Band: Anderson - Stolt
CD Title: Invention of Knowledge
Label: InsideOut Records (2016)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
In the world of Progressive Rock there are some things you fully expected were going to happen. This disc is a good example of that; Jon Anderson joining forces with Roine Stolt to create a disc of music that blends both YES and The Flower Kings into a musical style that is both and yet neither. It’s a kind of perfect example of the sum being greater than the parts – sort of. I don’t say that to diminish either of those two bands but rather to highlight how together the music here is different and unique in it’s own way. There are obvious hints of both and yet the contrasts stop one sound-style from dominating the other. Invention of Knowledge features four compositions: the three-part “Invention of Knowledge” [22:51], the two-part “Knowing” [17:49], the three-part “Everybody Heals” [13:08] and lastly “Know…” [11:13]. It’s a total of nine tracks but grouped together creating some epic length music. Now obviously if you are familiar with the musical history of Anderson and Stolt you’ll have a pretty clear idea of what this music sounds like – it’s symphonic styled Progressive Rock of the highest order; huge swells of music rolling into grand panoramic soundscapes filled with intricate guitar and keyboard performances. Just about every defining prog element is on display from extended instrumental introductions to shifting time and tempo to long-form composition with multiple layers of instrumental arrangements. I could go on but I think you get the idea. Clearly this is great stuff and it is essentially everything symphonic prog should be, performed by a couple of accomplished prog pioneers who were assisted by an additional ten performers to make this record a keeper. Invention of Knowledge is a disc that will appeal to so many different folks: fans of the genre and fans of the artists. For me it was both a bit of a flash-back and a bit of a flash-forward – I loved it. It contains everything I hope to hear in a symphonic prog disc. Heartily recommended.