NEW MUSIC REVIEW: KNIFE THE GLITTER
No Lyrics Needed – An Album That Sings Instrumentally
March 12, 2018
Knife The Glitter, find their music, just press play. No need for skipping songs. This New Jersey based, Progressive Metal trio is incredibly fresh on the ears. The self titled album was released in December 2017. If you have not heard it, check it out, especially for fans of prog metal/prog rock. With a crisp metal vibe the tracks can be describe as jazz fusion on steroids. The 9-track album is great listening from beginning to end. Even if you are not a fan of prog metal you should give this album a listen. There is no waiting to see when it gets good. This album clearly pulls from many other artists and influences. All the pieces and inspirations come to together to make an interesting melting pot of rock, prog metal and jazz.
The self-titled record was 8 years in the making and marks the final chapter for the band, which features members of The Dillinger Escape Plan, John Frum and Intensus
After 8 years of chipping away at their final work, Knife the Glitter released their self-titled, one and only full length record via Party Smasher Inc and Husaria Records. This effectively closes the book for the band, after an unusual and winding 15 years.
Eli Litwin, drums (John Frum, Relapse Records; Intensus, Metal Blade Records), Kevin Antreassian, guitar (The Dillinger Escape Plan), and Ryan Newchok, bass, began developing their own brand of experimental and complex, grinding metalcore in December of 2002, in Rockaway, NJ.
The polarizing band name came about as a complete accident. During a brainstorming session, one member was reading aloud random passages from a book and the phrase “knife the glitter” came from a misread sentence. But it stuck out, and it was immediately decided that even if everyone in the band ended up hating the name, it would stay for good. By the Fall of 2003, the band was performing regularly in NJ, NY and PA.
2004 saw Knife the Glitter picking up steam, becoming an in-demand band for local hardcore and metal shows, and playing alongside nationally touring bands such as Between the Buried and Me, Ion Dissonance, From A Second Story Window, and Horse The Band, as well as local friends, The #12 Looks Like You, and Trophy Scars. That summer, the band went on their first extensive tour of the northeast, midwest and southern US, along with The Arnolfini Marriage. In January of 2005 they toured with Metal Blade Records artist, Psyopus.
As Knife the Glitter was recording what was to be their debut full length, just on the cusp of their next big step, with lots of buzz around the band, and a record label enthusiastically ready to release an album, inner turmoil boiled to the surface, and the band was left without a vocalist. All momentum from the past 2 years came to a grinding halt, and the band didn’t perform for an entire year.
Having finally found a new frontman, Knife the Glitter finished most of the recordings they had started over a year earlier, and self-released their Breakfast Time EP in the summer of 2006, just before a full national tour. Though they set off on the tour with high hopes, a long series of unfortunate events throughout the four weeks lead to the tour being unofficially named “Disastour.” Feeling down on their luck once again, the band took some time off.
Once regrouped, it was time for Knife the Glitter to start writing new music. The new songs took a different turn from the previous material. They were even more progressive, experimental, and technical, and incorporated unique, jazz-influenced grooves, in place of spastic blast beats. The metalcore breakdowns were gone, and a new, complex melodicism emerged. After countless hours spent writing music in the rehearsal room, and only a handful of shows played, Knife the Glitter’s 2nd vocalist left the band. But the core trio was not deterred.
The band continued on as an instrumental unit, feeling confident that their music could stand on its own, without vocals. By late 2008, Knife the Glitter had returned to playing more regional shows, and began receiving significant attention from the YouTube videos of Eli tracking their new demos. This lead to a 2009 summer tour with The Dillinger Escape Plan and The #12 Looks Like You, which saw the band playing to their biggest crowds yet. They began recording a full length album of all new material in late 2009.
At this point, life started slowing down Knife the Glitter’s progress. Eli had gone to college in Philadelphia, and was now living there full time, working as a private music teacher, and playing in a variety of other projects. Kevin had started his recording business at Backroom Studios, and was becoming a more in-demand engineer/producer.
Though the drums were recorded in one day, it took the band three years to finish tracking guitars and bass, due to their new commitments. The mixing process took even longer. Kevin started guitar teching for The Dillinger Escape Plan, and eventually joined the band on rhythm guitar; Eli went back to school, became a classroom music teacher, and started a family. But the drive to complete and release Knife the Glitter’s final recording never left them. Some things are worth waiting for.