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Gazpacho - Night CD (album) cover

NIGHT

Gazpacho

 

Crossover Prog

4.14 | 444 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

russellk
Prog Reviewer
5 stars An unexpected and delightful treat.

Few recent releases in any genre reach the heights of GAZPACHO'S 'Night'. Though labelled 'Neo-progressive', I feel the music offered here is art rock with strong ambient and space-rock sensibilities. Each segment of the overall concept drifts along with a solid backbeat, with carefully scripted variations and sparse but interesting fills. Likewise, the bass pulses a simple rhythm, only occasionally pushed forward in the mix. The real delight comes with the subtle keyboard and guitar fills which colour the music, giving it a strong ethereal feel, not unlike TALK TALK'S later work.

The comparisons with TALK TALK don't end there. Ohme's plaintive, emotive vocals recall Mark Hollis, as does the meticulous, rich engineering. Further, one gets the sense that, as with TALK TALK'S 'Spirit of Eden', not a single note or silence has been placed on this record without careful consideration and debate. Owls hoot, violins and cathedral organs segue from one track to the next, and distorted guitar notes cut off with no echo. The volume of the music is an important part of the mix, used in the first track to heighten tension, and in subsequent tracks to dampen a particular motif or to push it forward to prominence.

Perhaps this may render the music soulless to some ears. Certainly it's not music to drink lager by. But oh, there's certainly feeling there. Take a listen to the sample track provided by ProgArchives: if the vocals don't get you on side, particularly the motif at 3:30 (repeated throughout the song), if the guitar solo does nothing for you and if the music sounds too artificial for your tastes, then GAZPACHO is not for you. Though I'm a person brought up on DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH and LED ZEPPELIN, and this music is light-years removed from that, I find plenty in this record to draw me in; and, once drawn in, much to make me return. Every track is strong, with memorable vocal lines, and powerful sequences release the carefully gathered tension.

This is the best new record I've heard in a year. Just kick back and let the rhythm and soundscapes take you away in to the night.

russellk | 5/5 |

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