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GURTH

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Spain


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Gurth biography
Gurth is a fusion/prog band from the heard of the Penedès region in Spain. They recorded their first s/t demo in 2003. 2008 sees their first full length release, Tormentes; a fusion/prog release, with a high amount of guitar lead tunes, dynamic songs and playing with an uplifting mood.
They have signed with MALS and their first album Tormentes is issued on this label.

==Assaf Vestin (avestin)==

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TormentesTormentes
Mals Limited
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GURTH discography


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3.41 | 14 ratings
Tormentes
2008

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GURTH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tormentes by GURTH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.41 | 14 ratings

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Tormentes
Gurth Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Spain is offering another intresting band named Gurth, with one album released so far named Tormentes in 2008 at russian label Mals. Hmm, this is chalenging and adventurous music, mainly instrumental with ocasionaly vocal parts. Inspired by King Crimson or Frank Zappa musical creaziness but with a good doze of jazz fusion elements thrown in, makes Torments a pleasent ride but in the end not quite fantastic. The pieces are dynamic, the guitars remind me of Fripp most of the time with uplifting parts but also some passages have that jazzier calmer melodic moods of DiMeola and obove all these add some quirky keyboards and strange (for me) vocal lines and you have DiMeola meets King Crimson in old fashion way. All pieces are ok most of the time, mainly instrumental, more then decen musicinship makes from Torments a worthy listning for sure. 3.5 stars for this little known album.

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 Tormentes by GURTH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.41 | 14 ratings

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Tormentes
Gurth Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by justaguy

2 stars People who wished late King Crimson to be a little fresher and jazzier will be lucky to discover Spanish progressive fusion band Gurth. Frippesque guitars are all over their first record "Tormentes", issued early in 2008. On the other hand, there is a whole lot of jazzy arrangements and improvisations. Other recognizable influence which comes to mind is Return to Forever. But it should be said: these Barcelonian musicians don't just copy styles. Gurth is really something else, they developed their own and very much recognizable style, quite authentic and very energetic.

The group consist of a drummer and 4 guitarists: bas, synth and two electric. However, the music doesn't come over that much of a guitar music, thanks to collaborations and the use of vibraphone and synth guitar. The compositions are mostly optimistic instrumentals, may be a little raw on arrangements and production. There are also a few songs with vocal, sung in Catalonian. This vocal part is actually a thing they should thoroughly think over. The voice sounds quite enthusiastic and funny, but not good enough to be a substantial addition to the music.

I also have some doubts about the cover of the cd. It is funny all right, but quite suggestive, and may be even just a little more than a good taste will allow. Then, the name of the group. Is it a part of the word Yogurth (Spanish for yogurt)? There is this personage on the cover painting, holding a cup with "YO GURTH". Or has it something to do with a slang word "gurth" ? circumference of a male genital part? It shouldn't matter actually - music is what counts. However to me, this and the weak vocals still lessen the overall positive impression of the record.

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 Tormentes by GURTH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.41 | 14 ratings

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Tormentes
Gurth Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Tormentes is the debut album from Spanish fusion band Gurth. Tormentes is a really enjoyable album and the music is influenced by symphonic/ eclectic prog in addition to fusion. The album was released in the beginning of 2008.

The music is a kind of easy listening fusion that is not very complex yet challengin enough to be on prog archives. This is both a good and a bad thing. The music is mostly instrumental but there are a few vocal parts here and there. The vocals are mostly sung in Spanish but I think I heard a few English gloses as well. All songs are good but very few really stand out as memorable or special. Somnis Lliures which starts the album and the ninth song Truita De Tortuga are a bit different though as they draw influences from eighties King Crimson with the fast complex guitar playing. One of the best things about Tormentes is that the musical ideas never outstays their welcome and the songs have many parts. It´s a very melodic album and I never once thought about skipping anything.

The musicianship is great and even though we´ve heard it all before it´s still very enjoyable. I would call this music pleasant.

The production is good and leaves room for the different instruments to unfold.

Beautiful cover artwork ( Picasso inspired collage).

Fusion will never be my favorite type of music but this is easy listening fusion and somehow I´m able to enjoy this much more than some of the more hardcore jazz fusion bands that tend to be really hard to get into. This is the kind of album you put on a hot summer night and drink cold white wine while you eat salmon or lobster. A real summer album if there ever was one. An therein lies the problem with the music on Tormentes. It works a bit too well as background music. I still think it´s an album that deserves 3 stars. Pleasant and enjoyable but lacks a bit artistic depth.

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 Tormentes by GURTH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.41 | 14 ratings

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Tormentes
Gurth Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars From Barcelona comes Gurth, a Spanish band ready to make an impression in the world of jazz-prog, in the same way that Senogul made an impact in the standards of eclectic prog last year and October Equus delivered an amazing exhibition of RIO the year before that: 2008 has to be Gurth's year in terms of Spanish new input to worldwide prog. The band's main influences fit the artsy jazz-rock and jazz-fusion profiles (Pastorius-era Weather Report, Return to Forever, Iceberg) with an added modern sensibility (Tribal Tech), plus 80s King Crimson in many guitar phrasing and harmonic sections. The band has no less than 3 guitarists, one of them being in charge of the guitar-synth in order to add polyphonic chords and leads. Given the fact that the band is not shy at summoning guest musicians to occasionally deliver percussion, keyboard or woodwind inputs, it is no wonder that the album's sonic pallet should be so rich. Gurth really paves an eclectic strategy in terms of writing, but the final arrangements always lead to a recurrent goal - prog-friendly jazz-rock. The album kicks off with 'Somnis Lliures', a not too long yet undeniably vibrant exhibition of jazzed-up Crimson, and then it is followed by the more fusion- oriented 'Camí Sonor', which is more like a mixture of Return to Forever and Tribal Tech. 'Coses que Passen' goes for a more lyrical road, although the level of enthusiasm remains pretty much the same: this sounds to me like a confluence of Return to Forever and Gilgamesh. 'La Corrupció de l'Enyor' takes us to the rock side of jazz-rock, not unlike Colosseum II: the bluesy undertones cry out the Gary Moore influence. A very catchy piece it is, indeed. 'Les Calderes d'en Pere Botero' returns to 80s-era Crimsonian fields, with an extra dose of ironic vibe that may remind us of late-70s Zappa, especially during the last section. 'Les Oliveres d'en Joan' is much kinder, exploring the dynamics of Latin-jazz with punch and finesse. 'El Patufet Va Amb Vespa' keeps on working on the preceding track's joyful drive, only this time with a harder jazz-rock-oriented approach: the intersection of acoustic and electric guitar is very effective in order to preserve the track's basic warmth in the most aggressive passages. 'Tormentes de Diners Amb Fang' is the segued piece, and here's where hell breaks loose in a robust mixture of Zappa, King Crimson and standardized heavy psychedelia. The 'Larks' Tongues II' quote in the end is quite funny, actually. 'Truita de Tortuga' follows in the same vein as the now distant opener, at some point even reinforcing the Crimsonian element. 'Juga'mi' restates the trend of melodic fusion that had made the most lyrical moments in the preceding repertoire, while 'Sssss, A Dormir' is the album's soft epilogue, based on a delicate amalgam of dual acoustic guitars plus a lovely clarinet (played by guest Yannic). Gurth saved their softer side for the last two tracks. The band is really keen on setting an eclectic sonic foundation for its jazz-prog scheme: "Tormentes" has to be one of the brightest albums in this area for 2008.

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 Tormentes by GURTH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.41 | 14 ratings

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Tormentes
Gurth Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Spanish outfit Gurth delivers an adventurous escapade with their debut album Tormentos.

In style they sound pretty much like a mix of late 70's Al DiMeola and early 80's King Crimson, sometimes sounding more like either the one or the other, and at other times sounding like a 50/50 mix of these. The general style description will probably be fusion, with jazz-tinged drums and bass, acoustic and electric guitars sometimes delivering slightly disharmonic layers in a manner much like Fripp, at other times more gentle and melodic guitar licks undermining highly melodic and atmospheric guitar soloing similar to Meolas in laid-back modus; and at times combining these guitar elements in a spicy sonic mix. Add in some keyboard textures here and there, and some tunes with horns, trumpet and sax creating variations and seasoning to the tunes, and you may have a general impression of the music on this CD.

Well performed and well written compositions too, but the moments of exceptional brilliance aren't quite within the grasp of these musicians quite yet. But this is a solid album, and fans of 70's fusion/jazz-rock as well as Crimsonheads might want to check out this one.

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 Tormentes by GURTH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.41 | 14 ratings

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Tormentes
Gurth Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 3.5 stars rounded to 4!

GURTH is a Spanish band; they've been hanging around for 10 years or so, but their official debut was released only this Spring by Russian Prog-Rock MALS label. I frequently write for MALS, they seem to be the most interesting and prominent label on post-USSR scene along with more experimental R.A.I.G. formation, and the fact that MALS already releases foreing bands like GURTH made me even more interested.

I had some doubts whether I'd like the stuff GURTH guys playing. I ain't big Fusion fan (he-he, got only 2 reviews for the genre!), but eclectic stuff sometimes is what you may enjoy without any signs of down- the-throat attitude. GURTH play tasty. They are tasteful, that's it. If you're a musician, you'll get unforgettable minutes of joy and fun listening to these guys, with a smile of satisfaction on your face. They sing very rare, play mostly in complex signatures, tracks never seem to drag, all of them vary in mood and colouring, and even if it's not the most melodic stuff I heard, they have groove, which is sometimes more prominent thing to achieve. My personal favourite is pre-last track 'Juga'mi' - amazing! Extremely melodical and radio-friendly, but gentle and sincere.

What more should I add? GURTH sounds professional, with bits of Andaluz Prog flashing here and there (Erik Neuteboom would love it!), some Canterbury and Symphonic added too. GURTH looks pretty fun, at least, the album's booklet is made in some kind of 'Picasso on weed' manner! Isn't this yet another prove, that Prog and Humour are related? Anyway, if you want to check what's new in Fusion in 2008, 'Tormentes' is the first thing you should start with: good old-fashioned balanced Fusion, but also eclectic and hot! Recommended

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 Tormentes by GURTH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.41 | 14 ratings

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Tormentes
Gurth Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I first heard Gurth's music in their Myspace and though it cool. The band's bassist, Jordi, then proceeded to contact me asking me to review their album, to which I happily obliged, being enthusiastic about the music I heard.

This is a dynamic group, playing tight and energetic fusion/prog that is varied and fun. The music is mostly on the upbeat and rhythmic side. They shift very well from their rock oriented side to their jazzier facet and combine both effortlessly and effectively. There is a good marriage of the different influences and elements in their music. There are tracks, like Coese Que Passen in which some fusion influences from the 70's come into mind but mostly their sound is fresh and captivating.

As is evident from their music and the cover art of the album, the band is not devoid of a sense of humour; it is an album that will have you beat your head to the rhythm and move your feet accordingly. The vibe and pace are engaging and addictive. I found it very hard to resist being carried away in their melodies, it is just contagious. Needless to say, this is a great thing about an album; its ability to carry you with it during its duration.

I also think it evident from listening to them that they are proficient in their playing, all of the musicians. The drums are a joy to follow; Raimon Iniesta the drummer is clearly having fun there as he is giving great tempo and variety in his playing. The same can be said for all other musicians in the band. In particular I'll mention the bass in Les oliveres D'en Joan and the guitar in Somnis Lliures. The vibraphone is a good addition where it appears. While mostly instrumental, there are some songs and the vocals, while not spectacular, are not bad or take too much away from the music. However, I would recommend them to not sing in English (though it's only one line in one song).

The songs/tracks are well ordered in the album, keeping an uninterrupted flow and unlike in some other albums of this style, the tracks are easily distinguishable and do not "lose their identity" amidst the others, meaning that it doesn't all sound the same. My advice to them (should they want to even hear it) would be to expand the influences they incorporate to their sound and go for more than the current repertoire; what I mean by this is that they seem like a band that can play whatever they decide to. It would be great to hear them widen their musical palate and go for a broader range of styles. I think that they can do it very well.

If it's buoyant and vibrant melodic music that you want, with a good portion of jazziness and rock inside, then this is a good album to pick. I'm looking forward to their next album.

3.5 stars in PA scale

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Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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