British experimental prog act Guapo have been around for quite some time now, but it's been 5 years since the release of Elixirs and keyboard player Daniel O'Sullivan has since left the band, replaced by Emmet Elvin. Founding member & drummer David J. Smith is also joined by bassist James Sedwards and guitarist Kavus Torabi for their latest Cuneiform release History of the Visitation.
As with previous Guapo albums, there is always a feeling of menace in their compositions, as the band mix ominous progressive rock, free-form jazz, avant-garde, and RIO for a thrilling yet often times unsettling listen. Remember the first time you heard those metallic, complex, and dark recordings from the early King Crimson incarnations? Well, Guapo hits a similar nerve, especially throughout the opening 26-minute epic "The Pillman Radiant", complete with eerie Fender Rhodes, distorted shards of violent guitar noise, and tricky, jazz-fueled drum passages. This long track builds and builds from a creepy beginning to violent outburst of avant-garde/prog excitement, and is easily the highlight of the CD. If you like King Crimson albums like In the Wake of Poseidon, Red, or Starless and Bible Black, you'll love this extended piece. "Complex #7" is a much shorter number at just under 5 minutes, and comes across like an ominous soundtrack to a horror movie or science fiction thriller with its eerie keyboard and percussion effects. The final track is the more upbeat "Tremors from the Future", complete with complex drum work, plenty of keyboards, and muscular, complex guitar riffs.
I've always dug the dark, menacing tone that this band brings to their compositions over the years, and they've continued to do just that once again here on History of the Visitation. If you like your instrumental prog with a serious, darker edge, then do yourself a favor and pick up this gem.
1. The Pillman Radiant (26:15)
ii. The divine vessel
iii. Wriggling magnet
iv. Mosquito mange
v. Devine vessel's reprise
2. Complex #7 (4:47)
3. Tremors from the Future (11:15)