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Gnidrolog (UK) - 2000 - "Gnosis"
(75 min, "Snails Records")


****+

1.  Reach for Tomorrow 5:14 (C.Goldring)
2.  Reverend Katz 6:02 (instrumental, =)
3.  Fall to Ground 4:52 (S.Goldring)
4.  Woolonga 4:22 (instrumental, =)
5.  Wonder Wonder 4:41 (C.Goldring)
6.  Deventer 4:51 (instrumental, =)
7.  Bells of Prozac 6:27 (instrumental, S.Goldring)
8.  Kings of Rock 6:50 (C.Goldring)
9.  Gnosis 6:46 (instrumental, S.Goldring)
10. Crazy Crazy 4:30 (C.Goldring)
11. Going to France 4:42 (=)
12. The City Sleeps 4:42 (=)
13. Two Helens 3:28 (instrumental, S.Goldring)
14. Repent Harlequin 6:30 (instrumental, =)

All lyrics by C.Goldring.
Engineered and produced by N.Pegrum.
Recorded mainly at "Select Sound" studios, Cairns, Australia.

Line-up:

Stewart Goldring - lead guitars & backing vocals
Colin Goldring   - lead vocals & rhythm guitars
Nigel Pegrum     - drums/percussion
Rick Kemp        - bass
Nessa Glen       - keyboards (only in the studio)

This is my first encounter with Gnidrolog, though, as I've heard many times, this band has released two very serious progressive rock albums in the beginning of the 70's. Also, I know some people consider both these early Gnidrolog works very underrated. Hopefully, I'll have a chance to listen to what twin brothers Stewart and Colin Goldring (Nigel Pegrum is also from the original Gnidrolog line-up) were doing when they were just about 20. Now their new album is in my hands, - it was released this year under the title of "Gnosis". It is quite a right title for all those who, like myself, are on an 'agnostic front' with respect to Gnidrolog's creation, but anyhow, sometimes I'd like to call it "30 Years Later". I am really very glad when our 'Old Guards' are back home...

As you see (please just pay attention to the album tracklist), this work consists of an absolutely equal numbers of pure instrumentals and vocal based instrumentals (that, fortunately, once were named much more shortly - songs). IMHO, any instrumental track sounds more progressive than any song from this album, and actually all of the "Gnosis" songs I'd call just "Progressive (sometimes, maybe, Proto-Progressive) blockbusters at their best". Listening to "Gnosis", first of all I was deeply impressed by an outstanding professionalism from the direction of each musician of Gnidrolog, so it is quite clear that the years the musicians spent outside the scene weren't wasted, and they're still in good form (I'd even say, they're in excellent form). Also, unlike many contemporary progressive rock artists, heroes of these lines are still playing live. In my conception, real musicians must be exactly like these.

In this case I have no choice but to enumerate songs of "Gnosis". To begin with Reach for Tomorrow and Fall to Ground, through Wonder Wonder, Kings of Rock and Crazy Crazy, and to conclude with Going to France and The City Sleeps - all these tracks are nothing else but real blockbusters of our genre. They have all the necessary 'ingredients' to be the most popular/famous progressive rock songs this year, at least. Their bright distinctive melodies, raised to the power of really rockish, 'killing' energetic potential (also, please add here an exceptional stylistical originality) should bring "Gnosis" a Gold status, at least, but I am afraid even currently, in this time of the revival (renaissance, in some way!) of solid interest in the progressive rock genre (in comparison with those 'dark ages' that lasted almost two decades - from the end of the 70's to the middle of the 90's!) the majority of people, the absolute majority of which ARE music lovers in some ways, will choose some pop or rap computer (dead!) music, anyway.

The only acoustic instrumental piece on "Gnosis", Two Helens was performed with classical guitar only, and Stewart Goldring's complex and virtuostic playing reminds me of those good traditions - to use that excellent kind of progressive musicianship in the first half of the same good'n'old (old'n'gold - all rights reserved, VM) 70's. All the rest of the instrumental pieces are 'registered' by the seal of unique combination - each of them simultaneously contains a few wonderful melodies, performed with a truly 'bombastic' sound, full of unexpected changes of tempos, virtuostic solos and interplays between all the soloing musicians, including both individuals of the rhythm-sections (did you notice - I didn't say "individualists", though I could do it - why not? But, is it all right to be an individualist in such an undoubtedly 'dualistic' thing as the rhythm-section is?).

"Gnosis" contains not very complex progressive music on the whole, but its creators' main trumps are really very impressive. I haven't heard such a masterly performance for quite a long time already - Gnidrolog musicians are very familiar with true proGfessionalism. And, although I haven't listened to their early works, I consider "Gnosis" the album of exceptional originality, so it is actually obvious, its creators have had their own original handwriting (please use this word with respect to Music!) always. There was a long period in my life when I considered complexity the main 'ingredient' of any real progressive work, but for quite some time now most of all I value the latter for not complexity itself, but for the complex of progressive ingredients, the majority of which are present in "Gnosis" without doubts. Yet those of you who assume "Gnosis" was rated by me as a 'very good' album but not as a masterpiece because of the lack of complexity (as I see it, of course: please just read The Rating Room article here), are quite right in your suppositions.

VM. July 30, 2000


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