Having formerly been in the ranks of the much missed, oddball maestro’s Cardiacs, any band featuring Kavus Torabi was never going to be a dull or simple affair. Suitably so Kavus’ latest venture, Knifeworld, have been a leading light (along with the likes of The Fierce & The Dead) in a new generation of British Prog of a most eccentric variety.
Knifeworld’s previous record work has shown the band and Kavus’ vision and ability to combine the most unorthodox musical styles with a pop aesthetic, but latest album The Unravelling (InsideOut) is their most ambitious and impressive work to date.
The sheer plethora of ideas at play is quite staggering yet everything flows with precision and urgency, leading from one unexpected twist to another. From the short and sharp assault of ‘The Orphanage’ to the twisted, cartoon-like ‘Send Him Seaworthy’ and the nightmarish eeriness of ‘The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes’, this is a bizarre journey through multiple sonic landscapes, yet it remains completely cohesive.
Kavus’ vocals offer a complimenting addition with his unique tone and the splendid interplay with the additional and contrasting voice of Melanie Wood adds an extra dimension to the album’s almost demented manner.
Very few people can match Kavus Torabi when it comes to writing quirky yet brilliant music and The Unravelling is the perfect representation for this. An album built up on both the kookiest and left-field influences and poppy hooks, this is a masterclass in challenging yet still really accessible music. It is certainly not for everyone, but for those with a keen ear to left-field music will find one of the year’s most rewarding listens, and benchmark for modern British Prog.