I’ve always delved my toes into the water of the record label of InsideOut Music that launched back 20 years ago by Thomas Waber. From bands/artists such as Beardfish, Bigelf, Haken, Knifeworld, The Gentle Storm, and Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon), the label itself always would come up with interesting surprises for me. When it comes to people such as guitarist Roine Stolt (Kaipa, Transatlantic, and The Flower Kings) and the heart and soul of Jon Anderson from Yes, it seems as if it is a perfect collaboration between the two of them.
The idea of them working together came about when Roine’s band Transatlantic and Jon Anderson were on the bill together on February 18th to the 22nd of 2014 at the Progressive Nation at Sea cruise as Roine wanted to have the combination between Tales from Topographic Oceans and Olias of Sunhillow with a modern twist. It was written and recorded in a 1½ year and then last year in March, Roine put together an ensemble.
It features Bassists Michael Stolt and Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings), Keyboardist Lalle Larsson (Karmakanic) and Tom Brislin, who performed with Yes for their Symphonic tour back in November of 2001. Felix Lehrmann on Drums, and background vocalists Nad Sylvan (Steve Hackett), Anja Obermayer, Daniel Glidenlow (Pain of Salvation), Maria Rerych, and Kristina Westas.
There are three-part suites and a two-part suite except one. It has nine tracks throughout the entire album. Listening to this album, it not just an homage to the sound of Yes, but more of a continuation in my opinion of Jon Anderson’s conceptual storyline after the events of Olias of Sunhillow meets Tales From Topographic Oceans and Close to the Edge. It feels in my heart as if they had wrote their own take of a Disney animated film released in the late ‘80s but told through in the style of an Animated Rock Opera film told through beautiful and touching arrangements.
For me, listening to Invention of Knowledge, it’s not just Roine doing another Yes album, but more of a sound and vision to explore another dimensional parallel universe of an adventure to beautiful landscapes, storytelling songs, and tales through the symphonic, atmospheric, and orchestral boundaries that will take you to a level that is higher and staggering.
There’s the melodic and fantasy side that I love about this album. And I wish I could name some of the highlights on here, but I just couldn’t. For me, the collaboration works because it shows how much appreciation these two have in each other. This is my third time listening to Invention of Knowledge. I was emotional from the moment I’ve listened to the whole thing in its entirety from beginning to end.
You can close your eyes and you can picture the album as if it was as I’ve mentioned an animated rock opera that Disney could have done in the late ‘80s at the height of the success of The Little Mermaid. And would have the master himself very proud of. Worth exploring and highly recommended if you love both The Flower Kings and Yes.