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October Equus


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October Equus October Equus album cover
3.86 | 34 ratings | 3 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lupus in Fabula (5:22)
2. Field of Mars (2:54)
3. Bigas (7:46)
4. Sacrifice (4:45)
5. Vestals (4:19)
6. Head of the Winner (7:17)
7. End: On a Lance (4:54)
8. Reliqua Tempora (3:43)
9. Minus Nihilo (4:49)
10. Hydra (3:59)

Total Time 49:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Angel Ontalva / guitar, co-producer
- Victor Rodriguez / keyboards
- Amanda Pazos / bass
- Txema Fernandes / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Victor Rodriguez and Angel Ontalva

CD Ma.Ra.Cash Records ‎- MRC 007 (2005, Italy)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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OCTOBER EQUUS October Equus ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

OCTOBER EQUUS October Equus reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An awesome debut album by a Spanish band that is already more than just a mere promise: October Equus revelas itself as a mature avant-garde prog force with its outstanding eponymous album. Lovers of the rockier side of RIO (Present, early 80s- Univers Zero Happy Family) and the rougher side of King Crimson should not miss this 2006 gem. The repertoire is full of sinister, thanatic motifs, moods and counterpoints, usually with Ontalva's guitar taking center stage while Rodríguez's keyboards lay disturbing orchestrations and ambiences (mixing Univers Zero and Gentle Giant, at least, that's how it sounds to me): all this stands solidly sustained by a rhythm section that moves proficiently all through the complex dynamics of all ten tracks. The opener 'Lupus in Fabula' bears a dark, intrepid feel, which restlessly defies the listener from second 1: the band invites the listener to take it or leave it right away, without delay or compromise. This opener is really powerful, although it is probably the sequence of tracks 2-7 that will call for the attention of the empathetic listener. This sequence conforms the namesake suite, occupying 32 minutes of the repertoire. The foursome allow themselves to explore a variety of moods while keeping a very clear focus on the kind of sonic resources that they constantly stick to. 'Fields of Mars' and 'Bigas' portray a continuous oppressive storm, each one concluding with majestic mellotron-like layers that seem to rest heavily in a hellish atmosphere. 'Sacrifice' bears a more ceremonious aura on a languid tempo, which doesn't stop the guitar from providing one of its most electrifying solos in the album right before the mesmerizing coda. 'Vestals' follows in the ceremonious vein, but this time with more sinister nuances. 'Head of the Winner' bring back the oppressive frenzy of the first two sections, adding an enhanced incandescence to it, and even some occasional joyful colors, too. Things get more obviously melancholic for the suite's final section 'End: On a Lance' - the recurring main motif is really captivating: it is provided an extra majestic flavor in both the guitar leads and the versatile keyboard ornaments. The random mellotron-like layers and storm sound effects add drama to the ever present sense of oppression. The last three tracks have to face the challenge of succeeding the ambitious suite, and they manage to keep the momentum. 'Reliqua Tempora' begins with an inscrutable prelude that soon gives way to the intense main motif: the splendorous ending passage has little to envy from the preceding suite's highlighting moments. 'Minus Nihilu' starts as a well-crafted exercise on minimalist introspection, leading to a powerful climax for its final 1 ˝ minute. 'Hydra' closes down the album in a fashion related to the opening number, albeit with a more pronounced Crimsonian vibe. General conclusion: the "October Equus" album is a most brilliant avant-prog item. This prog genre is not too common in Spain, but definitely, October Equus prove to be an important musical force for the preservation of radical prog rock in our current times.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars OCTOBER EQUUS are an instrumental band from Spain. They took their name from a pagan festival celebrated in ancient Rome in the middle of October after war season. On the bands first two releases the head of a horse is on each cover, this is significant. During the festival the two groups of people who lived in a Roman city would go to another city and have a chariot race, two horses per chariot. The winning teams fastest horse was then beheaded and the head put on a pole. The two sides would then violently fight each other to try to get the head.The winning side would go back to the city victoriously and mount the head in the tower or palace where the skull would be until the next year. Okay we all really needed to know that didn't we ?

The music here is very complex and dark with lots of tension and power. I would describe it as a cross between ANGLAGARD and UNIVERS ZERO but then add a guitarist who reminds me of a cross between Fripp and Fiske offering up angular and grinding guitar expressions with some distortion. The song I like the best is "End On A Lance" with the drums sounding incredible and the mellotron is flowing freely. There is a similar sound throughout as a result of the tone and style of the guitarist.The keyboard / organ player really leaves his mark on this album as well. He deserves some kind of award ! And the interplay of this band is tremendous as would be expected from a Rio / Avant band. A definite Fripp sound on "Field of Mars". "Sacrifice" I find quite creepy (poor horse). Not the kind of music you would play at a family get together unless you wanted them to leave (Haha). A must for fans of dark and adventerous music. 4.5 stars.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Fripp meets Art Zoyd meets Magma...

Somebody thinks that speaking of concept when the subject is an instrumental album is not appropriate. I think that instrumental music is able to transmit sensations, feelings ans states of mind and this is more successful when they match the basic idea. I was not aware of October Equus being an ancient Roman rite, a very bloody one dedicated to Mars, the God of war. I will not repeat here what can be read in the previous review of this album, just let me say that the music fits very well in the concept and seems to have been thought with the concept in mind, so deeply thought to become the band's name, too.

More than dark I think this music can be called sinister or grim, like some of the Roman rituals were. Think to "Magna Mater" and Bacchanals.

The ensemble is excellent for musicianship. Apparently the tracks are lead by guitar but there's a lot of keyboard and in the parts which appear to be more "jammed", the base comes from the keys. Sometimes very good bass lines come from the background while the drummer makes a lot of work with the unusual signatures. The atmosphere is sometimes Crimsonian,but I think that the closing track, "Hydra" could fit in any Magma album.

The general mood is not Zeuhl, anyway. I think this kind of music can be better compared to Ard Zoyd and Shub Niggurath (their first two albums) but more rock oriented, so that even the comparison to non-RIO artists, Fripp in particular, is appropriate.

An excellent 4-stars debut.

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