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Gordian Knot - Gordian Knot CD (album) cover


Gordian Knot


Experimental/Post Metal

3.92 | 151 ratings

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Aspiring hope
5 stars Seldom is the solo project that delivers such a praise-worthy, enjoyable and respectful ensemble of fine composition. This one stems from the unnoticed mind of Sean Malone, bassist for Cynic. Indeed Cynic itself is a powerful group, whose reputation would easily top Gordian Knot, however, I've found the latter to be no less fantastic than the previous and not just a fragment of the Cynic sound and style.

The album draws from various contributions, few taking the star-role popularity-wise. Glenn Snelwar provides electric and accoustic guitars, beautiful and carefully placed throughout the music; adequately exhibited in Reflections. Powerful and fierce guitar technique heralds from the creative touch of Ron Jarzombek, delivering quite unique and challenging solos. Trey Gunn fascinates subtly with his addition of Touch/Warr Guitar interplaying nicely with Sean Malone's Chapman Stick. Although, the occasional solo spot can be heard, such as in Singularity, perhaps the most balanced track, in which technical drive, melodious tunes and collective interplays are easily demonstrated. Sean Malone spends the majority of the album behind the stick, as well as keyboards at some point, but those who grew hungry of the technical prowess from his signature fretless bass playing will find a wonderful reminder in Rivers Dancing, the uptempo piece drawing the most of Cynic's influence. Former bandmate Sean Reinert provides flawless drumming throughout the entire record, as is expected from such a solid musician, and lastly, John Myung joins in on the band for additional Chapman Stick in a couple of tracks, with little from his influence standing out.

In the whole, the composition is incredibly well thought and original, driving through melody and experimentation multiple layers of articulate conjunctions; all of this never, in my personal scope, appears empty of purpose, nor a surplus of over-production. As quoted from Glenn Gould, on the back of the CD case: "The purpose of art is not the momentary ejection of adrenaline, but rather the lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity." This one statement mirrors Gordian Knot's ambitions the most, as the album grows and never ceases to amaze in its complexity and richness of sound, for with each listen there is a gradual construction from ourselves of new elements we hadn't found before. It has been a few years and I still unearth from different angles new and exciting aspects. All in all, Gordian Knot is an intricate, refreshing and beautiful masterpiece that I can only imagine to leave the listener excited for the subsequent album (sadly, also the last in this project's repertoire).

Aspiring hope | 5/5 |


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