Remember those cool instrumentals with which Rush used to sprinkle their albums? Imagine a whole album’s worth of those, if they were written by a composer with jazz training. Bassist/stick player Sean Malone has created just such an album with Gordian Knot. It’s an amazing amalgam of lush textures, jazzy melodies and rock power. A couple of metal-oriented guitar players guest star here, including Spastic Ink’s Ron Jarzombek, and Dream Theater bassist John Myung and King Crimson touch guitarist Trey Gunn add some licks as well. Malone’s old Cynic bandmate Sean Reinhert contributes the drums. The real star here is Malone, though, not for his admittedly remarkable bass and stick playing, but simply because he’s a strong composer, sort of a cross between Robert Fripp and Charles Mingus, and his excellent tunes will hold up. While there are some noisy parts, this is most definitely NOT a metal album, but rather an exceptionally well-composed, arranged and performed progressive rock/jazz fusion record with the emphasis on the melodies, rather than solos. Can’t wait for volume 2!