey in London on February 24th 1981, which was recorded and broadcast by BBC Television.SKY’s line-up remained the same for this, the band’s fourth album "SKY 4: Forthcoming” released in April 1982. Another successful chart album, "SKY 4: Forthcoming” has now been remastered and includes a companion DVD (NTSC / Region Free) of SKY’s live set for the BBC TV programme "Night Music”, broadcast in July 1982 (the first ever release of this classic television appearance). The original album artwork is fully restored and the booklet features a new essay."
    $19.00
  • In Hoc Signo is the blowtorch debut from this Italian band playing in the "Rock Progressivo Italiano" style.  Its a young band based out of Rome.  Their goal was to use vintage sounds and replicate the sounds of the 70s and they do it in spades.  Mellotron M400, Hammond B3 Organ, Mini Moog Voyager, Electric Piano, Elka Synthex - all the good keyboard stuff that will send chills down your spine.  Killer lead licks on violin and guitar fight for space with the keys.  I'm reminded of Quella Vecchia Locanda, PFM, King Crimson and Le Orme!  If this isn't enough the band added a couple of guests: Anglagard's Mattias Olsson plays on a track and helped with arrangements.  The legendary David Jackson plays sax and flute.  This one kills and it kills and it doesn't stop killing.  BUY OR DIE!
    $16.00
  • Superb upbeat power metal drawing influences from Angra, Rhapsody, and even Queen! This is a new 8 piece band from Spain that features a fantastic singer in Nacho Ruiz that is one part Andre Matos and one part Freddie Mercury. The band isn't shy in their use of keyboards either which is always a plus for me. It seems obvious to me that this band is going to get a lot of recognition. This is the Japanese edition that features 3 bonus tracks. Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • Second full length album - this one produced by Steve Albini has a more angular feel. The music is a little more towards the dissonant side and veers a bit away from the Crimson vibe that was on No Interference.
    $12.00