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Gordian Knot - Emergent CD (album) cover

EMERGENT

Gordian Knot

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.74 | 143 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Emergent", Sean Malone's second Gordian Knot venture, displays a more increased sense of sonic power in comparison with the excellent debut album: this time things tend to come out more aggressive, patently rougher on many passages, yet keeping an amazing level of distinction and polished exquisiteness in every inch of every single sound. After the mysteriously Spartan intro 'Arsis', two robust numbers titled 'Muttersprache' and 'A Shaman's Whisper' come to the fore, filling the atmosphere with ballsy playing cleverly coordinated in a well-adjusted equilibrium between all performers: the main motifs are given enough room to leave their signature on the listener's mind loud and clear, while the solos provided by Malone's partners (maestro Hackett is one of them, as well as lifelong friend Jason Göbel) create their respective spaces while preserving the individual tracks' spirits. 'Fischer's Gambit' finds Malone ands friends exploring more introspective realms: prog metal guitarist Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, O.S.I.) displays his subtle sensibility on classical guitar for good effect, properly conveying the melancholic aura inherent to the theme. The introspective vibe keeps going with this Stick-only rendition of 'Grace' [originally part of the debut album's repertoire], whose melodic magic provides an ethereal landscape for mental relaxation. 'Some Brighter Thing' brings back some of the metallic brightness that was instilled in tracks 2 & 3, albeit on a slower tempo and with a more sustained cadence. As in 'Muttersprache', Hackett displays his edgy facet while Bill Bruford lays a precise foundation in one of his last rock-oriented interventions during this millennium. Bruford's jazzy side (his favourite) is given room in 'The Brook The River', a jam jointly constructed by him and Malone, who doubles on bass and keyboards: this piece should have been longer, since it showed interesting hints to the Canterbury stuff. All guitarists join the party for the 9-minute closing track 'Singing Deep Mountain'. For this occasion, the ensemble explores the realms of fusion in a most pleasant way: Bill Bruford's drumming is kept subtle as on track 6, while Matheos, Hackett and Göbel share alternately the spotlight with a couple of Malone's stick solos. The air of candid spirituality brought out by the main motif is appropriately refurbished by the use of sheer energy by all participants in a compact communion that makes the sounds flow smoothly and organically. Way back then, in 2003, I was quite impressed by this album since listen one, and eventually I set my mind to regard it as the best prog release for that year: my feelings remain the same so far, and therefore, I still regard it as a prog masterpiece or our times.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |

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