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The Gourishankar - Close Grip CD (album) cover


The Gourishankar


Eclectic Prog

3.75 | 80 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'm a bit surprised not more reviewers checked out this second (actually first) issue of The Gourishankar. 2nd Hands has 59 ratings right now and this second release only 14. I would say: if the "debut" is so well received by the public go for the other one as well. It was at least what I thought after I had digested 2nd Hands completely.

Because it turned out to be another doubt case for 3 or 4 stars I will do the song by song review once again.

Gripped by Fear is a short opening instrumental with some weird key sounds hardly producing anything melodic but at least it's original. 2,5*.

Insomnia is the first real song and first impression compared to 2nd Hands is that this sounds rockier than previous album. Second thing I notice is the similarity between Vlad's voice and the one of the latter-day Geddy Lee. A thing I didn't notice with the earlier album. What has remained the same is the original sound of the band. Even though they display several music styles within their songs they still have their recognizable sound. Most obvious influence in this track is Rush (besides the already mentioned vocals). 4* for this.

Sweet Earth starts much more quiet in the opening minutes but gets varied along the way. A song of moodswings you might say, another original and unpredictable composition even though this was even more the case on 2nd Hands where you ran from one strange experience into the other. It proves why the band is in the eclectic category. 3,75*.

In the Hope is the second short song on this album and again it's just instrumental with same out of the ordinary keyboardplay. 2,75*.

Wind of Night is a track with piano-like sounding keys, later on accompanied by nice guitar turning jazzy all over sudden then back to mainstream prog. Yes, indeed The Gourishankar is about shifts and swings and I really like this feature of the band. Very complex song this. 4,25*.

Autumn Frost is the longest track of the album. Starts with choir sounds for the first 50 secs, then immediately turning in the same rock style as Insomnia with great guitar after two minutes going on for a while then going back to the choir for half a minute until we are halfway down the song. Here a strange voice takes over. This is The Gourishankar people ! Weird sounds and piano play take over sounding extremely beautiful for over a minute. In the last section of this interesting track keyboards are prominent, followed by the vocals again. A grand finale closes this marvellous mini epic. Along with previous track the highlight of the album. 4,5*.

Close to Death is the third short track, this time with vocals though they are just scat singing. Again a pretty special one without obvious melody. 3*.

For Nobody is another rock song with vocals reminding me of Gentle Giant (cover obviously). And musically there's some resemblance as well. To me a blend of GG and ... The Gourishankar. 3,5*.

That's right, The Gourishankar is maybe the band with the most influences of the various music styles you will ever meet. And yet, to me they are recognizable as they are. After some time you start to get familiar with the shifts and you can clearly detect it as The Gourishankar. For me they have already established themselves as one of the more significant modern progbands. And they have a fan added to their already long list, being yours truly. I don't know what I was thinking when I said it was a doubt between 3 and 4 stars. Ok, maybe it's rounded up but it's four stars 100% deserved. Though slightly less than the "debut"'. Oh, a word about that (though several others already metioned it): chronologically this album Close Grip is actually the debut for these songs were written earlier than those of 2nd Hands. So to keep things badly arranged they switched the releases so to speak.

progrules | 4/5 |


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