Gazpacho
Night


4.5
superb

Review

by Andrew Stocker USER (16 Reviews)
January 18th, 2008 | 59 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "The best unsigned band in the world" exceeds expectations.

As stated in the summary, Gazpacho has been dubbed “the best unsigned band in the world” by some critics. This is a pretty impressive claim, and anyone who has read this statement without listening to the band must imagine that there is some good reason why they haven’t been signed; they couldn’t possibly be that great. Anyone who has read this statement and then has subsequently listened to the band must think that there is no good reason why this band isn’t signed; they’re really, really great. With that said, let’s get to know Gazpacho a little bit better.

Hailing from Oslo, Norway, the original five members of Gazpacho came together a decade ago just to write and record music for the sheer pleasure of it, with no real intentions of releasing anything. Half a decade later, however, their intentions must have changed, as they have added a sixth member and have been releasing albums at a rapid-fire pace ever since. Since 2003 they have released four records, getting better and better with each new offering. Their first three: Bravo, When Earth Lets Go, and Firebird all share a similar sound, heavily influenced by the slightly progressive alternative music of Marillion and Radiohead. 2007’s Night, however, is a concept album that shows the band making huge sonic strides.

The album deals with illusion vs. reality, specifically while dreaming, and the music they have made is appropriate for the subject matter. Gone are the four-minute-long songs that filled their previous albums, and in are five sprawling epics, ranging from six and a half to seventeen minutes in length. The music is atmospheric and dark, violin and pianos abound, with the occasional noisy sections just to keep things interesting; this is their most progressive recording to date, sharing more similarities with Pink Floyd than Radiohead. These similarities are no more apparent than on the opener, and aforementioned seventeen-minute-long song, “Dream of Stone.” It is soft and slow, building at a snail’s pace, possibly capable of inducing sleep if the listener wasn’t paying attention to its haunting beauty.

“Chequered Light Buildings” calls to mind Radiohead and Jeff Buckley more than its predecessor, mostly because singer Jan Henrik Ohme sometimes sounds uncannily like Messrs Yorke and Buckley. This song is like a condensed version of “Dream of Stone,” as the guitar and violin slowly become more and more prominent, but unlike the opener, it doesn’t go through several movements. Its structure, which is much more “normal,” also adds credence to the Radiohead and Buckley comparisons. This song flows seamlessly into “Upside Down,” which is arguably the best song on the album. Softly sung female vocals occasionally add some of the catchiest and most beautiful moments of the entire record, and some prominent keyboard work from Thomas Andersen combined Ohme’s own hypnotizing vocals drive the song forward until violinist Mikael Kromer gently closes everything out.

“Valerie’s Friend” is the most accessible song on the record, sounding almost like a Dream Theater ballad. Typically “Dream Theater” and “accessible” aren’t used in the same sentence, but “Valerie’s Friend” isn’t overbearingly accessible, so I’m not crazy. The song goes back and forth for five minutes between calmer, acoustic sections and heavy, electric sections, before another orchestral-sounding outro. The outro connects it to the album’s closer, “Massive Illusion,” thirteen minutes of brilliance. Things border on typical for the first two minutes and forty seconds, before the song turns... folky, with acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies, and handclaps overpowering the ambience. Things straighten out eventually, almost sounding like a grander version of their earlier work, until the nine-minute mark, where everything drops out except for the violin and piano. This duo provides a wonderful conclusion to a wonderful album, until even they exeunt, leaving us with a minute of peaceful street traffic; the night is over.

If I were in charge of a major record company I would be in contact with this band immediately, it’s no wonder how they have sold thousands of records and gained a decent fanbase through just word-of-mouth and the internet. They could probably become one of the best signed bands in the world if they are given that chance; I think they’re that good. Now go listen to this.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
TheGreatD17
January 18th 2008


1141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

http://www.last.fm/music/Gazpacho/Night

all of their other albums are also available

Willie
Moderator
January 18th 2008


16116 Comments


I'll have to check these guys out... I don't know if I'll be able to deal with the vocals, but we'll see... good review.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

TheGreatD17
January 18th 2008


1141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the vocals are pretty reserved, if you're afraid that he wails and moans and all that

samthebassman
January 18th 2008


2164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

TBH this isn't great.

jrowa001
January 18th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

i love this album! one of my favorite of 2007. great to see a review for it. they deserve a lot more recognition. i thought i was the only one that listened to this album

TheGreatD17
January 18th 2008


1141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

actually I listened to it because you mentioned it somewhere, so thanks for that!

jrowa001
January 18th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

oh lol, your welcome

PayneTiger777
July 26th 2009


4409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is absolutely beautiful and I need to buy it.

TheGreatD17
July 28th 2009


1141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well if you find a hard copy anywhere let me know, it seems damn near impossible.

mysticrecords
February 12th 2010


31 Comments


totally agree, 100%. they need to be signed

Jarvig
July 28th 2011


168 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good music. But I didn't really get it. It never grew on me.

Jethro42
March 15th 2012


12539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That was a sweet review. Album Tick Tock soon is gonna be on the map under the ProgJect account.

Jethro42
March 28th 2012


12539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ProgJect review for Tick Tock is now on the maP/

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


16111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best ive heard of them i think

Digging: H.P. Lovecraft - H.P. Lovecraft II

Jethro42
November 11th 2012


12539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tick Tock >

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


16111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hmm, well im on a gazpacho session so ill listen to that next see if my opinion improves

Jethro42
November 11th 2012


12539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tick Tock is more deep, melodic and more consistent. 'Night' is dreamy and a cold beauty. Both are skilfully gloomy.
Feel free to read our ProgJect review for Tick Tock


menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2012


16111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ye tick tock is sounding better than i remembered gonna bump it up a bit, still think i like this more tho but maybe because ive listened to it a lot more

Jethro42
November 11th 2012


12539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Vice versa for me. I intend to give another whirl to 'Night', but if memory serves well, Tick Tock remains unbeatable.

JS19
June 29th 2013


4366 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Damn guys - get on the remaster of this

Digging: Taylor Swift - 1989



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