Link to Living Tradition Homepage





GNOSS - The Light Of The Moon 

GNOSS - The Light Of The Moon 
Blackfly Records BFLY04CD 

The second offering from the Scots/Orcadian quartet finds them in fine fettle again; their first album was one of my absolute favourites of recent years, so I have had to keep my expectations in check. No disappointments here, however; there are some small evolutions in the sound (the arrival of a non-acoustic element, electric tenor guitar, for one), and I detected a slight country influence in a couple of the new songs, but this is still very recognisably the Gnoss sound, with characteristic use of only moderately fast tempos and skilful, somewhat mellow arrangements.

It’s a similar mix to before (more instrumentals than songs), with tracks written by band members up from three-quarters to 100% of the selections. Aidan Moodie’s songwriting is coming on apace, and his often-wistful lyrics fit well with the timbre of his voice. There is a cleverly conceived variety in the tunes and their arrangements, albeit with only Good Crieff (great title, cracking tune) conforming to the truly barnstorming end of the spectrum. By contrast, the closing track, That’s Me – the only piece to reach the four-minute mark – is a slow-burning reel that defies expectations by not exploding into all-out attack. For me, this exemplifies the subtlety of the band’s approach.

I hope and expect that The Light Of The Moon will be played as frequently as the first album was in this household. Gnoss are very good indeed and it is an absolute pleasure to have them on the scene.

Paul Mansfield


This review appeared in Issue 139 of The Living Tradition magazine