Gravitysays_i – Quantum Unknown

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Gravitysays_i – Quantum Unknown

Their first album in over five years, Gravitysays_i are perhaps a well-known outfit in the further reaches of the progressive scene, although prior to this the Greek band were entirely unknown to this reviewer, despite their having formed in 2003 and Quantum Unknown being their third full-length release. Listening to the album in its entirety only reminds me of why I took up writing music reviews in the first instance; so I could get to hear things as spectacularly good and as determinedly obscure as Quantum Unknown very definedly is. Within approximately 42 minutes Gravitysays_i take their listeners upon the type of life-altering aural excursion which, as is known today, many bands (beginning with Pink Floyd and up to around The Mars Volta and DFA 1979) have attempted to realise, although only very few have ever successfully completed. Gravitysays_i’s third album blends the more expansive side of ’70s prog with some full-on hard-rock and brings in one or two traditional Greek and other middle-eastern instruments at appropriate moments – a potent and richly-textured musical combination, and Quantum Unknown is an album that fully deserves the accolade symphonic.

The most interesting thing about Gravitysays_i and their music is that this is actually how prog-rock sounded, in its heyday of King Crimson, ELP, the synths of Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis. Add to that a powerhouse backing that is variously redolent of Deep Purple, BRMC and Explosions In The Sky and then the attachment of brass horns as well as harps and zithers, and the combined effect of this instrumentation is a very effective one indeed, such as with second track, the two part “Of Woe / Migratory Birds” where the sharp tones of the strings counter the bass-heavy synth parts with purposeful contrast. “Dowser” harks back to the cosmic experimentations of Vangelis and Tomita, and it says much for Gravitysays_i that they can achieve sound of this magnitude without appearing either forced or contrived. Right from the swirling, dissonant intro of  “More Than A Matter Of Instinct” up until the pulsating, keening fadeout of the last and title track, Quantum Unknown  is the best album of its kind that I can remember hearing in recent times, an epic exploration of musicality whose influence remains long after its final notes have sounded.

Inner Ear Records