Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Gordian Knot - Gordian Knot CD (album) cover


Gordian Knot


Eclectic Prog

3.94 | 169 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Heavy Prog Team
4 stars A perfect balance

Gordian Knot must be one of the very few low-profile "all-star" projects. The project-vision of a single man, Sean Malone, that keeps shifting members from one album to live performances and then to another album. A pretty odd situation that has undeniably worked out for him.

Listening to this album for about 10 years now, it does not seem to have missed anything from its initial shine and brilliance. With a line-up about which most of the big rock/metal bands would be jealous, Gordian Knot deliver an inspired album full of musical blends, a range of influences and improvisation. The "Cynic" rhythm section (Malone on bass and keys and Reinert on drums and percussion) is the rock around which the talent of the "guest" members is unveiled. Surprisingly, the Cynic-based extreme moments are very few and mainly fusion music prevails. The contribution of each member to this project is noticeable and especially the a-la King Crimson playing by Trey Gunn and the metal-fusion elements from Watchtower/Spastic Ink leader Ron Jarzombek. Both guitarists make their mark on this release where the blend of the styles produces an intriguing result.

It is interesting to observe the differences between the tracks: the album starts with a space/dreamy intro based on creaky keyboards, and ends with a mellow instrumental track based on relaxing melodic guitar themes. In the mean space, jazz/fusion, experimental metal and sophisticated acoustic passages all take in turns. Code/Anticode and Singularity are fine examples of metal/fusion and borrow some of the brilliance of Spastic Ink while Reflections is directly influenced by the 80s and 90s King Crimson era with the addition of multiple acoustic guitars that dominate the sound. The quiet but obscure atmosphere of Megrez carries the personal stigma of Gunn and should definitely appeal to KC fans.

Redemption's Way and Srikara Tal come as a surprise as they are based solely on tribal, African- and oriental-like rhythms on which the melodic slide guitars (on the former) and the obscure bass lines (on the latter) progressively build. Komm süsser Tod, komm sel'ge is another short relaxing moment, where Malone arranges a J. S. Bach composition to fit the atmosphere of the album before the storm breaks with Rivers Dancing. The track begins in the vein of a Cynic-paced tempo with various soloing guitars improvising, before going on to continuous tempo shifts from speedy to slow and back again, ending with melodic solos. Possibly, this is the most experimental composition of the album.

One of the most balanced experimental albums I have come across, Gordian Knot impresses with its quality of musicianship and blend of influences, from melodic rock to acoustic and then on to jazz/fusion and spacey, obscure passages. It thoroughly deserves 4.5 stars and fans of either jazz/metal/fusion, experimental instrumental rock or King Crimson will probably enjoy it.

aapatsos | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this GORDIAN KNOT review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.