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Gazpacho - Demon CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.84 | 368 ratings

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5 stars Gazpacho have been on a roll ever since the excellent Night caught the attention of the prog community, but in retrospect I don't think any of their subsequent releases have quite matched the standards of that one - not until Demon, at any rate. There's really two ways you can go to match the promise of a title like that - take the overt route and go for a more ostentatiously sinister and evil sound, or you take a more subtle path. Wisely, Gazpacho choose the latter option (can you really imagine Gazpacho doing extreme metal? No, nor can I...); rather than energising their music, they produce one of their quietest and most contemplative albums yet.

Indeed, it's a rather bold move all told. Prog is a genre which prizes technical ability, often expressed through soloing and showboating, and whilst Gazpacho have never quite entirely embraced that, here they seem to deliberately turn away from it, producing mood pieces in which all the performances blend together rather than having the individual members make a bid for the spotlight. They'd previously taken steps in this direction on Night, which accounted for the dreamy atmosphere of that album, but here they fully embrace it, producing a style of music which is clearly built on a prog foundation and which is obviously produced by a technically capable group, but at the same time displays this in a holistic manner through the overall sound the group are able to make rather than through individual performances.

On top of that, the band's command of atmosphere has always been one of their strong suits, but it has never been as complete as it is on here except on Night. The titular Demon is not some gore-slick monster from hell, it's the darkness which comes when introspection and contemplation turns in on itself and starts to chew on its own innards, and Gazpacho capture this mood masterfully. Gazpacho is a band with many great albums in their discography, but until now I'd have said they had only one full-blown masterpiece in the form of Night. Now there are two.

Warthur | 5/5 |


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