I've seen so much hype about this new Knifeworld album that I
seriously wanted to slap an even lower rating on it. But I'm not
like that. Knifeworld's latest, "The Unravelling", has arrived
from Inside Out, and people are eating it up.
There's something about the quirk in this band's sound that
has convinced people to bow before them. Yet, I refuse.
KNIFEWORLD. What kind of name is that, anyways? This band seems
overly concerned with appearing special or different. They seem
to put tons of effort into looking the "prog part", if you will.
On paper, then, this new album seems like it should be a
spectacular display of eclecticism and brilliance. With male and
female singers (including the venerable Kavus Torabi) and with
many different instruments making regular appearances, such as
an entire brass section and violin, this album seems like it
will be special. Like I said, though, I think that's how the
band wants it to look on paper. The band, however, is certainly
skilled at playing their instruments, and the album is
much of this album is a pretentious mess. Melodies and
instruments clash and play past each other. Spaces in the music
are like gaping holes in a bucket, letting all the content just
escape. The band seems to think that composing music is simply
cutting and paste grooves and melodies from classic bands.
Indeed, there are entire foundations of songs on this album that
seem like they were ripped directly from a Gentle Giant album.
It's one thing to include a tool used by an older band, it's
entirely different to change very little and expect the listener
not to notice. I speak specifically of "The Skulls We Buried
Have Regrown Their Eyes", as the brassy, bassy groove sounds
ripped from "The Power and the Glory". That isn't the only one
either. Not by a mile. Other bands ripped off include Yes and
even The Steve Miller Band. Generally speaking, then, this album
is nothing but old material arranged slightly differently, and
with absolutely no shame at all.
persona of the band screams prog-wannabe, though. From the
pretentious song titles to the lazy attempts to sound and look
unique to even the freakin' band name, the band comes off as
trying to be "prog" as hard as they can, but there's just no
real content or real inspiration involved at all. It's sad,
though, as many of the songs have very short moments that sound
original, but the band abandons them as quickly as they came.
Overall, then, I'm completely unimpressed, and I was glancing at
the clock before the album was even halfway done.