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Gazpacho - Missa Atropos CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.77 | 362 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars An album with many ratings, but surprisingly few reviews, Norwegian band Gazpacho have come up trumps with their latest release, Missa Atropos, and this is an album which I hope will win them many more fans and friends.

The subject of the album, the Greek Goddess of fate and destiny Atropos, chose the method of death and ended the life of each mortal in mythology. Hardly light stuff, then, but Gazpacho manage that delicate balancing act of making a serious concept album that is also accessible very deftly. For instance, the opening Mass For Atropos (Part One) leads us as a well performed entree into the main album, and when Defence Mechanism starts the album proper, what we have is a very tightly performed, highly enjoyable slice of rock with clear progressive sensibilities and a terrific, almost Gothic, atmosphere.

This remains the mood throughout much of what follows. It does, however, manage to avoid being a depressing work, but, instead, takes us through a journey of one man's infatuation with the subject in a sympathetic and interesting manner.

All of the musicians perform extremely well as a unit, which is something that is to be expected from a band that has been performing as long as this now. I also think that Jan-Henrik Ohme's vocals get better with each and every release. His performance, and the intense backing from the band on the marvellous Snail, is sensational, and this should, in a fairer world, be a contender for hit single status. His performance on the title track is simply hypnotic, with violin adding a folky feel prior to the incredible riffing that closes. Similarly, She's Awake has three and a half minutes of Scandinavian beauty.

Fans of outfits such as Radiohead in their more accessible moments (the title track is clearly richly influenced by them), Porcupine Tree, and the rather obvious Marillion (Hogarth era), will find a lot to enjoy in this album. As regards the latter, their influence is everywhere, which is hardly a great surprise given the close links the bands have enjoyed since the outset of Gazpacho's career. Indeed, tracks such as River, a thoughtful six minute opus, and Vera, would certainly not have been out of place on the Happiness Is The Road album. They manage a similar trick to my favourite band, in that tracks and music of overt simplicity belie what are, in fact, complex and deep structures.

A very good album, this gets four stars. I earnestly hope that it provides the catapult to bigger success that this group thoroughly deserve.

lazland | 4/5 |


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