Album 2: Clock Unwound (2017) – Ratings:
- no 9 out of 30 best Norwegian prog rock albums of the decade, Prognytt, N, 4.1.2020
- no 36 out of 40 best prog albums of 2017, Prog Is Alive, WDRT Radio, Wisconsin/USA 12.2.18
- no 52 out of top 100 best prog rock albums 2017, MLWZ, Poland, 7.2.18
- no 4 out of top 10 best prog rock albums 2017, Robert Brady, Power of Prog, Texas/USA, 1.2.18
- no 27 on Dynatop3, Music in Belgium, Belgium, February 18
- no 10 out of 170 new prog rock albums 2017, Norwegian Progheads voting, Facebook, 18.1.2018
- no 5 out of 20 best Norwegian prog rock albums 2017, Prognytt prog blog, 8.1.18
- ‘Smother’ no 59 out of 100 top tracks 2017, Rockfile Radio Ice prog rock, 2.1.18
- no 18 out of 30 best prog albums 2017 by Loyola, Autopoietican – Apuntes de Musica Progresiva Contemporanea, Peru, 1.1.18
- Top 10 best albums 2017, The Progressive Tracks #242, Progzilla Radio UK/KPTZ Seattle, 28.12.17
- no 8 out of 10 best prog albums 2017, Christoph Lintermans, DAMusic, Belgium, 30.12.17
- no 10 out of top 10 Special Progressive Award 2017, Prog Notes, Japan, 30.12.17
- no 19 out of top 20 best albums 2017, Platendraaier, Hugo van den Bos, the Netherlands, 23.12.2017 (including review)
- no 30 out of 100 top prog rock albums of 2017, GenesisMarillion prog blog, Italy, 20.12.2017
- no 49 out of 101 albums that deserve more attention 2017, SputnikMusic, 17.12.2017
- no 4 of top 10 best prog albums 2017, Dutch Progressive Rock Page reviewer selections, John Wenlock-Smith, the Netherlands, 14.12.2017
- no 19 of top 20 best prog albums 2017, The Fire Note online magazine, Ohio/USA, 11.12.2017
- 1 of 5 nominees to best Norwegian prog rock album of the year, Editor’s choice, Prognytt, 8.12.2017
- no 6 of 30 Top Prog Albums 2017, Music from the Other Side of the Room, Zachary Nathanson, Houston/Texas, USA 23.11.2017
- Honorable mention, Prog is alive and well in the 21st Century, 2017
- Prog Magazine # 82 Accompanying CD November 2017: Smother (Clock Unwound, 2017)
-From rather angry rock to more dreamy songs.
-A record full of unexpected turns, abrasive but also beautiful vocals, elements of jazz, dark sympho and melancholy melodies. Inventive and intense, bold and successful. A big surprise so far in the new year. I am raving about it!
-Clock Unwound presents a menu that is both hybrid and eclectic, experimental (but not forbidding) and melodious, willingly venturing off the beaten path, but without going too far to lose its’ bearings, and knowing how give full throttle when needed. In short, it is a true album of progressive rock in the most literal sense of the term.
-With Clock Unwound, Gentle Knife prove that they can fulfill all expectations.
-With this second release, Gentle Knife not only show talent, but also indisputable compositional skills. If they continue this way, these Norwegians will soon write historical pages of progressive rock, and worthily represent that progressive Norway that continues to grow along the immediate country border. Let’s wait for the invasion then… These are not barbaric, but progressive men.
-The thing that impresses me the most about this band are their ideas. This is an album so proggy it isn’t even funny.
-Gentle Knife’s “Clock Unwound” is at it’s best when it displays serene feelings.
-Now, talking about complexity, let me point out the 11 piece band Gentle Knife with their newest album Clock Unwound. Yep, you heard that right. Should you expect some mayhem then? Nope. On the contrary this band churns out pretty high quality progressive rock in a quiet, kind of laid-back setting. Usually darker sounds thunder down on us from Norway. But here you will get to know a different side of a country usually associated with the underbelly of the metal multiverse. If you are in for some rare prog, then by all means give them a try.
-Clock Unwound is a very well thought-out album that once again shows some other dimensions of contemporary prog rock. Gentle Knife makes it clear that they dares to color outside the boxes, and with no less than eleven musicians, you have that possibility. It delivers a striking result from a well talented Norwegian team. If only we had an eleven in the Netherlands.
Also published on https://www.podiuminfo.nl/recensie/9983/Clock_Unwound/Gentle_Knife
-A great band, which pushed all of my prejudice aside. (…) The excellent balance between the massive use of different instruments amazed me. Not many bands of 10 and more members do it as good as this one. Nice long tracks let these 55+ minutes pass by in a short time.
-Gentle Knife’s music is inspired by progressive acts such as Gentle Giant, Genesis, King Crimson and Camel, and in the tradition of those great examples, the band shows long drawn-out compositions in which various musical styles pass by. The whole sounds well cared for, and a lot of attention has been paid to the compositions.
-The music can sound a bit unhinged. But there is method in this madness. There is a lot of the methods used in the 1970s. The music has one foot back in the 1970s and one foot in this day and age. The result is a very good album and one that is already making waves in the prog world. That is highly deserved, indeed.
– Clock Unwound reveals a filigree of obvious influences: Gentle Giant of course, Caravan and Strawbs too, to finally propose a rock melodic and symphonic prog with jazzy visitations, dynamic and aerial, very beautiful.
-The music alternates between epic and understated atmospheres, and turns back and forth between Jethro Tull-like folk rock, the mystique of Pink Floyd, the virtuosity of Yes and King Crimson, Genesis wrapping, etcetera. As if the effects of rock music are not enough already, Gentle Knife also add elements of improvised jazz and world music, such as latino in Smother. The final track, Resignation, is the darkest song of the album, with an atmosphere I did not really expect here. It’s a nice one!
You may be wondering if you really want to listen to a band with such diverse music. (…) Several listenings still provide new discoveries. Yes, an album that grows is almost an understatement here.
-On this second opus, eleven musicians are involved, giving an indication of the degree of musical ambition of the band.
-The music reflects the degree of instrumental ambition in the sophistication of their compositions. This progressive rock is refined, contrasted, rich, surprising and is inspired from one end of the album to the other.
-On arrival, Clock Unwound subtitled Gentle Knife II keeps the promises of the first album. You have to follow these talented young Norwegian musicians: They are still far from having delivered their full potential. They are already at a high level.
-The Norwegian eleven-headed formation exceed the promising debut of two years ago on all points, with an album on which progressive influences from past times sound wonderfully current. Top track: Smother.
–Gentle Knife is a relatively young prog collective from Oslo with eleven members. (…) They debuted in 2015 with an eponymous album that brought forth great admiration in Prog Land. Their second step is through the classically instrumental Prelude: Incipit, which seamlessly flows into the almost sixteen-minute title track, a tour de force jewelled with rocking sections, fragments in which the blazers play a leading role, and beautiful mood swings, in short a composition that does not get boring. At this point, we meet the new singer Veronika Hørven Jensen, who is also audible in the quiet beginning of Fade Away, which expands to an impressive climax with the beautiful flute delivery from Astraea Antal and Ove Christian Oweʼs rock guitar, before it ends in serenity. Smother rocks from the first block, but has a surprisingly jazzy middle section. Also the last two songs, Plans Askew and Resignation of around ten minutes are strong tracks. For those who love classic prog rock.
-This vintage recording refers to classical bands such as Van der Graaf Generator and King Crimson, but the Norwegians bring their own variation to the chaos: Unexpected and dramatic twists, fierce rock passages (the epic title song), latin and jazz elements (Smother), mystical folk (as in today’s Opeth), and all of this supported by dark symphonic keyboards. We expect to hear great things from Gentle Knife also in the future.
-With eleven members, this is one of the biggest prog ensembles ever, and yet everyone has their place. Each instrument is clearly audible, which is a great mix achievement, because such a large group could be a virtual flying chaos. But even that chaos, sometimes intentional, remains a calculated nest of sounds.
-The title song, which lasts sixteen minutes, contains a mix of all styles, a piece of Genesis from the time when Gabriel played the flute, and jazzy sections with references to King Crimson and complex Van Der Graaf Generator. That song is almost a prog album in itself, it keeps your attention, and is over before you know it. Unexpected transitions between intricate woodwind arrangements and moogs are almost unrecognizable, which shows how ingeniously everything is balanced…
-Gentle Knife continue to surprise us with their powerful blend of melodic sensibility, expressive energy and eclectic lucidity, a mixture that presents one of the most intense and colorful progressive proposals of today. Congratulations to each member on this well-rounded lineup for a job so well done that it marks the time in the current Norwegian progressive scene. Fully recommendable!
-The album is one you will need to spin multiple times, there is so much to hear that you keep hearing more in it for every spin. So it takes some time to invest to get the most out of it and that is the strength of this band. They have created a listening experience that lasts and invites to dig deeper into it. Clock Unwound is worth the time and effort.
–A sinister intro with trumpet and piano gives this album a perfect sting – excellent High North progrock. Gentle Knife shakes off the ice and trolls on their second album. Dark, gloomy texts and beautiful melodies on keyboard and synths will drag you along to their moss-covered crooks…
-Honestly? The best progrock of the last decades!
-Owning progrock: A rich instrumentation, tempo changes, long songs, singing solos, sometimes experimental or jazzy. Drifty and successful!
-Not to be missed! Wonderful second record from this Norwegian band. The best prog rock album of the year!
-The musicians go adventurously to work. They succeed in creating a completely different sound and inviting all sorts of influences from bossanova and funk to jazz to symphonic rock and folk. Each composition contains unexpected, sometimes dramatic twists. The record has only six tracks, but it is good for a thick fifty-five minute show.
-The themed sophisticated songs are a thrill for the ear. Elegant and intense, touching and stimulating, but also contemporary and bold. Let yourself be carried on waves of happiness, desire, disappointment and ravage through stories of lost love and fading dreams.
-If a band has as many as 11 members, one can expect a quite a studio album. Both the content of the music and the production will demand a puzzle to assemble and succeed. This applies to the Norwegian progressive rock band Gentle Knife. All eleven members contribute to the new full length album.
-Who, like Gentle Knife, (…) can glow individually without compromising the sum and the proportions, and can put it all together in a tight mix, can measure eleven progressive crowns? Clock Unwound is a masterpiece in the world of progressive rock.
-A progressive rock band with eleven members playing a variety of instruments. This second album deals with themes such as broken dreams and lover’s betrayal. Actually, the progress of time, with everything that belongs to it.
-The inspiration lies in the progressive rock of the seventies. Think of King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis. It would also be useful to hear elements of this production. What is special is the extensive cast of the band, allowing for broad huge range of instruments and thus, soundscapes. It is a collection of sometimes solid songs, but also of beautiful sylvan melodies, dark spheres, beautiful intros (for example, Fade Away) and all kinds of musical influences.
-The lyrical and gloomy symphonic essence from the first album is still prevalent. However, the musicians’ skills have been sharpened further, and are amplified by the chemistry brought on by orchestral instruments and mellotron. Listeners are immersed into a dream…
-With “Clock Unwound“ the Norwegian progressive rock ensemble Gentle Knife has produced a strong successor of their self titled debut album. The band creates an unique sound in the progressive scene by the use of instruments like flute, trumpet, flugelhorn and several saxophones. Besides the more complex and progressive parts you can find lovely vocal melodies, flute passages and synth solos on this album. The music includes some elements of jazz and avant-garde music. But in overall it is a delicious melting pot of Nordic progressive rock which has it’s roots in the Progressive Rock music of the Seventies.
–Think of the soundtrack of bands like Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull or Van Der Graaf Generator, and you will be able to get a good idea of what this Norwegian formation has included on their second album.
-It’s been another strong year for prog rock releases, but this album stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s a joyfully exuberant album, strongly melodic, with lots of great brass playing and the synth solo on the title track is a joy. My album of the year so far!
-It is always a very curious anticipation when a band releases a second album. The term ‘Sophomoric Jinx’always enters the conventional discourse. This is so especially true when the band puts out a very ambitious and colossal debut album. This is exactly what Gentle Knife did in 2015 with their debut. The typical cliched comparisons always come into the conversation along with a much higher expectation. The band has safely avoided all these cliches and stereotypes with their second album (…)
-For a sophomoric effort this is a masterpiece. Gentle Knife have now firmly set themselves up to be a major progressive rock unit going forward for the next 10 to 15 years. Clock Unwound will be looked at as one of those pivotal albums that will be talked about in the evolution of progressive rock 15 to 20 years from now. Due to the band’s continuous maturity I am giving Gentle Knife II Clock Unwound a 5/5.
-Gentle Knife is a Norwegian progressive rock band consisting of eleven musicians. You therefore understand that there are many “non-everyday” instruments: for example flute, bagpipe, sax, trumpet and mellotron. The team therefore brings a lot of musical twists that go from extremely soft and fragile to very powerful and solid with everything in between. Their musical landscape continues to paint solid rock passages, latin elements, jazzy interruptions, dark symphonic keys, folk tending accents, melancholic fragments, and even catchy, catchy moments.
-(…) fans of classic seventies prog rock bands like Van Der Graaf Generator, Gentle Giant, Camel and other King Crimson’s will enjoy it. Certainly if they tolerate a more modern jacket.
-The last couple of weeks has seen, or rather heard, me playing this album a lot. And not because it is such a complex album. Well it is actually. But that was not the point. The point is, that this is a very intriguing mix. A bit like the bastard child of early King Crimson and well ehhh, some more modern prog bands with guitars, organ, saxophone, flutes and brass and stuff. See? I even have a hard time describing this.
-But that is all really. I am finding this a very pleasant album to listen to. Yes it may move from whisper quiet to loud and back. Yes, large portions are instrumental with some unusual instruments taking the lead, or using a talking voice like you are watching a movie with a voice over.
And now you think this is a disjointed affair? No it is not. It is diverse indeed, and it really calls for you to pay attention. But I just love what is served. There is always a certain tension flowing, and that keeps attracting me. Even after numerous spins I still wonder what will come next. Yet, the melodies are present and worthwhile.
-So what more can I say about it? For me an irresistible mix and an album that grows and grows. Consider me impressed!
-Given the instrumental richness (in addition to the classical electric instruments: flute, wood, trumpet and saxophone), Gentle Knife’s style is rich progressive rock with relatively long tracks from multiple drawers.
-After an introduction mixing piano and trumpet in a soft contemporary melody, the eponymous title of nearly 16 minutes debuts with guitar riffs in a rhythmic abducted and one is immersed in typical progressive rock with multiple twists suggesting Marillion and from time to time Jethro Tull. The sequel is the image of the beginning, titles musically high-level oscillating between 7 and 10 minutes.
-In summary, Clock Unwound is intended for lovers of progressive rock, loving long developments requiring several listenings to appreciate them at their true value…
– Two years after their eponymous debut album, Gentle Knife. return to the 2017 scene with “Clock Unwound”, an album consisting of six musically diverse tracks, capable of bringing us into a relaxed and sweet fairytale setting on the one hand, and unleashing us with their progressive rock on the other.
-…11-piece Gentle Knife owe a debt to the godfathers of our form, but the Norwegians’ new album Clock Unwound offers a fresh slant. With woodwinds, trumpets and male and female vocalists joining the fray, they burst into vivid life (Smother), gaze at their collective navel (Fade Away) and soar into rock-operatic skies (Plans Askew). A fascinating, robust record filled with proggy spirit.
-…Definitely good prog rock music, not intended for those who prefer only complex and elaborate stylistic elaboration, but surely to be appreciated by those who attest to the tranquilizing and pastoral settings dictated by the intelligent engagement of flutes, mellotron and acoustic sounds.
-On the right path – and do continue!
-(…) I like the flow of their music and how it’s sometimes mystical, sometimes hard-charging and yeah, sometimes prog-rock spacy. But it’s all good including, somewhere in there, what sounds like a trumpet.
-This is their second album, Clock Unwound. I like what they did on YouTube which was to provide an 18-minute taste of the album. (…)
-This is the second CD album from Norway’s eleven-piece progressive rock outfit Gentle Knife and it is quite frankly rather brilliant, featuring as it does some very melodic passages and often different instrumentation throughout its six-song cycle that explores the theme of the passage of time.
-The band features flutes, bagpipes, alto saxophone, keyboards, viola and recorder alongside the more traditional sounds of keyboards, bass and drums. In addition, the band presents three guitarists in their mix. However, this is no shredfest, rather Gentle Knife is a delicately arranged ensemble who use their collected skills to great effect in making some delightfully graceful music. They have crafted many excellent, harmonious and melodic passages that emerge and shine throughout the album.
-It sounds at times like a full-on jazz band having a go at progressive rock, and it works as it sounds – fantastic and totally different to most prog rock that you will hear today. I guess a good comparison would be the early works of King Crimson, where they were pushing the boundaries between jazz and rock (which of course they still continue to do today).
-Worthy of special mention is the closing section of The Clock Unwound where everyone breaks loose and provide a storming finale to what is already a great track. Fade Away has a delicate flute passage, backed with some fine Hammond organ parts. In fact, every song has something of value to recommend, with nothing outstaying its welcome and everything having a purpose and a place in this great album.
-A fine example of this is the very haunting, ethereal flute and the acoustic guitar parts that show on Plans Askew to terrific effect, being both beautifully moving and yet adding an extra dimension to an already strong track.
-This is an album of many hidden depths and I really like it a lot. It is one of the finer things I have had the pleasure of hearing this year. It is a very intriguing, yet accessible release and its mix of unusual instruments makes it something both different and yet familiar; delicate and yet fierce. I really must get their debut album now, to see how much of a progression this album truly is.
-Gentle Knife is a band that shows great promise and I urge you to check this album out rapidly and lose yourself in some gracefully constructed music that is very rewarding and satisfying to listen to. Very, very highly recommended indeed. Prepare to be amazed!
-Sometimes, improvised jazzy and latin elements adds to epic music. Clock Unwound is an absolute must in the genre and, second, moreof, proof that Norway should not be underestimated when it comes to music.
-It’s refreshing when you encounter a band who do something unique. Gentle Knife is a band that doesn’t really sound like any other band, mainly because they have eleven band members! …it sounds like it was recorded and released in the 70’s, which is a compliment, given the genre.
-Two years after the eponymous debut album, Gentle Knife offer Clock Unwound to the audience, a well-kept album…
-Clock Unwound is an album we don’t find many of nowadays, brave, original and with longevity. We acknowledge that the Norwegian group is among the most influential people in their cold country. Visionary rock.
-When Gentle Knife released their debut album in 2015, I was positively surprised. With “Clock Unwound,” the inspired Norwegians exceed the first album by far. The 6 compositions are amazingly catchy and sometimes amazingly close to pop, but what makes them a band – the statics of the songs with their architecture and life – is impressive and compelling…
-Slaves of their gods, but independent thinkers and exquisite inspired craftsmen before the muse, and probably a very authentic, homogenous group, in which the musical work increases and carries powerful buds. If the compositional scaffolding could also function in a pop-muscular manner, then here nothing is more pop-populated, but the fruit of one’s own mind, its own intention with a vital, rocky rock language and a rapid desire for passionate events.
-…if a lyrically strong, gloomy, melancholic, massive rocking piece of symphonic rock is as good as “Clock Unwound” and wants to create lasting value, I am highly amused and plunge me with all my senses into the songs, the voices and instruments. The album is a new piece of jewelry in my ears and collection.
-Gentle Knife’s sound does take its influence from the classic era of progressive rock, but they have managed to attach a modern feel to it. There are a lot of influences here; you may hear some early King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Yes and even some Caravan, all tied up with touches of symphonic and melodic prog, hard rock with at times some prog metal elements, Scandinavian folk music, plus a bit of jazz thrown in. It is a heady mix to be sure, but one that does seems to work.
-….this is a very satisfying album which holds together and flows well with an epic feel at times. The use of the flute and brass gives it an added dimension and there is a classic seventies feel here but given a more modern touch.
-On the whole of the album, I can say that it is an elegant work of art. Due to its style, I recommend good listening conditions with very good sound, or even better, headphones.
-An impressive start with “Prelude: Incipit” and a sequel that follows, counting as much as 16 minutes. Diversity and complexity of the 70s – primarily – but not discarding the sounds of the 80s.
-Where the trumpet, the saxophone, the flute (and the wind instruments in general) sound, there is a beautiful classical jazz atmosphere.
-The collage is well knit. I do not know how all this was done in the studio, and how all members took part. But surely in live appearance the whole figure gets flesh and bones and both the viewing and the listening may be a beautiful experience.
– The “big” moment of the album is somewhere in the end, with the “Resignation” track.
– Exciting, vibrant music with a controlled chaos rarely seen in the current progressive scene. This is an album where the arrangements are complex and very well executed, an inviting band that comforts, welcomes and intrigues. Highly recommended.
-The band have clearly studied their prog history, and the influence of ‘70s greats such as King Crimson, Genesis and Gentle Giant is there to see, but so is the influence of early ‘80s neo-prog pioneers like IQ, Twelfth Night and Pallas, evident on the 15-minute epic title track. -Aside from the relatively short opening ‘Prelude: Incipit’, the seven-minute ‘Fade Away’ is the album’s shortest track, but one that illustrates Gentle Knife’s ability to move through styles, from acoustic folk, through funky jazz to dark and heavy prog, and some very early Genesis-esque flute interludes (…) ‘Smother’ fuses a lighter pop feel with some brassy jazz, and ‘Plans Askew’ once again illustrates the band’s ability to build from gentle acoustics to bombastic guitar-led prog attack.
–Woodwinds are underestimated. Norwegian Gentle Knife has fixated on that fact, in adding double saxophones into their progressive rock. This is not the only thing that makes Gentle Knife special. No, they also have lovely flutes as well as beautiful female vocals. This is not the only thing that makes Gentle Knife special. No, in addition, the band plays a real suggestive progrock, which pretty often dives headlong between expressions. From soft, like Camel, to angry, type Transatlantic – to pure hard rock – the ten (!) members of Gentle Knife feel comfortable at all levels. This is not the only thing that makes Gentle Knife special. No, they also has a keen sense for beautiful melodies, whether it’s Veronika Hörven Jensen’s and Håkon Kavli’s song, or the guitars and keyboards that circle the music all the way. I guess this was some of what makes Gentle Knife special.
-Blåsinstrument är underskattade. Detta faktum har norska Gentle Knife tagit fasta på, i det att de tillfogar sin progressiva rock dubbla saxofoner. Dette är nu inte det enda som gör Gentle Knife speciella. Nej dessutom har de tjusiga flöjter liksom vacker kvinnosong. Dette är nu inte det enda som gör Gentle Knife speciella. Nej, dessutom spelar bandet en verklig suggestiv progrock, vilken inte sällan kastar sig handlöst mellan uttrycken. Från mjukt á la Camel til ilsket typ Transatlantic til rena hårdrocken – de tio (!) medlemmarna i Gentle Knife känner sig bekväma på alla plan. Detta är nu inte det enda som gör Gentle Knife speciella. Nej, därtill har en skarp känsla för vackra melodier, vare sig det handlar om Veronika Hörven Jensens og Håkon Kavlis sång, eller om de gitarrer og keyboards som cirklar musiken kring, hela vägen. Ja, detta var väl en del av det som gör Gentle Knife speciella.
-We can hear a band that has taken major steps since the really good debut album. The band trust themselves more on Clock Unwound, and dares to implement exiting elements from e.g. avant garde with dissonant lines, and it all sounds professional and focused. The soundscape is majestic and symphonic without being pompous, and the music suits its rough hard rock-edges.
-The material is catchy and the riffs are solid. Even though Gentle Knife has 11 musicians, they don’t get in the way of each other. On the contrary, they use the many sonic possibilities to create musical variation.
-For vi som er mer enn normalt glad i prog er det nå gode tider hva gjelder kvalitets prog fra norske band. Det er neppe å overdrive at en ny gyllen bølge av prog feier over kongeriket Norge?! Et av disse er Kolbotn baserte Gentle Knife som debutert for to år siden med selvtitulert skive. I juni kom skive nummer to fra det 11 personer sterke norske progkollektivet. På Clock Unwound som den nye skiva heter kan vi høre et band som har tatt store steg i forhold til den virkelig bra debuten. Gentle Knife stoler mer på seg selv på Clock Unwood, og våger å dra inn spennende elementer fra for eksempel avvant garde, dissonante linjer og det hele lyder proft og fyndig og fokusert. Lydbildet er majestetisk og symfonisk uten å bli svulstig, og musikken er kledelig røff i kantene og hardrock utforskes tidvis.
-Det er en rimelig kompleks musikk Gentle Knife byr på, men det er en melodisk teft som er tiltalende og musikken er utfordrende for lytteren på en god måte. Materialet er også fengende og riffene sitter meget bra, og selv om Gentle Knife består av 11 musikere så tumler de ikke i veien for hverandre. Tvert om så brukes så mange soniske muligheter til å skape variasjon og bredde i musikken og i sum så er dette triggende. Brian M. Talgo sysler i lydbildet med sine mellotroner og sampler med mer, og gjør det svært bra. I tillegg har han stått for den regelrett suverent supre coverkunsten.
-Tittellåten er en låt som krever mye lytting for å få med alle detaljer og finesser. Låten er på over 15 minutter og er mørk og aggressiv og avløses av nydelige Fade Away som er nærmest pastoral i åpningen anført av tverrfløyte, akustisk gitar, neddempet fin vokal og mellotron. Sømløst og tiltalende blir låten etter hvert mer episk og svingende og det instrumentale er vel verdt å låne ørene til. Det er definitivt også Gentle Knife også. Å låne ørene til altså! Så godtfolk sjekk ut dette bandet og investerer en del tid i å lytte, og gjør dere opp en mening er mitt råd.
-A supergroup that lovers of prog rock should know about.
-…a group that stands out by its fusion of progressive and symphonic sound (…)
-It is hard to imagine that a band with a second newly released album has such a level of maturity, making them sound like a consecrated band, as if they belonged to another decade (…)
-Without falling into clichés, they manage to represent the incessant passage of time as the main theme of this second album, which is effectively reflected in anachronistic compositions (…)
-Clock Unwound is an ornate work with great intensity and elegance that takes us back to the magic of the symphonic seventies, becoming an absolute recommendation for lovers of progressive rock.
-Clock Unwound is an ambitious recording by a rising talent in the Norwegian progressive rock scene.
-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 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.
– This record is an eccentric clash of styles that features throwbacks to Yes, King Crimson and even some Jethro Tull.
– The album features a good amount of variety that definitely kept things interesting throughout. The sound that Gentle Knife mainly goes for is a lot more stripped down and straight forward compared to the style a lot of progressive bands chose in 2017. Their style can range between hard hitting rock to more mellow and folk but it always provides some excellent straight forward grooves that help bring out the rhythm guitar and bass whilst also providing room enough for the more melodic instruments like the flute, saxophone etc to shine.
-Clock Unwound is a nice solid progressive rock piece that should please fans of the genre, new or old. If you want to check out the perfect example of what to find here, hunt down the album’s title track and you’ll hear everything that this band can deliver in that monstrous fifteen minute epic. This is a job well done, one I definitely recommend.
– (…) one of the most interesting albums of the year.
– This is music that is exciting, vibrant and with a controlled chaos that is rarely heard in today’s scene. The arrangements are complex and perfectly executed, and in many ways this album is reminiscent of the most rich and fragrant paella one could come across (…)
– In some ways very Seventies, and in others very up to date, this wonderful album should be heard by all progheads. It is simply stunning.
Gonzo Weekly Magazine #347 p 60 http://www.gonzoweekly.com
– Eleven musicians engaged in almost an hour of sublime music that spans 360 degrees in contemporary music, creating a wonderful example of progressive music.
– Le note sprigionate dai Gentle Knife sono come l’acqua di un torrente nel mezzo della foresta norvegese, limpida e fluida nel suo scorrere tra le rocce, giocando con l’angusto letto come gli strumenti con lo spartito, a tratti spumeggianti ed elettrici, in altri melliflui e raffinati.
Poesia in musica come nelle migliori proposte del genere, l’album accoglie ed abbraccia una marea di idee e generi, passando dal progressive rock ad attimi in cui le jam portano il gruppo su territori jazz e fusion, ad altri dove le trame intimiste creano un alone malinconico attorno al sound creato per Clock Unwound.
– Difficile trovare un brano che non abbia spunti fuori dal comune, anche se le mie preferite sono l’eccellente ed ariosa Smother e la crimsoniana Resignation, sunto del credo musicale dei Gentle Knife.
-The eleven-headed formation Gentle Knife from Norway presents their work. Equipped not only with the usual synthesizer park, but similar to Mostly Autumn, with male as well as female lead vocals as well as an instrumental arsenal of various wind instruments, the band goes on the track of 70’s prog exploits with a knack for woodwinds jazz. It begins with the trumpet-wrapped “Prelude”. The title track trumfs fifteen minutes with over-the-top moog in the style of Rick Wakeman. The song adds a lot: Extatic guitars, a lyrical flute passage, muted song and a furious finale. Then comes the mellotron-drunk ballad “Fade Away”, just so, even if it also accelerates in the middle part. “Smother” strolls between metal prog and gentle bossa nova background rhythms. “Plans Askew” opens with a classical guitar, after which the song remains subtly percussive, always supported by a flute. In the end, “Resignation” is impressively gloomy: Smoky grating speech, a world out of control, and an uncertain future. Top track: Resignation.
-Die elfköpfige Formation Gentle Knife aus Norwegen legt ihr zveites Werk vor. Ausgestattet nicht nur mit dem ublichen Synthies-fuhrpark, sondern ännlich wie Mostly Autumn auch mit männlicher wie weiblincher Leadstimme sowie einern instrumentalen Arsenal diverser Blasinstrumente, begibt sie sich auf die Fährte von 70s-Prog-Grostaten mit Hang zum Bläser-Jazz. Mit dem Trompeten-verhangenen “Prelude” geht es los. Der Titeltrack trumpft fünfzehn Minuten lang mit überbordendem Moog im Stile von Rick Wakeman auf. Der Song muss viel underbringen: Gitarren-Ekstase, lyrische Flötenpassage, gedämpften Gesang und eine furioses Finale. Da kommt die Mellotron-trunkene Ballade “Fade Away” zum Durschnaufen gerade recht, auch wenn sie sich ebenfalls im zweiten Teil beschleunicht. “Smother” wandelt zwischen Prog-Metal und sanften Bossa-Nova-Hintergrundrhythmen. “Plans Askew” eröffnet mit klassischer Gitarre, danach verbleibt man dezent perkussiv, immer unterstütz von einer Flöte. Zum Abschluss wird’s mit “Resignation” beeindruckend düster: rauchiger Reibeisen-Sprechgesang, Welt auser Kontrolle, Zukunft ungewiss. Top-Track: Resignation.
-What a joy it was to discover the Norwegian group “Gentle Knife” and their second album, “Clock Unwound”. An album whose concept is the relentless passage of time and all the beauty and the harm it brings.
-Clock Unwound will certainly be part of the highlights of 2017 prog scene. Gentle Knife is a group to watch closely, as they has tremendous potential. For all lovers of conventional prog, contemporary prog and jazz rock, this album is not to be missed. Long live Gentle Knife and good listening to all!
-An old-style Scandinavian prog album, with evident legend of some of the Norwegian and Swedish acts of the early 1980s.
-Gentle Knife is not the classic band formed by a singer, two guitarists, bassist and drummer – but a collective of eleven musicians, all fundamental to the cause.
– The album opens with Prelude: Incipit, an intro with an ethereal and extended character, structured by melancholic piano chords and the clear sound of the trumpet. The imaginative power of the song evokes atmospheric Scandinavian landscapes, perpetually suspended between dream and reality.
-The ultimate anxiety in the crescendo of the prelude leads to to the obscure crimsonoid mood of Clock Unwound. Here, obsessive chords, sinister sounds, gothic melodies and marked neoprog accents let a latent musical schizophrenia emerge that does not give up on it’s rough coats and sharp edges. Stringing frippian math guitar passages, dissonant saxes and martial rhythms add a sense of dramatic instability that Veronika’s deep voice can emphasize. Just when everything seems to be black, there is a languid intimist brawl that, accompanied by Antal’s flute and Kavli’s lyrical song, revives nostalgic Nordic airs. Influenced by King Crimson, the intense baritone sax builds up tension by preparing the grounds for the fiery final ride.
-Fade Away is a ballad of delicate tones, in “I Talk to the Wind” style, entrusted by the duet of Jensen and Kavli as well as accoustic guitar poetry, flute and mellotron. Bjørseth’s trumpet adds that classic Norwegian touch, before an acid jazz intermezzo breaks into a lively symphonic parenthesis, old-style Genesis, passing by neo-progressive Fish era Marillion and finally reaching Ciccada’s “The Finest of Miracles “. There are also funky shades and an Änglagård sound to facilitate the replay of the crimsonoid theme in the second part of the track.
-Smother seems to turn to typical 80’s musical aesthetics, contemplating neo-prog and synth pop. It’s dancing character has heavy rhythmic contribution of woodwinds and brass. There are unusual jazz and bossa nova openings, alternating in a cheerful and festive phrasing.
-Plans Askew returns to Howe style accoustic watercolors and the Crimson scenery of “In the Court of the Crimson King”. Flutes, saxes and keyboards help create elegant pastoral frames, while guitars, bass and drum give the piece a rougher and more sharp look (a sound formula that looks to Gentle Giant illustrious precursors). If new vocals in Ciccada are felt in the duets, the key use of keyboards goes back to the latest productions of The Samurai Of Prog.
-The slow and anguished rush of the concluding Resignation leaves a dark and tormented epilogue. Deaf blows of percussion, jazz rhythm, ectoplasmic keyboards and an unusually melancholic flute accompany a male voice intent on acting on a prophetic and dystopian text. The use of hybrid sounds allows the band to counterpoint the pained Van der Graaf Generator saxes to the crimsonoid flute, East of Eden and the lyricism of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. To make it even more gothic, add liturgical organ, sax, guitars, flute and rhythm sections stirring up dust. The decisive, psychedelic vocal character motivating the obvious and constant referral to the crimsonian masterpiece praises its antimilitarist poetry, while grumbling – in a melancholy way – the fears and anguish of man in the 21st century (…)
-What a beautiful album! You’ll hear so many tools that you almost do not know what you hear. Yet, everything is almost constant in total harmony. With Clock Unwound, Gentle Knife has taken a step forward.
There is a saying that too many cooks spoil the broth and you would think that 11 chefs would create a truly chaotic spoiled broth. I am glad to say that this, the follow up to Gentle Knife’s eponymous debut in 2015, is one where the chaos is always under control and adds to the sum of the 11 parts and the very disciplined approach to the music that they make.
-Overall the way this album works deserves praise for its maturity and skill in song writing but also the disciplined studio work. There is plenty for the classic prog fan but it isn’t a mirror of the past, it actually feels like it belongs in 2017 not 1973.
-This is really brilliant stuff. The music swells creating grand climaxes and then swivels into different directions effortlessly incorporating the classic elements of polyphony and contrapuntal elements. Starts and stops occur everywhere, allowing the music to shift in time, tempo and general mood. From the busy churning guitars that propel song segments into each other to the pastoral, drum and flute segments, there’s something fascinating around every corner. The overriding aspect of the music of Gentle Knife that fosters that classic seventies vibe is the fact their music is built on minor and diminished chords and notes. This gives their music a powerful sense of expectation all of which is wonderfully resolved when they do get around to hitting those major chords.
-Clock Unwound is simply a great record. I loved every aspect of it and heartily recommend it to fans of classic Symphonic Progressive Rock.
-The Norwegian 10-piece (now 11!) group debuted two years ago with the eponymous album, which perhaps didn’t get the deserved recognition. I used the word “promising” back then, and this new release is a valid answer to the expectations of maturing and artistic progress.
-…Gentle Knife (categorized as crossover prog) approaches both symphonic and eclectic areas with some neo flavour. One may think of bands such as Unitopia, Izz or Delusion Squared.
-…en knapp timmes melodiskt storvulen prog på tidstema, denna jädrans klocka som går, i samma takt, i samma tempo, oavsett vi vill inte, en skiva med drivande klaviatur och gitarr, med tvärflöjt som färglägger stämningar som byggs upp kring något härligt välbekant och inbjudande, för att stillsamt explodera/implodera i avslutande spåret ”Resignation” som jag gärna skulle vilja se live i t.ex. Slottsskogen.
-Det här är deras andra skiva, genremogna var de redan på den första (…)
-A brief hour of melodic, grandiose prog dealing with the theme of time, this darn continuous watch, same pace, same tempo, we strive nontheless, an album with driving keys and guitars, a traversal flute coloring moods built up around something wonderfully familiar and inviting, for then to quietly explode/implode into the final track “Resignation,” which I would very much like to see live, for instance at Slottsskogen Goes Progressive.
-This is their second album. They were mature in the genre already on the first.
-…here’s my picks of the top 20 albums so far of 2017…
-This is the epic eleven-piece retro prog band from Norway you’ve been looking for your whole life. The prog world sleeps on this. Don’t be like the prog world. Be better. Check this out.
-Overall a record to check out for those who like their prog traditional but with a bit of experimentation, and some well thought out instrumentation to boot.
–The album opens with the sound of a crystal clear trumpet in a track full of beautiful lyricism, before the second song suddenly unleashes a crimsonesque burst of dark energy. Undulating synths and awe-inspiring male and female vocals are backed by tense gitar riffs in lineage with Robert Fripp. While the dark color tone makes for a sense of of urgency, there is also a soothing clear and transparent feeling, reminiscent to Änglagård and other Scandinavian prog. The sound of the album shows an admiration to 70’s prog, including King Crimson. At the same time there are characteristic rhythmical properties that reminds me of traditional Scandinavian folk and dance music, similar to Gentle Knife’s first album. The album’s mid section takes advantage of brass and woodwind instruments and the music goes in the direction of brazz/rock/jazz/funk, unfolding various musical colors that surprise the listener. This variety is exactly what makes the music so interesting. In spite of being a big ensemble, the album does not sound gaudy.
-This album is a masterpiece that carefully stacks one note at a time without waste.
-In 2015, the Norwegians already showed what they can do. Now, they add another…
-Very interesting album from a very talented band, from which a lot is to be expected in the future. The way they integrate the different wind instruments is becoming their trademark. Keep it up!
-Gentle Knife’s 2nd album is a decisive release full of great music. Their symphonic and jazzy Nordic mythology gives the listener the feeling of having entered the forbidden realm of the Gods, thereby forgetting the passage of time.
-The album starts with a piano and trumpet piece reminiscent of ECM jazz that gives deep associations of a forest veiled in fog and the mysterious surface of a lake…followed by a ferocious melody that invoke aggressive passions….
-The band complements Scandinavian orthodoxy with classical, symphonic and jazzy elements that are sometimes lyrical, poetic and quiet.
-Crimsonesque cross-rythms and dramatic musical drive makes the listener feel like standing in the shadow of a forest tree, witnessing the Nordic gods having a feast in all its madness. The mystique and anxiety of the deep Scandinavian forests characterizes the entire album – like your soul vanishes into the realm of Norse mythology.
-The band has shown remarkable growth and the album is an epoch-making example of 21 century Scandinavian progressive music.
-Norwegian act Gentle Knife embody the spirit of diverse progressive rock cut from that similar 70’s-oriented cloth on their second full-length “Clock Unwound”. Incorporating everything from woodwinds, flutes, trumpets, and saxophones against the normal electric, acoustic, and keyboard instrumentation, the sky is the limit for the band to paint their musical portraits – preferring broader strokes to take their initial ideas and expand upon them.
-Art rock meets jazz and progressive music – “Clock Unwound” delivers another exciting product for fans of these genres to get behind. A pleasant surprise to these ears, well done Gentle Knife (…)
– Gentle Knife project a quietly proficient type of Progressive Rock. Somewhat of a mix between the aforementioned Steven Wilson, Ayeron and a pretty good dosing of Ian Anderson – in his post-Jethro Tull solo incarnation.
– the record lets loose some rare prog with some stellar technically high standing jewels sprinkled across the track list. A band to be watched and surely worth your time if you are into Progressive Rock.
-Noble, unconventional prog piece!
-The instrumental lecture is clearly grounded in the prog rock of the more traditional British style, but it is always turned into loose jazz and fusion sounds, and through slanting synth sounds, trumpets, various flutes as well as a (sometimes almost already unleashedly used) saxophone. Gentle Knife are equally versatile in terms of vocals. Veronika Hørven Jensen and Håkon Kavli complement each other not only excellently, the two also know how to correspond the songs to the atmospheric. Especially the soulful undertone of Veronika gives the jazzy passages wonderful flair and always causes goose bumps.
-A noble piece, to the heart of all proggies, but especially those with increased affinity to rather unconventional and also “un-rock” sounds!
…every bit as intense and atmospheric (as the first album), with a slightly jazzier flavour. Whether it’s nature or nurture, Scandinavia seems to produce some of the finest modern prog, and Clock Unwound can take its place among the contemporary greats.
-Well-knitted arrangements, and the music shakes the listener’s emotions.
-The band share musical values across generations, made evident by the fact that the oldest member is 63, and the youngest, 25.
-One of the best album releases this year!
-Once again the Norwegians draw the audience into their own, richly equipped world.
-This second album from the Norwegian team Gentle Knife was long-awaited (…) The wait is largely rewarded.
-Gentle Knife makes classic prog with a few important extras. So you get mellotron sounds, synthesizer solos, long-spun numbers and an umbrella theme: the unacceptable course of time. Those extras consist of the many blazers that enriches the band.
-…this could have been a record of the early ’70s, both in what is being played and in what it sounds like. Not only through the use of mellotron samples and flutes, but also the unpopulated way of incorporating the drums, for example, the album has an old-fashioned sound. But Gentle Knife gives the compositions their own twist, sometimes due to unexpected twists in the melody, sometimes by jazzy elements.
-The band rocks, but is also good at understated passages, bossa nova or jazz, and writes beautiful melodies. For example, Fade Away is a beautiful melancholic song about dreamed dreams, with a great flute part. Smother is a steamy rocker with a brilliant trumpet solo. The title cut Clock Unwound is a magical musical adventure…
-It was more than worth the wait!
-Gentle Knife themselves have never done me wrong and their second album is a dark, beautiful, and haunting release (…)
-I hope Gentle Knife continues to do more for years and years to come. They are one of my favorite ensembles to come out of the genre. And I hope they won’t stop. The journey has just begun for them with Clock Unwound.
-Time goes by, time flies, and progressive rock seems to keep reinventing itself. Do Gentle Knife have a role in this process? Check them out!
-A jewel in the crowd: In addition to being a jewel in this new crowd of progressive bands around the world, the Gentle Knife is a crowd per se. The band consists of no less than 11 members, ranging from traditional rock instruments such as guitar and drums, to traditional prog instruments such as synthesizers and mellotrons, to exotic saxophone sections and even bagpipes. Should indicate that jazz and improvisation will be strong elements here.
-Most impressive of all, is to be able to identify the presence of each member and their instruments with characteristics of their own, something difficult to achieve in a group with so many members…
-Gentle, but not so: (…) the band’s influences are much more comprehensive than the “simple” progressive rock. With all this range of instruments to explore, especially the brass and metal section, they put an unexpected color on procedures at random intervals, while various jazz, folk, hard rock and, of course, prog touches are always scrambled in compositions. No track resemble another, so it’s not always easy to find solid ground on the disc. (…) the sound is always fresh and new, you will not come across anything repetitive here.
-The great wealth of Clock Unwound lies in variety, in its ability to sound different and new for every listen.
-Clock Unwound has the air of the work of a band in pursuit of progressive perfection. Gentle Knife are a group of high complexity which should sound spectacular live. A great album by Gentle Knife. Bringing a 1970s footprint with an air of freshness that shakes the dust of progressive rock.
-The apocalyptic outcome of the long title track will make all friends of crimsonoid prog happy. Masterpiece!
-The music is every bit as diverse as on their debut, from short, beautiful French horn/piano opener Prelude: Incipit, to classic (heavyish) prog epic The Clock Unwound itself, through the strange, mid-’70s soft funk-influenced Fade Away, the gentler Plans Askew and the suitably darker Resignation.
-This album, by Norwegian progressive rock guys (& gals), with 11 members, is chock full of changes.
-This is another great album from Gentle Knife. Bringing back some 1970’s sounds while bringing in a new fresh vibe.
-This album gets 4 out of 5 Music Guru Stars. It may get more with repeated listens.
-So perfectly normal for prog then, musically it’s once again a very layered, intensely musical affair, picking up where the last album left off as the traditional instruments of bass, drums, keys and a trio of guitars are augmented by woodwind and brass (on the jazzy title track). It’s the sort of progressive rock favoured by King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator and Yes, check out the folky Fade Away which washes over you displaying the duality of the male and female vocals and moves into the Smother which has Latin rhythms and huge organ stabs the battle with the parping trumpet.
-Clock Unwound is another piece of progressive near perfection from Gentle Knife, I really want to see the band in concert as I can see it being an incredible show with all eleven members translating the soundscapes on these records to a live crowd.
-…vi kan raskt konstatere at det låter kuler og krutt av bandet også på denne nye CDen.
-…teften for gode melodier er så absolutt til stede også på bandets andre album. Det er det mange band som kan misunne dem. For samtidig som Gentle Knifes musikk er både komplisert og utfordrende, så er musikken også full av fengende akkorder og riff, noe som gjør et kanskje i utgangspunktet vanskelig materiale lett tilgjengelig også for folk utenfor den innerste progsirkelen.
-Gentle Knife teller hele elleve – 11 – personer – uten at det går ut over helheten- lydbildet er klart og fyldig gjennom hele plata. Det låter mektig og imponerende, men det blir aldri for mye. Og med den brede instrumenteringen gir det også flere muligheter til å variere lydbildet – både saksofoner, trompeter og tverrfløyter gir et nødvendig krydder og fungerer utmerket også på solopartier.
Whiskey Soda, Germany, 16.6.17, SashaG
DangerDog Music Reviews, North America, 13.6.17, Craig Hartranft, 3,5/5
-When it comes to creating and playing their own music, you can see that Gentle Knife together form an extraordinary organism that works as a well oiled machine, which can conjure up incredible sounds, create an extraordinary atmosphere, and bring the recipient to another, better world.
-Let’s be honest: Gentle Knife are a masterpiece! Everything works here, like a fully wound clock!