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Record 3 of 51
Band's Name:  Gordian Knot
Contributor(s):  Rob Devereux (dev@pair.com)
Last Time Updated:  11-Mar-2000
Band's Country:  USA
Discography:  

Gordian Knot (1999)

State(Active or Disbanded):  Active
Biography:  Taken from http://www.lasercd.com

Gordian Knot was conceived as a project to demonstrate Sean Malone's abilities as both composer and performer. Malone's ground-breaking performance on Cynic's 1994 release Focus brought him worldwide acclaim for his bass work and his mastery of the 12-string Chapman Stick. On Gordian Knot, he pushes the instrument to its limits - whether he is playing percussive bass lines, flowing glissandos, or pure shredding leads that would wither most guitarists.

Only musicians of the highest caliber could perform music of such complexity. Drawing from the genres of progressive rock and metal, Malone invited an all-star lineup to participate:

Trey Gunn (Warr Guitar) - A member of the current incarnation of the legendary progressive ensemble King Crimson. In addition to contributing ear-bending Warr guitar, Gunn co-produced and mixed Gordian Knot with Sean Malone.

Sean Reinert (Drums) - Malone's former bandmate from Cynic. On Focus, Malone and Reinert demonstrated that they are perhaps the most formidable rhythm section in metal; Gordian Knot takes it to the next level.

Ron Jarzombek (Guitar) - Extraordinary guitarist from the bands Watchtower and Spastic Ink. Watchtower and Cynic are both regarded as the seminal exponents of the technical metal genre. This is the first time that members from both bands have recorded together.

Glenn Snelwar (Guitar) - Gordian Knot is Glenn Snelwar's recording debut, contributing both acoustic and electric guitar. Snelwar's sonic pallette ranges from nylon-string guitar to E-bow, and everything in between.

John Myung (Chapman Stick) - Appears as special guest on two tracks. As a member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater, Myung has become one of the highest profile bassists in music. The rhythmic patterns he creates on Chapman Stick for the Gordian Knot project are hypnotic.

nlike other "all-star" projects, Gordian Knot is primarily the vision of one composer - Sean Malone. Because each member had the flexibility to contribute his own parts, the music has a fully-integrated, group sound, with the personality of each musician fully realized; it is a seamless whole, rather than a loose collection of studio jams. Gordian Knot is a highly composed and organized collection of songs that blur the distinction between progressive rock and metal.

Opinion(s) on Band's Discography:  By Rob Devereux:

Sean Malone and Sean Reinert should be familiar names to anybody who listens to the technical side of progressive metal.

This CD grew from the ashes of "Ever", which was planned to continue the music of Cynic (this project involved the 2 Seans, Jason Gobel and John Wesley). This project fell appart, but the Seans continued and adapted much of the music to an instrumental format.

As the bio says, unlike other recent supergroups, this music is carefully composed so it never sounds like wankery or showing off. Everything fits into place. What is more amazing is within the compositional framework, each musician is able to show his own identity. Gunn and Jarombek have distinct styles that show through. I can't say with Slenwar, since I haven't heard anything else with him.

The music ranges from technical stuff similar to Cynic, to ambient pieces with anything in between (including a beautiful Bach piece). The music is very jazzy, and influences from Indian Classical do pop up at times.

Overall, this is project blends fusion, progressive rock, metal, and the already mentioned Bach and Indian Classical. It's one of the essential instrumental CDs for progressive metal.

Sean Malone is working on the followup, this time with Jason Gobel on board.

Present and Past Members:  Members: Sean Malone: Bass and Chapman Stick
Sean Reinert: Drums and Percussion

Others who played on the CD:
Trey Gunn: Touch Guitar
Glenn Slenwar: Guitar
Ron Jarzombek: Guitar
John Myung: Chapman Stick

Reference Bands:  Cynic, Aghora, Watchtower, Spastic Ink, King Crimson, Dream Theater
Links related to the Band:  Sean Malone: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~spm29386

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