GORDIAN KNOT - Emergent
January 16, 2003, 16 years ago
The highly anticipated follow-up to the eponymous debut, a multidimensional musicianship filled platter created by former members of Cynic, along with guests from progressive minded acts like King Crimson, Dream Theater and the legendary, mesmerizing metal of WatchTower. On disc two, Sean Malone and Sean Reinert (ex-Cynic nucleus) have tapped Fates Warning's Jim Matheos and Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett to step in, alongside Bill Buford (drums, Yes/King Crimson) and former Cynic bandmate, and twin Cynic guitarists, Jason Gobel and Paul Masvidal, who round out the remainder of Gordian Knot. Like the debut, the eight inclusions are devoid of vocals, even 'Grace', a live cut, which is essentially Malone solo on the Chapman stick. Despite the line-up, anyone seeking Cynic Mach II is advised to look elsewhere, as this is more akin to symphonic/jazz (even moreso than the debut), or the 70s prog rock mastered by the various non-metal participants (see above), of whom I'm not a fan, i.e. soothing, spacey instrumentals. Paradoxically, the track entitled 'A Shaman's Whisper' is about as heavy/aggressive as the sound gets, verging on Dream Theater territory. Piano, which is utilized throughout Emergent, introduces the polyrhythmic 'Some Brighter Thing', while a long segment of 'The Brook The Ocean' sound like Malone alone, practicing his scales. Definitely something you need to be in the mood for, surely not a "rock out" album.