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Gnidrolog - Gnosis CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.06 | 42 ratings

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2 stars After cramming two masterpieces into 1972, Gnidrolog gave us a casual 28 year wait between studio albums ... and the band wasn't alone in that. The 90s saw a rash of studio projects by relatively obscure 70s prog groups that had reconvened after a full two decades in the cold ... offhand I can think of T2, East Of Eden, Gracious, Beggar's Opera, Locanda Delle Fate and Metamorfosi. But after the initial excitement at the prospect of hearing these guys again wore off, very few of the comeback albums made the grade. I'm hard pressed to think of one that did justice to the group in its prime ... Van Der Graaf Generator's Present is probably the most respectable of such reunion albums. Unfortunately, Gnosis is not in the same class ... it's barely even a prog album actually ... most of Gnosis is either New-Age or radio friendly pop-rock.

Sadly, that is far from the only grouse I have about what should have been a thrilling event. An overly generous dose of instrumentals is one thing that blights this album, particularly as the sounds the band have chosen are so contemporary (ie 90s) that they make Gnidrolog sound ordinary ... remember that the variation in sound and arrangements was one of the key factors in making the band so special to begin with. Even allowing for the change in direction, it's really too much that almost none of the 14 pieces possess chaotic blend of aggression and beauty that made In Spite Of Harry's Toenail and Lady Lake sound so fresh. To top it all, the whole damn album weighs in at 74 minutes, so that even the rare moments of quality are drowned out by the sheer volume of pedestrian material.

Let's talk about the good stuff first. The opener Reach For Tomorrow is interesting and emotive enough, with an impassioned vocal turn from Colin Goldring and the best melodies and instrumental passages. It flows nicely into Reverend Katz which has a catchy heavy riff, but sounds at times lamentably like the work of a hair rock band (Mr Big especially when Stewart Goldring's guitar fireworks take over the end of the song).

The other enjoyable tracks include Deventer, a ear-catching instrumental, with some delicate flute and acoustic guitar moments, and Kings Of Rock, another highly listenable power rock tune like Reverend Katz, although this one has a monster chorus, and the addition of former Procol Harum organist Chris Copping is also felt here. The title track too is at least a little lively, even if its sounds are really unappealing.

But in general the firm of Goldring, Goldring and Pegrum flounder under the weight of weak forgettable material that doesn't live up to the name Gnidrolog. Fall To Ground is such a tepid radio ballad that I can scarcely credit it, Wonder Wonder is ear candy with a touch of reggae, while Crazy Crazy and Going To France are apallingly mediocre commercial boogie rock songs with (would you believe it?) a Southern rock tinge!

It's clear that the Goldrings saw New Age as a way to come back (a logical assumption for any veteran prog outfit to have made) and also tried to hedge the bet with a fat slab of AOR. After all these are the guys who formed the punk combo The Port Dukes back in 1977! As much as I admire Gnidrolog's earlier work (and I concede that my love for those albums may make me particularly harsh on Gnosis) I have to advise you to steer well clear of this one. ... 40% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 2/5 |


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