Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

GUAPO

RIO/Avant-Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guapo picture
Guapo biography
Founded in London, UK in 1994

Drummer Dave Smith and bassist Matt Thompson worked for a long time as a duo, collaborating with a variety of guest musicians along the way, most notably RUINS. They are usually described as Zeuhl and compared to MAGMA, UNIVERS ZERO and the like, but they can also be compared to contemporary 'post-rock' bands like GODSPEED YOU, BLACK EMPEROR.

Not much of their earlier work is readily available, although samples can be found on their excellent website. The best starting point is the awesome "5 Suns" CD, recently released on Cuneiform records. MAGMA fans will love the driving bass lines, Fender Rhodes piano and powerhouse drumming, post rock fans will love the breakneck tempos and genuine music fans will be won over by the excellent musicianship.

Daniel O'Sullivan joined the band for the excellent 5 Suns album. Matt Thompson left after the Black Oni album. For 2013's History Of Visitation James Sedwards (Bass), Kavus Torabi (guitar) and Emmet Elvin (keys) joined David J Smith in the band.

Try to see them live if you can, they're as formidable on stage as they are on CD. Highly recommended to anyone interested in progressive music, ancient or modern.

: : : Chris Gleeson, UK : : :


See also: Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses

GUAPO Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to GUAPO

Buy GUAPO Music


History Of The VisitationHistory Of The Visitation
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
$30.07
$46.59 (used)
Obscure KnowledgeObscure Knowledge
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
$12.48
$16.46 (used)
Black OniBlack Oni
Ipecac Recordings 2015
$4.71 (used)
ElixirsElixirs
Neurot Recordings 2008
$11.28
$9.47 (used)
Five SunsFive Suns
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
$15.31
$4.98 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
BASTRO - Sing Troubled Beast / Diablo Guapo - CD - Original Recording VG USD $24.75 Buy It Now 10h 41m
EL GUAPO - FAKE FRENCH CD - 2003 - Rock USD $9.00 Buy It Now 12h 41m
Obscure Knowledge - Guapo CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping! USD $22.74 Buy It Now 18h 36m
Banda Fresa : El Guapo CD USD $3.59 Buy It Now 21h 55m
Guapo - Elixirs [New CD] USD $13.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Edmundo Rivero Guapo y Varon CD New Sealed USD $20.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Guapo - Elixirs [New CD] USD $13.19 Buy It Now 1 day
Nati y Su Orquesta - Yo no soy guapo USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
LOS DIABLOS ROJOS "EL GUAPO" 7" SALSA DESCARGA PERU USD $10.00 [0 bids]
1 day
ALFREDO LINARES "NO SOY GUAPO/SUJETATE LA LENGUA"SALSA GUAGUANCO DESCARGA PERU USD $40.00 [0 bids]
1 day
Guapo vs. Oharu ?- Erase Yer Head Special Issue 7" Single Vinyl USD $6.44 Buy It Now 2 days
Obscure Knowledge by Guapo (England) (CD, Jun-2015, Cuneiform Records) USD $13.94 Buy It Now 2 days
tae guapo USD $23.00 [0 bids]
2 days
LOUIE COLON Y SU CONJ SALSA 7" PERU 1982 "EL GUAPO" USD $6.00 Buy It Now 2 days
GUAPO-Five Suns CD NEW USD $21.10 Buy It Now 3 days
El Guapo - Fake French (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.86 Buy It Now 3 days
RAMON MARQUEZ & DAMIRON / El Guapo / BELTER 50.277 Press Spain 1960 EP VG+ USD $35.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Guapo,Black Oni, USD $8.70 Buy It Now 3 days
Fake French by El Guapo: New USD $13.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Guapo - Five Suns (CD Used Very Good) USD $16.30 Buy It Now 4 days
GUAPO Hell Is Other People 7" OOP mid-90's noise-rock UK import Power Tool USD $1.00 Buy It Now 4 days
GUAPO (ENGLAND) - FIVE SUNS NEW CD USD $23.41 Buy It Now 6 days
GUAPO (ENGLAND) - OBSCURE KNOWLEDGE NEW CD USD $17.38 Buy It Now 6 days
GUAPO (ENGLAND) - HISTORY OF THE VISITATION NEW CD USD $25.30 Buy It Now 6 days
Obscure Knowledge * by Guapo (England) (Vinyl, May-2015, Cuneiform Records) USD $39.07 Buy It Now 6 days
Guapo - History Of The Visitation 045775035420 (CD Used Very Good) USD $22.35 Buy It Now 6 days
Anibal Troilo con Francisco Fiorentino Del Tiempo Guapo BRAND NEW SEALED CD USD $15.49 Buy It Now 6 days
Obscure Knowledge - Guapo (Vinyl New) USD $26.96 Buy It Now 6 days
Five Suns - Guapo (CD New) USD $21.76 Buy It Now 6 days
Unknown Artist : Be Guapo CD USD $3.89 Buy It Now 7 days
GUAPO (ENGLAND) - ELIXIRS NEW CD USD $13.48 Buy It Now 7 days
Guapo Recording Company : Sing Along Singles CD USD $3.89 Buy It Now 7 days
Guapo-History of the Visitation (UK IMPORT) CD with DVD NEW USD $23.44 Buy It Now 7 days
Guapo-Obscure Knowledge (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $13.84 Buy It Now 7 days
Guapo-Obscure Knowledge (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $15.22 Buy It Now 7 days
Young Killa - The Beginning RARE HTF NO BARCODE RAP MAYNE1 GUAPO GLENN DON LOGAN USD $17.45 Buy It Now 7 days
Scott Jeppesen : El Guapo CD USD $3.91 Buy It Now 8 days
Horse Walks Into A Bar..........7 : Guapo USD $11.71 Buy It Now 8 days
Statue Man ?- El Guapo SM/002 1996 USD $6.89 Buy It Now 8 days
Guapo - History of The Visitation (Bonus 1 DVD) USD $27.87 Buy It Now 8 days
Banda Fresa El Guapo Vol 5 CD New Sealed USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Guapo - History of the Visitation [New CD] USD $25.29 Buy It Now 9 days
El Guapo - Fake French [New CD] USD $13.86 Buy It Now 9 days
History Of The Visitation - 2 DISC SET - Guapo (CD New) USD $22.45 Buy It Now 9 days
Guapo-History of the Visitation (UK IMPORT) CD with DVD NEW USD $25.31 Buy It Now 10 days
Guapo-Elixirs (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $13.75 Buy It Now 10 days
LP CHICO CHE Y LA CRISI Yo Soy Un Muchacho Guapo IL66008 ARLOLA JAPAN Vinyl USD $43.64 Buy It Now 10 days
JULIO SOSA Guapo y Varon c/ Orq. ARMANDO PONTIER Tango MONO LP USD $16.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Elixirs by Guapo (England) (CD, May-2008, Neurotic) NEW & SEALED USD $12.99 Buy It Now 10 days
GUAPO-Five Suns CD NEW USD $23.42 Buy It Now 11 days
El Guapo Stuntteam - Accusation Blues Vinyl LP 10 Tracks Alternative Rock NEW+ USD $27.16 Buy It Now 11 days
Guapo - History of the Visitation - CD/DVD - New USD $26.71 Buy It Now 11 days
Guapo - Elixirs - CD - New USD $14.91 Buy It Now 11 days
Guapo - Obscure Knowledge - CD - New USD $15.74 Buy It Now 11 days
Obscure Knowledge - Guapo (CD New) USD $15.53 Buy It Now 11 days
Jose Guapo & Trap-A-Holics - Xtravagant Vibez-2018-mixtape cd USD $6.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Watussi - 1000% Guapo - CD (WATUSCD003 Digipack) USD $10.72 Buy It Now 12 days
Scott Jeppesen El Guapo (CD, 2013, Creative Bottle Music) sealed USD $3.75 Buy It Now 12 days
Guapo - Obscure Knowledge [New CD] USD $15.21 Buy It Now 12 days
Nati Y Su Orquesta/ Set de Dos Lp/Yo No Soy Guapo/Para Usted/ Prensa Venezuela USD $24.99 Buy It Now 12 days
rare cd SALSA Sonora Matancera YO NO SOY GUAPO guaguanco en la timba BESITO COCO USD $12.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Guapo - Obscure Knowledge [CD] USD $16.48 Buy It Now 12 days
Watussi : 1000% Guapo (1000% Handsome) CD USD $7.99 Buy It Now 12 days
GUAPO: BLACK ONI MUSIC CD, 5 GREAT ROCK TRACKS, NEUROT RECORDINGS, GUC USD $8.99 Buy It Now 13 days
Ramito Con Tonito Ferrer El Guapo Jalao / Buena En Cantidad ANSONIA 6469 G+ USD $11.99 Buy It Now 13 days
RARE OOP A Study In Her CD Dialogic DEAD MECHANICAL El Guapo Supersystem ASiH 02 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 13 days
Guapo - Obscure Knowledge 045775040417 (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $24.15 Buy It Now 14 days
El Guapo ?- Fake French ( Box C720) USD $14.30 Buy It Now 15 days
El Guapo - Fake French CD USD $8.58 Buy It Now 15 days
Nati y Su Orquesta- Yo No Soy Guapo-Rare Orig.1st.Press.On Combo.-LP SEALED USD $45.00 Buy It Now 15 days
Bastro - Diablo Guapo - Homestead Cassette NEW USD $9.99 Buy It Now 15 days
Guapo Obscure Knowledge Vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $44.33 Buy It Now 17 days
Bastro - Diablo Guapo - Homestead NEW Cassette USD $12.99 Buy It Now 17 days
7" | 45 | LOS 7 LATINOS | El gato guapo - El butaquito | VG+ USD $1.39 Buy It Now 17 days
EL GUAPO Fake French 12" VINYL USA Dischord 2003 12 Track With Inner (Dis134V) USD $15.66 Buy It Now 17 days
GUAPO Hell Is Other People 7" VINYL UK Power Tools 1995 3 Track White Label USD $6.49 Buy It Now 18 days
Fake French - El Guapo (CD New) USD $11.10 Buy It Now 18 days
Guapo - Elixirs [CD] USD $15.30 Buy It Now 19 days
CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUCION/GUAPO, REGGAETON. THE CUBAN REVOLUCION, EX/EX, 13 Tra USD $7.79 Buy It Now 19 days
MR FUSION, READY, OK!, EX/EX, 7 Track, CD Album, Picture Sleeve, GUAPO RECORDING USD $7.79 Buy It Now 19 days
Guapo History Of The Visitation Vinyl 2 LP NEW sealed USD $50.05 Buy It Now 19 days
GUAPO - Black Oni (CD 2006) USD $8.99 Buy It Now 19 days
SABOR CANTA EL GUAPO LA SERIE CONTIENE EL HIT LAS CUARENTA "LP Record USD $33.00 Buy It Now 20 days
Jose Guapo Lingo 2 Front/Back Artwork 2018 CD Mixtape Album USD $7.99 Buy It Now 20 days
Guapo vs. Oharu ?- Erase Yer Head Special Issue 7" Single Vinyl USD $10.34 Buy It Now 21 days
Year of the Panther by El Guapo Stuntteam (CD, 2001) USD $29.99 Buy It Now 21 days
Salsa RARE CD FANIA First Pressing RAY DE LA PAZ que linda te ves ELEGUA guapo USD $154.95 Buy It Now 21 days
Guapo - Obscure Knowledge [New Vinyl] USD $26.15 Buy It Now 21 days
Guapo : Five Suns CD (2004) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 21 days
ROLANDO La'SERIE El Guapo de La Cancion Proucciones Gema L.P.G 1185 USD $14.00 Buy It Now 22 days
Scott Jeppesen: El Guapo USD $7.95 Buy It Now 22 days
Guapo-Elixirs (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $12.45 Buy It Now 22 days
RARE salsa CD Henry Fiol GUAPERIA guapo fantoma DE LA MANO A LA BOCA linda india USD $34.99 Buy It Now 23 days
G.Slurr-El Guapo CD NEW USD $22.88 Buy It Now 23 days
BEARCOON - El Guapo - CD - **Mint Condition** USD $20.95 Buy It Now 23 days
GUAPO 'GUAPO vs MAGMA' - 7" VINYL SINGLE WITH HAND MADE SLEEVE USD $11.71 Buy It Now 24 days
DJAM KARET THE RITUAL CONTINUES LP BRAZIL 1stP 1989 Herd Of Instinct Zombi Guapo USD $26.99 Buy It Now 24 days
EL GUAPO - FAKE FRENCH CD BRAND NEW SEALED USD $10.00 Buy It Now 24 days
Guapo - Obscure Knowledge (Vinyl) USD $45.52 Buy It Now 25 days
Elixirs, GUAPO, Very Good USD $15.00 Buy It Now 25 days

More places to buy GUAPO music online Buy GUAPO & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

GUAPO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GUAPO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.32 | 12 ratings
Towers Open Fire
1997
2.36 | 9 ratings
Hirohito
1998
3.14 | 7 ratings
Guapo & Ruins: Death Seed
2000
2.75 | 15 ratings
Great Sage, Equal Of Haven
2000
4.05 | 129 ratings
Five Suns
2004
4.02 | 82 ratings
Black Oni
2005
3.78 | 67 ratings
Elixirs
2008
4.00 | 88 ratings
History Of The Visitation
2013
3.93 | 69 ratings
Obscure Knowledge
2015

GUAPO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GUAPO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GUAPO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GUAPO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 3 ratings
Guapo vs. Magma
1998
3.61 | 9 ratings
Twisted Stems
2006

GUAPO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Elixirs by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.78 | 67 ratings

BUY
Elixirs
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by 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.

 History Of The Visitation by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 88 ratings

BUY
History Of The Visitation
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A comparatively terse album for Guapo - in its physical incarnation the release is made a bit more tempting with a bonus live DVD - finds the band exploring its usual vast range of sounds. The epic Pilman Radiant finds them bridging sounds ranging from the brutal prog of Five Suns or Black Oni to more jazzy, lighter affairs, reminiscent of the Canterbury-tinged early sound of RIO pioneers like Samla Mammas Manna or Henry Cow. Complex #7 is a harshly electronic intermission before the foreboding Tremors From the Future plays us out. Not quite as groundbreaking as Five Suns or Black Oni, but it's still nice to see Guapo keeping their hand in the game.
 Obscure Knowledge by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 69 ratings

BUY
Obscure Knowledge
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Despite a growing frustration with the high and vocal early praise that Guapo releases garner, I have decided to press on regardless in my patient getting-to-know, give-em-a-chance attitude to this band. Though my first exposure to them, the universally acclaimed 2004 release, "Five Suns," helped convince me that this might be (one of) the new direction(s) of Zuehl, I have now decided that the music of this band is less Zeuhl and more Avant Garde/RIO (which is probably the band's intention after all).

1. "Obscure Knowledge (Part I)" (25:39) Opens with a fairly exciting six-minute section that is straight out of the Zeuhl textbook, but then transitions into a rather-prolonged ten-minute SWANS-like section which is all founded upon the repetetive ejaculation of a single guitar chord. The sudden switch into a kind of 1960s BLACK SABBATH blues-rock. At 17:30 the music leaps into a series of YES-like machine gun explosions which is then followed by a brief Steve Howe-like passage which is then transformed into a Robert Fripp-like riff which becomes the new theme foundations for a five minute section of continuous experimental sound discharges. This is then ended by the band's quick discourse into a Crimson/VDGG-like fabric which then gets the Kavus/Fripp treatment from the lead guitar. Nice section that ends in the 25th minute with a brief return to a variation of the SWANS-like theme. This is quickly cast off in favor of a very thick, heavy King Crimson patch. But, alas, this is too good to last as the band falls back into a prolonged single-chord format for the song's final section in which the bass, organ, Fender Rhodes, and second guitar are (thankfully) more prominent (though Kavus' single chord guitar is still far in the foreground). (42.5/50)

2. "Obscure Knowledge (Part II)" (4:38) is an organ and bagpipe-led piece that again can't help but remind me of a SWANS song. All kinds of incidental "wind"-like sounds are thrown into the cauldron by the various other musicians, making for an interesting cacophony of babeldom. I actually quite like it! (9/10)

3. "Obscure Knowledge (Part III)" (12:39) opens with some real blues playing before settling into a kind of Hendrix Haze. Still, this is real music, with foundation in real chords, keys, and scales. (21/25)

Four stars; an excellent contribution to the modern catalogue of Avant/RIO.

 History Of The Visitation by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 88 ratings

BUY
History Of The Visitation
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. Some major changes in the GUAPO world after the "Elixers" album where the band was down to the duo of David J. Smith and Daniel O'Sullivan. Enter Kavus Torabi and Emmett Elvin from KNIFEWORLD along with new bass player James Sedwards. We get 8 guests playing a variety of horns and strings including THE MUFFINS Dave Newhouse.

"The Pillman Radiant" is such a great title to the opening track that takes up the bulk of this album at over 26 minutes. The first 5 minutes are experimental and dark with plenty of atmosphere including eerie sounds after a couple of minutes. This all changes as we get a calm before the bass, keys and drums kick in. Guitar after 7 minutes and it's angular. A change after 10 minutes as the tempo picks up with the guitar playing over top. Pulsating organ 15 minutes in as the heaviness continues. Huge bass lines and ripping guitar follows. The intensity rises after 17 minutes before it all starts to wind down 18 1/2 minutes in. It sounds so cool a minute later with sounds coming and going in this experimental section. There's actually a BLACK SABBATH-like vibe("Master Of Reality") after 21 minutes in this urgent sounding section. The band are on fire before 24 minutes then we get what sounds like mellotron as it settles back but this is still powerful. What a song!

"Complex #7" is a haunting and experimental piece that is dark and spacey as well. "Tremors From The Future" opens with pulsating keys as the drums join in and the tempo picks up. It's fuller before 2 1/2 minutes. I'm thinking ANEKDOTEN after 3 1/2 minutes and 5 1/2 minutes with that angular guitar and sound. The tempo picks up 6 minutes in but it settles back some with angular guitar. The pulsating keys are back. How impressive does this sound after 8 minutes. Insane! The organ runs over the throbbing bass and sound. Ripping guitar 9 1/2 minutes in and I really like the mellotron-like sounds a minute later to the end.

This is one of my highlights from 2013 for sure and i'd rate it just behind "Obscure Knowledge" and "Five Suns" when it comes to the GUAPO catalogue.

 Obscure Knowledge by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 69 ratings

BUY
Obscure Knowledge
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Once again I'm left spellbound by the sheer power of the music from this band just like I was when I first heard their "Five Suns" album. Without question this record will be on my "Best of" list for 2015.

"Obscure Knowledge Part I" is the almost 26 minute opener and man what a ride this trip is. Sounds pulsate as the atmosphere becomes uncomfortable then it kicks in hard before 2 minutes followed by the guitar lighting it up. The guitar reminds me of Steve Howe here. Powerful organ runs as well then the guitar rips it up again before turning Howe-like. It's winding down slowly around 5 minutes as pulsating keys join in and those powerful sounds that drone in and out. It starts to build and we get this repetitive sound but it does have different shades to it as it plays out. A change before 13 minutes and I love when it turns into an ANGLAGARD-like sound around 15 minutes with the angular guitar, organ and more. This continues until it changes before 22 1/2 minutes. Man that section is priceless! They then seem to jam almost to the end in a very groovy way. Love the Fender Rhodes. Just before it ends we get this bagpipe-like note that goes on and on as it blends into "Obscure Knowledge Part II" and it continues this way throughout this over 4 1/2 minute track as experimental sounds come and go. The most avant-garde piece on here.

"Obscure Knowledge Part III" opens with the bass, guitar and keys coming and going until it picks up with drums joining in. The angular guitar is awesome. It settles back but it will shift in tempo and mood throughout. This track really infatuates me. How intense is this before 9 minutes! And this will continue to the end.

Man this can be so experimental but they give me enough melody to balance it out really well. This is an intriguing album that will appeal to Avant fans especially.

 Five Suns by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.05 | 129 ratings

BUY
Five Suns
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by chikinn

3 stars I was disappointed by this album but I have to admit it's well performed and well produced. I simply find most of the songs to be dull. The opening five come off as throbbing bass-and-drum-driven background music. Extensive dissonance throughout the album lends a nice ambiance, spacey zeuhl for sure, but I'm still grasping for a cohesive musical package here. After a couple of listens, each time has left me bored and craving something that follows more harmonic and melodic progression.

The last two tracks, "Mictlan" and "Topan" stand out as being a little better and more varied, but they're still quite repetitive. It feels like most of the ideas on this album could have been adequately developed in half the play time.

 History Of The Visitation by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 88 ratings

BUY
History Of The Visitation
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by tmay102436

5 stars I pretty much quit giving 5 stars for anything but "the gods of the golden era." I pretty much quit writing reviews, as I was (and still am) so enthralled with the aforementioned giants of prog and the newly remixed, 5.1 or remastered additions of these heroes (Early Genesis, Tull, etc....)

Then I heard this Guapo CD - "History Of The Visitation." My god, what a masterwork. I have a couple other albums of theirs, and they are quite wonderful, leaving hope for future RIO's with a new slant. THIS IS THAT HOPE!

From beginning to end, your ears, soul and heart are turned upside down, smoothed out, and then put under intense pressure, all to be relieved by the sheer beauty of tone and color that works so well together. Obvious reference points are the trad RIO giants - Univerze Zero, Art Zoyd, a bit of Henry Cow, etc....but this is English RIO at its best, and reawakens what makes the best of RIO so insatiable to ears that love the style.

A previous reviewer stated that maybe you have to be an older listener (of which I am!) to really appreciate this, and maybe he's right. But I hope that a younger generation can hear this wonderful work of Guapo, understand that it is derived from learning, listening to past and present, and pure magic and talent.

Bravo Guapo, Bravo!

 Great Sage, Equal Of Haven by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.75 | 15 ratings

BUY
Great Sage, Equal Of Haven
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars Almost three stars, really!!!

Last Guapo album before they would dramatically change their soundscape to a Zeuhlish-post rock, GSEoH is pretty much in the line of its three predecessor, often veering in dissonant and hardcore experimental math rock. I won't try to decipher what the trio is up to in terms of esoteric concept - provided there is one, but the artwork album name and track names seem to imply at least a little something ? since the band keeps instrumental and it all seems shallow dressing-up of the difficult music. When I say trio, lead blower Caroline Kraabel only plays on half the tracks, and it's mostly the Smith-Thompson duo that fill up the sonic wall;;; But when Caroline does blow in her saxes, it's anything but meaningless. As the album goes on, the trio invited a couple of guests for the last tracks (as if they needed help to beef-up their sound), as the least we can say is that the album is filled with long crescendos, sometimes ala Crimson.

The album starts with a brooding oppressive crescendo soon developing in a weird hardcore klezmer rock (ala Alamaailman Vasarat, but without horns) Total noisy chaos is reached with the thankfully-short Ten Years Of Heisei, where the trachy hardcore math rock nears epic proportions, but this is not positive. Elsewhere (in Sakura) the album offers a little aural rest with a repetitive sludgy riff. Also starting quieter is the Perfect blue piecen, where Kraabel gets reinforcements in the sax dept, with Edwards coming in. And the final track gets the help of Andy Thompson's Minimoog, and it adds the electronic weirdness to the oppressive crescendo.

Well in the line of its predecessor, it would be a while before Guapo would release another album, most likely because they had to find O' Sullivan that would change the band's sound drastically since his instruments werekeyboards, which are almost totally absent on the present TGSEoH. This one is hardly essential, unless you care for Guap's Mk I era.

 History Of The Visitation by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 88 ratings

BUY
History Of The Visitation
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars After a four or five years hiatus, Guapo returns with what we could e'asily call their Mk3 era, since O'Sullivan has now left. Indeed, the band's musical scope had dramatically shifted from a noisy experimental and dissonant quagmire, to a much more palatable zeuhl-ish post rock (from Five Suns onwards). Despite bassist Thompson quickly dropping out of the picture, the trio (at first), then a duo, became a quartet with the preceding Elixirs. Replacing O'Sullivan is Emmett Emvin, but his style does not differ much much his predecessor, especuially that he's using more or less the same instruments, but mainly a Rhodes. Musically the band had shifted from a certain form of Zeuhl to an interesting Post Rock, then slowly growing into their unclassifiable brand of prog. A rather bland outer artwork, though the inner folds are much brighter and sunnier forest shots, which is rather unusual for the band. Also invited are a bunch of horn players (5) and two string players, though they're not overly present, and therefore this does not change the band's general soundscapes.

The album itself features three tracks, the first of which is a five-movement 26-mns Pilman Radiant. As usual the piece opens with a lengthy and calm intro, gradually picking up momentum and intensity, to lead us into the demented soundscapes and foray deeply in the entrails of the band's musical realm. The short (less than 5-mins) Complex 7 track can be seen as the intro of the 11-mins finale Tremors From The Future piece., which is filled with heroics and histrionics. Great stuff.

As a bonus, the ever-excellent Cuneiform label includes a DVD that features two concert footages from two different festivals (Nearfest 06 and RIO Fest 07) when O'Sullivan was still in the band. If both footage are very interesting, don't expect professional filming (the sound is quite OK, though), as it's mostly one (sometimes two fixed cameras shooting the scene. Nearfest's Five Suns film is in black & white and shows the amazing live dynamics of the band, despite two seated musicians. The French RIO fest (which yours truly attended) footage is shot in colour, but it would be an exaggeration to say that it is in superior quality than its companion footage. However, I had almost forgotten how the King Lindorm piece gad enthralled me back then. Yet another absolutely stunning Cuneiform and Guapo album, one that will give me further enticement to check them out live yet another time (seen them four times already) at this year when they return to this year's RIO fest.

 History Of The Visitation by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 88 ratings

BUY
History Of The Visitation
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars There are times, just times you understand, when I question my sanity. Having now played this album a few times I wonder how can anyone enjoy listening to music where it is at the very edge of the definition? I can honestly say that I don't think that I would have listened to this all the way through when I was younger ? like broad beans and brussel sprouts this is something that is almost exclusively the preserve of those who are older and can savour the experience. The band has been going for 19 years, and currently comprises drummer and founding member David J. Smith with mainstays Kavus Torabi (Cardiacs, Knifeworld) on guitar and James Sedwards (Nøght) on bass, joined by recent addition Emmett Elvin (Chrome Hoof, Knifeworld) on keyboards.

Now as soon as I see the name Cardiacs I sit up and pay attention, and have also enjoyed what I have heard from Knifeworld, but it is fair to say that these guys understanding of music here (the label helpfully provides some references such as controlled chaos, atonal harmony, uplifting darkness, and beautiful destruction) is quite different to many. They seem to mix RIO with prog, and while King Crimson is a fairly obvious reference it is possible to also bring Magma, Univers Zero, elements of Can, The Mars Volta etc. easy listening this isn't.

This instrumental album only contains three songs, and the first of these is twenty six minutes long so it is heads down and see you at the end. There are large similarities with free jazz, although never quite veering into that territory although reedmen Thomas Scott and Dave Newhouse from Maryland avant jazz-rock institution The Muffins are some of the guests taking part. The label describes this as "Sun Ra jamming with Stravinsky", and if that makes you believe that this can be hard work to listen to, yet ultimately rewarding, then you would be right. This will only appeal to a small part of the music buying public, but those who enjoy finding something different need to investigate further. www.cuneiformrecords.com

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives