Knifeworld is a a supergroup, of sorts, bringing together ex-members of the Cardiacs, Chrome Hoof and Guapo & Gong for a a new prog metal outfit. 'The Unravelling' is their second record, and features the same psychedelic guitar bent found on early singles like "Pissed Up On Brake Fluid". Their music is as colourful as the outfits they wear. The record is available on CD or black vinyl.
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- The Unravelling by Knifeworld
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I'm kicking off a couple of gruelling days' review action with this wacky and sprawling offer from psych-prog-pop supergroup Knifeworld, who a sticker on the front proudly proclaims feature "members of" Cardiacs, Guapo, Chrome Hoof and Gong among their ranks. Further digging reveals that singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/benevolent dictator Kavus Torabi is at the helm, and it is he who has been "members of" all four of those bands (in fairness there are a couple of other Chrome Hooves involved). Mysteriously his work with Monsoon Bassoon and Mediaeval Baebes remain unmentioned.
As for the record itself, this is the second Knifeworld album, but the first since expanding from a solo project to a full eight-piece band. The arrangements are sprawling and grand but with the odd bit of cheeky unpredictability, setting one foot in whimsical psychedelic pop a la Syd Barrett/Of Montreal (even a touch of Ooberman in the cheesier moments) through to tightly arranged romanticism with brass and strings that remind me of Jaga Jazzist or Motorpsycho's early 2000's arranged pop period, all the way to the sweeping prog-metal bombast of bands like El Doom & The Born Electric or spiritual cousins Chrome Hoof.
It's an impressive LP, densely and meticulously arranged but with enough twists and turns to keep the listener on his/her toes. If you're into ambitious and well-produced proggy business this should make you happy, but if you find bands like Cardiacs and Chrome Hoof to be "a bit much" then you may struggle here too.
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