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
  • Newly remastered from the recently found original master tapes. HDCD as well.
    $15.00
  • "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.In 1982 this line-up undertook extensive touring in Australia and various concerts were captured by a mobile recording unit at several concerts in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and were mixed at Abbey Road studios and released as SKY FIVE LIVE in January 1983.Unavailable for nearly twenty years, this Esoteric Recordings reissue has been newly remastered and adds the 20-minute piece "The Animals”, originally featured on the vinyl double LP but omitted from the CD release of 1996. The original album artwork is fully restored and the booklet features a new essay."
    $19.00
  • After the break up of art rock pioneers Orchestra Luna, guitarist Randy Roos changed gears and assembled the Mistral band. The resulting album, from 1978, features fusion stars Mike Stern, Neil Stubenhaus, Louis DeAndrade, and Alyrio Lima (Weather Report). Masterfully playing a variety of fretted and fretless guitars, Roos demonstrates why its time for this overlooked gem to be revisited. Mistral is pure high energy fusion that will appeal to fans of Jeff Beck and Return To Forever. It comes with liner notes from noted jazz journalist Bill Milkowski. Mistral has been remastered from the original analogue master tapes by audiophile engineer Bob Katz. It arrives in an old style mini-LP tip-on sleeve. Strictly limited to 500 copies!
    $27.00
  • "Ethan Matthews and ECHO US are able to achieve true success with their masterpiece "II:XII, A Priori Memoriae." The album is one the best progressive rock albums of the century. Such a production made up of wonderful melodies, clever dramaturgy and compelling dynamics itself, is something that even the top of the class Mike Oldfield was not able to achieve through decades of work, including after his album "Ommadawn". The warmth and intensity of the album's overall sound - where Ethan Matthews emerges from his cacoon as brilliant composer - can still be heard despite digital recording technology. He constructs an acoustic reflection of grand experiences out of his hometown's heritage and his musical past with the progressive metal musicians from GREYHAVEN. It is a journey held through sound structures made up of memories from the past to the futuristic sprawling sound collages from the modern era. The complex sound structures and Matthews' diversified guitar work magically and powerfully pull the listener into a vortex of senses. 'A Priori' literally means "from the former" in Latin. The album looks back on other levels of consciousness expressed in the preceding works of the trilogy, as if within an afterlife. Flowing as one long work based off of a few melodic motifs, "À Priori Memoriaé" is truly a 'classical' work in many ways, fusing ancient and modern instruments to create a stream of consciousness. Musicians including the Grammy-nominated singer Henta, harpist Raelyn Olsen, Chris Smith (Flutes) and Christina Fitzgerald (Oboe) purify "II:XII, A Priorie Memoriae" creating a masterpiece, an innovative, perfect and unique classic. This kind of music has not been seen in over 40 years since Mike Oldfield's "Ommadawn" or Jon Anderson's "Olias Of Sunhillow!" It is somehow the comeback of concept albums that permanently shaped the genre in the 1970s."
    $5.00
  • "Norwegian band BRIMSTONE started out as The Brimstone Solar Radiation band back in 1998, and released three full-length productions using this original moniker, the aptly named "Smorgasbord" from 2009 the most recent of these. Following a five year pause they have returned with a shortened band name and their fourth full-length album, "Mannsverk", released through the Norwegian label Karsima Records.Psychedelic progressive rock is the name of the game for Brimstone on their fourth full-length production "Mannsverk", an album that consists of vintage instruments and a vintage sound that alongside what I'd describe as a more contemporary production, as far as song structure and arrangements are concerned, ends up as a compelling and sophisticated disc. Personally I noted what to my ears were certain similarities Beardfish's 2009 album "Destined Solitaire", and in my opinion most of the people who enjoyed that production, will also enjoy this one. Especially if they also might enjoy a band with more of a psychedelic touch, and songs with a generally stronger emphasis on bass guitar and drums." - ProgArchives
    $14.00
  • 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
  • Volto is a new (but long gestating) project from Tool drummer Danny Carey and Pigmy Love Circus guitarist John Ziegler.  The quartet is rounded out by noted keyboardist Jeff Babko and session bassist Lance Morrison.  The quartet have been together for some time playing cover tunes.  They finally decided to cut some original music.  To that end they recorded all analogue and had the album mastered by Bob Ludwig.  Expect great sound.This is a blazing all instrumental effort that fits squarely in the fusion genre but with strong overtones of progressive rock...and maybe just a touch of metal.  Chops from hell are the order of the day but this is highly melodic and never seems to suffer from "toomanynotes" syndrome.  At times Ziegler turns up the crunch factor to good effect and Babko lays down some wonderful solos.  Carey is Carey...awesome!!  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • Fireballet's much maligned second album Two, Too finally receives an authorized release.  Much of the criticism of the 1976 album stems from the awful cover art.  Its definitely something those guys wish they could take back and in a sense they did since they used something different for this CD.  All the prog rock elements of the first album are still in place but the tunes are a little bit shorter and the production is definitely slicker.  Its also clear that Yes became a big influence on the band - check out "It's About Time".  Frankly if you listen to the album objectively it has a lot of merits.  Does it stand up to their first?  No...but it definitely offers something solid for prog fans with open ears.  Definitely worth revisiting.  Comes with one previously unreleased bonus track.
    $14.00
  • Fantastic 2 CD set of their complete performance at Progfest '97 as well as a new 1 minute studio track.
    $24.00
  • "The Moody Blues returned after a five year hiatus with a very different sounding album. The punk and disco era were now in full flower and such groups as Styx, Journey, and REO Speedwagon were dominating the rock charts. Octave would abandon the cosmic and symphonic sound of the group’s past, and move toward one more in tune with the era. As such it would not stand out as a unique creation as did their core of classic albums.Octave would also be the last album for founding member Mike Pinder. He had always provided a spiritual and in many ways the classical center of their music through his mellotron and chamberlin. Now playing a synthesizer the sound was different and not as grand. Years later it would come to light that he was not pleased with the musical direction of the group. Patrick Moraz would replace him as the group’s keyboardist and tour in support of the album.Octave would have no unifying theme and be the most diffuse album that The Moody Blues had released up until that time. Each song would match the individual personality of its composer.The John Lodge composition, “Steppin’ In A Slide Zone,” was typical of the new sound. It is a typical energetic Lodge rocker but the musical center was the keyboard-guitar interplay which was in vogue at the time. Still it was catchy and was a commercially successful single.Justin Hayward is in ballad mode for this release and while he would not create anything as wonderful or unique as “Nights In White Satin,” his music is still very listenable because of the innate beauty of the songs. “Had To Fall In Love” and “Top Rank Suite” are both very mellow. “Driftwood” is the best of the three as it is a gentle love ballad which was a Hayward trademark by this time.Ray Thomas created two songs for this release. “I’m Your Man” just disappears but “Under Moonshine” contains a strong lead vocal by him plus some classic harmonies by the other members of the group.“One Step Into The Light” would be a final spiritual statement by Mike Pinder and his only composition on the album. The music would be more progressive rock than the grandiose sound of his past as he would bring his Moody Blues career to a conclusion.A fourth Justin Hayward song would close the album. “The Day We Meet Again” would unintentionally or intentionally point toward the future as a new keyboardist was on the way and the grand classical sounds were being left behind.Make no mistake, Octave remains a very good late seventies album but does fall short of the group’s best work. It was different, more modern, and ultimately a transitional work. Despite all that it still remains a good, if not essential, Moody Blues listen today." - Blogcritics.org
    $9.00
  • "In 1972 Jethro Tull were riding high on the crest of a popularity wave. They sold out huge arenas on the back of their critically acclaimed fifth album Thick As A Brick. The question was, how do you follow a concept album comprising a single 44-minute piece of music? The answer was, with a double album of separate songs of course.For the first time in their five year career Tull went into the studio with an unchanged line-up. Founder member and undisputed leader Ian Anderson was still writing songs on flute, acoustic guitar and now saxophone, and he was again joined by guitarist Martin Barre, bassist Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, drummer Barriemore Barlow and keyboard player John Evans. But which studio to use?The first criterion was that it had to be abroad. The second criterion was that the studio of choice had to have a good reputation. The 18th century Château d'Hérouville near Paris had previously been used by Elton John to record Honky Château and by Pink Floyd for Obscured By Clouds. It contained living accommodation as well as studio facilities, and so seemed the ideal choice. What could possibly go wrong?The choice was a disaster. First up, there were technical problems with the studio itself. Then there was the accommodation... the band all slept in a dormitory, it was very basic which might have been tolerable, had they been the sole occupants of the rooms. Unfortunately, they had unwelcome company, of a bed-bug variety. And then to make matters infinitely worse everybody got food poisoning from the in-house catering.Unsurprisingly the band decided to go home and the decision was made to ditch the hour or so s worth of music recorded in France. They decided to start from scratch and write a whole new album, instead of trying to somehow regenerate everybody s interest and commitment to something that had already struggled.And so to A Passion Play, an album that evolved into a 45-minute piece of quasi-prog rock, with complex time-signatures, complex lyrics and, well, complex everything, really. With a mere nine days left in the studio before the next tour, the pressure was on to produce something quickly. The concept explored the notion that choices might still be faced in the afterlife. It recognizes that age-old conflict between good and bad, God and the Devil.This beautifully packaged 2CD/2DVD case-bound book expanded edition of A Passion Play includes the original album and earlier Château d'Hérouville Sessions both of which have been mixed to 5.1 surround sound and new stereo mixes by Steven Wilson."Disc: 11. Lifebeats /Prelude2. The Silver Cord3. Re-Assuring Tune4. Memory Bank5. Best Friends6. Critique Oblique7. Forest Dance #18. The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles9. Forest Dance #210. The Foot Of Our Stairs11. Overseer Overture12. Flight From Lucifer13. 10.08 to Paddington14. Magus Perde15. EpilogueDisc: 21. The Big Top2. Scenario3. Audition4. Skating Away5. Sailor6. No Rehearsal7. Left Right8. Solitaire9. Critique Oblique (Part I)10. Critique Oblique (Part II)11. Animelee (1st Dance) [Instrumental]12. Animelee (2nd Dance) [Instrumental]13. Law Of The Bungle (Part I)14. Tiger15. Law Of The Bungle (Part II)Disc: 31. A Passion Play mixed to 5.1 DTS and AC3 Dolby Digital surround sound and PCM 96/24 PCM stereo.2. A flat transfer from the original master at PCM 96/24 stereo3. Video clips of The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles an intro and outro film used in the Passion Play tour of 1973.Disc: 41. The Château d'Hérouville Sessions mixed to 5.1 DTS and AC3 Dolby Digital surround sound
    $40.00
  • "The Aristocrats by any measure the hottest new band in instrumental rock/fusion today rewrote their own rules for their third studio album, Tres Caballeros. After two fairly raw trio albums, guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani) set up camp at legendary Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, CA, where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen all recorded landmark albums. The result: Nine new compositions of greater sonic depth and breadth than ever before, with unique textures and lush layering augmenting the band s preternatural ability to improvise at the highest levels possible. But it s all still tempered with a steadfast refusal to take themselves too seriously, and The Aristocrats are still having more fun than a fusion band has any right to have. We ve learned a lot since we started this band four years, three studio albums, two live DVDs and about a billion notes ago! and I think our latest offering reflects this in all kinds of ways, says guitarist Guthrie Govan. The decision to road-test our new material in front of a live audience before commencing the recording process; the choice to record in a studio which had some thoroughly inspiring rock'n'roll "mojo"; our sudden urge to become more bold and experimental with overdubs rather than feeling any pressure to record exclusively in a strict trio format... all of this has had some kind of positive effect on the way the new record came out. Plus, I think the material on this album is some of the most interesting stuff we ve ever written for each other, so... here s hoping our noble listeners will like the finished product as much as we do!"
    $13.00
  • One of the truly great albums of the 70s. The band developed long form compositions incorporating elements of jazz, folk, and r'n'b in a unique but lyrical way. This is music that just ebbs and flows as it jams on. Perhaps only topped by their next studio album. This remastered edition is a real killer - it features three tracks from a proposed/documents/catalog #'d live album that was never released called "Live - November 70". The tracks were recorded at the Fillmore East in November 1970. A stone cold classic.
    $11.00