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Guapo: Obscure Knowledge

British progressive rock/avant-garde act Guapo have been thrilling fans & critics alike with their dark, mysterious, and alluring music for many years now, and their latest platter of menacing sounds, Obscure Knowledge, is certainly no exception. Containing just one long instrumental track, broken down into three sections, with the main piece clocking in at nearly 26-minutes (!), the band once again demands your full attention, as this is no mere background music. Utilizing various vintage & modern keyboards, courtesy of Emmett Elvin (Chrome Hoof/Knifeworld), crunchy yet angular guitar work from Kavus Torabi (Knifeworld, Cardiacs, Gong), deep bass grooves from James Sedwards (Thurston Moore Band, Chrome Hook) and the always impressive drum mastery of leader David J. Smith, Obscure Knowledge at times is sinister, ominous, and powerful, while on other occasions the music takes on a very minimalistic feel. The enormous main track fluctuates from behemoth, Red era King Crimson inspired savagery to more sedate, repetitive structures, with beds of classic sounding keyboard textures and complex, jagged guitar riffing all criss crossing each other for supremacy, yet all the arrangements always seem to come together perfectly. Part II is mostly drone, while the near 13-minute third section is a slow builder of dramatic progressive rock, as nimble bass & drum rhythms toil underneath a boiling miasma of shimmering guitar patterns and airy keyboards, eventually roaring to a bombastic climax.

Those who like their prog-rock with soaring melodies and vocals might not fall in love with the dark, often times sinister sounds of Guapo, but for the rest of you, Obscure Knowledge is mighty good and well worth your attention. If you've long followed the band, this one's another winner!

Track Listing
1 Obscure Knowledge I 25:39
2 Obscure Knowledge II 4:38
3 Obscure Knowledge III 12:39

Added: December 26th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1488
Language: english

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