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Gazpacho: Molok

Nine albums in twelve years is an impressive strike rate in anyone's book and yet for a progressive collective, it's almost unheard of in recent times. Gazpacho however take this challenge in their stride, complex, conceptual pieces seemingly thrown out at will and to an amazingly high standard. Molok follows suit, using as its basis….well….maybe easier to let the band explain it…

'Across the album there are religious themes going head to head with modern day new science ideas and theories, Gazpacho's Thomas Andersen states, 'the album itself is about a man that sometime around 1920 decides that wherever anyone worships a God they always seem to be worshipping stone in some form.Whether it is a grand cathedral, the stone in Mecca or Stonehenge, God seems to have been chased by his worshipers into stone never to return. This harkens back to Norwegian folk myths where if a troll was exposed to sunlight it would turn to stone but it also reflects the way God has been incommunicado for a very long time. In a mechanistic view of the universe all events in the universe are a consequence of a previous event. This means that with enough information you should be able to calculate the past and the future and this is what he does. He names the machine 'Molok' after the biblical demon into whose jaws children were sacrificed because his machine crunches numbers. On solstice day he starts the machine and it quickly gains some form of intelligence as it races through history undergoing its own evolution.'

…got it? No I haven't either, but hey, it sounds deep and interesting. Something the music on this utterly captivating album matches with ease. As happily admitted by the band themselves, few Gazpacho albums are quick fixes and with Molok seldom rising above walking pace, it's no different. However what is different is the lack of contrast brought this time, the more forceful moments from previous album Demon left by the wayside as only occasional bursts of stinging guitar break the austere and claustrophobic spell cast. This is not an album set to bowl you over on first listen, instead it creeps up on you with promises of long held dark seduction.

The arrangements are quite wonderful, vocals leading from the front while whips of voices echo and reverberate deep in the background, building lawyers of atmospheres that often feel relaxed yet uneasy. The drums continually pierce and prod, busy beats happy not to pick up the pace, the amount of snare strokes per minute, absolutely no baring on the actual tempo of the music. The songs don't run into one another and yet Molok feels like an album that simply needs to be experienced in one sitting and from start to finish to truly make its maximum mark - although a dark, quiet isolation also helps the songs make the impression they undoubtedly can. Personally I also found that, at volume, this album makes a wonderful late night driving companion, the moods and aura created heightened by the otherworldliness of lonely roads and the feeling of the world being at uneasy rest.

Truly an album that alters the mindset as you listen to it, Molok highlights the true strength of Gazpacho; their ability to completely immerse the listener into a world often far removed from the one in which they are actually sitting in. The fact you wish to spend more and more time in its surrounds is testament to the strength and depth of the music this band provide. Give Molok sink in time and you'll discover its deep, dark delights are, as expected, irresistible.

Track Listing
1. Park Bench
2. The Master's Voice
3. Bela Kiss
4. Know Your Time
5. Choir of Ancestors
6. ABC
7. Algorithm
8. Alarm
9. Molok Rising

Added: November 8th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Gazpacho online
Hits: 3377
Language: english

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