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Anubis - Different Stories CD (album) cover





3.61 | 52 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars Australian neo-proggers ANUBIS go unplugged for this little foray away from the usual album release as they re-record several tracks off their first four albums and add the extra caveat of one brand spankin' new song completely in an almost all acoustic format. These novel new musical arrangements of what are considered the greatest hits collection by the fanbase has been mellowed out and stripped down to create a more intimate listening experience that drops the production rich and keyboard drenched leanings of the studio albums and instead focuses on the sole strength of the melodies and vocal performances. While the entire sextet is back on all their respective instruments, the sound is warmer and less pompous than the usual prog outpouring from one of Australia's more symphonic dominated bands.

While keyboards are still present they are used sparingly with none providing atmospheric backdrops but rather serve more as piano and organ runs. The acoustic guitar adds a whole new dimension however a few scant electric guitar licks are inserted here and there. As a whole the new stripped down style sounds like an entirely new band covering ANUBIS songs! In fact Robert James Moulding's vocals remind me of Thom Yorke from Radiohead for the much of the time. While hardcore proggers may not be into this, surely diehard fans will at least appreciate the effort the band undertook to make this sound warm and inviting. The production is perfectly mixed as to allow all the instruments to melt into a potpourri of acoustic love as the band parades down familiar territory but changes tempos and rhythmic developments as to adapt them to the acoustic realms.

While the individual tracks are all performed exquisitely, one issue stems from the album's continuity as ANUBIS is a band that strives to make their music a full album experience and in the process the various tracks from four separate albums don't always work together as harmoniously as they would in their original context but if taken as a unique form of releasing a greatest hits album then it's not really that bad actually, just don't expect the overall effect to match the real enchiladas. The album starts off great with the band's anthemic "The Passing Bell" which struts its proggy stuff through its 13 minute run without losing any of its mojo by having been stripped down but by the time the album reaches the middle "Dead Trees" the stripped down sound begins to sound a little hollow as ANUBIS are all about a superb keyboard rich production since the keys are a major source of their diverse sound approach.

The only new track "Technicolour Afterlife" doesn't deviate from the formula but indeed is an acoustic rock track however with less prog influences and almost as mainstream as some of Supertramp's late 70s acoustic guitar songs (only not as good). Overall DIFFERENT STORIES is a decent slab of acoustic reinterpretations from one of my favorite neo-prog bands of the new millennium but in the end this is a rather supplemental feeling release as opposed to the high quality output of their first four albums and the one and only unreleased track isn't really that great, i can't in my right mind recommend this as an essential offering for ANUBIS fans but is by no means a bad album if the stylistic approach presented is something that sounds appealing. This would be perfect for MTV's Prog Unplugged hour if such a show existed!

From 250503: The Deepest Wound, Leaving Here Tonight From A TOWER OF SILENCE: The Passing Bell, The Holy Innocent From HITCHHIKING TO BYZANTUM: Title track, Dead Trees From THE SECOND HAND: Fool's Gold Previously unreleased track: Tehnicolour Afterlife

3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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