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ANUBIS

Neo-Prog • Australia


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Anubis biography
Formed in 2004 in Sydney, Australia

The band began as a writing partnership between Robert James Moulding (vocals/guitar/bass) and David Eaton (Keyboards) with the specific aim to create a concept album. While the plan initially was to honour a dear, departed friend by writing the album in his honour, they have chosen to make this person a more anonymous inspiration as the work progressed. Anubis describe the final result as pure fiction, while the protagonist became anonymous to represent the fact he wasn't actually anyone at all. The final result of this process was finalized in 2009 as the album "230503", and was made available in digital and physical formats towards the end of autumn the same year.

With this first goal achieved it will be interesting to see where this outfit will go next. They have an outspoken vision along the lines of making music that excites them, disregarding whatever trends are popular and they don't have much of an interest in the commercial aspect of their craft either: Their aim, vision and goals are of an artistic nature only.

In 2011 ANUBIS have entered into a formal contract with Birds Robe Records (http://birdsrobe.bandcamp.com/) and launched their second album "A Tower Of Silence" in September 2011.

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Buy ANUBIS Music


230503230503
Import
JFK 2014
Audio CD$19.99
Second HandSecond Hand
Import
JFK 2017
Audio CD$19.79
A Tower of SilenceA Tower of Silence
Import
Imports 2012
Audio CD$19.97
$19.96 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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ANUBIS discography


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

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

4.08 | 169 ratings
230503
2009
4.13 | 434 ratings
A Tower Of Silence
2011
3.95 | 176 ratings
Hitchhiking To Byzantium
2014
3.91 | 118 ratings
The Second Hand
2017

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

4.58 | 12 ratings
Behind Our Eyes (Live, 2014)
2015

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

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

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

3.86 | 7 ratings
And I Wait For My World To End
2012
4.43 | 7 ratings
A King with no Crown
2014
4.33 | 6 ratings
Fool's Gold
2016

ANUBIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Second Hand by ANUBIS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 118 ratings

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The Second Hand
Anubis Neo-Prog

Review by theinvisibleman

5 stars James... James... open your eyes for me....

Surrounded by breathing machines and the sound of ominous TV and radio reports I'm sucked straight into the downfall of James Osbourne-Fox. A Rupert Murdoch figure, a 1%er.

This album is the true follow up to the bands still luminous second LP, but with the concept and message drawn into even starker focus and the material more varied. Take the opening single - 'Fools Gold' and tell me it couldn't have been very at home on Marillion's Clutching at Straws or Seasons End? A Tower of Silence had a brooding intense vibe all the way through - save the end of the last track, but this one emotionally zig zags between that same intensity (The Second Hand, The Making of Me, While Rome Burns, Pages of Stone) and the more uplifting musical sections that are steeped in reverie and reminiscence (Fools Gold, These Changing Seasons trilogy, Blackout). The highly engaging way the story is structured throughout the musical journey allows the listener to see the actions of the fallen protagonist through a more sympathetic viewpoint - that he was the product of a time and class system that damaged him and many like him. It's unashamedly cognitively dissonant; and all the better for humanising him.

Musically, the performances exceed those on Tower of Silence - the drumming and bass playing have more fire and unpredictability, with Pages of Stone a highlight in its 'Passing Bell' esque arrangement and development. Anubis excel at this 'everything including the kitchen sink' style of arrangement as it reaches frightening intensity throughout.

The band have been explicit in their promo about the exclusive use of vintage instruments in this album which is where the 'all too retro' criticism in some quarters may have come from. This does work very well for the album but may not be something that will work again and again for them, so it's best not to get stuck in 1975. However, to hear a real mellotron and grinding Hammond organ and guitars with tape delay effects is a joy that always excites an old prog guy like me. People do still make music 'like that'.

The vocals are the crown jewel on this album with Robert James Moulding soaring over the band in excellent voice. From a whisper to a roar, his range and register has expanded since Tower days and his voice and lyrics are the deserved centrepiece for what must surely be one of the best symphonic progressive rock records of 2017?

 Hitchhiking To Byzantium by ANUBIS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.95 | 176 ratings

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Hitchhiking To Byzantium
Anubis Neo-Prog

Review by AlexVigne

5 stars I have loved Anubis' second album 'A Tower of Silence' and was initially a little disappointed that Hitchhiking to Byzantium did not give me a follow up of that album, but a new one with a different feel. Gone was the oppressive haunted houses and ghostly apparations and were replaced by songs about real life. To be fair, it took me three years to find my way into this album when their very excellent new 'Second hand' appeared and still had the 'Tower' magic, I came back to try again. I'm glad I did as the beauty in this album is best appreciated as something to hear after the second hand. Highlights are the wonderful title track, the long song 'A Room with a View' and the closer Silent Wandering Ghosts, but with magic guitar solos throughout the album. The keyboards seem more understated on this record than its predecessor or its follow up. There isn't the concept to hang on so it rises or falls on the songwriting, and luckily Hitchhiking has good songs. Approach with open mind if you're a fan of old (or new) Anubis. Three years ago I'd give this album three stars. Today, I feel differently and four and a half feels good.
 The Second Hand by ANUBIS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 118 ratings

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The Second Hand
Anubis Neo-Prog

Review by AlexVigne

5 stars Anubis return in 2015 with 'the Second Hand' which feels like the classic 'A Tower of Silence' in its concept feel and sound. Like Stephen Wilson's 'Raven' album, this album looks lovingly over the shoulder at the classic era prog with a sympathetic sound to match. The use of real Mellotron and the keyboard sounds orchestrate the album, with highlights being the excellent single 'fools gold' and the epic 'pages of stone' which is powerful with an emotional and powerful climax. The harmony vocals are the best the band has recorded and the guitar solos are full of passion and always suit the song. New bassist Anthony Stewart makes his presence felt with some of the band's strongest rhythm section work to date. Will everybody love it? No. It'll divide people. But so does all good prog. Is it as good as 'A Tower'? Not quite. But with a beautiful artwork and a concept that strikes at the heart, it's a album that I'll come back to again and again. Four and a half strong stars from here. Welcome back Anubis.
 The Second Hand by ANUBIS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 118 ratings

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The Second Hand
Anubis Neo-Prog

Review by jpgarcia7787

2 stars Run-of-the-mill prog. Lackluster melodies and progressions, no unique changes or anything that catches you off- guard. It's only highlighted by entry-level odd time signatures, which is barely a highlight in lieu of other prog bands. The concept for the album is pretty dull and uninspiring; don't expect riveting, emotional content here.

The production and mixing is brutal. It sounds like the panning is too centered, and the vocals are boosted way too much, pushing the rest of the band back in the mix. This is 2017; the music industry has made larger strides. This is either too retro or just straight-up shoddy. This doesn't help, considering there is not much going on in the layering, arrangements and orchestrations. The overall sound is very thin and flat.

This was very painful to sit through. I'd only recommend this for people looking for something to supplement their time before the next big sound. At the time, I saw this album at No. 10 on the Top 2017, which happened to be an album I saw in the Progressive Rock listing on Bandcamp. I figured I would check it out. I regret my decision; wasted time.

It'd be nice to see this band improve, because you can tell they're trying for something unique. Just not quite there yet.

 The Second Hand by ANUBIS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 118 ratings

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The Second Hand
Anubis Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

5 stars Are they serving their first or second hand here, or what? ... oh, it doesn't matter. It's not the bands first sign of life of course. This new ANUBIS album runs into a 70 minutes lasting revelation, when it comes to (my) prog standards. Going back to the very beginning ... similiar to Aisles due to 'Club Hawaii' this Aussie sextet made Fool's Gold and The Making Of Me available beforehand. Those songs are addictive really, sorta well sought out appetizer, which won't let you turn away in the aftermath, never ever. What stays, nothing but eagerly waiting for the release date ... and finally obsessively hoping for some more jewels, hell, yeah!

They are returning back to a concept album format, dealing with the downfall of media mogul James Osbourne- Fox, left paralysed and imprisoned in his own body after a severe brain injury, this obviously spiked with references to current conflicts worldwide. The cinematic touch predominantly comes from several interspersed samples, often representing the transition from one song to the next. As for that 'The Second Hand' ultimately comes as an epic unity, moreover somewhat ageless, sounding like a modern blend of neo and art rock, however, due to the offensive use of mellotron, organ and piano, also rooting in the early prog years too.

This album shows the band on its emotive peak, definitely. There's no need, respectively no chance, to emphasize any particular excerpt or involved musician. The entire compositional attitude belongs to the finest attempts I could listen to this year. Featuring diversity and a bunch of catchy moments, alongside with the technical and instrumental implementation, a really stunning result. By the way, Douglas Skene has offered another regarded effort with the band Hemina last year. Perfect, perfect, almost perfect! Hardly ever it occurs that I'll hand over a masterpiece status to a new album appearing ... now here we go!

 The Second Hand by ANUBIS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.91 | 118 ratings

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The Second Hand
Anubis Neo-Prog

Review by RedKnot

5 stars Review from promotional copy:

After loving Anubis' second album - A Tower of Silence (still highly rated on PA after all these years) - a fairly heavy criticism of organised religion seemingly disguised as a ghost story; I had warmed to their slightly edgy lyrical and conceptual stance. 2014's Hitchhiking to Byzantium seemed to represent a different place, and whilst the songs were still very strong, it lacked the cohesiveness and the desire to hear it repeatedly as a complete piece seemed to elude me.

I caught the band in London a couple of years back, and with 'Silence' material dominating all else in their set, I felt they could maybe repeat the trick and turn out something else of comparable beauty and impact.

The Second Hand, largely, seems to have achieved this. Where a world has turned upside down, good guys aren't necessarily good, and nobody knows anything anymore, Anubis steams into the media establishment that gave us Brexit, Trump, ISIS and an endless cavalcade of bad news, anxiety and scalding, debillitating empathy.

By creating a Murdoch/Maxwell/Beaverbrook hybrid, the English public school educated, emotionally disconnected uber- tory James Osbourne-Fox, Anubis project their rage at the system that created the wealth inequity, the establishment and its self interest. It's like Marillion's FEAR in intent, but this one is really furious about it. He suffered some form of accident, or perhaps attempts suicide - 'a noose no longer evades' (we're not told, it's kept vague)

The lyrics are amongst the strongest the band ever had - with the plight of an incapacitated Osbourne-Fox dealt with from the point of regret and realization of the ultimate futility of wealth and power, the ultimate 'you can't take it with you when you go moment'.

Musically, the band have mined the 'classical' approach. It's a symphonic prog record in all but name. The band have claimed to have used vintage equipment, including Hammond organs and mellotrons, and it certainly has that texture all over it. But it doesn't feel like a prog pastiche either, it's literally burning over with ideas and different stylistic approaches that all seem to reach the same end goal. There's beautiful vocal harmony that almost has a west-coast feel, there's avante garde psychedelic moments, some strong stately anthemic passages, sound effects, and in the epic Pages of Stone, arguably their strongest recorded moment, where the ensemble playing is devastatingly effective and the climax rivals even 'The Holy Innocent' for emotional impact.

Is it as strong as A Tower of Silence? It certainly feels like it may be. Time will tell.

 A Tower Of Silence by ANUBIS album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.13 | 434 ratings

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A Tower Of Silence
Anubis Neo-Prog

Review by Trollheart

4 stars Anubis are one of the first Australian prog acts I've heard, but if this is what they're all like then I need to think seriously about going Antipodean! This, their second album, is truly a stunner, and again it's from the patented Trollheart "Might as well" stable. In other words, I was looking for something to listen to on my Zen and this was one of the only albums I hadn't already heard, as I am at heart quite lazy even if transferring music to Creative's cool little MP3 player is a thousand times faster, easier and more enjoyable than wrestling with Jobs' colossus.

But I was really glad I decided to give this a go, as it impressed me from the start and has not been off my virtual turntable for at least a week now. Every time I think I should move on and listen to something new my fingers just keep drifting to the "play" button and I say to myself "Ah sure one more listen can't hurt!" And it never does. Except that one more listen becomes two more listens, then three, and so on. It's like that with albums I really get into, I'm sure some of you are the same.

So who are Anubis? Well, if you were to ask me who was Anubis, or what, I'd tell you pompously that Anubis was the guardian of the dead in Egyptian mythology, stylised with the head of a dog and so often known as "The Dog of the Dead", or even "The Guard Dog of the Dead". Not really: I made that last one up. But the first one is true. Anubis the band? Well they were formed in 2004 and their first album was apparently written in tribute to and remembrance of a friend who has passed on, which may possibly explain the recurring motif of death, the afterlife, religion and the soul used here on songs like "This final resting place" and "And I wait for my world to end". I didn't think it was a concept album, but after reading some other reviews I see it is, and is based around the idea of a child who has been left to die in a Victorian mental asylum, and her quest for release and spiritual enlightenment as her ghost wanders the halls of that huge echoing dark edifice: a tower of silence, indeed! There are definite themes of loss, death, loneliness, hopelessness fear and an inability to understand why this has happened running through the album, with the opener, "The passing bell", setting the scene and an angelic chorus ending "All that is", two of the longest tracks, that bookend this fine album.

The vocals are just beautiful on this record. Unusually for any band, not just a prog one, just about everyone in the five-piece has a hand in singing, whether they sing lead, harmony or backing. Some members of Anubis are also multi-instrumentalists. The music varies between soft symphonic prog and harder what I would term "normal" prog, though most will probably term it neo-prog: I'm not too fond of that term. Always think of neo-Nazis and neocons! The guitar work is at times hard and heavy but a lot of it is very laidback and introspective, often both in the one track.

It's hard to pick out favourite tracks here, as just about everything is great. I honestly can't point to a bad song on the album, and every time I listen to it the whole just gets so much better than the sum of its parts: yeah, "A tower of silence" is one of those albums that's best appreciated when listened to in one sitting, as one piece of music or suite. Tolling bells become something of a recurring motif throughout, not surprisingly given the mostly death/afterlife inspired lyrics, and in this way, lyrically only not musically, I see parallels with both Arena's and Kamelot's last albums, though I found the latter's Silverthorn to be one of the saddest and bleakest albums I have ever heard. Anubis somehow manage to avoid the trap of being too down, too morose, which is quite a feat given the fact that they're talking here about a child dying alone and unloved.

But the music is uplifting and powerful, and if you choose to look beyond or ignore the lyrics, if you're the sort of person that can do that (I can't) then you have one incredible album of symphonic prog music that shows a band who are barely known even though they've been together almost ten years now, and who surely have a hell of a bright future ahead of them, if only someone will give them their big break.

I hear a lot of Arena here, especially in the faster sections of the songs, a definite Supertramp influence circa "Crime of the century", and even nineties Genesis at times, and yet Anubis are not just ripping off the old masters or the new pretenders: they have a sound all their own that really has to be heard to be appreciated and is hard to compare. Listen to the starkly beautiful piano passage in the twelfth minute of the seventeen-minute opener, or the close vocal harmonies on "This final resting place", or indeed the glockenspiel and harpsichord melody on the short but gorgeous "Weeping willow". Oh, and let's not forget the incandescent sax solo that leads out "The holy innocent", where the (uncredited) sax player gives John Helliwell of Supertramp a run for his money! You can't help but be impressed. The band are also somewhat unique in having not one, not two, but three guitar players, something that can happen in metal bands but seldom occurs in prog ones. It certainly adds a whole new layer of sound to the music, though it does make it hard for a poor reviewer like me to give credit where credit is due, as there's no way to know who exactly is playing that great solo or passage.

The Arena sound comes through quite strongly in the abovementioned "This final resting place", which in parts reminds me of their "Purgatory Road" off the Pepper's Ghost album, with some eerie sound effect closing it out that brings to mind instrumental prog metal combo Caves of Glass, or Marillion spinoff Edison's Children. If I had to pick a highlight (don't make me! Oh well if I must?) it would probably be between the ten-minute title track, with another beautifully stark piano line driving it and mournful backing vocals against a sumptuous synth and guitar melody, closer "All that is" or the wonderful "The holy innocent". There: told you not to make me choose! It's just impossible.

Just as impossible as it is to stop playing this album once you've heard it. Oh hell: one more spin can't hurt, can it?

 A Tower Of Silence by ANUBIS album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.13 | 434 ratings

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A Tower Of Silence
Anubis Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars Sydney, Australia neo-proggers ANUBIS were formed with only the intention to fulfil the desire to construct a tribute album for the memory of a lost friend killed in an untimely accident. The result of this grief channeled into creativity yielded their debut album "230503." The album was a success in the niche world of progressive rock but after making such a beautiful album just so rich with magnificent melodies and creative constructs just dripping with originality what do you do when the music is still oozing out of every pore of your body? Well, make an another album of course! And that's exactly what ANUBIS did. A TOWER OF SILENCE is their second album released in 2011 and as it turns out a very good move for this album is every bit as engaging and brilliant as the debut proving that this band was more than a mere one shot.

Apparently obsessed with death and the afterlife the theme of this album is about literal and symbolic limbo, about being trapped between dimensions in the spirit world and in the physical realm. This is a story of a girl who died in the 19th century and is summoned by a group of teens who perform a séance in one of the rooms of an abandoned workhouse where she lived. A mega-concept that truly tackles many a social woe such as social division, alienation and most importantly the mighty unknown. As with the debut album the story is just icing on the cake since the musical compositions are outstanding enough in their own right to keep the listener engaged for the 72:16 playing time developing long drawn out meandering melodies that manage to wrest all the corresponding emotional reactions from the listener.

Although this album could be accused being more of the same started on the debut, I have to say YAY! Such a good album it was that another of the same is just what the doctor ordered :) ANUBIS managed to steer the Genesis inspired neo-prog sound into fresh and fertile pastures incorporating everything from Pink Floyd like space rock to hard metallic rockers with crazy proggy time signatures. While generically being lumped into the neo-prog world this band takes the category and really stretches to the point where it is really hard to classify it as being in any particular subgenre by including a gazillion different sounds including sax solos, flutes and clarinets resulting in an eclectic mix that has a knack for throwing in everything but the kitchen sink and succeeds to smoothly mix and mingle opposing forces without anything feeling unnatural. Although I like the debut just a smidge better because I feel the ending on this one drags just a wee bit I cannot deny the overall awesomeness of this second creation and ranks so close that i'll just call it a tie.

 230503 by ANUBIS album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.08 | 169 ratings

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230503
Anubis Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars ANUBIS was founded in 2004 by Robert James Moulding (vocals / percussion / bass) and David Eaton (keyboards / vocals/ guitars) in Sidney, Australia and was intended to be a one album project dedicated to the memory of a friend who was killed the prior year. In fact the title 230503 refers to the dreadful date on which the tragedy occurred. The album is absolutely drenched in symbolism beginning with the very name of the band itself which refers to the famous jackal-headed god associated with mummification and afterlife in ancient Egypt. The album took three years to create and would not see a release until 2009. The result of all this carefully well-crafted effort is almost 70 minutes of music which is a beautiful masterpiece of both emotional and instrumental splendor.

Like most neo-prog albums this too is a concept album which while inspired by the loss of a friend, is more of a fictional tale that handles the concept of a man who falls from a boat in the open sea and ends up washing ashore with amnesia. He finds his way back to his city of origin and has to deal with finding out who he is. The story reminds me of good old fashioned Pink Floyd inspired paranoia as do some of the space rock effects in the extended instrumental workouts.

Although neo-prog is the template for song writing and story-telling, the music expands into many musical territories. This is neo-prog that one can totally ignore the story and still be floored by the sheer amount of ingenious twists and turns on a musical level alone. The parts that are associated with neo-prog such as the swirling synth lines is taken to an extreme here as there are so many complementary synth lines that build on layers upon layers to form this melodic behemoth. Equally compelling are the guitar parts that take a Porcupine Tree approach in chord progressions while adding some extremely beautiful guitar solos and fills when necessary, but so forceful and powerful that they nurture my headbanging side while assuaging my thirst for melody.

I simply find myself getting sucked into 230503 so deeply that I never once become bored throughout its entirety. The constant effort to keep the rhythmic pace diverse with the perfectly aligned spaced out slow parts with the hard rockin' ones really paces itself in tandem with the story that is laid out. The music is far more diverse than most neo-prog releases dare go. There are chimes and bells for percussion, there are swirling helices of synth sounds, upbeat swing rock, sizzling sax solos and of course the opening telephone that sets the stage for the narration to unfold which takes the listener full circle to the end which ends with the same. While the general consensus is that the second album "A Tower Of Silence" is their best album, I will have to go against the grain and go for the debut. For anyone who may consider neo-prog to dabble on the cheesiest AOR side of music and simply a form of "soft prog" then I highly advise you to check out ANUBIS who devastates any such cliché and delivers a brilliant blend of influences with a highly developed sense of creative expression.

 Hitchhiking To Byzantium by ANUBIS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.95 | 176 ratings

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Hitchhiking To Byzantium
Anubis Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Anubis shocked the progressive community with the acclaim generated by their previous album, the colourful 'A Tower of Silence". Owner of a dazzling cover and artwork as well as a series of riveting prog classics such as "Holly Innocent", "Archway of Tears" , "Passing Bell" , "All That Is" and "As I Wait for my World", one had to be very very optimistic for a follow-up to one of 2011's best albums . Well, the Aussies have decided to keep their talented crew intact, the only change is Robert James Moulding handling the bass guitar with rather pronounced results. With a bar set so high, there would be a natural tendency to compare and then judge accordingly. I generally prefer to stay away from such simple reasoning, as each work is inherently a separate entity, like going to see paintings by your fave Breughel or Monet, and being happy to imbibe yourself with the brush strokes.

Anubis have a style that is uncontroversial, a densely symphonic melange of symphonic keyboards , dual guitars that fill out the sound, a booming bass guitar that is up-front and center and a muscular drum kit that is unafraid to bash. But it's the vocal style of lead lung Moulding that really sets the band apart from its peers, a voice that has its own uniqueness, a hint of hysteria and a slight nasal twang that I find appealing but may grate on some more sensitive nerves.

Upon first glance, it pretty much par for the course, "Fadeout" humorously fading in as an intro, giving "A King With No Crown" its perfect platform and as such, is not far removed from the style espoused on "A Tower of Silence", a hard-edged, nervous and slightly psychotic vocal delivery, with crunchy guitars rambling nastily and the sudden synths pulverizing the airwaves, an aggressive opener that gets the blood flowing right from the start. Moulding howls wide and loud, very convincing but David Eaton's Moog solo is definitely a feature.

"Dead Trees" has a forlorn melancholia that searches out contrasts from serene to passionate, Moulding doing sweet stuff with his voice before exploding the next, he does remind me of Sylvan's Marco Gluhmann (one of the finer voices in prog) , a couple of sizzling guitar solos from both Douglas Skene and Dean Bennison , with Moulding holding down the bass duties. Typical Anubis tune, lush and delightful.

The nearly 10 minute title track wastes no time in presenting the guitar-led melody , a sleepy vocal emerges from deep in the valley, luxuriant washes of ballad-like contemplation, twinkling piano and one-two drumming, nothing complex or overtly aggressive. A dreamy voyage sprinkled with searing guitar themes, perhaps the calm before the proverbial storm, this is like a soothing balm in the pharmacy cabinet. Moulding mumbles like in a soporific cocoon, very convincing indeed.

Bang! Things get almost punky on the tempestuous "Blood is thicker Than Common Sense", a rocking piece that stutters, quakes, explodes and sizzles , Moulding doing a yeoman job with dueling vocals , introducing slight tonal variations to make the illusion complete. David Eaton shuttles a neat organ along, colliding with both guitar slashes in expert unison. Drummer Steve Eaton really shines brightly on the kit.

"Tightening of the Screws" is gentler and more pastoral in essence, yet still imbibed in a great deal of inner conflict , a passionately delivered vocal exalts within the profound symphonics, seared by a fiery guitar solo from Douglas, scorching the celestial skies as Dean scours the riffs below, tossing in some mandolin to boot. This is perhaps my favorite track here, a lovely ride.

The oddly titled "Partitionists" is slightly more nervous, lots of slashing guitars and snarly tone in the vocals, somehow this one does not connect with me. Maybe a need a few more spins but it's just pleasant. On the other hand, Douglas does a wicked axe solo, full of trembling exaltation.

The hulking presence of Pink Floyd stands over the otherwise luscious "Crimson Stained Romance", a clear tribute to the masters of space and time, celestial rolling harmonium waves surmounted by slippery guitar overlays, monotone drum and a sleepy voice that is bathing in psychedelia. The church organ comes bellowing into the congregation only to add some gloom and doom to the cosmic proceedings. Both fret board solos are awe- inspiring explorations as the mood gets more excited and angry.

Multiple radio channels get the proverbial second long chance before a piano and a drugged-up voice introduce the epic 16 minute monster and album highpoint "A Room with a View" (perhaps based on a romantic 1908 novel by EM Forster and a 1985 movie adaptation). Obviously lots of shifts, mood changes and changing scenarios but major kudos to drummer Steve Eaton for some amazing rhythmic mania throughout this sizzler. Moulding's voice is modulated higher, as if a cast member of some theatrical play, lots of harmony vocal help from all the other musicians. This is some of his best singing on the record, very demanding and highly expressive in the 'sweeter' moments. Bluesy guitar rips gracefully enhance the melody, painting a clearer musical picture, adding more crystalline soloing as the song progresses forward. Piano and rolling bass take briefly over, as the rustling flute suddenly shuttles this into almost Jethro Tull environments, the Sylvan singer reminder once again quite apparent. The finale gets all frizzled up with some spiraling guitar exercises, a section that will thrill all axe fans, as both Skene and Bennison unleash some magical licks.

"Silent Wandering Ghosts" terminates this fine album, in reverential melancholia, a sad vocal that has strong Steve Wilson-like despondence, roaming bass and insistent piano to keep things simple and in perspective. A truly great vocal line that may shift one's appreciation of Anubis' ultimate prog value, though Robert has a voice that is not unanimous in acceptance. The restraint shown by the shimmering guitar is to be commended, a sizzling fire that glows deep into the night, slowly fading into the mist.

In all fairness, Hitchhiking to Byzantium is an entirely worthy follow-up to admittedly a top- notch jewel of a neo-prog classic, so we will let bygones be bygones and suggest this to all of those who really loved "A Tower of Silence" and just enjoy the ride. It will probably take many more spins to really delve deeper into it inherent pleasures. I am somewhat surprised at the paucity of revues for this much-awaited release.

4 Free rides to Istanbul

Thanks to Windhawk for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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