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Gentle Knife - Clock Unwound CD (album) cover


Gentle Knife


Crossover Prog

3.89 | 108 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars GENTLE KNIFE are an eleven piece band out of Norway and this is album number two for them. The thing that impresses me the most about this band are their ideas. This is album so proggy it isn't even funny. Lots of surprises and the male and female vocals have character. We get two woodwinds players, two sax players, a trumpet player and flautist along with the usual instruments.

"Prelude: Incipit" is the intro to the almost 16 minute title track. Dark piano lines greet our ears along with some atmosphere as lonely trumpet cries come and go. This continues throughout. Such an interesting way to start the album. Lots of melancholy and space. The piano starts to pick up just as this track closes as it blends into "The Clock Unwound".

"The Clock unwound" kicks in with power including guitar, drums and more. A nice heavy sound here as male vocals join in. Check out the synths before 1 1/2 minutes. Love the depth of sound here. The tempo slows some 3 1/2 minutes in as female vocals arrive. Both are singing after 4 minutes. The horns have character as well as we get some dissonance. Suddenly this majestic calm arrives before 6 1/2 minutes followed by this gorgeous rhythm that is quite heavy with the guitar soloing over top. So good! It settles back again with a beat and relaxed guitar after 8 minutes then the flute joins in. The male vocals 10 minutes in are reserved and when he stops a second guitar kicks in soloing slowly over top. A bass horn arrives after 12 minutes replacing the soloing guitar. Suddenly 13 1/2 minutes in it turns heavy and dramatic as a beautiful guitar solo arrives. The tempo is picking up and check out the drumming! Great track!

"Fade Away" opens with acoustic guitar as some gorgeous mellotron, a horn and flute joins in followed by reserved male vocals. Drums and female vocals before 1 1/2 minutes as it gets a little fuller sounding. Male and female vocals 2 minutes in then suddenly it kicks into this heavy sound before 2 1/2 minutes. It settles back with mellotron, flute and a beat but it kicks back in heavily once again as contrasts continue. I like that flute/ mellotron passage that comes and goes. The male vocals are back after 5 1/2 minutes with that mellotron, flute and a beat section. Female vocals follow as themes are repeated. A cool track.

"Smother" hits the ground running with guitar over top until the female vocals join in. Catchy stuff. Male vocals and horns too. An interesting section after 3 minutes as it lightens up to an almost whimsical mood with male vocals. Trumpet to the fore after 6 minutes and I like that bass. The vocals are back before 8 minutes along with that earlier sound.

"Plans Askew" opens with some beautiful acoustic guitar melodies before male vocals arrive after a minute. A soaring guitar solo before 2 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside. Flute too. I like this! Before 5 minutes it's acoustic guitar only like at the start but the flute joins in quickly along with a beat. A horn too and the vocals return after 6 1/2 minutes.

"Resignation" has this dark vibe to it with bass and percussion. Flute just before a minute. Spoken male words come in after 2 minutes as the music continues. Sax 3 1/2 minutes in as the spoken words stop. Organ joins in then we start to get more horns as it gets louder and louder and more chaotic. Again some great ideas on this album. It changes as this driving rhythm kicks in around 5 1/2 minutes with horns. It starts to calm down again before 7 1/2 minutes as a beat with a horn leads the way. Those spoken sampled words are back from earlier before 8 1/2 minutes.

Norway has been at the forefront of adventerous music and has been for a few years now, so I shouldn't have been surprised at what GENTLE KNIFE have created here.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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