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5 stars Every so often, a record comes along of such magnitude that it restores your faith in.well..just about everything!!! Gazpacho's 'Tick Tock' is that record.

There are a few (inevitable) observations to get out of the way first, and I am sure you will see similar comments within subsequent reviews. On occasions, historically and within their latest recording, they sound similar to Marillion (Hogarth era), Radiohead, Talk Talk, even Muse. I have no issues with that as the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts in terms of the musical influences included.

In respect of the apparent Marillion influence, it is ironic that Gazpacho, with 'Night' and 'Tick Tock', have possibly surpassed the very best of Marillion. After the huge disappointment of Marillion's recent 'Happiness is the Road', 'Tick Tock', I feel, is the type of record that Marillion SHOULD be making. Nevertheless, that is unlikely to happen as Marillion reached their peaked creatively with 'Brave', arguably.

I must say that 'Tick Tock' has a similar feel to 'Brave'; therefore, comparisons may prove inevitable amongst aficionados of the two bands.

I was hoping that 'Tick Tock' would be 'Night 2' stylistically as 'Night' was a near perfect record. 'Tick Tock' is very different to 'Night' but without losing the sense of originality, identify, and grandeur we have grown accustomed to.

It does not have the same sense of flow and fluidity that ran through 'Night' from start to finish. That is not a criticism by the way as, I believe, 'Tick Tock' is supposed to be something very different.

'Tick Tock' weaves through a number of diverse styles and textures, almost like musical chapters, and is prepared to pause for breath on occasions.

The surprisingly rocky 'Desert Flight' opens proceedings, but the music evolves beautifully through this piece and the two part 'The Walk'.

This brings us to the 22 minute title track. Quite frankly, words defy me to describe this track. It is beautifully haunting, sombre, emotional, etc, and absolutely demands your attention from start to finish; from the opening tick tock effect, through the heartbreaking gregorian chant and beyond, through the emotional floodgates of the climax, up to the closing strains of the ticking clock.

'Winter is Never' is the closing chapter of the story, and this subtle and uplifting piece brings the listener back down to earth, allowing you to reflect on the 48 minutes that have just passed.

All fans of progressive music should seek out this record, then decide for themselves where this record stands in terms of musical achievement.

In closing, thanks Gazpacho for a beautiful record.


Report this review (#209248)
Posted Monday, March 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Gazpacho strike again! I have followed this band sor many years now and each album has evolved from the last. Bravo was an assured debut and their last effort, Night was a near perfect prog classic. I felt it would be near impossible to better Night but Tick Tock does so with ease.

Just like Essence, the first disk of Marillion's recent effort, Tick Tock is greater than the sum of it's parts. The quite heavy opener 'Dessert Flight sets the tone for this musical journey. Deft touches flow through the whole album and the musical dexterity of all involved merge with the vocals to create a thing of beauty. This is the second essential release of this band's history and the second essential release in the last 6 months (Marillion's Happiness is the road) so this is turning into a stellar year for Prog!

Well Done guys, (I know you read these pages!)

Report this review (#209416)
Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars After three rather tentative albums to start their career, GAZPACHO exploded on to the modern prog scene with the stunning 'Night', a deceptively simple but deeply rich concept album that virtually redefined the concept of 'flow'. Hopes have been high for this, their follow-up to 'Night'. Hopes, I am happy to say, that have been realised with this release.

In my opinion GAZPACHO have left the field of contemporary neo-prog floundering in their wake. Most people think of neo-prog as somehow 'dumbed down' from classic prog rock, but that view is too simplistic. What GAZPACHO offer us with 'Tick Tock', as they did with 'Night', is the extended development of a theme. A simple, repetitive rhythm - as implied by the album's title - sets the foundation for the most delicious of slow builds, as the musical tension is ever so slowly wound up. There's no wild dynamics as one experiences with bands like OPETH - acoustic guitar one moment, a volcano of sound the next - instead we are engaged with a carefully plotted journey, a clicking, insistent train ride where the scenery slowly becomes more dramatic, narrated by Ohme's syrupy voice. Male voice choirs, the occasional thunder of drums and rumble of power chords: these punctuate the journey but are not stopping places. Despite the limited canvas, particularly of the rhythm, the emotional impact of this album is no less than that of much more dramatic work.

At first listen 'Tick Tock' sounds banal. It is certainly not easy to penetrate. It has the feel of a space-rock record, almost ambient in places, and there are fewer hooks here than in 'Night'. The key to this album is perseverance, which is why I'm so glad it is less than fifty minutes long. No self-indulgence here. The album is substantially two songs, The Walk and Tick Tock (note how both titles imply repetitive rhythm), and both are epic. They are bookended by two more accessible tracks, the heavier 'Desert Flight' and the beautiful 'Winter is Never'. But because of the repetitive rhythmical motif, the album's tracks flow together to make identifying particular moments of brilliance less important than the overall feel of the record.

And in the end that's what matters. This record may or may not be as good as 'Night' - I'm not sure yet - but it is a fine thing nonetheless, carefully crafted, a rewarding emotional journey and an all-too-rare masterpiece of modern prog. Those who enjoy their music with subtlety and flow are in for a treat.

Report this review (#210721)
Posted Wednesday, April 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars After imo very succesful album Night I was pretty much excited to hear their next work, so finally here it is. So for starters let me introduce you to GAZPACHO's music, at the begging the marillion-like albums era, which most of them was decent at best, listenable but nothing really special with few standout tracks on each album but I consider Bravo to be most enjoyable. Then a huge surprise after few spins of 2007 release Night, really catchy progressive rock with some post-rock overtones and I must admit this album just doesn't get old at all for me. Getting to the point which is "Tick Tock": First song is something different form the rest of the tracks, reminding me kinda of MUSE, but not in a bad way actually. Mostly bass-driven, energetic and with loud electric guitar. Good way to start an album, but it just gets better as the album progresses. Next we have "The Walk" divided into two parts, my favourite of the album. While being more soft prog rock here they create an interesting atmosphere and still remain catchy in all aspects: vocals, bass, acoustic guitars and some violins at the end of part 1. The title track is divided into 3 parts, most of the time pretty similar to The Walk. Nothing wrong with that of course when songwriting continue to be flawless, my personal favuorite would be part 2. Closing track Winter Is Never is the shortest track, counting at 4.55, with some enjoyable vocal melodies and quite dark feeling brings us to the end. Every music fan should hear this release, as well as its predecessor I consider it as a masterpiecie of progressive music from beginning to the very end. Solid songwriting, tasteful atmospherics, great vocals, all those things just make this album a candidate for this years best. As it is just my subjective opinion, just give this one a try (by that i mean at least few listens) and experience it yourself. Carnivale
Report this review (#211388)
Posted Wednesday, April 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars With Tick Tock we can hear a Norwegian based band progressing very nicely indeed; in actual fact when i first heard "Night" I thought I had come across the perfect music and immediately wanted to see the band perform live on stage. The band claim their music is not progressive rock, more a combination of "Classical Post, Ambient Nocturnal, Atmospheric Folk, World Rock......or simply DIFFERENT MUSIC" Who am i to argue with such a description (taken from their very recent tour flier promoting this latest masterpiece). Indeed, now that i have seen the band play to relatively tiny audiences 3 times now, I am delighted to report that the quality of their performances and individual prowess is on the up and the confidence is clear to see and hear.

I don't normally wish to make artist comparisons but clearly there is a Marillion (Hogarth) tone especially in the wonderful voice of Jan Henrik Ohme. Indeed the band did support Marillion a couple of years back and Steve Hogarth was present at the April 2009 London tour finale gig to further support Tick Tock.

Now to the album itself: The band have painstakenly composed 45 minutes of music which carefully showboats their craft of detailed, yet simply structured music. The musicianship is not only of a high quality but also complimentary to each other. The drumming is apparently simple but powerful, as is the wonderful keyboards from Thomas Anderson. Violins and Mandolin are a differential worth hearing and really add a special dimension to the compositions. But i have to say that the vocals are the most impressive factor; Jan's voice is very detailed, varied and melodic. He is becoming more and more impressive live in each and every performance I have seen and this is evident on Tick Tock. The album kicks off with the rockier than normal "Desert Flight" and supported by two epic tracks "The Walk" and "Tick Tock". The musicianship transcends wonderfully through the structured passages. Finally a beautiful song (Winter Is never) shows the more accessible side of the band's music. Pure and sweet, Tick Tock has progressed Gazpacho to a standard of progressive music that clearly demonstrates quality. It has more depth and content than "Night" - a lot more going on! A great bunch of guys dedicated to progressive music, forget the Radiohead, Muse etc references, this is the real deal and the future of Gazpacho looks secured; i hope the album sales give the credit the band clearly easy 5* rating.

Report this review (#211491)
Posted Thursday, April 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Highly recommended album.

I was very surprised - pleasantly surprised - with the previous one, Night, but I must say that, in my opinion, this is even better. The fantastic lyrics, so evocative, together with the wonderful music and Jan´s voice are the vehicle which take you through the Saint Exupéry´s experience in the Lybian Sahara Desert.

The opening track, Desert Lights, is a cracker, with the powerful guitar that opens the song and lead you to the 2 following tracks, The Walk and the album title Tick Tock, both full of wonderful and amazing moments, especially the guitar, piano, mandolin and violin sequences. Jan Ohme´s voice is the connecting thread that joins all those different elements and it is, itself, full of emotions and colour.

And finishg the album, Winter is never, maybe some people could say it is an easy and predictable track but awesome as well in my opinion and a perfect finale to this Gazpacho´s work.

You can´t miss this gem.

Report this review (#211619)
Posted Saturday, April 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars 'It feels like walking through a masterpiece'

GAZPACHO's 'Night' album was my introduction to this Norwegian sextet and I was blown away. I rarely name an album a masterpiece, but in my opinion 'Night' truly is one of those albums that stun you from start to finish. How they have managed to create a new (and maybe even greater) masterpiece is beyond me. 'Tick Tock' is definitely one of the best albums to come out of Scandinavia in recent years.

'Tick Tock' reminds me of a mixture between RADIOHEAD, PORCUPINE TREE and PINK FLOYD (Dark Side of the Moon-era); it is a beautiful almost symphonic piece divided into four magnificent tracks which are all different in style, but incredibly cohesive as a whole.

The album starts with 'Desert Flight' which is uplifting in tempo. The guitar drives the track forward and gives it that extra 'kick' which makes a perfect album-opener. The tempo comes down again on the next track, 'The Walk'. An absolut beautiful piece of art which shows the best sides of Gazpacho where Jan-Henrik Ohme's voice and the well-written music almost hypnotizes the listener who cannot help but fall into trance. Amazing!

The title-track is a twenty-two minute long masterpiece of progressive rock music. It draws the listener into a whole other world, away from reality. Only the music and Ohme's haunting vocals exist. The track starts slowly, then becomes even slower and then it all comes to life again through the end of the first part (which last a little more than seven minutes) where the drums kick in only to draw out the tempo again a few minutes into part two. The tempo goes up and down and is beautifully held together by the voice of Ohme and the great musicianship between the orchestra.

The 'Tick Tock' track is the pick of the album, but it is unfair to point out parts of the album. This is first and foremost a unit where one track makes the next even stronger. 'Winter Is Never' is a short five-minute track which finishes the album off in style. It is a melancholic piece with beautiful lyrics which makes you gasp for more.

GAZPACHO have created a masterpiece which just keeps growing on you. It is a serious contender for album of the year and maybe even decade! I recommend 'Tick Tock' to, well... everyone.

Report this review (#211965)
Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Frankly I don't understand the high scores obtained from this album. Gazpacho make some kind of music, with no doubt well played and produced, in the middle of Muse, Radiohead and the (for me) boring "Hogarth era" of Marillion. Personally I believe that all groups mentioned before are not part of the progressive movement, because their music is missing something very innovative and there's little imagination in the construction of songs: everything is based on good melodies, but actually quite simple, and very flat and regular rhythms. Gazpacho are no different from them, even if some of their songs can be pleasant to the listening, especially for the good voice of the singer. In short, as a lover of true essence of prog, I think that "Tick Tock" is not particularly interesting.
Report this review (#212283)
Posted Friday, April 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Gazpacho´s evolution since 2003 is simply described as outstanding. No one thought that after the Album "Night" something extraordinary as "Tick Tock" could be released - even and especially not me. This is total different stuff and it took at least 5 times listening till the complete beautiness of the Album comes through. Always keeping in mind the story it is based on (Anotine Saint-Exupery´s report Wind, Sand and Stars). They can produce magic with their so called "simple music", which is not simple as you discover every time you listen some tiny things here and there and instead of getting bored you get more and more excited. This is not Prog Music in the common sense, this is whatever you want to call it - or simply different music.
Report this review (#212317)
Posted Friday, April 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars We have strange monster with the newest album by Gazpacho; and this strange monster collect so much perfect votes until now. I'm truly surprised by the fact. We listen to a mixture by pop rock, alternative rock, arab folk music and so on..., but than where is progressive rock in this album. I cannot find it; I cannot find even hard rock or classic rock. I don't want to say this is a bad album. Probably this is very good album for fans, but its make me bored. Objectively, Tick Tock isn't for others, than fans. The first half is better than the second. I name the first song - Desert Flight as the bast of the album, despite I don't like alternative rock... 2.5 stars
Report this review (#212348)
Posted Saturday, April 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have read reviews were reviewers commented that this album is a mix of Radiohead and Marillion (Hogarth era)-some said "boring era".

I agree in the subject of the inffluences with them,but in the commnets that..." this is not prog ..."this is boring"

This is a very good example of excellent crossover prog.

Songs may be are not in the tipical art rock you can not find a show of virtuosity of the musicians, or very complex arrengements,or very exciting variations..etc..

But songs are beatiful...the concept very well done..arrengements beatiful too.

Special mention for the excellent vocals ..very according to the music.

Nowadays Gazpacho is a crossover prog rock band that sings beatiful ballads of prog...and that is enough to treat them as a very original and very good prog rock band.

4 stars.

Report this review (#212724)
Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Gazpacho - Tick Tock...Walk this walk with Gazpacho!

After Night, it is hard to imagine that Gazpacho could improve on the concept of "less is more" but they did it. Quoting from an interview with them "After Night the monotonous repetition of a single bar of music that is changed by the chords and the songs on top of it still held a seductive charm for us and thought Night dabbled in this, Tick Tock wallows." Gazpacho show on this album that that concept works, and produces music with great depth and quality, at least when performed by the compositional masters they are. The album starts with "Desert Flight", a track which shows a rougher, edgier side of Gazpacho than ever seen on Night, very much comparable to Muse..but it is a real Gazpacho song. This track is like the first course in a great meal, though. After this we get the 1th main course, The Walk. This track could have been on Night, it wouldn't have been out of place. Especially the ending of the second part is stellar...And then we move on to the 2nd main course: Tick Tock. Words fail me to describe the beauty and depth of this's something to experience, compare it with Ocean Cloud of Marillion if you want... The album finishes with "Winter is Never"..which is like a dessert after a great copious meal...light, but with lots of nice subtle tones to satisfy your sweet touth...mark especially the guitar hovering above the refrain... This is a masterpiece, it will probablynot be surpassed in 2009... essential...5 less..

Report this review (#213220)
Posted Friday, May 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Gazpacho Tick Tock Whether this is a Prog Rock or an Alternative, Art Rock or Post Rock Album, the point is that the Norwegians created a Masterpiece in music. I have been in the desert recently and due to this experience and listening to Tick Tock I have to say, that they perfectly hit the feeling of this surrounding and I can understand how Antoine Saint-Exuperys´ trip through the desert must have been. Gazpacho can create with their music pictures and emotions - something a lot of bands can´t. They are also able to which seems so simple but they aren´t. Seeing them live a few weeks ago proved that more than 100%. What Robert Johansen (Drums) and Kristian Torp (Bass) produces on their instruments, is si mply awesome. Based on this Thomas Andersen (Keys) can put on his sound carpets, Mikael Kromer (Violin, Mandoline) his traditional touch and Jon Arne Vilbo his silent and sometimes powerful guitar riffs. The variations of Jan Henrik Ohmes Voice simply gives the magic on Tick Tock as he has done it already on "Night". An other Aspect is, that you can´t get into the cosmos of Gazpacho, when you do not take the time the music needs to grow. I.e. "The Walk" with it´s 13 minutes of Prog World Music can touch your soul when you let yourself fall into mysterious of the desert which continues with the 22 minutes suite
Report this review (#213232)
Posted Saturday, May 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars After regarding Night as one of the key albums in my collection, simply because it caught me whole from the first spin to the degree that even now I don't know the titles of the songs - to me, it's simply Night: Pure Escapism... Well, I was very eager to get my hands on a copy of "Tick Tock". I received other 3 or 4 albums with my order but Tick Tock was the first to go into the stereo... It took me by surprise and although Desert Flight begins with probably one of the catchier intros in my whole collection, I was kind of expecting the slow build up that gave way to a total trip in Night... As with any Prog album, I didn't make any judgement and a couple of days later I gave it a 2nd spin... Still nothing... But yesterday, the right combination of mood, wheather, constellations and six o'clock news achieved it: I totally "got it"... Three spins in a row confirmed that this is one that will be remembered in 5 years. From the boldness of Desert Flight, though the raw emotion of The Walk, passing through the twists and turns of Tick Tock and ending with the pretty winter picture (snow, bells and all, at least in my mind) of that song that tries to exorcise all winters, the strongest emotion comes at the end, when Winter is Never ends almost abruptaly and the silence lingers with a sense of fulfillment. Those 5 minutes of silence that prompted me to push play again for 2 times were the best reward... If you like passionate playing (and singing) and enjoyed the best albums of the Hogarth-era Marillion, please give Gazpacho a chance, now with 2 outstanding albums.
Report this review (#215867)
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Brash guitars institute the beginning of Gazpacho's latest recording, the much-awaited follow up to the stunning predecessor "Night" that caught many fans by surprise, as the "Desert Flight" weaves raunchily forward, proving that, at the very least, this Norwegian band has indeed "progressed". Skillfully gloomy and at times even radiant while retaining their core moody style, Jan-Arne Vilbo's axe rages in rapt fury within a vortex of expressive keyboard swaths , the bass propelling and the drums flailing. A gentle violin caresses the pain; the piano laments the wind as it heads over the sizzling dunes. The two part "The Walk" retrieves the familiar vocal pleadings of vocalist Jan-Erik Ohme , recalling Mark Hollis at times with occasional obvious winks at Steve Hoggarth. A suave mandolin only adds to the thrill, a superb melody blooms from the grooves, a masterful moment that evokes the deepest emotions. Some Kashmirian tendencies come across, courtesy of that amazing violin, the distinctive element that makes Gazpacho such a unique pleasure and a delightful sonic joyride. The music knows how to breathe, requiring eloquent contrast and surprising Middle Eastern tendencies to complement the palette, veering into supple atmospherics of some North African bazaar when you least expect it. The second part goes into an altogether different direction, still a hypnotic magic carpet ride but with massive waves of mellotron, a simpler environment to reconnoiter, the undemonstrative guitars buzzing "en sourdine" like a wispy opiate cloud swirling towards the clear blue sky. The Hoggarth feel is there again, as Ohme gets fervent and frenzied. The 3 part title track targets a timeless horizon, a dreamy, almost muffled arrangement that leisurely builds in determined splendor, the percussive Tick-Tock always present to keep the pulse within echoing keys and poignantly strummed guitar strings. The Mark Hollis inspiration reveals itself now quite clearly, as the simmering axe forages with impetuous distinction, Ohme urging the clock along . Very original and very progressive, to say the least. When the massed male choir arrives unannounced, it becomes obvious that we are in the presence of something momentous, extraordinarily reserved yet growing ever so confidently, the harsh guitar blasting through the haze, the loopy bass seemingly out of control, the piano murmuring softly, the minimalist Tick-Tock still present, this musical osmosis is simply magical. When the bass settles into a comfortable groove, the second part really exposes its true virtue as a glowing expression of raw emotion, the growling guitar contrasting brilliantly with the polyrhythmic mélange. This is some of the most introspective, cinematographic prog I have heard in quite some time, when the violin enters the fray, one can only close their eyes and sway to the singular beauty of such grandiose music. Still the Tick-Tock reappears from the mist, always smoldering in the backwash, never gone, mesmerizing. Part 3 injects some deft piano textures, whooshing mellotron strings, exploding guitar lines, as the colossal wall of sound rolls forward like a lumbering steam engine, lush controlled fury within the deepest chasm of unexpected celestial valleys and unexplored mountains. Simply astounding yet completely unpredictable and never monotonous as the ticking finally fades into the fog of memory. "Winter is Never" acts as a lullaby, gently easing this incredible musical vessel into a glorious finale, a rapture of haunting melancholia that has all the yearnings of hope, despair and finality. Ohme's sublime vocal climbs an octave with scintillating resolve, a moment of sheer, unadulterated ecstasy. The cold soup is still very spicy and quenches the progressive thirst and hunger. What can possibly come next? 5 glorious heartbeats
Report this review (#218550)
Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars A concept album based on the book ("Wind, Sand And Stars") by Antoine Di Saint-Exupey, which was about his real life long distance flight from Paris to Saigon in 1935 that ended with him crashing in a desert. Listening to this album with this in mind really adds to the music considerably. The title "Tick Tock" is a metaphor for the walking that this man and his co-pilot did through the desert. Check out the lyrics though, this is brilliantly done. And the music like on the amazing "Night" album is so lush and atmospheric. Just a pleasure to get lost in these soundscapes. I was reminded a lot of latter day MARILLION only i'd say GAZPACHO do it better. I actually wasn't surprised to see tszirmay's review of this album earlier today because this strange but cool kind of synergy seems to happen between us a lot. In fact I looked up my review of "Night" and noticed his review was right after mine (only 2 weeks later). We travel in the same Prog space without even knowing it. Great to have a friend like him.

"Desert Flight" opens with jarring guitars as vocals then drums arrive. Synths and some killer bass before a minute. Mellotron before 2 minutes as it settles. Lots of atmosphere before 4 minutes.The tempo starts to pick up 6 minutes in. Then it dies (they crash) with violin and piano a minute later as the wind blows. I have to say that for me this album gets better as it plays out which is such a cool thing. "The Walk" is very MARILLION-like early with percussion, reserved vocals and acoustic guitar. Mellotron before 3 minutes. Violin a minute later. An atmospheric calm 5 minutes in. It turns to a Middle Eastern flavour after 6 minutes.The second part of "The Walk" is similar to the first part but even better with the strummed guitar and mellotron being more prominant. Great lyrics here too as he sings about the struggle to survive in this walk through the desert. "The long haul back in no direction and no one knows were ok. And the curve of the horizon a masterpiece, survival on adreneline it's over soon. Doesn't everyone have their own walk to walk".

"Tick Tock" is the incredible 22 1/2 minute title track that's divided into three parts. A tick tock-like rhythm as vocals come in. Amazing sound ! Lots of atmosphere. A fuller sound 4 minutes in. A sudden burst of a male choir upon the soundscape before 6 minutes is a nice touch. In part two the drums and bass are heavier. Piano joins in. Such an uplifting sound after 2 1/2 minutes. It settles after 5 1/2 minutes but you can still hear the tick tock as it builds. It turns even quieter before 8 minutes. Flute and tons of atmosphere 9 1/2 minutes in. Part three comes in and the song comes to life with the tick tock, drums, bass and piano. The guitar sounds great 1 1/2 minutes in. The tempo and mood continue to shift. Emotional section. Mellotron 3 minutes in. Check out the lyrics in this part: "You silence every love, yet you always starve for more, your'e only waiting time, lucky to be alive, lucky to be alive". "Winter Is Never" is pure emotion for me, the triumphant conclusion. Man he sounds like Hogarth here.

4 stars.

Report this review (#218623)
Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Everything you've read about this album is true. Having listened to all Gazpacho's albums, and Night having made a really strong emotional impression on me, I can say today that Tick Tock has reached even further, and is Gazpacho's best and most mature album. You will find some of the melodies of "Night", but this album will also take you to exotic destinations : if "The Walk" was a place, it would be a spice bazar in Morocco... The Georgian chants in "Tick tock" was a great idea that puts another spike of originality and uniqueness in this album. All in all this is the best prog album in the past 2 or 3 years. It's that good. I've listened it 4 times in 3 days.
Report this review (#220592)
Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars GAZPACHO's new concept album worked out with profound songwriting skills once more and focussed on Jan-Henrik Ohme's sensitive vocals as usual. The band remains on the common melancholic, heart-wrenching attitude reminding me of the band 'Talk Talk' here and there, where the opener Desert Flight makes out the exception with a more heavy rocking behaviour in the whole. The well accentuated use of cello, flute and piano/organ/Mellotron adds is bringing richness to the sound.

The starting song fades into the first part of the epic The Walk consisting of a fine floating part with an oriental feeling - very impressing. By the way - this is an example that GAZPACHO's music is even working without O's vocals being dominant always. A tick-tock is present all over on the title track of course. Here we have a tension-filled epic full of diversified ingredients mixing up rocking, grooving, spacey floating, atmospheric and balladesque parts in a convincing way - chamber/opera impressions (cello, vocals) and Mellotron included. Winter is Never finally appears with melancholy pure initiated by a surprising electronical touch.

GAZPACHO again prove the ability to compose subtle well structured songs. It looks like they are having an unexhaustible reservoir of ideas and inspiration. All the instruments are perfectly appointed without any exception. This album is full of wonderful melodic themes suitable for laid back situations in your life. 4 stars because of the title track masterpiece which at least should be tried out with headphones on.

Report this review (#224574)
Posted Sunday, July 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Now with "Tick Tock" I must admit that "Night" was a Masterpiece!

GAZPACHO have been playing that boring type of soft 'Hogart's Marillion' Neo-Prog for almost ten years, but most of us heard them only two years ago with sensational "Night " release. Simple and emotional, it had the magical element which made it so adorable: atmosphere. The album was so atmospheric, that most new age releases would sound like sludgy grindcore in compareness to it. Yes, I'm kinda joking, but only 'kinda'. GAZPACHO decided to repeat the formula, and made another atmospheric epic album, almost the same way boring and plain. But this time it does't work - at least, for me. There'll be no "Night" magic this time, it's all too predictable and flat. Only 2 stars and a strong recommendation to start with "Night" if you're GAZPACHO newbie

Report this review (#228958)
Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Gazpacho's 2009 release is a hard album to get into because it is such a sedated one. The rock sections are all mid-tempo and not very heavy, but sound extremely good nonetheless; unfortunately they are all fleeting, as though Gazpacho gets short-winded just playing a few minutes of bona fide rock music. I also question the progressive factor: There may be extravagantly lengthy compositions, but I see no reason for this, since the arrangements themselves are dull and generally unexciting, but not completely characterless. The piece of nonfiction this concept album is based on, however, beefs up the intrigue for me: Antoine de Saint Exupéry, a French writer and aviator, wrote Wind, Sand, and Stars, a memoir regarding surviving a plane crash in the Libyan Sahara Desert and having to do without food and water. Perhaps it's the intent of the album as it relates to its concept to force the listener to spend long periods of time growing weary and waiting for something to happen- I don't know- but this album is a desert of wearisome monotony with precious few oases of interestingness.

"Desert Flight" A raunchy, harsh guitar kicks off this album. This song has a bit of a U2 feel and sound to it, whether the band is playing loudly or quietly. That said, I don't care for it except for perhaps the vocal melody. Lonely violin, piano and a hot wind conclude this first track.

"The Walk" Sparse instrumentation takes over in this lengthy piece, which features simplistic drumming and acoustic guitar. The mandolin is gorgeous, I think, and fits the timbre of the piece well. I absolutely love the hazy Middle Eastern section, which is so full of grace and character. For the most part, this piece is a beautiful acoustic song that doesn't really go anywhere (not even on a magic carpet), which for me makes the length a tad unjustified. That, however, is the main problem of the forthcoming piece.

"Tick Tock" Subdued and rather dull, this longest piece has the lead vocalist singing long and drawn out notes over fairly sparse instrumentation for the first several minutes. Later, there's some deep choral singing, almost from the throat. The ticking and tocking keep time as the singer croons over piano and bright guitar and bass. The music becomes somewhat heavier with the introduction of gritty electric guitar and thudding bass, yet the drums remain light. Organ and violin ease their way into the mix in a lovely duet, punctuated by pounding drums. Soon a guitar solo ensues, followed by otherworldly atmospheric sounds. The titular tick tocks return, again accompanying a piano. Essentially, I find this a very sleepy track, even though there's some good stuff going on. Nothing strikes me as powerful or interesting, even if I find it all pleasant enough.

"Winter Is Never" Again, this is an agreeable song, but after everything that has come before it, it's superfluous and almost filler.

Report this review (#229054)
Posted Thursday, July 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Tick Tock is the 6th outing by Norwegian act Gazpacho, and the first of their albums I've had a chance to experience.

And as experiences go it is a pretty charming one. Musically they come across as something of a blend between Hogarth-era Marillion and Radiohead in my ears - symphonic backdrops and tapestries on top of music at least partially with strong tinges of indie/alternative rock of the kind spearheaded by Radiohead and later followed up by acts such as Muse and to some extent Coldplay.

With space-tinged floating synths and sounds, Arabian inspired details on the composition The Walk and some neat inclusiojns of Norwegian folk music on the following excursion and title track Tick Tock these additional details provide good variety in style as well as sound. Final track Winter Is Never is more of a laid-back venture without truly distinct features, but serves it purpose well to end the album.

Lots of charm and atmosphere on this one, and while not quite at the highest level in my view it's a very strong effort, constantly flirting with superiority.

Report this review (#254273)
Posted Friday, December 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I Don't Know Why We Don't Explode

The album is 4 songs long, but the CD is split into 7 tracks - The Walk is split into 2 parts and Tick Tock into 3.

If one had heard their last outing, Night, the opening to Tick Tock might be a bit of a shocker. My first thoughts upon hearing it was that it sounded something like an indy rocker - driving guitars and drums interplay with the vocals. But this is just Gazpacho building atmosphere again, if in a different way than they did on the previous album. The album is about the attempted long distance flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his crash in the desert. As such, the harder rocking opening is likely his flight. After he crashes and starts wandering the desert, the album comes closer to the atmospheric sound that the band accomplished in Night.

I can't really say too much about this album without recapping my review of Night; the two both take a very similar approach to the music. In terms of atmosphere, Tick Tock is a bit more airy and spacey, and makes more use of middle-eastern sounding instruments (unfortunately, I am not an expert on instruments, but that is the feeling that I get from them). The spacey bit at the end of The Walk, part 1 could easily sound like a throwaway, but I quite enjoy it ... it really does give me a feel of walking in the desert.

Ultimately, I would say that Tick Tock is equally as good as Night. Another excellent album.

Report this review (#260149)
Posted Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars I generally have a highly critical approach to follow-up releases. In most cases it has to do with the fact that bands don't progress once they attain a certain level of success or that they take an entirely different route just to relieve the pressure of a worthy follow-up. Of course there are times when the artists manage to evolve and push things even further in the development of their sound but unfortunately those events are rare and far between. Tick Tock doesn't fit in any of these categories.

Once Desert Flight kicked in I was certain that I was in for a real treat! The track didn't sound anything like material from Night, so did that mean that Gazpacho tried to take an easy way out by going for follow-up approach nr.2? To my surprise the rest of the album didn't contain another up-tempo track but what I got instead was equally surprising.

The Walk part I with its beautiful melody basically took my breath away from the first time I heard it. This type of strong melodic content was missing entirely on the previous release and to be honest it was one of the things I wasn't expecting from Gazpacho. With the introduction of The Walk: Part II the album finally shifted into familiar territory but somehow these compositions aren't as memorable.

The title track starts out rather shaky with an unimpressive part I but definitely redeems itself towards parts II & III which ends with a real bang. The concluding track Winter Is Never is a return to the new territory that was explored on The Walk part I and offers a good conclusion to the album's theme.

I expected the atmospheric middle section of Tick Tock to grow on me as much as their previous album did after a few spins but this time it nearly took me double the effort to get the material to a somewhat satisfying level. To be honest I'm still uncertain about my feelings towards the Tick Tock-suite but it's certain that the result here aren't of the top notch quality.

This album basically works when the band tries something different while the more familiar work is below the level of what they have achieved previously. It's an unusual combination that I surprisingly enough rank at the same level as Night. There is a definite progress but at the cost of the overall quality.

***** star songs: Desert Flight (7:39) The Walk: Part I (8:03)

**** star songs: The Walk: Part II (5:39) Tick Tock: Part II (9:39) Tick Tock: Part III (5:30) Winter Is Never (4:55)

*** star songs: Tick Tock: Part I (7:17)

Report this review (#267065)
Posted Friday, February 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars While a pleasant listen, this album needs careful, attentive listening to be truly appreciated--which, then, becomes its downfall: When not listened to carefully, this album can become very boring, the lead singer's voice very tedious and whiney. So: if you have the time, sit down, put on the headphones and enjoy a very well put together album; If you aren't going to be able to concentrate and give it your fullest attention, better to avoid it and wait for time when you can. All songs are good, though the Tick Tock trilogy is my favorite (if you can listen to it in its entirety). Nice subtle effects and shifts in sound and mood, even if the vocals get a little monotonous. Not the highs of "Night," but not the lows either. Tough for me to rate. 3.5 stars would be most accurate.

2015 edit: This album was my introduction to Gazpacho. It has grown quite a bit on me over the years. As slow and delicate is the progress through this album, I do find myself listening start to finish and thoroughly enjoying the subtle surprises as they reveal themselves. Therefore, I am reconsidering my rating and elevating Tick Tock to four stars. It is one of the two Gazpacho albums I have formed a great attachment for and appreciation of.

Report this review (#288063)
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It blew me away at first spin

I know very little about this band except its appearance in the Mariilion DVD and I straightly thought that this band is a pure Marillion's copy cat - the Hogarth era. But I was not interested to find any of their albums until a friend of mine introduced me this album. I was surprised that I liked it very much at the first spin of the album. This is strange as I was a big fan of Mariilion (Fish era) and did not quite favor the Hogarth era, initially. But how come I liked this album at first spin - knowing the fact that this is a copy cat band. I thought it was two reasons: First, I did not expect quite much what kind of music the band (Gazpacho) would play so I had no preconceived mid abou what the music 'should' sound like. Second, it might be the influence of Marillion Higarth era music that in a way had made me like this kind of music. Indeed, I like Marillion's "Marbles".

The rockin' opening 'Desert Flight' (7:39) set an excellent tone of the overall album. I lately found that the following tracks did not quite follow the music style of opening track. But I truly love the way guitar is playde in riff style combined with powerful vocal line. 'The Walk' is a good follow-up segment that definitely takes its time and as such it is bringing us to the kind of atmosphere to the next album title that serves as epic. Leave it alone, this is a nice track with ambient style, reminds me to the Hogarth style in singing.

The title track 'Tick Tock' which serves as an epic comprises three major parts whom all of them are interesting to enjoy. Part 1 has a good guitar work with powerful vocals combined with atmospheric keyboard / synthesizer work and sound effects. The song moves with gentle drums augmented with echoed sounds of synthesizer followed with a nice piano and guitar melody. Part 2 opens with a guitar riff and solid bass-line with some excellent keyboard and followed with piano. There are nice soundscapes demonstrated through this song. Part 3 starts with inventive piano and drum, combined with excellent vocal line. Overall this is an excellent epic.

The concluding track 'Winter Is Never' is a straightforward, beautifully composed and quite easy to digest. The keys of the song lie on its piano melody with a good vocal from Jan-Henrik. I personally like the chorus part. This song concludes the album beautifully as this song is excellent as well.

I highly recommend you to have this excellent album from Gazpacho, especially if you laike Hogarth era of Marillion. But if you are not Marillion's fan, I still recommend you to have this album in your prog collection. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#437305)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars You eat Gazpacho in the summer; it is a cold refreshing soup made from various fresh ingredients. So this is a great name for this band?a refreshing mix of musical influences, but with a freshness that is all their own.

Sure, you can hear some Marillion, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, and even a little Pink Floyd in there, but it is all finely mixed together into a refreshing dish.

This is their sixth album (I really like their previous release as well, "Night"). This concept album is based on the story of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who, on December 29, 1935, attempted a long distance flight from Paris to Saigon. He crashed in the desert, where he barely survived the trek across the sands.

The metaphor of a desert walk lays the foundation for the album. Atmospheric and moody, but it does not get monotonous because of surprises at every turn (the Middle-Eastern guitars and violins in "The Walk (Part I)" are awesome, only to be topped with the Gregorian chant in "Tick Tock (Part I)."

Report this review (#442819)
Posted Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 7/10

"Tick Tock" is another little gem of 2009.

Gazpacho is a Norwegian Progressive Rock band that has been around for fifteen years now, but have released albums since 2002. "Tick Tock" is the band's sixth studio album, following the acclaimed "Night". This being my first Gazpacho album, I can't be too opinionated about this band. But so far, I enjoy what I hear.

The production of the album is good, and the mixing is great, with perfect balance between all the instruments. In all the songs the instruments are played without one being the more used than the others; there is a lot of guitar, but also keyboards and mellotron, and of course the vocals are always present. The best and most comfortable label to attribute to the music in this album is prog rock, with a lot of alt-rock tendencies and even some post-rock here and there. Not to forget the pretty noticeable Arabic music influences on the track "The Walk". Gazpacho reminds me a lot of times of Phideaux Xavier, especially on the vocals, but I also hear a lot of electronic, and some times it gets almost ambient.

The album has a solid structure: four songs, the two in the center are extremely long ones. All the songs here have a very progressive structure too, having a countless amount of hook variations, that just extend in a way that post-rock is very familiar to. There is some building, but mostly, the songs just constantly change in melody and hooks, slowly and without changing abruptly the mood, which is almost always chilled out and relaxed but somewhat warm. Think of it like a special kaleidoscope where the color remains the same and the shapes change slowly. This of course can be said especially of the two longest songs, "The Walk" and the twenty two minute title track. This song, I don't know why, is the reason why I didn't fully appreciate "Tick Tock": maybe some parts had some flaws, like the church like chorus in the first half of the track, which sounds really cool but seems a little out of place to me. Plus, it isn't always haunting like it intended to be, in my opinion. However, "The Walk" is nearly flawless, and I enjoy almost everything about it, especially the Arabesque parts and the keyboards. The remaining songs are fantastic as well: the opener "Desert Flight" is the heaviest song, with tons of guitar, but it's another haunting and delightful episode, especially when it gets to the second half of the song, where there's an amazing hook change. The track that contains the most beauty has to be the last song, "Winter Is Never", with great keys and vocals, a very moving and touching piece of music.

An album that has some weaker points, some points that I simply wasn't crazy for, but I enjoyed it anyways, in almost all the fifty minute lesson. If you're into modern prog and want to hear something a little different from the usual Porcupine Tree, Flower Kings, Anathema of whatever, this is a way to go.

Report this review (#447502)
Posted Friday, May 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best album of 2009. Nothing else I have heard from 2009 comes close to invoking the pure lovliness and greatness of TICK TOCK by Gazpacho. There are 4 perfect songs here: "The Walk I", "The Walk II", Tick Tock III" and "Winter is Never". Not to say that the other 3 numbers are bad. They are nearly perfect in their own right. The ticking rhythm that runs through this masterpiece is hypnotic and invokes the story well (a plane crash in the desert and the 2 survivors journey). I am indebted to this site and the wonderful reviewers who turned me on to this wonderful album. Along with PASSION by Pendragon, which I also discovered this summer, this has been on constant rotation for several months on my IPhone. I don't give tons of 5 star ratings, but TICK TOCK deserves it. I am looking forward to exploring another release by Gazpacho, NIGHT, which has also garnered high rating on Prog Archives.
Report this review (#499366)
Posted Sunday, August 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Gazpacho continue the fine traditionthan Norweigan musiciabs have for stretching the boundries of genres; whwter ir be Jazz, post-rock or anything else.

like no4 thisagain isa concep talbum utilizing longer songs. This is an imaginative band, with a myriad of influences filtered and distilled tocreateaunique musicalf orm of their own. We have a warm, emotive vocalist together withtalenred muscians who are capable of weaving a unique sonic tapestry. No doubt, those of you whohavelistend willhereamyriadof influences and/or comparisons withotherbands pat and present..... I hear some similarities withother artists on the K-Scope 'Post-progresive' label ...and hear hints of many other conteporaryacts too - listen for yourself - many peoples eem to pickout unusua lcomparisons when listening to this unusual scandinavian act .... who manage to still maintain ordinary lives with full-time jobs alongside producing some wonderful music

Report this review (#570546)
Posted Friday, November 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Inspired by the true story of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's infamous plane crash in the Libyan desert and the epic trek he and his co-pilot undertook in search of help, Gazpacho's followup to the classic Night isn't as impressive as a cohesive concept piece, but it does show the band in the act of diversifying their sound a little. For instance, opening number Desert Flight is heavier and rockier than anything on Night, and shows a bit of a Muse influence creeping into the music. On the whole, I think the album suffers a little from trying a bit too hard to replicate the approach of Night in places, but it's another convincing piece from Gazpacho which is enough to convince that the musical growth seen on Night wasn't a mere fluke.
Report this review (#740552)
Posted Sunday, April 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Keeps getting better for Gazpacho. A rather more "rockier" album than anything they've done before. Desert Flight blasts you away with raw energy and leaves you a little surprised with the bands' direction. The Walk, takes you down familiar Gazpacho ground, with a beautifully constructed musical piece?.

The Grandfather clock's ticking, ticking, ticking?. The amazing Tick Tock, takes you on an even better journey. Lush drums and bass overtones. The male choir voices at the end of Part 1, the nice flow of Part 2 and it all comes together with this EPIC track.

Last, but not least you'll find Winter Is Never, which is slightly different in tone and setting than the rest of the album, but doesn't bring it down.

This is Gazpacho and this is good. Brilliant album?

Report this review (#1092219)
Posted Thursday, December 19, 2013 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This 2009 release is well worth investing in. I bought the download a while ago but only in the last 4 months gave it the proper attention it deserved. Whilst agreeably sitting within Crossover on PA, there is no doubt this band have a post rock feel to them. The music has a steady drone to it which steadily increases in tempo and then predictably subsides. I really feel the band have all the right boxes ticked here, both musically and vocally. There is wealth of solid drumming by Robert Johansen, jagged jarring guitars and Ohmes beautiful vocals

The album is inspired by the book Wind, Sands & Stars by Antoine Di Saint Exupey. Flight traversing deserts end in crashing in the desert and the trek out of it on foot. The album starts with the uneven ' Desert Flight', " the Walk' and ' Tick Tock' made up of parts provide 35 minutes of atmospheric bliss, reaching crescendos, ebbing and flowing, constantly sucking the listener back into the sound. Very hypnotic music. I have probably played this album most this year and being such an excellent slow burner, I have progressively discovered more and more gems within the material. The final track ' Winter is Never' is arguably the most accessible and melancholic of the lot. Such an incredible album closer. If you like Gazpacho you will also enjoy another fellow Norwegian band, coincidentally called Soup. Some reviewers have compared Gazpacho to latter day Marillion, they definitely have a Radiohead influence especially due to Ohme's vocal style being similar to Yorke's but not as manic! And additionally a touch of Muse thrown in as well. Highly recommended piece of work, four and a half stars without doubt.

Report this review (#1156301)
Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
2 stars On 30th December 1935, after 19 hours and 44 minutes in the air, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his mechanic-navigator André Prévot, crashed in the Sahara desert whilst attempting to break the speed record in a Paris-to-Saigon air race. They both survived the crash, but with only rudimentary maps and very little supplies they were in serious trouble. Luckily, after four days they were discovered by a Bedouin, who saved their lives. This near brush with death features prominently in Saint-Exupéry's 1939 memoir 'Wind, Sand and Stars', and in turn forms the basis of this the sixth album from Norwegian act Gazpacho. Released in 2009 his album seems to have fairly polarized opinions with many strong and positive reviews, but also plenty from those who can't understand what all the fuss is about.

They are obviously influenced by Hogarth-era Marillion and Radiohead, along with Muse and Porcupine Tree but by the far the most interesting style included here are the short Arabian-style passages. For the most part this album is just too one-dimensional to maintain interest and each time I have played it I have found myself looking at the screen to see just how much longer there is left to play as I want to get onto something more interesting. The musicianship and vocals are very good, and it is well recorded and produced, but for me it is just too flat and ultimately is plain boring. I found the story it is based on, and the short biographies I read of Antoine de Saint- Exupéry far more interesting than the musical result.

Report this review (#1170110)
Posted Friday, May 2, 2014 | Review Permalink

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