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DEAR LORD, NO DEAL

Knifeworld

Crossover Prog


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SaltyJon
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Short but wonderful...

Knifeworld may not have gotten very much press here at PA, but they are a group definitely deserving of more attention than they've yet received. To date, they've released a full length album and two EPs, with a sound which draws some comparisons to other groups (for me, I hear some Cardiacs in the horn parts especially). They don't lean on the influences, though, instead letting their own music shine through with a high energy, fun-loving sound. Somewhat punky, somewhat proggy, always enjoyable.

This album presents two sides of the band to the listener; the first side, which is the first two tracks, is the more accessible, sticking with shorter song formats and catchy music engineered to ensnare the senses. The final track on the EP, making up the bulk of its length, shows their less conventional style, the track goes through several styles over its fourteen minutes. Slower, stripped-down sections shift into higher gears, with more speed and more instruments, and sometimes the track has a very lush, almost dreamlike quality. As was mentioned in the previous review, the fade-out loop at the end of the track is rather long, but personally I don't feel that it detracts from the value of the music.

Kavus and crew have created quite a good EP with Dear Lord, No Deal. They're still a young group, though their musical talents are clear. I'm looking forward to more material from Knifeworld, though Kavus is keeping himself busy playing with other groups (check out his contributions to Bob Drake's newest album) along with writing material for future Knifeworld releases. Four stars for this release, and recommendations to check out all of their material.

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Send comments to SaltyJon (BETA) | Report this review (#633055)
Posted Sunday, February 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Two years after ''Buried Alone...'' Kavus Torabi's Knifeworld seems more tight than ever.What started apparently as a personal project by Torabi becomes now more of a regular band with Melanie Woods on vocals and drummer Khyam Allami still on board.Emmet Elvin on keys and Chloe Herington on wind instruments also joined the band.The fresh line-up recorded a collectable 150-numbered EP entitled ''Dear Lord, No Deal'' in 2011, of course on Torabi's own Believers Roast label.

The unique style of Knifeworld is present here as well.Two very short tracks with demanding musicianship, frenetic grooves, changing themes, distorted vocals and rich instrumentation will be the introduction to this short CD.Both ''Pilot Her'' and the eponymous track do not extend the 3-min. mark but are trademarks of the band's sound, groovy and professional Art Rock with somewhat pompous vocals and jazzy overtones among others.These will give their place to the 14-min. ''HMS Washout'', which is a nice amalgam of Torabi's inspirations.The familiar sound of the previous tracks is again present on the opening minutes but the middle part is dedicated to some weird RIO/light Post-Rock music with calm guitars and sharp saxes on the forefront, while the track will capture a great GENTLE GIANT/MANEIGE feeling on the way to its end with fiery strings, organs and a furious rhythm section along with multiple vocal parts.

Do not get bothered if you do not find one of the numbered CD's of this short release, as the album is available for download on several digital music stores.Recommended for fans of adventurous Crossover Prog/Art Rock.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#775177)
Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
frippism
COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Very nearly 5 stars.

A Knifeworld EP has more than enough going on to feel like a LP. The energy level is constantly so high, and the melodies always so varied and polyphonic, that there's a lot to take in. And yet, it's amazing how easy a pill Knifeworld is to swallow. Knifeworld's main guy, main broseph, Kavus Torabi, manages to (like his close affiliate Tim Smith) to write addicting and catchy pop tunes whose complexity can make any musicians arms fall off. The melodies that weave together so beautifully and epically that in away that's almost instantly recognizable. It seems that in particular with this EP, Kavus and the fellows have really struck gold big time. It is with this EP that Knifeworld really sounds like a band, and one of the better sounding bands. The musicianship is just off the charts. Kavus's manic arpeggios, Khyam Allami's masterful control of the time signatures, Craig Fortnam's excellent melodic bass work, and really just... everything. It is all executed so professionally, and mixed great, all clean and fresh and psychedelic in the way that it messes with your mind. Honestly it gets me excited writing about it.

So it all starts with the huge whirlwind which is "Pilot Her". This bizarre love song, I think, is one of the single catchiest coolest songs I've heard in my life. The two chord harmony is done with crunchy guitars, and sharp blasts of Hammond. It is beautiful and rather nervous... particularly with the great falsetto background vocals. The great C part towards the end, with the fantastic bouncy bassoon is such a gigantic wall of psychedelia, is practically perfect. Kavus and Melanie Woods vocals work beautifully together.

The next song "Dear Lord, No Deal" (took me soooo long to get the word play here), is an immediately more laid back affair. Kavus starts singing with an acoustic guitar, and I just kinda wish there was a bit more umph (for lack of a better onomatopoeia) off the bat, but luckily the song picks it up rather quickly with cool harpsichord transitions and great musicianship. Emmett Elvin's keyboard skills are to be commended here.

The real beast here, however, is the 14 minute full on psychedelic swashbuckling epic that is "HMS Washout". The initial 8 or so minutes are rather calm, a long dreamy part with great trumpet work and dreamy synths. The seagulls in the background disappear when this epic violin and guitar led melody in god know what time signature comes in. Khyam Allami (my Iraqi brother!) really, just destroys it on the drums in that part. Rolling toms and great fills and everything. And this is all just a crescendo to the wonderful, endless, downright hypnotic, looping finish. With Kavus singing "saw their arms away" over and over again it's all a bit pirate-themed. The horns hear are just so epic, and Khyam once again takes the weird time signatures and plays with it like nothing. Kavus's guitar lines add along with the synths, the horns, and even Craig Fortnam's bass, give the song the insane polyphony that makes Knifeworld unique. The song is a beautiful well made epic, simple as that.

Really, Knifeworld is one of the most exciting bands in the world. Seamlessly combining prog, metal, pop, RIO, add genre name here, Knifeworld successfully creates a sound which is just exciting, erratic, joyous and addicting.

Please, just release another full length already.

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Send comments to frippism (BETA) | Report this review (#780728)
Posted Sunday, July 01, 2012 | Review Permalink

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