Via PopMatters —

"Like countless other remarkable artists, art rock sextet Bent Knee formed out of the revered Berklee College of Music in Boston. Often channeling similar chamber music elements as the Dear Hunter and Emanuel and the Fear, they fuse classical and modern timbres to produce something truly powerful, experimental, and diverse. While their first two records certainly introduced all that makes Bent Knee special, "Say So" takes their creativity, fearlessness, and conceptuality to a whole new level. Dense with “dark[ness] and infused with themes focusing on the emergence of personal demons, unwanted situations[,] and the difficulty of conquering them”, it’s a brilliant effort.

"Say So" spoils its listener from the get-go, as opener “Black Tar Water” is a breathtakingly hypnotic, multilayered, and a triumphant slice of self-reflection and empowerment. Courtney Swain seizes her redemption with the overwhelming yet eloquent force of say, Tori Amos or Björk, while each new textural coating adds radiance and weight. It’s a masterpiece onto itself, yet it’s only the start of the magic, as “Leak Water”, though a bit more straightforward and compressed, is no less bold and varied. Later, “EVE” interweaves soft songwriting with furious orchestration, while the final track, “Good Girl”, is a bittersweet commentary on the subjugation of women. Of course, there’s also “Commercial”, an off-the-wall trip that induces the intricate insanity of Frank Zappa. Perhaps the greatest achievement of "Say So", however, is that while many of the most anticipated progressive rock albums of 2016 disappointed (The Astonishing, anyone?), it proved that sometimes it’s the lesser known releases that contain the most magnificent material."

Full article at http://www.popmatters.com/feature/the-best-progressive-rock-and-metal-of-2016/P0/