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RIO/AVANT-PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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RIO/Avant-Prog definition

Avant-Prog

Avant-prog is an umbrella term which refers to any progressive rock artist with a strong leaning towards avant-garde and highly experimental approaches to music. Therefore, it includes the sub-genres of Rock In Opposition (see below) and Zeuhl in addition to general avant-prog artists.

Avant-prog is generally considered to be more extreme and 'difficult' than other forms of progressive rock, though these terms are naturally subjective and open to interpretation. Common elements that may or may not be displayed by specific avant-prog artists include:

- Regular use of dissonance and atonality.
- Extremely complex and unpredictable song arrangements.
- Free or experimental improvisation.
- Fusion of disparate musical genres.
- Polyrhythms and highly complex time signatures.

Most avant-prog artists are highly unique and eclectic in sound and consequently tend to resist easy comparisons. However, Frank Zappa is often cited as a major influence on many avant-prog artists due to his early adoption of avant-garde and experimental attitudes within a predominantly rock/jazz context.


Rock In Opposition

Rock In Opposition (RIO for short) is the name of a short-lived movement that has gone on to define a sub-genre of progressive rock, and which is now sometimes applied to musicians whose careers hadn't even started by the time the movement had ceased to exist in any official capacity. It is not synonymous with the term avant-prog, for whilst bands associated with RIO are (generally speaking) avant-prog in nature, most avant-prog bands are not associated with RIO.

The roots of RIO can be traced to Henry Cow, a UK progressive rock band with a distinctly avant-garde sound and left wing political ideology. Henry Cow toured extensively in Europe throughout much of the 1970s and came into contact with a few similarly inclined bands, in an ideological sense as much, if not more, than a musical one. These groups did not always have much in common stylistically, apart from a basic leaning towards fusing avant-garde qualities with elements of rock. Most of these bands were working independently at the time and had no distribution or realistic opportunity of touring outside their native countries. The idea of Rock In Opposition was to create an independent network of like-minded performers that would not be dependent on the largesse of major record companies for their survival.

Henry Cow invited four of these bands to play alongside them at the first Rock in Opposition festival on 12th March 1978, at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane in London. The British Arts Council helped the funding of the festival with a £1000 grant. The Rock in Opposition slogan "The music the record companies don't want you to hear" was altered very slightly for the flyer advertising the first Rock in Opposition concert.

The five initial Rock in Opposition bands were:

Henry Cow (England)
Univers Zero (Belgium)
Etron Fou Leloublan (France)
Samla Mammas Manna (Sweden)
Stormy Six (Italy)

Three additional bands were later officially elected to the movement:

Art Zoyd (France)
Art Bears (England)
Aksak Maboul (Belgium)

The involved bands had many disagreements in a meeting at Sunrise Studios in Kirchberg, Switzerland in December 1978 about the purpose of the group, and its meaning. They eventually came up with a plan to continue their joint concerts. They organised three more festivals and co-operative record distributions but eventually the RIO group dissolved. It left behind a legacy that would initially be picked up by later projects from the many musicians involved with the original movement, and later on by artists inspired by the original RIO groups. Miriodor and Ensemble Nimbus are often said to be influenced by Samla Mammas Manna, for example, and are consequently sometimes referred to as RIO bands.

Since 2007, a contemporary RIO festival has been held most years in Carmaux, France. This festival has included artists closely associated with the original RIO movement alongside bands from the wider world of avant-prog and experimental music.

Dates of the original RIO festivals

12 March 1978 at New London Theatre, Drury Lane, London, England (set up by Henry Cow)
26 April 1979 to 1 May 1979 at Teatro dell'Elfo, Milano, Italia (set up by Stormy Six)
28/29 September 1979 in Uppsala, Sweden (set up by Samla Mammas Manna)
Bruxelles, Belgium (set up by Univers Zero)

Useful links

Information on RIO from Chris Cutler's website

Additional historical information on Squidco

Written/Compiled/Edited by past and present members of the RIO/Avant-Prog team

Current team members:
as at 20/05/2016

Raffaella (Raff)
Luca (octopus-4)
Ian (Nogbad_The_Bad)
Keishiro (DamoXt7942)
Ori (frippism)

RIO/Avant-Prog Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 RIO/Avant-Prog | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.32 | 1411 ratings
HOT RATS
Zappa, Frank
4.32 | 815 ratings
THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION: ONE SIZE FITS ALL
Zappa, Frank
4.32 | 838 ratings
THE GRAND WAZOO
Zappa, Frank
4.60 | 42 ratings
TAIGA
OOIOO
4.30 | 263 ratings
SING TO GOD
Cardiacs
4.31 | 206 ratings
WESTERN CULTURE
Henry Cow
4.33 | 160 ratings
IN EXTREMIS
Thinking Plague
4.43 | 68 ratings
Nº 6
Present
4.28 | 293 ratings
UZED
Univers Zero
4.46 | 56 ratings
HÄXAN
Art Zoyd
4.25 | 350 ratings
CHOIRS OF THE EYE
Kayo Dot
4.26 | 254 ratings
HERESIE
Univers Zero
4.38 | 68 ratings
BOOK M
Secret Chiefs 3
4.25 | 256 ratings
MÅLTID
Samla Mammas Manna
4.32 | 100 ratings
ON LAND AND IN THE SEA
Cardiacs
4.62 | 28 ratings
JACKSON
Korekyojin
4.36 | 70 ratings
DECEIT
This Heat
4.23 | 226 ratings
A LITTLE MAN AND A HOUSE AND THE WHOLE WORLD WINDOW
Cardiacs
4.27 | 120 ratings
BARBARO (MA NON TROPPO)
Present
4.50 | 35 ratings
LETTERS HOME
News From Babel

RIO/Avant-Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the RIO/Avant-Prog experts team

VÈCI
Combo FH
BEGNAGRAD
Begnagrad
8.8
Silo, Le
GRAVITY
Frith, Fred

Latest RIO/Avant-Prog Music Reviews


 The Garden Of Earthly Delights by ZORN, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.69 | 11 ratings

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The Garden Of Earthly Delights
John Zorn RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars There aren't too many musicians as prolific as John Zorn when it comes to releasing albums year after year. I think he's released 3 so far in 2017. My only taste of Zorn's music was "Naked Gun" which just didn't do much for me. Fast forward to early this year and a buddy gives me a copy of "The Garden Of Earthly Delights" and to be honest I wasn't expecting much at all. My mind went "pop" when I spun this for the first time and I kept waiting to be disappointed as it played out but I was only deeply impressed with what has to be described as Avant-Garde Metal. The band that came to mind most often was KAYO DOT as in "Choirs Of The Eye" although this isn't that extreme and there are no vocals except for the angelic female ones on the final track. The big surprise is how prominent the organ is by John Medeski, so impressive. This is complex and challenging yet there is variety and plenty of non-metal pieces as well. So much atmosphere on this album as well.

"Angels And Devils" has this insane intro that will make your hair stand up with how avant and powerful that guitar is, so experimental with dissonant sounds. The organ and drums seem to come out of this insanity to lead the way, killer bass too. The guitar is lighting it up after 1 1/2 minutes. So much depth to the sound here as themes start to get repeated late.

"The Infernal Machine" is where they take a step back as we get plenty of atmosphere that is dark and haunting. Headphone music right here until the riffs kick in around a minute reminding me very much of KING CRIMSON. Drums follow then organ. Fuzzed out guitar before 2 minutes then another guitar starts to solo over top. Back to the riffs 3 minutes in then an all out assault follows. Nasty organ runs too. So good!

"The Dragon Tree" has such a great sounding rhythm section. I mean the bass and drums kill throughout this album but man they slay here. Avant guitar over top but this is all over the place including being heavy and extreme. Organ before a minute as it settles back yet there's so much going on. Intensity returns before 2 minutes, then the guitar rips it up, soon it's the organ doing the same. Love that calm late to end it. What a track!

"Paean To The Prince Of Hell" has relaxed organ to start before a catchy melody takes over of picked guitar, drums, bass and more. This is good. Soon the organ leads the way as the bass and drums also impress. I like the Symphonic vibe after 2 1/2 minutes then later before 4 1/2 minutes. In between we get a change after 3 minutes to an experimental sound that will turn powerful. A favourite.

"Music Of The Flesh" opens with atmosphere and picked guitar. A great headphone song with all those interesting sounds. Organ joins in around a minute. It brightens before 3 minutes somewhat as we get some picked guitar which impresses. Suddenly 4 minutes in we get a wall of sound. Insanity! The guitar is shredding big time 5 minutes in. Atmosphere, guitar and a calm end it.

"Eve And Adam" is a beautiful track with picked guitar, bass, a beat and an organ melody. This is really good. The organ leads briefly when the guitar steps aside. "Mirror Image" starts off sounding similar to the opening of this album with extreme guitar and more. Like taking a brief beating before it settles in with floating organ and a killer rhythm section. Man this sounds amazing here. Soon the guitar replaces the organ before 1 1/2 minutes. The organ is back as they trade off before joining forces.

"The Garden Of Earthly Delights" is dark with tons of atmosphere to begin with and it's quite eerie too. The speakers are vibrating big time right here and there's mechanical noises that scrape along. Soon the guitar starts to come out of the approaching storm. The guitar speeds up before 2 minutes. This is like a soundtrack for a movie where there's lots of suspense. The organ arrives around 2 1/2 minutes, experimental stuff. It becomes more stripped down late with guitar and atmosphere.

"The Circuit" is a short, just over 1 1/2 minute piece. Avant guitar and complexity beyond imagination. The organ comes in taking no prisoners. Some jazzy bass lines will follow as the outrageous sounds continue. "Out Of The Eternal Sphere" ends it and man what a way to end it! Gosh I'm so moved by this beautiful song. Sara is the guest vocalist here with vocal melodies. Gulp! Gorgeous guitar melodies, subtle bass lines and floating organ as Sara arrives with her moving vocals. She stops before 2 1/2 minutes as the organ replaces her and man how good is John Medeski? She's back before 4 minutes to end it. Nice.

Darn near perfect as far as I'm concerned. If Zorn has anything else close to sounding like this one please let me know. One of the best from 2017 right here.

 Controlled Freaks by NOOUMENA album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.87 | 4 ratings

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Controlled Freaks
Nooumena RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars Another metallic avantgarde King Crimson have come around us again. Six years before, a French experimental rock project "muffling their faces in a mysterious veil" NOOUMENA have shot an impressive debut creation, that would have reminded me of the same vein of King Crimson (vividly in my mind). Yeah in their second mind invasion "Controlled Freaks", the first bullet "Seeds, Needs" extremely strikes me with outrageous, improvised riffs, just like a spark deeply in my ear. Not only aggressive but also tragic and reflective are their repetitive phrases (sometimes a tad cynical and critical, in a fine sense). "Bamboozled" is another distorted sound / melody garden under the dark sky. Sensitive, dissected formulae and powerful rhythmic obsession is quite superb for us. Let me call them not simply avantgarde nor Zeuhl-ish but stoner diversified ... the good example is a melodically ambient convolution "Something Else", one of my favourites. Very sensational and a contrast between this track and the following "Concealed" filled with metallic / jazzy / psychedelic mixture is kinda important linkage. The last "Dog Eat Dog" (very ironic just like "prog is dead") is a genuine authentication of their eclectic soundscape. You cannot help listening to this magnificent creation without any breath ... woohoo.
 Suburban Savages: Kore Wa! by TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.69 | 7 ratings

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Suburban Savages: Kore Wa!
tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Norwegian band SUBURBAN SAVAGES first surfaced ten years back, then going by the name Tr-ond and the Suburban Savages. A decade later they are back with a slightly expanded line-up and their sophomore production, "Kore Wa!", which was released by Norwegian label Apollon Records.

Suburban Savages as they appear as of 2017 comes across as a band that will be a perfect choice to seek out if you today have a strong fascination for the more accessible aspects of progressive rock, but would like to have a taste of what the more avant-oriented aspects of the genre may have to offer. "Kore Wa!" is an album that mix and blend aspects of both these approaches to the art of progressive rock in a rather successful manner, and as such merits a check by the curious as well as those with an already existing interest in material of a more avant-oriented nature.

 Suburban Savages: Kore Wa! by TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.69 | 7 ratings

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Suburban Savages: Kore Wa!
tr-Ond and the Suburban Savages RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars You can't deny that Trond (Panzerpappa) and his gang have been influenced by Japanese avant. But we are in Norway right? Don't matter... This is a very peculiar release, 10 years after their debut. They have now dropped the "TR-OND and the" from the band name leaving them as mere (sic) "Suburban Savages" - great match to the music - and perhaps one indicating more collaboration (?).

There is a lot going on here, from ethnic to avant-influences, some progressive electronic and a fair number of commercial/prog-pop elements. The vocals are strange and fitting, to say the least, without particularly standing out; the tonalities are quite obscure along with the mood of Kore Wa! A range of keyboard sounds transfer you from the far East to the folksy world, church organ sounds mix with moog guitars (great choice!) and cosmic sounds (listen to the highlight "Guzarondan" or the accessible opener "Fade Into Obscurity"). Tribal rhythms and intricate percussion are also frequent, adding to the ambience.

Cohesion is not the strongest attribute and you might find this album rather uneven at times but interesting throughout nevertheless. The deep, hypnotic, doomy start to "As I am Dying" gives its way to a 3+ minute immense and haunting improvisation on church organ which turns melodic mid-way. The closing "Docteur Mago" is not very different, albeit not as tight. The exploration journey peaks with the ultimately crazy title track where the band go berserk on sounds and vocals, clearly influenced by Japanese avant-prog.

Maybe not in my top-10 of the year, but surely in my top list of the most boundary-stretching efforts. Give it a try.

3.5 stars

 The Executioner's Lover by BLUE SHIP, THE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.00 | 1 ratings

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The Executioner's Lover
The Blue Ship RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

— First review of this album —
3 stars A UK act The BLUE SHIP are one of promising chamber rock projects that launch cynical melodies and sorta epoch-making sound literacy. Sounds like they have various musically theoretical insights and techniques but do not stick to one genre nor one style but explore musical variation and diversity. Their debut (and only one so far) album "The Executioner's Lover" is fastidious one with distorted melody sweep, eccentric string stream, and decent pop essence. We can say that the soundscape of the album itself is light but plenty of complex kinds of flavour beneath their world, can't we?

Like a circus show, a pierrot le fou (maybe the frontman / vocalist Paul) keeps dancing in front of the audience, and some performers (especially two violinists Aaron and Daniel) play skillfully but weirdly, behind the master. The show is our pleasure indeed, and no tragic moment around them, but sadly looks like the creation's body might be too light for every progressive rock fan to accept enthusiastically. Their chamber sensitivity reminds me of the same vein like Lunapark Ensemble (no folksy texture in The BLUE SHIP though). This album could appeal to every genre fan but at the same time could not be so acceptable for him/her ... a tough stuff but this could be called as progressive, let me say.

 Operation: Mockingbird by FRENCH TV album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.11 | 9 ratings

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Operation: Mockingbird
French TV RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars Another pleasure has come to me. This "Operation: Mockingbird" has been released in September, 2017 as a FRENCH TV's newest album, that I could not wait for until then.The previous creation "Ambassadors Of Good Health And Clean Living" is one of the best albums in 2016 for me, so I've listened to and digested their new album carefully, with having massive expectation and slight anxiety. Just the moment I completed this stuff, my tiny anxiety was blown away.

"Operation: Mockingbird" is full of unique musical ideas, cynical phrases, and auditory illusions. Like an expensive bottle of French wine or Opus One in California, there is a kind of complex harmony and delicate balance produced with lots of magnificent sound elements. Sounds like each of the elements cannot be matched with others, but as a matter of fact, all of them can be harmonized perfectly, with incredible complexity.

What I can clearly understand via this album, their sound structure smells of apparent humanity, that might be deeply in a mind of every French TVer. I cannot help feeling that this soundscape has broken naturally out through their session or play rather than been produced artificially by themselves. Very sensitive melodic / rhythmic construction is well matured, regardless of fragility. What a mystery, and decent explosion.

 Estacion De Sombra  by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.17 | 28 ratings

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Estacion De Sombra
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars After unleashing their debut album in a part of the world unaccustomed to such musical weirdness, the Mexican RIO chamber rock band NAZCA followed up their excellent first album with a more mature and further developed sound. While the debut could have easily been passed off as some long lost Univers Zero or Henry Cow artifact from the vaults, ESTACIÓN DE SOMBRA (season of shade) takes the "1313" meets "World Culture" sensibilities of the aforementioned influences and adds healthy doses of sophomoric characteristics that allow NAZCA to feel like they have come of age. While still dosed in lugubrious atmospheres that ring of classically trained compositions from the long lost world of Stravinsky heading towards Schoenberg, the band more confidently builds their chamber rock edifice with stronger elements that allow each segment to connect to a larger whole creating an ever expanding sum of the parts.

While the most noticeable distinction from the debut is the production with every one of the instruments shining like a bright star in the sky, the roles of the instruments are even more distinct and clearly delineate passages of counterpoints that attack at dizzying speeds. While the piano tends to range in the classical realms often entering angelic domains with prancing arpeggios, the violin, viola duke it out with the oboe and bassoon to create twisted angular rhythms and anti-melodies that act as terrifying micro-syncopations that display the uncanny talent of the band's members. The fact is that despite displaying their influences on their sleeves, NAZCA go the extra mile to match and at times even exceed their heroes across the Atlantic.

Overall, ESTACIÓN DE SOMBRA is a much more highly refined album than the excellent debut. The complexity is off the chart with every element seeming like it was designed to fit in its proper place. Seemingly less lugubrious and more playful, ESTACIÓN DE SOMBRA comes off as a more twisted take on adventurism than trying to evoke a state of emotional sadness and even delivers scant elements of jazz dispersed throughout the tangled web of syncopation and instrumental trade-offs. Unfortunately RIO was not the happening thing in Mexico back in 1986 when this was released and the band would soon part their ways but in their wake of dedication released two extremely strong albums that have pretty much gone under the radar as a whole new renaissance of RIO chamber rock bands have stolen their thunder throughout the ensuing decades. NAZCA were one of the earliest second wavers who took their game seriously and unleashed an amazingly brash, bombastic and confident second release.

 Nazca by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Nazca
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars When it comes to avant-chamber prog it's usually the French speaking world of Belgium and France that comes immediately to mind, but that doesn't mean other disparate nations of the world haven't had their share of fans and managed to record their own take on the likes of Univers Zero, Art Zoyd and Henry Cow. Well, Mexico hardly seems like the place where you would encounter such lugubrious complexity in music since most Latin oriented music is rather upbeat and downright cheerful but way back in 1979 this group formed and then released their eponymous debut in 1985. The band consisted of five guys who went by the name of NAZCA released this debut album which is predominantly inspired by the works of Univers Zero's earliest album such as "1313" and "Heresie" with the dynamic edge of Henry Cow. The instruments include the usual early RIO suspects which incorporate the use of violin, oboe, bassoon, bass, viola, piano, cello and percussion to create one spectacular downer of a musical listening experience.

While the RIO influences are the primary forces at play, the compositions owe a lot to bands like King Crimson with their zigzag approach of musical meandering with time signatures that match the greats of progressive rock while creating a classical comparison of suspense in the compositions as heard by the greats such as Stravinsky. While Univers Zero and Art Zoyd excelled in creating soundtracks to the apocalypse, NAZCA are generally more playful and feel less end-of-the-wordish than just plain melancholic. While instrumentally the seven tracks could be mistaken for one of the Belgian bands, there's just something unlike those bands that's hard to put a finger on. However, Mexico or Latin America would hardly come to mind when listening to this dirge driven theatrical bombast that ranges from soft passages to fully fueled sonic outbursts of chaotic ebullitions. As with most chamber rock, this too exclusively lies in the realms of instrumental music and therefore without any traces of linguistics attached adds that extra layer of alienation to the mix.

While it would be hard by any stretch of the imagination to call NAZCA even remotely original as every note seems to have derived from a European force of the past, somehow NAZCA delivers a compelling debut album that although a little over a half an hour in length delivers some powerfully emotional tracks that pack a powerful punch of heart-string pulls of emotional prowess and proof that such chamber music can be dished out in virtually any corner of the globe long before the internet made such cross-pollination an every day event. Excellent musicianship and strong compositional creativity makes NAZCA a highly entertaining debut. The band would release one more album the following year and then disappear until 2001's "En Vivo." Other Mexican avant-prog with a similar vision and even some of the members of NAZCA include Culto Sin Nombre and Decibel.

 Solar by YOLK album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.96 | 9 ratings

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Solar
Yolk RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars YOLK are an Avant band out of France who released their first album back in 2001. This is my first experience with them and man what an excellent album this is. If not for that second track I'd being giving this 5 stars. There are things about that second song that annoy me unfortunately but the rest of this album reaches some real highs for me. The Zeuhl vibe on that opening track with the female vocals chanting away are right up my alley, and for me that's where the Zeuhl references start and end. The closer is powerful with some incredible vocals.

"Solar" opens with drums but then this powerful sound starts to come and go as the drums continue. An interesting start then we get this dead calm before guitars, drums and vocal melodies take over 1 1/2 minutes in. Nice. This is rather haunting. Bass 3 minutes in then it kicks in hard before 4 minutes as vocal melodies and more continue. Intense! Love that guitar before 4 1/2 minutes. A catchy rhythm takes over as vocal expressions continue. It settles with guitar only after 6 1/2 minutes then the intensity increases as Zeuhl-like chanting kicks in with that heavy sound. So good! An experimental calm arrives just before 10 minutes and atmosphere will also join in as the experimental sound continues. A powerful sound kicks in after 12 minutes. Oh my! A wall of sound really until it settles back before 13 minutes with vocal melodies and that earlier sound. Love the guitar that follows, then more vocal melodies and heaviness. Would love an album full of this material.

"Vanitas" opens with this repetitive guitar melody that I find so annoying as the drums pound away. It settles in just before a minute and some beautiful guitar melodies follow with atmosphere and drums. More powerful outbursts with vocal melodies before it settles again like before as contrasts continue. I like the electric guitar after 3 minutes and we get keys joining in as well this time. Intricate guitar before 5 minutes with drums followed by more of those powerful outbursts. Vocals kick in after 6 1/2 minutes along with plenty of power. There's that intricate guitar again. Some brief spacey synths before 8 minutes then more vocals. It's instrumental again after 9 minutes and it's powerful and intense. Then a calm arrives before 10 1/2 minutes with relaxed guitar then vocal melodies. It's like the song starts over again before 12 minutes. A calm ends it.

"Sepulchre" opens with drums and keys as the guitar joins in. Vocal melodies follow just before a minute. Great sound before 2 minutes with the bass and electric piano especially, then it turns heavy. Vocal melodies are back again after 7 minutes then it all picks up around 8 minutes. This is really good. Electric piano before 9 minutes then it settles late to end it. An excellent track but not quite as good as the opener.

I wish I was more into that second song... oh well, I really enjoy their style overall and highly recommend this to fans of experimental music and Zeuhl.

 History Of The Visitation by GUAPO album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.99 | 85 ratings

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History Of The Visitation
Guapo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A comparatively terse album for Guapo - in its physical incarnation the release is made a bit more tempting with a bonus live DVD - finds the band exploring its usual vast range of sounds. The epic Pilman Radiant finds them bridging sounds ranging from the brutal prog of Five Suns or Black Oni to more jazzy, lighter affairs, reminiscent of the Canterbury-tinged early sound of RIO pioneers like Samla Mammas Manna or Henry Cow. Complex #7 is a harshly electronic intermission before the foreboding Tremors From the Future plays us out. Not quite as groundbreaking as Five Suns or Black Oni, but it's still nice to see Guapo keeping their hand in the game.
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RIO/Avant-Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
1870 (MIL OCHOCIENTOS SETENTA) Mexico
3 MICE Multi-National
5UU'S United States
THE A BAND United Kingdom
A-MUSIK Japan
A.P.A.T.T. United Kingdom
ABSOLUTE ZERO United States
AFENGINN Denmark
AFTER DINNER Japan
AFUCHE United States
AHLEUCHATISTAS United States
AHVAK Israel
AKINETÓN RETARD Chile
AKSAK MABOUL Belgium
ALAMAAILMAN VASARAT Finland
ALBOTH! Switzerland
ALEX'S HAND United States
ALFIE RYNER France
ALTERED STATES Japan
AMOEBIC EMSEMBLE United States
ANATROFOBIA Italy
ANDREW MOORE'S CHAMBER WORKS United States
APPENDIX Slovakia
ARANIS Belgium
ARBETE OCH FRITID Sweden
THE ARCHESTRA Belarus
ARKTIS/AIR Austria
ARMON KUILU Finland
ART BEARS United Kingdom
ART FLEURY Italy
ART MOULU France
ART ZOYD France
THE ARTAUD BEATS United Kingdom
ARTERIA Mexico
ATHANOR France
ATOMIC APE United States
BABLICON United States
BANDA ELÁSTICA Mexico
ARRIGO BARNABÉ Brazil
BARNACLED United States
BARRICADE France
LES BATTERIES France
BBP UNDERGROUND ORCHESTRA Czech Republic
BEGNAGRAD Yugoslavia
BOB BELL Canada
BEN LEVIN GROUP United States
BIG BLOCK 454 United Kingdom
BIG FARM United States
BIRDSONGS OF THE MESOZOIC United States
BISE DE BUSE France
IVA BITTOVÁ Czech Republic
BLACK ENGINE Italy
MICHEL BLANC France
BLAST Netherlands
BLITURI Canada
THE BLITZOIDS United States
THE BLUE SHIP United Kingdom
BONE Multi-National
THE BOOK OF KNOTS United States
BOREDOMS Japan
BOSNNIA Argentina
BOX Multi-National
FRANÇOIS BREANT France
MARKO BRECELJ Yugoslavia
BREZNEV FUN CLUB Italy
BRIAN! United States
BROKEN.HEART.COLLECTOR Austria
HASSE BRUNIUSSON Sweden
BUILD United States
BULDOZER Yugoslavia
BZ BZ UEU Italy
CALOMITO Italy
THE CAMBERWELL NOW United Kingdom
CAPILLARY ACTION United States
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART United States
CARDBOARD AMANDA Multi-National
CARDIACS United Kingdom
CARTEL CARNAGE France
CARTOON United States
CASSIBER Germany
CATERPILLARMEN Iceland
CAZUELA DE CÔNDOR Chile
CERBERUS SHOAL United States
CHARMING HOSTESS United States
CHEER-ACCIDENT United States
CHÊNE NOIR France
GUIGOU CHENEVIER France
CHOU PAHROT United Kingdom
CHROMB! France
CICALA-MVTA Japan
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET United States
A CLEAN KITCHEN IS A HAPPY KITCHEN Belgium
CLOUD BECOMES YOUR HAND United States
COBRA United States
JEAN COHEN-SOLAL France
COMBAT ASTRONOMY Multi-National
COMBO FH Czech Republic
COMMUNIO MUSICA Denmark
LINDSAY COOPER United Kingdom
COSA BRAVA United States
CREEDLE United States
CRO MAGNON Belgium
CTHULHU RISE Ukraine
CUCAMONGA Argentina
CULTO SIN NOMBRE Mexico
CURLEW United States
CUTLER AND FRITH United Kingdom
CHRIS CUTLER United Kingdom
RUBEN D'HERS Venezuela
DAIMON ORCHESTRA Japan
PATRICIA DALLIO France
DANISCO (FOR BEAUTY) France
DATE COURSE PENTAGON ROYAL GARDEN Japan
DEADBURGER Italy
DEBILE MENTHOL Switzerland
DECIBEL Mexico
DEEP SWEDEN Czech Republic
DEMI SEMI QUAVER Japan
DANIEL DENIS Belgium
THE DESERTS OF TRAUN United States
DEUS NUVEM Brazil
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