Band: Gentle Knife
CD Title: Gentle Knife
Label: Independent Release (2015)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
Norway is producing plenty of excellent Progressive Rock bands and the latest one to come to my attention is a band called Gentle Knife, who’ve recently released their first self-titled release and it’s another stellar example of symphonic prog! This ten-member group features all the right instrumental elements; everything from woodwinds to Mellotrons and as if that wasn’t enough, their eight-track, sixty-minute concept-album features a pleasing blend of male and female vocals. It’s hard to believe these guys could get so many things right for a first release. Clearly inspired by the classic seventies symphonic style they temper their inspiration with a healthy dose of alternating lush-orchestrated symphonics and jazzy flourishes. Imagine early King Crimson mixed with Genesis and sung by Kate Bush and you just might get the picture. It’s a great blend that works really well in the band’s capable hands. A nice mix of short (4-5 minute) and mid-length (8-12 minute) songs allows the band to stretch out and display both hummable melodies and adventurous instrumental virtuosity. Hints of dissonant jazzy angularity provide a brilliant contrast to the sweetly melodic parts. The second track, “Our Quiet Footsteps” [12:34] the longest of the bunch starts off in classic King Crimson feel with guitars and saxophones repeating a solid riff that then calms down to soft electric piano and flute with wood-blocks in the background along with triangle rings. Lots of musical dynamics set against ever changing time and tempo make this a spectacular first-time effort and clearly makeGentle Knife a band to watch. No hesitation here, this is recommended to all symphonic prog fans.