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Anubis - A Tower Of Silence CD (album) cover





4.12 | 444 ratings

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5 stars Anubis' 230503 was a bit of a blindside. The band came from seemingly nowhere with a curiously edgy sounding take on classic prog. It had some excellent highs - the last two tracks sounded really vital, but the album was a bit patchy and was obviously a combination of first night nerves and inexperience. ATOS takes all of the promise, mixes in a confidence missing from the first set, adds a glorious cover, and sets it all to stunning music.

Anubis won't win any awards for being the most musically original band you'll ever hear. I will say that. The keyboard sounds are tried and tested, the guitar blends Gilmouresque melody with Govanesque pyrotechnics (so far so good) and the drums have the requisite blend of solid time-keeping and classic prog quirkiness. The bass is typically busy, Squire/Lee/Rutherford fayre, but with less bite and twang tonally.

However, none of that is a slight. As the songs are so bloody good that it doesn't matter how 'tried and tested' the sonics are. This album has majesty, it has heart and it's so damn well played, all of it, that it doesn't matter one iota if it's a mellotron or not.

The Passing Bell is a brave opener. If you can get through the opening barage (which I love) then you'll find the album opens up to you more and more, and by the time it reaches the haunting title track, you find yourself slightly mesmerized.

Where Anubis are different is their vocal sound. Robert James Moulding doesn't sound like Gabriel, or Fish, or IQ or Unitopia. There's lots of melody, lots and lots of vocal harmony and different voices too. It's not as much an acquired taste as say, Gentle Giant or Van der Graaff, but it is unique. There's a soulful rawness to the voice that seems to fit the albums desperate feel.

By the time it reaches The Holy Innocent - which I first heard on a Prog mag CD, it goes to another level altogether, and the saxophone solo of Martin Cook must surely be one of the best in recent prog. The last track, the beautiful All that is has a poignancy that grabs the heart strings and tugs for all its worth.

It's an album that continues to move me and make me think. Which all good music should.

RedKnot | 5/5 |


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