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Knifeworld - The Unravelling

Inside Out Music
Produced by Kavus Torabi

There are times when hearing a new artist, or album by a new artist, that the ears prick up and the reaction is "eh?" or "what"? The new album by the eight-piece outfit called Knifeworld is without doubt one of them. A truly progressive and psychedelic experience with a multitude of influences merged to assault the brain and its senses. Every time it gets so strange that it might be being too clever for its own good, the band suddenly hits with a melody and quirky lyrics that just beg for joining in. Taking in points including Zappa, Floyd, Beatles, and various 1980s alternative artists they have created a wonderful listening experience.

Multi-textured, it brings in jazz, pop, metal, prog, psychedelia and sound effects, and at times feels like music created for a freaky and disturbing horror movie or for a crazy circus carnival. Opening song I Can Teach You How To Lose A Fight comes out all Zappa style with lots of wind instruments (there is sax, bassoon and clarinet involved) creating a cacophony, playful at times, fairly ominous-sounding at others, and including the repeated lyric "why do you grow those teeth in your heart". This is a theme that runs right through the album. The second track is a short, quite punky track to start with, but has twists all the way through it. The opening lyrics go "Come inside the orphanage, I think you are ready to be my bride" but the music suggests this may not be in your best interests, in fact running the opposite way would seem the sensible move!

A highlight is Don't Land On Me, an eight-minute track which has a Floyd style keyboard effect running through the early part, overlaid by bassoon until it heads into The Tangent territory, words half sung, half spoken, interspersed with a really excellent riff that builds up to the ending, which is like a battle between the riff and vocal notes.

Following this is the track which has probably already won title of the year in The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes. Yes, it is as strange as it sounds it should be. It's not a happy song - "When I awoke this morning it was raining, just like the last 2,000 days, everything around me has been ruined and decayed" - and has eerie, strange noises and sound effects all through it, as though something is actually happening in the background. It could be the mausoleum mentioned is also a laboratory. Things get even more disturbing and strange on This Empty Room Once Was Alive with lyrics talking about the afterlife and going to purgatory and leaving the feeling that what happened that was so awful by stopping the lyrics at "would you still remember" and going into noises and discordant music with very slow guitar strums that sound out of tune.

Of course sensibly situated between these two freaky marathon sessions they have the poppiest, punkiest track on the album - playing with the mind, or at least it feels that way. The last song is the longest at over nine minutes and is more fluid; quite gentle and rolling. It's strangely haunting but at the same time charming. With acoustic guitar, gentle piano and vocal harmonies until about half way through when the wind instruments come in and it gets a little quirky.

The Unravelling is a remarkable album full of inventiveness and humour amongst the horror, using all sorts of soundscapes to keep the attention and to entertain. This is a band to watch out for if they continue to create music this good.

“ a wonderful listening experience ”

Tracklist: I Can Teach You How To Lose A Fight / The Orphanage / Send Him Seaworthy / Don't Land On Me / The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes / Destroy The World We Love / This Empty Room Was Once Alive / I'm Hiding Behind My Eyes

Written by Tom Cornell
More: 2014, Albums, Progressive,

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