Gazpacho
Missa Atropos


4.5
superb

Review

by Finbar USER (22 Reviews)
March 14th, 2014 | 61 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The mass for goddess of fate and destiny...

There's something about Norway. Taking Motorpsycho and Gazpacho as examples, the country seems to be able to churn out some of the most stunningly consistent prog bands around today. Coming directly off the astounding musical success of their opuses Night and Tick Tock, Gazpacho finally gave up their title of "the best unsigned band in the world," only because they signed with Kscope for their 6th album. And with it they have done the impossible.

Missa Atropos is breathtaking in every sense of the word from start to finish. Perfectly emulating its beautiful, yet dark and brooding artwork, the atmosphere is airy and weightless with an emotional subtlety that will pierce its way into your heart.
The album consists of 13 songs, split into three 'movements' split by interludes, with a number of shorter songs perfectly contrasting the three 7+ minute epics. From here the band builds up an undefinable concept with lyrics creating strongly mystical imagery, such as Vera's "A wild feast / On a cruel sea / Where the weakest link is strong / In ecstasy."
What truly makes this though is Jan-Henrik Ohme's unique, delicate vocals, proving to be the centrepiece of the album. When he isn't in the forefront, his gentle croon supplements the guitar and drum-work as an instrument equal to them.

One of the album's greatest merits is this subtlety, the album containing very little in terms of bombast or grandiose. Jon-Arne Vilbo rarely solos, and when he does they are fairly simple. This is in no way a complaint since he, as well as the entire band, is able to pour intense emotion into every note. Simply his delivery will give you brief rushes of adrenaline, interlude Mass For Atropos II being a perfect example of this, as a simple wind-like drone lingers behind his slow acoustic picking and a woman's voice reads out an encrypted Cold War intelligence message, of seemingly random numbers.

The single most incredible aspect of Missa Atropos however, is Lars Erik Asp's percussion. He appears to use every different drum possible, creating the slow and sombre atmosphere at the beginning of the stand-out epic title track with light cymbal use, to the searing intensity that ends 'River' and 'Vera.' This is done by what must be the world's mellowest use of the double bass pedal, building to a crescendoing burst of energy that finishes his finest performance on Vera, the album's best song. The ending of opener 'Defence Mechanism' is equally as jaw-dropping, his explosive splash cymbals almost leaping out of the music as fireworks of every colour.

These longer songs are certainly where the album hits its heights, giving the band time to move through several stages, developing the mood and building to overwhelming emotional climaxes. This finishes with 'Splendid Isolation,' which evolves out of the haunting, choral Mass For Atropos III (that Ohme sings as a lullaby to his children every night) into a magnificent summation of all the album's themes and emotions.
The final track, 'An Audience,' that follows this feels slightly unnecessary and serves as a reminder of how, because of the epic length of the key tracks, the shorter ones often barely reach 3 minutes, and don't function well out of the album's context. Despite this, the absolutely heart-wrenching She's Awake does everything to prove their virtues and leaves me with a poem that speaks for itself Missa Atropos' beauty...
She’s awake now
In the cold night
Life is rushing in upon her from her window

She leapt with faith to invent herself
And found a corpse on awakening
Like stories from another time she hears
The broken wind chimes




Recent reviews by this author
The Grand Astoria La Belle EpoqueSanteria Year of the Knife
Tumbleweed Dealer Western HorrorAmplifier The Astronaut Dismantles HAL
Messenger Illusory BluesMars Red Sky Stranded in Arcadia
user ratings (48)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mad.
March 14th 2014


3967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album should be listened to as a whole, but here's Defence Mechanism to prove its worth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nERXYbOAkgo

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


16056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

New album out next Monday innit ? Didn't like this as much as some of their others but think ill try it again now and read your rev.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

Mad.
March 14th 2014


3967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's a definite grower. It was probably a 4.0 at first for me but I could tell it would grow on me with more listens... and whadaya know!

I literally just preordered the new album, pretty excited if it's as good as their last 2

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


16056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh this is better than i remember, nice write up mate

Mad.
March 14th 2014


3967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol nice instabump and thanks mah man. I'll probably be reviewing the new one - it's streaming now

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


16056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

stream ?
where ?
yes review it

Mad.
March 14th 2014


3967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

http://www.progrockmag.com/stream/gazpacho-demon-in-full/

I'd make a news article if I had the willpower

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


16056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks, going to listen now

Mad.
March 14th 2014


3967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome, tell me what you think when you're done

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


16056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

will take a few goes but liking it so far, seems to be getting better later on, track after all the accordion is really sweet

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


10786 Comments


Good work dude! I'm listening to the Demon stream and it's interesting

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


16056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

demon feels like a 3.5-4 first listen but i think it'll grow on me more, was some beautiful passages of music in it

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


10786 Comments


First track was good. Not really feeling that accordion section in the second song though.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


16056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ye it's interludy that bit but the track after it was awesome, sounded like what marillion might do
these days if they weren't crap

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


10786 Comments


Well, it's nice music but none of this is really going anywhere for me...does this album sound like
Demon?

Mistico
March 14th 2014


83 Comments


its nice

JS19
March 14th 2014


4326 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's a stream for Demon?!!!?

Digging: Jakob - Sines

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
March 14th 2014


16056 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh prog mag site Mad linked it

JS19
March 14th 2014


4326 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

On it

Mad.
March 14th 2014


3967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

C'mon you guise, focus is meanna be on THIS ONE, is probably better than Demon

@Mongi Thanks man! And I assume it is similar



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy