From the hot 1st Tune "So Be It", the commercial "Underneath the Roswell Sun", the power of "More Weight"/ the floyd flavour of "Gone West", the live "Eternal Resonance" with bagpipes by piper Angus McDrone this album is 1st class. This CD contains 15 quality tracks and over an hour worth of great music.
If this wasn't meant to be a concept album, then it better become one. Superb writing by MacKechnie Excellent all round effort. Great Tracks are: "The whole CD". Stand out commercial track: "Underneath The Roswell Sun". My favourite track: "Talisman of the Dreamer" If you are thinking of buying a CD you must consider this excellent album.
As for shortcomings, even the most derivative stuff sticks in your head like a good commercial song should. "Underneath the Roswell Sun" has Bill MacKechnie doing his best Geddy Lee on lead vocals. As a Rush fan, at first I was kind of offended, then I shifted over to moderate dislike, and by now I think I kind of like it. "The Prisoner's Song," on the other hand, is just cumbersome listening. It's too drawn out for its own good. Anubis Spire has the songwriting skills of a progressive rock band, but the lyrics tend to fall down a bit. Fortunately, very few tracks are cluttered with them.
The soundscapes of Arabic percussion, double bass guitars, and bagpipes are where this record gets strong. Leaving aside "Roswell" pure instrumentals like "It Has Been A Long Time, Hasn't It…" and "More Weight" will make you wish you'd kept that long, rock-guy haircut so you could head bang again. The excerpt from a live version of "Eternal Resonance" is honestly danceable, although it's too short. Never fear, it's followed by "The Road to Damascus," with heavy duty guitar work that breaks it down faster than your average United States imposed peace accord. They do a little Jimi thing, making a guitar talk to you, on "May This be Forever." They scale the heavens in "Anubis Rising" with a guitar crescendo that builds throughout the piece. They've got what is takes to be progressive rockers, a desire to see what a guitar can do, and a willingness to try any instrument that contributes to the sound they want to make.
Curiously, Anubis Spire rated a mention in an article in Yahoo Internet life, where they joined the list of "mediocre music by bands with mediocre names." The writer of that article concluded that pop is as much about image as about music, and that while pop fans may not be musicologists, they can tell a satisfying pop experience from an unsatisfying one. As a non-musicologist, that's garbage. Music is about music, simple as that. With a few exceptions, Anubis Spire delivers the goods in terms of a satisfying music experience.
So what it the cover graphic on their album is blurry? You keep the cover; I'll keep the record."
Largely instrumental, with several vocal tracks that showcase strong songwriting skills, this CD takes the listener on a musical journey filled with great playing!
Lead guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Bill MacKechnie is definitely the star of this show! Although the remaining three members(which consist of Michael Leo Brothers on rhythm guitar and vocals, Tim Costley on bass and Mick Loher on drums) are very talented, it's MacKechnie's fantastic guitar work which dominates and captivates the listener from beginning to finish. His lead work could probably best be described as a cross between David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, with a little bit of Jimmy Page thrown in for good measure!
This is great progressive rock! Influences are very evident, within the fifteen tracks I can hear references to many classic progressive bands, such as the aforementioned Pink
Floyd(MacKechnie's vocals sound very similar at times to David Gilmour, especially on the tracks "Ransom( I'll Take My Chances)"and "Talisman Of The Dreamer") Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin (the short instrumental track, "Eternal Resonance" could easily fit on Led Zeppelin III) and the Hendrix inspired guitar licks on "Underneath The Roswell Sun".
Anubis Spire have created an album that will grow on you more and more with repeated listenings, each time discovering something new in the process! My only complaint about the album is the sometimes uneven production quality on a few tracks. Otherwise, this is a great debut album from a band I will be wanting to hear alot more from in the (hopefully near) future! If you are looking for something a bit different, yet still desire an album with great playing that rocks, I would definitely recommend this album! "
Rating: 8.5/10 ---Review by Keith Langerman Metal and Hard Rock Area Homepage
‘Underneath the Roswell Sun’ is a Very difficult song to extract from your head once it’s there. The vocals are of the type that could only exist in prog. They aren’t perfect (imagine someone trying to tell you a joke – someone on the verge of laughing, yet nary a chuckle escapes), but THANK GOD they aren’t the Broadway kind. (You know, voices that sound so alike you wonder why bother hiring more than 1 person of ea. sex.) Still, as I say, they are damn memorable tunes, and if you like listening to Steve Howe sing, you’ll marvel at these.
Then there are epics like ‘Talisman of the Dreamer’ which creates a musical mood beneath the words which swirls and chases its tail; like trying to chronicle the sea by labeling waves. You know it’s hopeless, you know you’ll never get it done, but something keeps pushing you on. A beautiful image.
These guys know how to play and fashion worlds in their 15 tracks. It’s a cd of 66 minutes, giving you enough time to really get into the story. Anubis Spire are in every store in the online world. Order one."
I threw in the CD, cranked up the volume and sat back in my chair. It took all of about 30 seconds and I was hooked. It had to be voodoo... musical heroin; I really don't know how to explain it. All I know is I liked it and was craving for more even before the first song was completed. The musical hooks and the musicianship right from the opening notes floored me.
...What makes it stand out is that it is very original, and is so different from what you are currently hearing on the radio...The raw talent involved in this CD is just staggering. Almost every track is a winner. "So be it" opens the CD and sets the tone for the musical adventure to begin...Listening to this music is a delight. It is refreshing to hear something so fresh and interesting on the horizon. This band does not follow trends but makes them, or should I say have never compromised their integrity.
OLD LIONS is a must have...If you are a fan of the strange, the bizarre, the obscure and the extremely talented then you need to own this CD. As an "old lion" myself I have to admit that I now feel like I should be throwing out my U2, Pearl Jam and Offspring CD's and getting into the "Anubis" groove..."
"Remember the final scene in the movie LORD OF THE FLIES? The one where the little kids had degenerated to a mindless tribal mob and were hunting down the last non-tribal kid? Remember where they chased the poor kid to the beach and came face to face with ADULTS? The scared look on the kids faces told it all. In their little made-up tribal society they were kings. But standing before the soldiers on that beach, they were exposed for what they really were-scared, confused kids following along like the lemmings they'd become. With that little scenario fresh in your mind, let me just say that the title of this CD might be the most appropriate title I've seen in ages. ANUBIS SPIRE is a band of veterans, OLD LIONS for sure. One listen and there can be no doubt. From the opening drum beat you can tell these guys take a back seat to no one. Most of the music is instrumental and shows a laudable tendency to avoid the ordinary. Where other guitarists would go for a safe modern distortion tone, their guitarist goes for one that sounds like something squeezed out of some ancient desert wind instrument. The drums change from monstro Zepp-style in-your-face to almost sounding like the drummer was recorded from a block away. Where you expect cymbal crashes there is only unsettling silence...Where other bands would go out of their way to impress us with their slick arrangements, ANUBIS SPIRE just keeps flying along in a musical equivalent of stream of consciousness poetry....
OLD LIONS(in the world of snarling sheep) is my favorite cut on a disk of nothing but great cuts. It flows along like a gathering sandstorm on the horizon, building and rising higher and higher in the sky, folding back upon itself until you're so entranced that you don't even notice that you've been swept up and carried along with it for miles.... SO BE IT, IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME, HASN'T IT..., and especially the clean toned GONE WEST are guitar workouts par excellence. Remarkable all the more for all the cliches they avoid.
ANUBIS SPIRE have managed to craft a brilliant piece of music while rebelling against --and most of the time-- ignoring completely, the tendency of a lot of independents to over produce, over refine and over rely on slick packaging and studio sheen to cover a lack of anything original in their music... I don't really think this band fits the progressive rock genre and to be quite frank, I can't really think of where they would fit. I would definitely not recommend them to anyone enamored by today's MTV fodder. ANUBIS SPIRE are true dinosaurs, but if you'll forgive another movie analogy, I'll qualify that statement by saying that just as modern scientists now know that dinosaurs were not the slow, plodding beasts they were once believed to be, the current view that scorns any band who plays more than three minute pop tunes might in the future, actually make the term dinosaur a badge of honor. So, remember that scene in the original JURASSIC PARK where the T-rex rips the roof off the restroom? Remember what happens next? ANUBIS SPIRE is that dinosaur and the guy on the throne is just about every other band you've read about this year. Get the picture? Get this CD!"