Gentle Knife II – Clock Unwound (Bajkal Records, 2017)
Gentle Knife is a pretty large Norwegian ensemble described as a progressive rock collective. The album opens with an exquisite piano and trumpet instrumental piece titled “Prelude: Incipit.” It leads into a lengthy suite titled The Clock Unwound where the band goes into full electric mode. The piece begins as hard rock and gets much better when the spectacular synth solo is added. The Clock Unwound also includes a notable guitar solo and fine flute work. Gentle Knife really stands out when they drop the regressive hard rock and metal riffs.
Track 3, Fade Away takes the band into an excellent progressive rock direction, featuring great keyboard, horn and flute work.
On track 4, Smother, the band gets initially more pop oriented although they later head in a more interesting jazz direction.
Plans Askew begins with delicate acoustic guitars that lead into vocals and flutes. Additional instruments are added as the track builds very nicely.
The last track, “Resignation” is one of the highlights of the album with a brooding introduction featuring keyboards, percussion, flute and mesmerizing spoken word sections. It builds into a great epic and has an Änglagård flavor.
The lineup includes Astraea Antal on flutes, bagpipe chanter and alto saxophone; Pål Bjørseth on keyboards, flugelhorn, trumpet, viola, alto recorder and backing vocals; Odd Grønvold on bass; Thomas Hylland Eriksen on tenor saxophone; Veronika Hørven Jensen on vocals; Håkon Kavli on vocals, guitars; Eivind Lorentzen on guitars and synthesizers; Charlotte Valstad Nielsen on alto and baritone saxophone; Ove Christian Owe on guitars; Ole Martin Svendsen on drums, percussion; and Brian M. Talgo on mellotron, samples, and vocals.
Clock Unwound is an ambitious recording by a rising talent in the Norwegian progressive rock scene.
Buy Clock Unwound