Prog royalty make something joyous, even if you might not ever fully understand it

When it was announced that Jon Anderson and Roine Stolt were to work together, there was a palpable sense of anticipation from all corners. After all, let’s not be shy about the fact that the pair know exactly to make so to construct a prog rock masterpiece – it’s what they’ve been doing all their lives.

And that anticipation reached a new level when the boss of the label that is releasing the record suggested that he’d finally got Anderson to release an album of “Yes music.”

Recorded over an eighteen-month spell which saw the ideas swapped across the internet, it was then left to Stolt to bring them to life in the studio. For this you could say he didn’t do a bad job. Joining him there was Tom Brislin (who played on the Yes Symphonic tour) and  Lalle Larsson on keys, Jonas Reingold & Michael Stolt on bass and Felix Lehrmann on drums. The sessions were also bolstered by appearances from Daniel Gildenlöw, Nad Sylvan, Anja Obermayer, Maria Rerych and Kristina Westas who all provided backing vocals.

If that alone gives the indication that “Invention Of Knowledge” might be a bit special, then really, it doesn’t do it justice, because arguably, it is greater than the sum of its parts.

The gorgeous strum of opener “Invention” which morphs very quickly into a full on choral section gives away the huge aims this project has, and the opening words on it “all the stars…..just so much space” seem to encapsulate the scope of it.

Split into distinct parts, “We Are Truth” which features an eastern flavour is very much the companion piece to the opener, as Anderson goes looking for answers in the heavens. The search for something seems to permeate the whole work, “Knowledge” and the longer – and real album highlight – “Knowing” appear to answer their own questions, before the piano led “Chase And Harmony” opens up a whole load more “let it last forever,” offers Anderson. “We begin to see the light of truth.”

The glorious keyboards which usher in “Everybody Heals” give that piece an almost palpable sense of ominousness, which contrasts superbly with the slow building and almost light an airy in places – certainly initially – “Better By Far”, with “Golden Light” adding to those foundations in the most wonderful way.

The record concludes with “Know….” Its very title implies that we will never really understand, and as a metaphor for the record, that is almost perfect.

Because the titles of the individual songs here – in as much as they are songs in the first place – are rendered almost superfluous by the one actual fact in  a record that will surely mean as many different thing to as many people who hear it – and its this. “Invention Of Knowledge” is less an album than it is an all out assault on the senses. One that may onlv ever truly reveal itself fully, beyond the suggestion that no one else can really sing like Jon Anderson, and Roine Stolt has brought them to life incredibly.

We kinda knew that before this record, but on “Knowledge” that may be the only absolute truth.

Rating 9/10

Previous article
Next article

More From Author


Popular Posts

Latest Gig Reviews

Latest Music Reviews


Band Of The Day