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Gazpacho - Soyuz CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.76 | 142 ratings

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The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Soyuz" is Norweigian progers Gazpacho's 10th studio album. I have seen quite a lot of different opinions trying explain what their music is like. And I will try to do it here but it is difficult. But what I can say is that it is prog, they are different from the norm and they like to really challenge the listener whose prepared to spend time trying to really unlock their music but at the same time people who don't have the time to get into their stuff can still be rewarded. What I'm saying is their music works on 2 levels and that is one of the things that make this band so special.

The album has a nice opening with "Soyuz one". I love the build up on this track as it begins another facinating Gazpacho journey weaving gently into the album. Then the track has these wonderful heavy then soft moments reminesant of "Even Less" by Porcupine tree but done with the Gazpacho stamp. The second track "Hypomaina" also has a gentle introduction but after that the band throw a bit of a curve ball and go into a terrority I have never really heard Gazpacho go in before. It actually sounds like Radiohead's "The Bends" era. And with "The Bends" being my favourite Radiohead album, this is no bad thing for me at all. This is an excellent track and nice to see a band who after 10 albums are still mixing things up a bit.

The thrid track "Exit suite" acts as a nice break after the heavier "Hypomania". What I like about Gazpacho is really they have 3 musical weapons. The guitar, the keyboard and the violin. Instead of creating say a guitar driven track or a keyboard driven track. They often give each instrument the limelight within each song. For example in "Soyuz one", there is a violin solo outro to the track which is just amazing and something which seems quite rare on a prog record. But again this is just another thing which makes Gazpacho stand out and keeps them interesting. The 4th track "Emperor Bespoke" is a great example of this with some bits focusing on the keyboards, some the guitar then some bits are a mix of both. This is an 8 minute track and is one of my favourites off the album. The soaring vocals on this track just top it off for me.

Then the album takes a bit of a down turn for me with in my opinion the 2 weakest tracks off the album being "Sky burial" and "Fleeting thoughts". The thing I don't like about "Sky burial" in particular is the 2 notes being played on the keyboard over and over again throughout the track. While with "Fleeting thoughts" there is just not enough happening for me in this track. But it was almost like these are the 2 calm tracks before the epic 13 minute centrepiece which is "Soyuz out". This track really just takes my breath away and just shows how good Gazpacho are at constructing long songs while keeping them interesting. The album finishes with "Rappaccini" which is a nice wind down track and a good way of finishing the album.

Overall this is a good album with many magical moments. There are a couple of bits which for me weren't as good but somehow they are positioned into the album in a way that they kind of made the best with what they had. I have heard quite a bit of Gazpacho's back catalogue this year and this one certainly fits into it very well. On the whole it is an album I would go back to try unlock more of the hidden secrets that lay within. And you never know hopefully those thoughts I had about those 2 tracks will just have been fleeting thoughts...

The Rain Man | 4/5 |


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