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Anubis - A Tower Of Silence CD (album) cover





4.12 | 445 ratings

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4 stars I'm sorry, folks, but, IMHO this album in no way matches up to this band's previous effort, 230503. The music has much more of a straight-forward rock'n'roll sound and feel to it--like post-Secret Treaties Blue Öyster Cult or something. The lyrics and singing are flat and unemotional. The sound mix is horrible: the bass is too far back and muted/dull (despite having some very interesting lines)--it's very hard to hear them beneath the drums). Even the album's best song, the title track, "A Tower of Silence" (9/10) starts like some standard bluesy-rock Journey ballad. The 17-minute epic opener, "The Passing Bell" (6/10), starts with some interesting fire but turns out to not have much else to offer--has almost an A-B-A-C-A-B song structure, just spread out over 17:08! "Archway of Tears" (7/10) begins with an interesting Strawbs/GG/JTull feel (harpsichord) but then falls into a straight rocker à la Uriah Heep. "This Final Resting Place" (7/10) again starts with promise but really never delivers: weak chorus (musically) very strange mix (voices way back, keys and bass way forward). It just doesn't ever develop, and, up until the last minute-and-a-half, behaves like another straightforward ABACAB rock song. "Weeping Willow" (6/10) seems a poor imitation of that which Moon Safari is working on mastering. "And I Wait for My World to End" (8/10) has a very similar to "Leaving Here Tonight" feel to it (it's the singing)--and has a very pretty and powerful chorus, but fails to 'state something new' when compared to their previous album (one of my 10 favorite albums from 2009). Is it my imagination or is Roger James Moulding trying awfully hard to be Roger Waters with a Freddy Mercury approach? "The Holy Innocent" (8/10) brings the album back to long-length (and, therefore, prog??) songwriting. A nice song, overall, with some emotional performances and lots of familiar sounds (from the 70s--mostly Floydian--like the Gilmour guitar solo in the fifth minute, the Dick Parry sax solo and ticking clock at the fadeout. I forgot: This is Neo-Prog!) Banksian keyboard chord progressions--the most 'out of character' part is in the way the drums are recorded and mixed--so loud and far to the front (especially the cymbols). The album's closer, the eleven-minute "All That Is" (7/10) feels like it came from Genesis' And Then There Were Three... A pretty song that fades from memory as soon as the next one comes on. (Nice keys and drum work.)

After reading the rave reviews for this album over the past month or so I must admit I had pretty high expectations for this one. I flat out disagree. 230503 is still Anubis' crowning achievement. Take a rest boys; next time come back fresh and really inspired. 3.5 stars rated up for the fact that this group really tries to produce good quality prog--be it neo or not.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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