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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Guapo - Five Suns CD (album) cover





4.04 | 125 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars 3.75 stars really

It took the French band Present to convince me of the quality of RIO/Avante prog type bands, as I had not gotten much out of others like Univers Zero and Thinking Plague (though I can enjoy some of their material when I'm in the right mood). This album sounded interesting based on reviews here and elsewhere so I picked it up last year.

My first impression was that it was noisy and not very interesting. Irritating, would be the best description. After only one listen, I put it away until recently. I decided to pull it back out because I was thinking that perhaps I wasn't in the right mood and anyway, one listen is rarely enough with any prog to get a solid feel for an album.

I'm glad I did. While the album certainly can be noisy, there is power and passion in it as well. The various sections of 5 Suns flow together quite well, and while I'm not really sure what they are musically trying to represent (in terms of the title of the piece), I find that I quite enjoy the dark heaviness that characterizes this piece. There are some decidedly Zeul sections where a heavy, repetitive bass line is the anchor for keyboard and guitar atmospheres, but overall I think it would be incorrect to put this in the Zeul genre (as, of course, this site does not do, but some reviewers seem to suggest that they could be). In similar fashion to my reaction to Present, it is hard to pinpoint what it is I really like about such music, as it just seems like something that I wouldn't enjoy. But I guess it's safe to say that I need to explore more of the dark RIO/Avante genre because it obviously resonates with me in some way. I suppose this could be seen as a natural extension of 70's King Crimsons heavier live improvs (though I assume this is mostly composed stuff). In any case, this is quite enjoyable to me, though does require a certain mood for me to enjoy.

After a track of exactly one minute of silence (which I suppose is to give time to recover from the lengthy and powerful 5 Suns suite), the final two tracks give a somewhat less demanding, though no less dark, experience. Especially the final track seems to be bordering on jazzy territory while still retaining the dark power of the rest of the album.

All in all, a good listen for those who enjoy dark and powerful instrumental work, in the vein of Magma, Univers Zero, or Present (who are still my favorite band in this if you like them you should definetly give 5 Suns a listen). I debated with the rating, thinking this probably is somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars for me, but I think I'll go with 3.75 and round up to 4. Because I don't really think this is necessarily an "Excellent addition to any prog music collection", but certainly is an excellent addition for those who enjoy the RIO/Avante sub genre of progressive rock.

| 4/5 |


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