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Gurth - Tormentes CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.40 | 18 ratings

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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.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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