Knifeworld - Buried Alone: Tales of Crushing Defeat

TC 31/07/2009

Rating: 3.5/5

Solo project by Iranian Kavus Torabi who will be best known as guitarist in pronk band Cardiacs, having previously fronted The Monsoon Bassoon. An ambitious album this is too with great depth in instrumental virtuosity and, whilst it bears a progressive tag, it has synthesis with folk, pop and metal along the way.

The prime musical drive comes from spiralling guitars being pinballed around by some throaty organ pealing, all of which is very reminiscent of seventies prog rock giants like Yes or “Nursery Cryme” period Genesis. Opening track in particular inclines towards the latter, with strained vocals much akin to Peter Gabriel, escalating keyboards and spasmodic drum interventions. Elsewhere, the folkier moments bring reminders of Jethro Tull, to complete the seventies leanings, but it is the Genesis association that becomes more evident throughout the set.

Generally, the arrangements are complex but there are more commercial numbers like No More Dying and current single Pissed Up On Brake Fluid with more of a traditional hard rock approach. In both cases, the execution remains skilful and articulate. The only time where we maybe enter musical overindulgence is on Unwreckaged or the closing epic Me To The Future Of You, but neither time does it become overburdening.

Some carefully constructed pieces then, that are elaborate yet delicate enough to provide a highly listenable experience. It's being billed as “unlike anything else you will hear this year”, which serves as indication that this type of music is much more niche that it was 35 years ago. Whether you subscribe to that niche or not, it is difficult not to respect the quality of material and performance here, all produced with a minimum of external assistance; Khyam Allami's drumming being the most prominent of those. There are live performances being scheduled to meet with the release of the album and they promise a fascinating experience based on the material here.

Release date: 10/08/09