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Anubis - A Tower Of Silence CD (album) cover





4.12 | 445 ratings

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4 stars Anubis is the last of my 6 recent arrivals to be reviewed, with Frequency Drift and Mappe Nootiche leading the raves. I gave it a cursory spin that did not bode well, so I put the gorgeous cover art package back at the end of the line, keeping my fingers crossed that a second, more attentive audition would yield a perfect score. Firstly, they have balls to kick off the proceedings with a 17 minute opus, "The Passing Bell", which incidentally has only a passing reference to the PF album of almost the same name. Anubis are quite different in that the vocals are more powerful and less dreamy, while their instrumentation requires more polyvalence, though in all fairness the massive fretboard solo is Gilmour Avenue all the way. The only problem I foresee with such an audacious beginning is that it will demand numerous replay Track 1 digitalis. Not that it's overtly complex, just different, perhaps due to a slight Queen influence mentioned by other reviewers. There is no doubt that a massive sonic harvest awaits the patient gardener.

On the stupendous "Archway of Tears" the gentle and the symphonic coalesce nicely, surprised by a series of short harpsichord grooves and then exploding into a fabulous bass led thunder streak, slicing guitar slashes and impassioned vocals coming to the fore. Rumbling organ and massed chorus add even more drama and a sense of a wow factor finally appears over the horizon. The crafty guitar solo screeches like a sharper Allen Holdsworth mixed in with some Jan Akkerman, so much for ripping the same guy off (poor Dave, he must be tired of suing them all for plagiarism) .

"This Final Resting Place" revs up the engine to a sizzling level, though the sound is very Neo at this point, one would venture Pendragon or even Credo, which is no slander whatsoever.. The colossal guitar duel finishes off the track nicely, aided by glockenspiel and smooth atmospherics along the way.

The title track"A Tower of Silence" is a melancholic recall of past prog leaders (Beatles, Genesis, Marillion, Queen, Fish etc?), the vocal sections evolve constantly, each a progression from the previous with elevated melodies and delivery. The band shows of its chops as well with some spirited team playing, where all instruments enter the fray in controlled cacophony. Since all members can sing, the choir work here is really to drool over as well, some well-placed flute adding to the charm. The string work ain't too shabby either, dual guitars wailing above the 4 string fortress. This track resembles something Quebec prog group Mystery would propose on one of its albums, complete with a wicked guitar solo that aims for the stars and succeeds effortlessly.

"Weeping Willow" is nice and brief, nothing more, nothing less. A rest before the whirlwind dervish "And I Wait for my World to End" , a similar rough jewel to "Archway of Tears" with insistent bass and spellbinding guitar carving the sweeping symphonics into wide swaths of bliss, the sad lyrics highlighted by somber singing. The darkness turns into rage and the vocalist really nails it, like on Credo's magnificent "The Letter", another fantastically dynamic track.

Two 11 minute+ epics draw to a close a rather sweltering audition and both are fabulous, the dreamy and Arena-like "The Holy Innocent" barrels ahead, guitar-powered and explosive at the outset and then evolves into a magnificent sax-led blowout , heavy on the mellotron (those two always get along but so rarely on records, darn it !) . Wow again!

The 3 part "All That Is" sets the sun with unadorned splendor, soft and hard meshing thrillingly, burly bass smashing forward leading the rest, rash slashes of guitar, ardent H├?┬┤sanna Hammonds and defiant drumming. This is really tasty when the soothing synth solo takes the stage, courtesy of David Eaton, a masterstroke of utter genius. Vocalist Robert James Moulding does a superb performance that is worthy of applause. The guitars stoke once again the fiery bonfire, mellotrons ablaze towards a majestic chorale finale that is mesmerizing. Hello Oz!.

So I need not to appeal this review, as I am now convinced that future auditions will only INCREASE the level of pleasure derived from its grooves. As I mentioned earlier, if you enjoy Mystery's last 2 albums (Beneath the Veil of Winter's Face and One Among the Living), you will really dig this remarkable recording.

4.5 Egyptian gods simply because , it's a definite grower that stipulates repeated returns , which will end up eventually at 5 stars.

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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