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Guapo - Great Sage, Equal Of Haven CD (album) cover





2.75 | 15 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars The absence of reviews for this album had lowered my expectations towards this early Guapo album. I had feared it might have been a very premature Guapo, only hinting at what they were to become. But I must say it has been a most pleasant surprise!

All known Guapo elements are in place, the persistent intensity, the heavy bass sound, the crazed rhythmic impetus, the barely controlled levels of noise and chaos, the energy of punk and the musical expertise and ambition of Magma.

Most tracks are pretty short in nature, which makes for a very dynamic and varied album. Some surprising elements of world music make their appearance here, especially the influence of Kletzmer folk is undeniable and almost makes them sound like Nomeansno doing Alamaailman Vasarat stuff. Blessed Albania is an excellent example. Also Zero For Conduct continuous this sound. In a way these tracks even remind me of the Italian avant-garde of Area, be it in a punk format again. Both songs are excellent.

Two short songs follow with a very noise-industrial type of approach. None of both are my favourites; or rather let's say I got to be in the mood for them.

With Sakura, Guapo takes a direction that would be continued on the ensuing albums: heavily marching rhythms and dark solemn atmosphere. As with most short tracks on the album, the music remains rather static, the songs end more or less like they started, with little development of themes or crescendos along the way.

After a little Samla Mammas Manna style exercise, the album reaches its peak with El Topo. Just like Sakura, this is the Guapo you might know from Five Suns. In 16 minutes the band develops the ideas more thoroughly. It's a very powerful track, similar to Magma's Da Futura, a bit heavier though, like a fully armoured Magma armada, ready for Galactic battle.

This album is vibrating with energy and inspiration, and it's a solid album that won't disappoint Guapo fans. But in view of what this band still had in store, 3.5 stars will have to do.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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