Guapo's latest offering, Black Oni is the second part of a trilogy which began on their previous disc with the track "Five Suns" and follows in a very similar style. That is to say that the trio has followed up a great disc with one which is equally as good. Once again we're served up another platter of dark, powerful, zeuhlish rock.
The entire disc is basically one 5-part suite. O'Sullivan leads the charge, playing a plethora of keys including the mighty 'Tron , Fender Rhodes, and a harmonium. Drummer Smith once again delivers a powerful , albeit chaotic at times, drumming clinic ; which seems to stand out the most to this reviewer's ears. Not to be overlooked, bassist Thompson cements the band's sound with very proficient bass playing, often bridging the melody lines from plateau to plateau. Black Oni showcases once again the band's penchant for writing pieces which offer a wide array of musical dynamics, although this disc seems a tad tamer than it's predecessor. This may not be a bad thing though and may even introduce the group's music to a wider audience. I'm not implying here that the band has gone completely melodic either. If Five Suns buttered your toast, Black Oni will add the jam (or condiment of choice). This disc once again puts on display the trio's knack for building climaxes which deliver the goods. Some may feel that the disc runs too short but I believe that 43:11 is an optimal length for music of this intensity.
I've heard people describe this band as "Magma without vocals". By that reasoning then we could assume that Five Suns was their Theusz Haamtak and Black Oni is their Wurdah Itah. Let's hope the third part of the trilogy becomes their Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh.
Those who have been following this band will swallow this disc whole. Newcomers will find this to be as good a jump-in point as any .This latest disc by Guapo is sure to figure prominently on my best of 2005 list. Highly recommended.
- Part I (3:33)
- Part II (11:54)
- Part III (10:20)
- Part IV (5:44)
- Part V (12:56)