There are few bands in any genre deserving of the adjective 'unique,' but I think Gazpacho is one. I started with March of Ghosts and was initially unmoved. The vast majority of their output is very slow tempo and dreamy, and owes much more to classical influences than say rock or jazz. In my experience though, it takes only a couple of listens before the insidious melodies and soulful vocals begin to exert their addictive powers. I m gradually assembing the back catalogue and have not been disappointed yet, and on the evidence of one full spin...Demon is at least as good as the rest, and may have established a new pinnacle. There is an awful lot going on in spite of the gentle pace, and yet everything seems to belong. There have been few sudden whims at play here I suspect. This is an exquisitely crafted album and a stand-out contribution to the growing arsenal of new quality prog'. It's not for those who like regular bursts of raw power however. You'll want pipe and slippers for this stuff. If it does prove to be your cup of tea, I should warn you you may - like me - find it very difficult to put Gazpacho aside to listen to other things in the months ahead.
I must confess that having listened to an early streaming of this album I was less than impressed, especially following on from their last excellent album March of Ghosts. Prog fans, however, like a challenge so I bought the cd to give it the full listening treatment and what a gem this album is proving to be. Complex, at times minimalistic but ultimately beautiful describes this ambitious move to steer Gazpacho in a slightly different direction whilst retaining the elements that define their sound. The violin is far more prominent than on previous albums and at times it reminds me of minimalistic contemporary classical composer Arvo Part. Just when the complexity reaches breaking point, the sparse beauty of the violin kicks in and sends you on a solitary feeling; it really is musical contrast at its very best and the album twists and turns without ever losing the plot or becoming over indulgent. Everyone in the band is complimenting each other and all held together superbly by vocalist Jan Ohme. The last track Death Room is a masterclass of everything a creative, progressive rock band should aim for in terms of atmosphere, dynamic and melody. It's just stunning. Gazpacho will probably stay under the radar in the prog pecking order, building up a core fan base along the way who will no doubt continue to marvel at their distinctiveness and originality. Gazpacho will tour this album then go back to their respective day jobs. Maybe thats the secret of keeping themselves grounded and re-energised. Whatever the reason, this band will continue to challenge the listener and hopefully one day will get the wider recognition they so thoroughly deserve.
Gazpacho have done it again with this little nugget. Not the longest album but they don't waste a moment with this emotional tour de force. The vocals remind me a little of a cross between Radiohead and Ritual very emotive. They always leave me with a feel of melancholy - happy to feel sad!
Just 4 tracks including the almost catchy, at times folky track, The Wizard of Altai Mountains. My current favourite is I've been Walking part 2. Beautiful vocals over a high pitched keyboard with a lovely violin thrown into the mix - the sycamore vocal section particularly hits the spot.
I think the band have actually raised the bar with this one bringing a number of new sounds and elements to their armoury.
Beautiful, sad and dark music. Early days for 2014 - I am enjoying new releases by Transatlantic, Mike Oldfield and War on Drugs, but this has gone to the top of the list. Excellent!
I have followed with interest Gazpacho's releases since Tick Tock and have been constantly surprised by the quality of their music. Demon is an intricate interesting release. Not immediately accessible, but with constant plays it starts to reveal different levels. There is some beutiful musical interludes on this album. Dont expect raucus guitar solos's or wailing keyboards. However the musicians in Gazpacho often say more with a piano motif than some groups say with 10 minutes of instrument excesses. This album will grace the CD player for a long time to come and unfortunately will probably eclipse other recently purchased albums.
I have loved this band since their album 'Night' in 2007, in my opinion one of the best concept albums every made. Since then I have loved every thing they have produced. They are a symphonic prog band that produce lush melodies, and their last album 'March of Ghosts' perhaps saw them at their most commercial. This therefore came as quite a shock, as I would rate this as the heaviest symphonic rock albums I have ever heard. Never harsh on the ears, still maintaining that lush symphonic feel, but almost gone are the sing along lyrics of their last album. Instead we have what is effectively just three tracks (although one of the is split into parts one and two.) It is another concept album although this is mainly in the lyrics with only the slightest of repeated themes. One track is short at around 5 minutes and is obviously the more commercial, Otherwise the album is dominated by 'I've Been Walking' parts one and two, and 'Death Room' This is a stunning album throughout but the highlight for me is 'I've Been Walking part 2'. It starts with a beautiful refrain about a sycamore tree, and slowly moves through various phases building to a very satisfying conclusion. The depth of creativity in this album is breath taking and even the 20 minute 'Death Room' despite not having any sing along sections never out stays it's length and so full of inventiveness you will just not know what to expect, and it is every bit as ominous as it's title suggests. This is an album to listen to in one go, there is no point trying to dip into it, or play it as back ground in company, it just would not work. Sit alone with a nice glass of something to drink, preferably in room with subdued lighting relax and take it all in. Each listen will produce something different.
This album was an absolute pleasure to discover earlier this year. I've heard of Gazpacho through the likes of Steven Wilson, Amplifier, The Pineapple Thief etc (i.e they also belong on the excellent Kscope label), but never gotten round to listening to them. Well I was instantly amazed by what I heard and went out to buy 'Night' and the rather hard to find 'Tick Tock' album straight away. What stands out on all these releases are the gorgeous vocals (reminiscent of Muse but perhaps easier to decipher) and the warm fuzzy sonic textures. Demon is the more reserved of the three albums that I own, but it is also perhaps the most beautiful (although nothing reaches the sheer emotive power of 'Winter in Never' from Tick-Tock').
Demon may not have the pop gems of 'Tick-Tock' or the hypnotic rhythm of 'Night', but it opts for a more blissful sense of ambience (the first half of 'I've been Walking part 2 for example). It also features a much wider variety of instruments that give the album not only more texture, but also genuine originality (the latter half of 'The wizard..' sounds more like 'Gogol Bordello playing a Floyd track!). The violins and piano give the album a warm folky vibe, whereas the guitars, keyboards and drums are more akin to straightforward rock. The album does occasionally 'rock', but only when it feels it needs to (ie no guitar solos here). The long track lengths may put some people off, however the music is genuinely accessible and does not in any way resemble the prog of the 70's. This is exiting new progressive music that deserves a far wider audience than it currently has and it comes at my highest recommendation!
Recommended for fans of latter day 'No-Man' or 'Stupid Dream' era Porcupine Tree', Sufjan Stevens (Illinoise in-particular), perhaps even Spiritualized or Sigur Rós.
Gazpacho probably won't make a lot of new fans with this, their most challenging piece of work to date. But I don't thi that's what Gazpacho are about.
The musicianship on offer here is superb. The album is a well crafted piece of work which you really have to sit down and listen to. I've been listening to it pretty much every day since getting it and I can tell it's going to be one of those that keeps on giving. There is no shortage of melody, but there's a fair bit of menace, too. It's an album that has to be listened to from start to finish. And once you've finished, start it again.
The thing that Gazpacho do brilliantly is their deftness of touch. They don't try to blow you away with a guitar solo or a keyboard extravaganza. They're a band, and as a band they deliver intelligent, thoughtful and inventive music. No hesitation in giving this five stars. This fearless band don't disappoint on any level.
why these guys aren't MASSIVE!......ok, I do....this is not the sort of stuff that gets you air play or high in the charts but, honestly, if you like this kind of thing, I don't believe there is anyone around who does it better.
When I say "this kind of thing", I'm not sure what I really mean, but if you like modern 'prog' (think Anathema et al) or if you just love haunting, beautiful, thoughtful music then you should really give it a go. This is maybe not the easiest starting point into Gazpacho's music - 'March of Ghosts' is definitely 'easier' - but I am starting to think that this album surpasses even that work of melancholic genius.
I saw Gazpacho recently at the Leamington Assembly, on tour in support of this album with, if not 'one man and his dog', then certainly only a few men (and women) who'd left their canine companions at home for the evening with a bowl of Chum, and the band were incredible!!
Please make the world a more just place by treating yourself to this album and then spreading the word......