by Tim Den
Ex-Cynic bassist/infamous egomaniac Sean Malone has gathered up another stellar all-star line-up for his second Gordian Knot album, this time with a more concentrated effort to bring “vocal qualities” to instrumental music. Just reading the resumes here will pretty much give you a picture of what Emergent sounds like: Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, Genesis), Steve Hackett (Genesis), Jim Matheos (Fates Warning), not to mention all other remaining Cynic members (guitarists Paul Masvidal and Jason Gobel, drummer Sean Reinert). Fluid, articulate playing (that doesn’t trade feel for proficiency) dictating tumultous compositional patterns rivaling the best (quiet) moments of Cynic… and putting Dream Theater to shame at the same time. A prog symphony? Catchier. Easy-listening jazz? More complex, tasteful, dynamic, and emotive. A natural continuation of what Cynic started? Exactly. If anything, the fact that Emergent brings together all the ex-Cynics for the first time in ten years (on album highlight “A Shaman’s Whisper”) should be reason enough for you to own this.
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