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Guapo - Elixirs CD (album) cover

ELIXIRS

Guapo

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.78 | 67 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. GUAPO put out about eight recordings including EPs and collaborations with other bands before releasing the monster "Five Suns" in 2004. I haven't heard any of those obscure earlier recordings but of the six studio albums that follow I would rate "Five Suns" and "Obscure Knowledge" with 5 stars, "History Of The Visitation" with 4 stars and "Black Oni" and "Elixirs" 3.5 stars. "Black Oni" unfortunately followed "Five Suns" so the expectations were too high and it is quite experimental and noisy at times. Still I kept changing my mind with my rating just like I did for "Elixirs" although I'd rate "Black Oni" over this one. The Two "Twisted Stems" songs on here disappoint me while the closer "King Lindorm" I would rate as one of their top three songs. So I'm a little conflicted but in the end went with 3.5 stars. By the way there's sampled mellotron on here apparently but it's hard to find.

"Jeweled Turtle" (see cover art) is a slow atmospheric piece that is interesting at times. We get guest violin making noise after 4 minutes. Guitar joins in around 6 1/2 minutes. It turns more experimental before 7 1/2 minutes. It's pretty much guitar and electric piano before 9 minutes before the drums and atmosphere return. The violin is back screeching away. A good opener.

"Arthur, Elsie And Frances" is my second favourite song on here after the closer. Drums and Fender Rhodes stand out early. It's more powerful before 2 minutes. It settles back as the Fender Rhodes becomes the focus then it kicks back in after 4 minutes. Nice. I like the angular guitar before 5 1/2 minutes then a calm arrives with picked guitar before kicking back in. Contrasts continue.

"Twister Stems: The Hellotrope" is a song that I just don't like. We get guest male vocals that kind of have this sing- songy style to them at times. I just can't get into it at all. "Twisted Stems: The Selenotrope" is better but not by much. Jarboe from SWANS adds her vocals here in this laid back tune. Some experimental sounds that remind me of chains rattling come and go. This is a repetitive one and a tough go for me.

"The Planks" is an energetic but short track that hits the ground running. "King Lindorm" is one of GUAPO's best tracks ever. It takes 4 minutes to get to the sound that I absolutely adore on here but then I just sit back and enjoy for the remaining 11 1/2 minutes. Fender Rhodes, drums and bass lead the way and I just can't get enough of this sound.

So yeah tough not giving this 4 stars especially considering that the epic "King Lindorm" is on here but that might change in time.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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