Anubis takes a side trip on their latest release which contains alternate versions of previously released songs with new musical arrangements and stripped down into the primarily acoustic realm. Different Stories is indeed a new perspective, with their mellow, acoustic driven versions of many of their fan favorited songs. This album is a more accessible album bridging their progressive roots into the mainstream, yet it is not a starting point or a compilation, especially for prog-rockers.
The Australian musicians latest album is still very recognizably Anubis, with rearrangements of seven tracks of their own material in a stripped-down form. Taken from their earlier four studio albums, the band re-recorded without the many electronic keyboards and electric guitars prevalent in the past. However, a minimal use of electric guitars and keyboards such as the organ are heard throughout the release, and distinctly on the brand-new track “Technicolor Afterlife.” This previously unreleased composition is a wonderful extra which had been omitted from their debut album “230503” and sitting in the archives until now.
Anubis maintains very good sound quality and balanced mixes, and here at Hi-Res Edition we can only hope to see hi-res stereo or surround versions in the future. The opening piece demonstrates from the start that the band did a fantastic job in creating stripped back versions of their well-known material. The Passing Bell, taken from their 2011 album “A Tower of Silence” still sounds incredible in part due to the strong vocals by Robert James Moulding, along with the sensational acoustic guitar parts by the two guitar players Dean Bennison and Douglas Skene. Compared to their original versions, fans may recognize tempo changes held down by the rhythm section consisting of bassist Anthony Stewart and drummer Steve Eaton.
The sextet goes along way on this album Different Stories to send listeners on a beautiful journey through their reimagined back catalogue. The elegantly performed songs are absolutely based on their original counterparts, blending different instrumentation providing a whole new charm to several songs fans have heard before. Progressive purists may miss the jamming solos, but I feel the acoustic guitars works perfectly. Although sometimes it is hard not to miss the outbreaks and power of the original tracks, but to a new listener seeking a softer sound, Anubis delivers a relaxed proggy sound.
Maybe Different Stories is first and foremost a release for their longtime fans, giving them a dreamy side of Anubis. I don’t think that is actually the case and I recommend this album to fans of progressive rock, since the band delivers an outstanding performance of some of their well know songs from their back catalogue with an entirely new feel.