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Gazpacho - Night CD (album) cover

NIGHT

Gazpacho

 

Crossover Prog

4.11 | 606 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Headlong
5 stars After Firebird in 2005 I really didn't know what to expect from Gazpacho's next offering. Firebird was my album of the year and I thought it would take a lot to better it.

Night is one long piece of music split into five segemnts. A concept album about a dream. Never mind all that, this is simply about the music. Gazpacho excell at soundscapes. Night is their best effort so far. It won't get played on the radio and it defies classification.

It starts with Dream of Stone. A hypnotic 17 minutes of music and emotive vocals. The drum and bass beat out the time (and impressively the drums were one take!) and over this you get the beautiful vocal performance, delicate piano and violin, and at times almost meanacing guitar parts. It has become quite aparent that Gazpacho have learnt from their previous albums and realised that they needed to bring the guitars to the fore. You will be pelased to hear haunting solos and crunching chords throughout this album. True prog fans will be expecting time changes and the like. You won't find them here! Instead you get a beat that will crop up again in later segments and hold this album together very well indeed. dream of stone moves effortlessly into Chequered Light Buildings (6:34) which starts with quiet piano and vocals. The absence of drum beat after 17 minutes makes this a stark change of pace. The drums return but a much less intense pace takes the song into a church organ sound. Guitar and violin join and seem almost at odds to the delicate piano and vocals but again it works very well indeed. The song builds up to harsh guitar and drums and the violin and organ weave a great soundscape once again with haunting chants in the background. At around 4:50 you feel you are reaching the song's big climax with the organ dominating the music and guitar solos reminecent of marillion before suddenly changing to lone piano and vocals and then lone guitar. This takes us into Upside Down (9:41) which brings back a quiet version of the hypnotic bass and drums which are swiftly joined by the piano, which then takes up the beat from the bass. Gentle vocals run through before the guitar takes the fore again. Stronger vocals punctuate the music and various other instruments can be heard throughout - further evidence of Gazpacho's desire to experiment in order to get the desired musical effect. More 'Rothery' style guitars are displayed in this song and it again shows that they learnt from Firebird. The hypnotic beat again holds the listener through the song and pounds relentlessly onwards. True prog fans may say this is not going to hold the interest but it does! Then at just over 7 minutes in the drums stop! They are replaced by a flute and synth backing. Then a violin joins them, and makes for yet more haunting music with an almost gallic feel. Church organ joins the violin to the end of this segment. Valerie's Friend (6:29) then takes over with accoustic guitar and gentle drums. Mandolin can also be heard. This song also features a nice melody hook and the closest thing to a chorus on the album! The guitars push the song into a darker territory and you wonder just what is Valeries best Friend (which she keeps in the drawer!) Again a great solo helps the song reach a loud climax before setteling down to some quiet accoustic guitar and then the beautiful Violin again but all with a distinctly meanacing backing. Massive Illusion (13:37) brings the album (and song) to an epic conclusion. the bass beat is back with Jan's delicate vocals leading us into the song. Various sounds are palyed over the bass and then at 2:45 the drums join and the vocals change to an almost chanting quality. Sharp and angular is a good description of this passage. The beat then changes before vocals take the song forward. Guitar then takes over and it is clear that this segment is the most traditional in the way of prog with constantly different segments. Around the 6 minute mark it becomes quite uplifting and guitar solos help the vocals drive the song onward. It continues to build as though towards the song's climax but as with previous segments you just don;t really know how it will end. The guitars take over fully, demonstrating a power that has often been lacking in previous albums. This gently fades away into a violin and piano which plays us to the end. An end which is still some four minutes away! The sheer beauty of this passsage cannot be denied and it really does represent an awakening from a dream. It's also nothing like anything you would hear on a Pink floyd, Genesis or Marillion album. This is unique to Gazpacho! The song finishes on the sounds of a busy road.

This album is without a doubt an essential peice of music. Gazpacho have surpassed their previous efforts and produced a concept album that will never get played on mainstream radio or get the attention it deserves. It is, however, the best album I have heard this year and quite probably the best album I have heard in the last Decade! Everyone who reads this review, I urge you to get Night and listen in a dark room with the volume up high. It is an experience to savour. You won't get another like this.

Headlong | 5/5 |

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