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KNIFEWORLD

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Knifeworld biography
KNIFEWORLD exists as a solo project of Kavus Torabi, a British musician and composer of Iranian descent. He's known for his work in the avant-garde rock field, primarily as a guitarist. Torabi was one of the founding members of 'The Monsoon Bassoon', plays with 'Guapo' since 2006 and subsequently joined the 'Cardiacs' as the second guitarist. As for that he appears as a very busy musician who demonstrates excellent song writing skills on top of it.

The KNIFEWORLD debut album 'Buried Alone - Tales Of Crushing Defeat' was released on the Believer's Roast label in August 2009, preceded by a download single one month earlier. Although supported by several fellows Torabi wrote all of the material on the album, sang the majority of lead vocals and played most of the instruments.

His music has always drawn on a wide variety of influences including progressive rock as well as indie/alternative, folk plus various forms of hard rock and heavy metal. All of this ingredients can be found on his new album which consequently guarantees diversity. KNIFEWORLD is recommended to fans of ambitious rock music.

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Bottled Out of EdenBottled Out of Eden
Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$6.60
$9.50 (used)
UnravellingUnravelling
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$6.46
$6.99 (used)
Buried Alone: Tales of Crushing DefeatBuried Alone: Tales of Crushing Defeat
Import
2009
Audio CD$24.99
$144.00 (used)
Home of the Newly DepartedHome of the Newly Departed
Import
Imports 2016
Vinyl$14.56
$20.01 (used)
Bottled Out of Eden by KnifeworldBottled Out of Eden by Knifeworld
Imports
Audio CD$36.27
Unravelling by KNIFEWORLDUnravelling by KNIFEWORLD
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Audio CD$38.97
UnravellingUnravelling
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BELLE ANTIQUE JPN 2014
Audio CD$32.79 (used)
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KNIFEWORLD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KNIFEWORLD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 26 ratings
Buried Alone - Tales Of Crushing Defeat
2009
3.61 | 69 ratings
The Unravelling
2014
3.65 | 59 ratings
Bottled Out Of Eden
2016

KNIFEWORLD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

KNIFEWORLD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

KNIFEWORLD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 5 ratings
Home Of The Newly Departed
2015

KNIFEWORLD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Pissed Up On Brake Fluid
2009
3.69 | 7 ratings
Dear Lord, No Deal
2011
3.65 | 6 ratings
Clairvoyant Fortnight
2012

KNIFEWORLD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Unravelling by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.61 | 69 ratings

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The Unravelling
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars At the first listening this highy adventurous album actually annoyed me in many ways, but I had an optimistic thought that it's simply one of those albums that need to be digested several times to "get" them. When I gave a praising five-star review for universal Totem Orchestra last week, I thought I may find more positive reception for this one too. And then I understood what's wrong with it. The music may be very clever indeed, but... it doesn't SOUND good to me.

This is the second album - of three this far - by the British act Knifeworld, whose leader Kavus Torabi has Iranian family background. He's written all the music and he sings and plays various instruments, mainly guitar. I think he's a terribly bad singer. Stuffy voice a bit similar to Steve Jolliffe's (on Tangerine Dream's Cyclone, 1978) but lacking the peculiar charm. The line-up features women with nice vocals, so it goes beyond my comprehension why Torabi chooses to sing most of the album's vocals himself. And sadly the sound in general is quite stuffy, unclear. The first reviewer put it perfectly: "In reality, much of this album is a pretentious mess. Melodies and instruments clash and play past each other."

There are many promising things. The arrangement varies nicely during the album (if the bad production hadn't blurred it all, that is), featuring seldom heard instruments such as bassoon, clarinet and violin. Saxes are used a lot. The main vocals on the opening track are by Melanie Woods and it's a pretty good composition, if rather restless. The edgy, eclectic coplexity and the use of male/female vocals remind me of the Finnish band DISCORDIA. But then it's steep downhill with the dominance of Torabi's vocals and the messy soundscape. I'm not saying there wasn't well thought precision in the sharp-twisting edginess, comparable to Frank Zappa or Gentle Giant. Maybe without those bad male vocals and with a more clear production this album would be a charming infant terrible.

In fact I appreciate the adventurous spirit, the sort of "we do what we will, like it or not" attitude. Though most of the tracks concentrate on the restless complexity with not much of an emotional aspect, there are also some more delicate moments. 'This Empty Room Was Once Alive' is very ripped-down sonically: a sparse soundscape with a toy piano amidst other minimastically played instruments, and vocals are shared by Torabi and Melanie Woods. Damn. So close to being a disarmingly personal eclectic prog album full of surprises. The fact remains that the lion's share sounds stuffy and messy. With some pity, I return this CD to the library and say adieu, probably we won't be seeing anymore.

 Bottled Out Of Eden by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.65 | 59 ratings

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Bottled Out Of Eden
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. A definite step down from the previous album "The Unravelling" in my opinion. On the Wayside Music site they say this about the two most recent studio albums from KNIFEWORLD. "Uplifting, euphoric and spacious where it's predecessor was claustrophobic and gloomy". I'll take gloomy every time over energetic and bouncey which is how I'd describe "Bottled Out Of Eden". There is more of a CARDIACS vibe on this album as well. Love that album title by the way but the lyrics sure don't do a lot for me. Lots of horns on this one when compared to "The Unravelling" and one reviewer even mentioned Ska. Another site described this as "Complex and elaborate Pop blending lush arrangements with radical song structures, for fans of GENESIS and XTC." I'm starting to think that Melanie the female vocalist should have more of the spotlight, I just like her singing more. Oh and the bass absolutely kills on this album, it's my favourite aspect of it.

"High/ Aflame" is a song that I feel shouldn't be the lead off track. The first 2 plus minutes do little for me mainly because of the singing but when it changes and becomes more uptempo with horns, drums and more I'm impressed. This song just feels like it starts the album off on the wrong foot. I do like the energy after 4 minutes though. "The Germ Inside" opens with piano melodies before they all kick in. This is uptempo as the male vocals join in. Again lots of energy and fun only I prefer this one more to the opening track. Check out the upfront bass. "I Am Lost" has my attention early on with the drums, horns and bass. Female vocals arrive as the bass and drums support. I like this. The horns are back but check out the bass! Male and female vocals after 1 1/2 minutes as the bass continues to be upfront. A calm with piano and more a minute later. It picks back up around 4 1/2 minutes and there's that incredible bass again.

"The Deathless" opens with drums only as male vocal melodies and guitar join in. Male vocals follow. It's more powerful before 4 minutes and I'm reminded of CARDIACS here. The horns honk and the bass is prominent. Vocal melodies and honking horns end it. "Foul Temple" is more like a Folk song with strummed guitar and the laid back male vocals standing out. The horns seem to breathe in and out after 1 1/2 minutes. "Vision Of The Bent Path" is just over 30 seconds of melancholic horns. "I Must Set Fire To Your Portrait" again features some really upfront bass. This is a bouncy tune with guitar out front early on then the horns kick in. Male vocals around 2 1/2 minutes.

"Lowered Into Necromancy" opens with intricate guitar melodies as the bass and drums help out. Male vocals join in. A hazy calm 1 1/2 minutes in as the vocals become almost spoken then it kicks back in. Contrasts continue. "A Dream About A Dream" is one of my favourites. Piano and male vocals remind me so much of CARDIACS. Just a beautiful song. "Secret Words" opens with acoustic guitar and some atmosphere as reserved male vocals join in. Female vocals help out as well. "Feel The Sorcery" is a bright and energetic feel good tune with female and male vocals trading off.

If your a big CARDIACS fan I think you'll love this album. There's just not enough enjoyment for me to click 4 stars.

 Bottled Out Of Eden by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.65 | 59 ratings

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Bottled Out Of Eden
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

3 stars Kavus Torabi has learned a lot through his work with SPIDER STACEY (The POGUES), Tim SMITH (The CARDIACS) and DAEVID ALLEN (GONG) as well as British Zeuhl band, GUAPO, but the effect of these widely diverse musical styles may have caused a kind of mistaken or lost identity--a kind of chamelonic "Zelig" effect (to steal Woody Allen's idea). In each of the songs and even the layers of sounds and stylings used in the songs on Bottled Out of Eden seems so disparate and splintered as to cause an internal tension to me, the listener--it's as if I'm being torn apart by the different directions in which the drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, horns, folk instruments, multiple vocals, and tempos are each trying to take me.

Five star songs: the XTC-like 3. "I Am Lost" (7:14) (9/10) and the slower, piano-based micro-drama, 9. "A Dream About a Dream" (5:43) (9/10).

Four star songs: the simple and pretty, 5. "Foul Temple" (2:38) (8.5/10); 1. "High-Aflame" (6:29 (8.5/10); the simple and straightforward, 10. "Secret Words" (3:12) (8/10); the most integrated multi-layered song on the album (which ends up, ultimately, disappointing), 11. "Feel the Sorcery" (3:50) (8/10); 2. "The Germ Inside" (4:48) (7.5/10), and; the jazzy King Crimson-like and mostly instrumental, 7. "I Must Set Fire to Your Portrait" (5:37) (7/10).

Three star songs: the boring, drab, 4. "The Deathless" (5:26) (6.5/10) and the torturous, atonal hodgepodge that is 8. "Lowered into Necromancy" (4:04) (6/10).

If everything Kavus writes sounds like him, then this is one dude that I would not be able to hang around with very very long--his multi-directional freneticism is beyond my capacity or interest to tolerate. P.S. If Knifeworld has been admitted to PA, where is the daddy of these post-punk pop-oriented Brits, Andy Partridge/ XTC?

 Bottled Out Of Eden by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.65 | 59 ratings

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Bottled Out Of Eden
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by Nogbad_The_Bad
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

5 stars Knifeworld now release their third full length album that continues their development from 2014's Unravelling. They have now established themselves at the forefront of modern progressive music. Whereas The Unravelling was a band execution of Kavus Torabi's ideas this is much more of a band effort. It still playfully bounces between wonky pop, avant-garde and krautrockish psychedelia. The major instrumentation is Kavus' guitar but he leaves plenty of space for keyboards and bassoon to be major contributors. Kavus has most of the vocal duties though Melanie Woods vocals are probably a significant benefit to the overall impact. A strong candidate for album of the year. Expertly mastered by Bob Drake in the Pyrenees.
 Bottled Out Of Eden by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.65 | 59 ratings

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Bottled Out Of Eden
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by Julianofprog

5 stars Bottled Out Of Eden is perhaps Knifeworld's most accessible record, but ultimately the most satisfying too. With lashings of Gong-infused space rock (High/Aflame) and Canterbury Scene bands such as Hatfield & the North, Knifeworld manage to bring these diverse influences into 2016, and hopefully reach the next generation of prog audiences. Personal favourites include Foul Temple (according to frontman Kavus Torabi about a hopeful vision of a society where the evil people are defeated and the 'good guys' build a new world out of the remains), The Deathless and Feel the Sorcery (perhaps the album's single?). Highly recommended to anyone seeking the lighter side of prog, but with plenty of thinking required too. I had it playing in my room non-stop for a week.
 The Unravelling by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.61 | 69 ratings

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The Unravelling
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars The Unravelling is my first encounter with "Knifeworld's" music and one of the last record's from 2014 I am going to review before I will sum the year for myself. I had read some reviews and seen some opinions stating this was the best album of the year and in relation to a quite small interest here I though it was interesting to investigate it. Knifeworld is a British band which made their first studio record 2009 and now 2014 they did their second one: "The Unravelling". I wouldn't say the cover is spectacular but it is different, especially in this genre but I like its purity and strong colours.

The list of musicians is quite long and that is probably one of the reasons this music is so interesting. The band is developped around Kavus Torabi, the guitarist and vocalist and he plays with the vocalist/percussionist Melanie Woods, the keyboardist Emmett Elvin, the bassist Charlie Cawood, the drummer Ben Woollacutt, the bassoonist, saxophonist and vocalist Chlöe Herington and the saxophonists Josh Perl and Nicki Maher. I must say it's so wonderful to hear bassoon and saxophone in prog rock and that's really making the music as good as it is. I haven't had so many experiences with bassoon, one of them is Stravinskij's "Rite of spring", but I can say that only that music in rock is a reason to listen to this album.

Knifeworld's music is well played, interesting, fine vocals from different persons, nice sweaping melodies and I got memories from Gentle Giant's, Gryphon's and Beardfish's music now during my listenings. I found the music fresh and unlike the most music I had heard, but always vibrant and colourful. The whole album is great but is has some highlights I would recommend as the first to hear: "Send him seaworthy" which has an uncompromising melody and a lovely bassoon play(9/10), "Destroy the world we love"(8/10) which has some Beardfish'-like parts, "I can teach you how to lose a fight"(8/10) which is a sum of the album, "Don't land on me" a long and inspiring song(8/10) and "The skulls we burried have regrown their eyes"(8/10) which is a little scary but interesting horror song. The whole album is great but the shortest song is the least interesting.

As a totally new encounter I was very pleased to like this as much as I did and Knifeworld is definitely a group I will follow and relisten to. I will rate this record with four stars(3.75)!

 The Unravelling by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.61 | 69 ratings

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The Unravelling
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I was just thinking the other day about how much my tastes have changed since my early twenties. These days it's albums like "The Unravelling" that do more for me than 99% of the current Metal albums out there. This is challenging and innovative yet full of hooks and very melodic. Of course Kavus the leader of KNIFEWORLD played in CARDIACS for years so I did think of that band as well as Zappa and early ROXY MUSIC. And I really like how they use the horns on this recording.

"I Can Teach You How To Lose A Fight" is my favourite track on here. Percussion, atmosphere and female vocals create such a good feeling for me. It kicks in around a minute without vocals but we do get some vocal melodies. Male vocals arrive after 2 minutes including backing vocals. So good! Love the horns too. The clapping 3 1/2 minutes in works as he almost speaks the lyrics, it then kicks back in. "Why did you chose those thief in your heart" is repeated a lot. Next up is "The Orphanage" a ROXY MUSIC styled track that is short but energetic, melodic and catchy. A nice laid back section around a minute in with female vocals then back to the main theme. "Send Him Seaworthy" has a beat as a bass horn or bassoon joins in. It stops as these very English vocals arrive. A relaxed tune with horns and more. There's even some organ around 3 1/2 minutes. I like the instrumental section 4 minutes in with honking horns and a relaxed soundscape.

"Don't Land On Me" is different. It reminds me of CARDIACS early on with the energy. A calm with piano, a beat and releaxed vocals take over after a minute. Love this stuff. How many vocalists are there? The tempo continues to shift. A calm with female vocals 4 1/2 minutes in then a minute later it turns surprisingly heavy. Man I didn't like this the first time I heard it and i'm still not that into it. Themes are repeated. "The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes" sounds amazing with that atmosphere, vocals and keyboards. The vocals remind me of Tillison here. "Destroy The world We Love" is my second favourite tune on here. A feel good start with this guitar/drum intro as other instruments join in then vocals as the contrasts continue. Love the calm halfway through that continues to the end. It's quite dreamy. "This Empty Room Once Was Alive" is a haunting track with reserved vocals reminding me of Steven Wilson somewhat. Intricate guitar and piano help out. It's experimental late. "I'm Hiding Behind My Eyes" is the over 9 minute closer. Picked guitar and spacey vocals to start. Piano before 2 minutes as horns and bassoon join in. It picks up before 3 minutes but the laid back sound will dominate. A cool sounding tune.

Without question one of the better releases i've heard this year, now I have to get their debut which some say is even better.

 The Unravelling by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.61 | 69 ratings

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The Unravelling
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by thedunno

5 stars Knifeworld is the band resulting from a solo project of Cardiacs guitarist Kavus Torabi. Tim Smith always described Cardiacs music as "psychedelic pop'. The same description you could give Knifeworld, yet they do not sounds like Cardiacs at all. In fact they do not sound like any other band currently in my collection.

Surely you can hear a lot of influences. I can hear a bit of Syd Barret, a bit of XTC, a bit of Gentle Giant and, what the hell, even a bit of Cardiacs. The unravelling sounds pretty diverse yet very coherent at the same time.

One of the strongest assets of this band is the wonderrful horn section. The bassoon intro on 'Send him seaworthy' gives me goosebumps everytime. More prog bands need horns and above all bassoon!

This is not a typical 'prog' album and it was never meant to be. Still I think many prog fans would enjoy this. It is colourful, layered and complex psycedelic pop. Kavus has a background in RIO/Avant prog but let this not deter you; The Unravelling is remarkable accesible but with an adventurous nature.

4 1/2 stars but happily rounded off to 5

 The Unravelling by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.61 | 69 ratings

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The Unravelling
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by Nogbad_The_Bad
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

5 stars It's only halfway through the year so far but this may well end up as my album of the year for 2014.

Knifeworld have been around for around 5 years but this is really the first full formed album with a eight piece band bringing Kavus Torabi's (Cardiacs, Guapo, Gong) ideas to life. This is the sort of clever complex psychedelic pop that XTC and Mike Kenneally have specialized in. Beautifully mastered by Bob Drake it can initially sound a little quiet but that's because it sacrifices the current noise wars for full defined sound. You can turn this all the way up and everything is really clear.

While Kavus' guitar is very prominent in everything it's really the bassoon and vocals that give this album a depth of sound that is pretty unique. There's song craft, complexity, riffs and hooks a plenty.

The only complaint could be that it's a bit short in comparison to a lot of modern prog releases but the music is so captivating that you feel exhausted when it ends. This is a masterpiece.

 The Unravelling by KNIFEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.61 | 69 ratings

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The Unravelling
Knifeworld Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I've seen so much hype about this new Knifeworld album that I seriously wanted to slap an even lower rating on it. But I'm not like that. Knifeworld's latest, "The Unravelling", has arrived from Inside Out, and people are eating it up. There's something about the quirk in this band's sound that has convinced people to bow before them. Yet, I refuse.

Knifeworld. KNIFEWORLD. What kind of name is that, anyways? This band seems overly concerned with appearing special or different. They seem to put tons of effort into looking the "prog part", if you will. On paper, then, this new album seems like it should be a spectacular display of eclecticism and brilliance. With male and female singers (including the venerable Kavus Torabi) and with many different instruments making regular appearances, such as an entire brass section and violin, this album seems like it will be special. Like I said, though, I think that's how the band wants it to look on paper. The band, however, is certainly skilled at playing their instruments, and the album is technically proficient.

In reality, much of this album is a pretentious mess. Melodies and instruments clash and play past each other. Spaces in the music are like gaping holes in a bucket, letting all the content just escape. The band seems to think that composing music is simply cutting and paste grooves and melodies from classic bands. Indeed, there are entire foundations of songs on this album that seem like they were ripped directly from a Gentle Giant album. It's one thing to include a tool used by an older band, it's entirely different to change very little and expect the listener not to notice. I speak specifically of "The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes", as the brassy, bassy groove sounds ripped from "The Power and the Glory". That isn't the only one either. Not by a mile. Other bands ripped off include Yes and even The Steve Miller Band. Generally speaking, then, this album is nothing but old material arranged slightly differently, and with absolutely no shame at all.

The entire persona of the band screams prog-wannabe, though. From the pretentious song titles to the lazy attempts to sound and look unique to even the freakin' band name, the band comes off as trying to be "prog" as hard as they can, but there's just no real content or real inspiration involved at all. It's sad, though, as many of the songs have very short moments that sound original, but the band abandons them as quickly as they came. Overall, then, I'm completely unimpressed, and I was glancing at the clock before the album was even halfway done.

2.5 stars

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition.

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