Norway’s Gazpacho are one of prog rock’s most consistent and original sounding groups. Their unique atmospheric and emotional art rock always seems to arrive at the right moment, providing an alternative to expected. Their recent output, including some outstanding offerings such as Demon, Molo, and Soyuz, have all had brilliant moments, and now the band continue their winning streak with the haunting Fireworker. Keyboardist Thomas Andersen says about the album “There’s an instinctual part of you that lives inside your mind, separate from your consciousness. I call it the ‘Fireworker’ or the ‘Lizard’ or the ‘Space Cowboy.’ Fireworker is another in the line of albums from this group that takes you on a journey leaving you mesmerized, disturbed, and entertained.
The opening standout track is the 20 minute “Space Cowboy”, a suite that sweeps through various movements, interjecting memorable moments throughout, demanding repeat listens. Vocalist Jan-Henrik Ohme’s unique voice is captivating here. Just when you think you have this song pegged, the explosive outro reminds you this band can provide the bombast when they need to.
The following track “Hourglass” features the band’s signature piano from the onset and evolves into a gorgeous ballad. The single “Fireworker” is an upbeat celtic rocker that is unlike anything the band has done before. “Antique” is another ominous, mid-tempo rocker that continues the album’s overall essence, leading ultimately to the epic, 15-minute closing track “Sapien” which provides the payoff you hope for at the end.
Gazpacho do not stray far from their sound here, but no apologies need to be made. What they do, they do to perfection. Fireworker is another dazzling entry into a continually imaginative catalog.
Released on Sept. 18th, 2020 on Kscope Records
1. Space Cowboy [19:43]
2. Hourglass [04:15]
3. Fireworker [04:41]
4. Antique [06:24]
5. Sapien [15:22]
Thomas Andersen – keyboards, programming
Jan-Henrik Ohme – vocals
Jon-Arne Vibo – guitars
Mikael Krømer – violin, additional guitars
Kristian “Fido” Torp – bass
Robert R Johansen – drums