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Gazpacho - Fireworker CD (album) cover

FIREWORKER

Gazpacho

 

Crossover Prog

4.05 | 91 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

thesimilitudeofprog
5 stars For nearly 20 years, Norwegian sextet Gazpacho have excelled at creating atmospheric reflections on somewhat thought- provoking or troubling themes. With Fireworker they have outdone themselves, creating a concept which in some ways encompasses all that has come before and pushes the envelope even further.

The band currently consists of Thomas Andersen on keyboards and programming, Jan-Henrik Ohme on vocals, Jon-Arne Vilbo on guitars, Mikael Kr'mer on violin and guitars, Kristian 'Fido' Torp on bass, and Robert R. Johansen on drums.

For Fireworker, the album feels ritualistic, it has these feelings of purity but also threating in nature. There are moments here that are heavier than I've heard from the band since Tick Tock. While the band's typical atmospheric and spacious artiness is in full effect, the band takes a few risks. Their albums often explore intellectual and philosophical topics, coming across as poetic and emotional, typically. The characters in their stories often experience tragedy, inner turmoil, and powerful transitions. This 'Fireworker' character is the deeper side of all us, an instinctual decision-maker that often overrules our senses and logic. And we often try to philosophize why the 'Fireworker's' decisions are okay, why they make sense. Looking at the world today, this is a fascinating way to describe why some people act the way they do. Much of this comes out in a loud-quiet dynamic that feels as if the protagonist is confronting this side of himself. In fact, it feels like something of a purposeful expedition to battle the side of himself that reacts in fear and violence.

Spacecowboy, to put it bluntly, is a work of genius. This song introduces us to the inner battle of the album. The song teases us with a climax a couple of times and ends up giving it to us in grand fashion. Spacecowboy may arguably be one of the best and certainly one of the most ambitious pieces of music Gazpacho have ever created. The next three songs, Hourglass, Fireworker, and Antique are more atmospheric in approach. Hourglass is a slower track with lots of beautiful ambiance and gorgeous violin. The title track has a folk-rock side to it that I really like, and parts of it almost feel like a soundtrack. It gets heavy, especially for Gazpacho. Antique is melodious and nostalgic, like an old familiar friend. The final epic is called Sapien, a title that seems to indicate an acknowledgement of our human nature. This song is quite reserved, except for a few moments where the tide rises with power and force. It is a beautiful track, though: one that eases us into the ending with class and grace. It does such a superb job of building an atmosphere.

Gazpacho has a thoroughly rewarding album here, and I think fans will love it.

Rating-96%

Recommended Tracks: Spacecowboy, Fireworker and Sapien.

thesimilitudeofprog | 5/5 |

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