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Knifeworld: The Unravelling

Sometimes the problem with reviewing albums is that you know you are putting thought to screen on a thing which requires a long, long soak of experience to even begin to fully grasp what's been created. And so the second album from Knifeworld, The Unravelling, hits you like an overly sour sweet on the tongue. Initially shocking and verging on reviling, yet wait for the bumps on the inside of your cheeks to subside and a rather pleasantly tasting delight is revealed. With this knowledge in mind, every subsequent sweet popped between eager lips becomes an anticipation of danger tinged pleasure…almost. That's The Unravelling.

This is far from easy stuff to get your head round, an Avant-garde bent careening wildly (or so first impressions suggest) via stabs of brass, bassoon, layers of harmony vocals and, well all manner of unexpected unexpectedness. It's all a bit like opening a cupboard and suddenly being hit by an avalanche of belongings, before you suddenly begin to discover a whole load of forgotten joys hidden in the residue. The leader of the Knifeworld eight is Kavus Torabi (also of Gong) and he does seem to have the ability to steer his cohorts through the choppy waters of Prog, Art-Rock and some incredibly Poppy hooks, the latter as shocking as the challenging challenges initially.

Yet for all "Don't Land On Me" sparkles with shiny melodies, slides down the melancholy of reserved layered vocals and spins and turns through approaches and ideas, it still, even after a good few weeks of revisiting, remains stubbornly out of reach of full on enjoyment; the feel of admiring from a distance simply refusing to completely recede. "The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes" suffers a similar fate, this time through a theatrical build and ploinging keyboards; slowly building sax runs and advancing walls of noise stopping suddenly to emphasise the unease. And for me, so it continues, the full effect of Knifeworld stubbornly beyond reach by mere millimetres, but still just enough to make me wonder just how much unravelling is required to fully unpackage the true delights of this album.

I do consider myself open minded enough to take on the challenge of music that is far from straight forward and truth be told I entered into The Unravelling fully expecting to be completely bowled over by a band about which I've read nothing but positives. Maybe it's one of those odd personal things that I won't overcome and on that basis I can't not recommend this album to the adventurous of spirit and ears; for what Knifeworld produce is cunningly crafted, built with care and performed with bags of precise skill.

Track Listing
1. I Can Teach You How To Lose A Fight
2. The Orphanage
3. Send Him Seaworthy
4. Don't Land On Me
5. The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes
6. Destroy The World We Love
7. This Empty Room Once Was Alive
8. I'm Hiding Behind My Eyes

Added: October 22nd 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Knifeworld online
Hits: 2334
Language: english

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Knifeworld: The Unravelling
Posted by Simon Bray, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-10-22 14:25:44
My Score:

Polymath Kavus Torabi leads Knifeworld on their second album which full of bewildering, at times metal, at times pop, wholly experimental and decidedly odd tunes. Despite the occasional appearance of pop sensibilities this is without doubt a million miles away from the mainstream as is humanly possible. The five years since Buried Alone: Tales Of Crushing Defeat have been spent wisely, possibly listening to Gabriel-era Genesis whilst taking some form of hallucinogenic material.

It's easy to label Knifeworld as, "progressive," but that's exactly what they are but not in the way that those who wish to take the mickey would use the term. The Unravelling is so out of the ordinary as to be utterly cool.

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