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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Anubis Spire

Old Lions (In the World of Snarling Sheep)

Review by G. W. Hill

This is the debut album by this band, and the title to this album is definitely among my favorite titles of all time. The album combines diverse influences, ranging from Pink Floyd to Hawkwind, Rush and even Genesis, with minimalistic chord patterns and covers much of them with tasty guitar soloing. The result is a fine album in the mode of other albums which draw their dynamics from instrumental meanderings more than from intricate chord structures. Most of the tracks on the album are instrumental, but when vocals do show up, they are quite strong and well arranged. The production on this one comes across a bit harsh on early listenings, but after repeated exposure, it seems to be simply a nice flavor.

Anubis Spire is Bill MacKechnie, Michael Leo Brothers, Tim Costley and Mick Loher. They are joined on this album by a backing vocalist and a bagpiper. The CD can be ordered from ANUBIS SPIRE C/O RANDOM BULLET RECORDS, P.O. Box 101, Greene NY 13778. Please send money order only ($12.50 domestic-$15.00 overseas) or for Credit Card from IUMA (http://www.iuma.com/IUMA/Bands/Anubis_Spire/), GIGMASTERS (http://www.gigmasters.com/cdstore.shtml) and WORLDWIDE-RADIO.COM (http://www.worldwide-radio.com/).

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
So Be It
This track, an instrumental set in a mode which calls to mind a more metallic Hawkwind, features some fine (almost shred) guitar, at times processed to resemble the sound of keyboards. The ending segment is based on a solid eastern flavor.
It Has Been A Long Time, Hasn`t It...
Backwards guitar gives way to another tasty eastern style guitar based structure. This one, (another instrumental) again is definitely Hawkwind influenced at times, and contains more of the shred based guitar work in places. However, the song is quite melodic and features some Pink Floyd sort of elements and some almost jazz oriented segments. The guitar sound here is quite nice. The song ends, as it began with backwards guitar tracks.
Into the Four Winds
A short instrumental number, Into the Four Winds is heavily in a Rush sort of mode. However, while the main structure here is in a more modern Rush format, the lead guitar seems to be more based in the Caress of Steel era.
Underneath The Roswell Sun
This is a quite pleasant song about the Roswell, New Mexico incident which supposedly involved the crash of an extraterrestrial vehicle. "Tell me what you really found that day, Underneath the Roswell sun". This piece is based on a nicely accessible progressive rock song structure. This is a very solid track which is quite catchy, and, appropriately enough, contains a guitar solo which almost sounds like a flying saucer.
More Weight
More Weight has elements of modern day King Crimson in the basic hard edged textures of the song, but also shows solid influences from some of the better of the heavy metal genre. This instrumental also contains some of those eastern stylings that appear elsewhere on the album.
Gone West
A pretty track, based primarily on a picked guitar line and a nicely intonated jazzy guitar solo, this is another instrumental.
Ransom (I`ll Take My Chances)
The Pink Floyd influences again appear here as do some more backward guitar snippets. This is a very strong track. In fact, it is my favorite piece on the album, and features some well-arranged and competent vocals.
Eternal Resonance (LIVE Excerpt)
An instrumental, this piece is based sort of in the ethnic Led Zeppelin type of mode, ala Black Mountain Side and contains some more of those nice eastern stylings.
Road To Damascus
This song is a bit reminiscent of Tomorrow`s My White Bicycle and contains a metallic psychedelic feel and some rather frantic guitar work (in places).
The Prisoner's Song
The intro here is vaguely Doorsish, but once the vocals come in, it calls to mind Pink Floyd more solidly than the Doors. This is a nicely spacey sort of track, with a solid progressive feel. This is another well executed track. "All my life your quick judgement, has been like rain falling down on me.
Amida Rising
A quite credible and rather intricate intro gives way to a solidly rocking and well arranged instrumental piece.
May This Be Forever
May This Be Forever is another strong rocking instrumental piece.
Anubis Rising
A bluesy intro leads into a solid rock guitar showcase featuring an intriguing arrangement.
Talisman of the Dreamer
Somewhat based in a tradition similar to old Genesis, this track features a more straightforward approach. The vocals here, as in all the other appearances, are quite striking and well done.
Old Lions (In the World of Snarling Sheep)
This is another instrumental somewhat based in a Pink Floyd sort of mode.
 
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