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Gentle Knife - Gentle Knife CD (album) cover

GENTLE KNIFE

Gentle Knife

 

Crossover Prog

3.73 | 47 ratings

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BrufordFreak
3 stars Gentle Knife is a new band from Norway delighting in promoting the fact that they have ten members, all interested in contributing to a progressive rock format. The album is intended as a concept album expressing the overwhelming confusion as an urbanite wanders and gets lost in a vast forest. Musically, the band seem to draw major influences from the classic prog artists of the 1970s, specifically, KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and GENESIS. The opening song, 'Our Quiet Footsteps' (12:35) (8/10) definitely is a 'suite' of four distinctive parts: the four- minute instrumental intro, the verbal story telling, the instrumental development of said story, and then an odd fourth part that seems to go off on its own before tying back into the original sections. Like most of the album, this song gives me impressions of an ambitious band that is still as yet unpolished in its collaboration, performance, and engineering. The use of two lead vocalists, a male and female, with sometimes alternating storytelling, sometimes one harmonizing with the other slightly in the background is nice but, like on song #2, 'Remnants of Pride' (7:58) (8/10), the timing of the two vocalists is just enough off kilter to be distractive. I like it much better when each voice is given center stage, alone--though the alternating style works well, too. Often the songs are saved, for me, by the interesting inputs of the brass/woodwind instruments. Two electric guitarists seems a delightful prospect yet one of the guitarists style is so raw with his fast picking over sustained notes that it feels as though he needs a few more months of practice to really master this technique. The other style of soloing used predominantly through the course of the album is much more pleasing and integrated--kind of a Robert FRIPP style and sound. Keyboards and rhythm section are good though song rhythmic foundations are often very basic, repetitive, and toilsome. This works well for the soloists to noodle over and the vocalists to sing over, but the 'lead' instruments are rarely as fiery or flamboyant enough to take the music to a different level.

Favorite songs: the strongest, most complete, energetic, emotional and mature sounding song on the album, 'Tear Away the Cords that Bind' (4:53) (9/10); the synth/electronica founded instrumental, 7. 'Epilogue Locus Amoenus' (8:03) (8/10), and; the woodwind-dominated instrumental, 'Beneath the Waning Moon' (4:35) (8/10).

Should this new band rise up to the potential exhibited on 'Tear Away the Cords that Bind' they will become a great band that many prog rock lovers will scramble to see and hear. For now they are mostly interesting for their ambition, rawness, and potential.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |

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