October Equus is a brand new instrumental prog rock band from Spain, whose debut self-titled album is a rich and complex display of serious chops and promising compositional skills. While the band makes no bones about hiding their influences-you can hear plenty of references to King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Univers Zero, Hatfield & the North, Van Der Graaf Generator, and National Health, they sure know how to create music that sounds fresh and exciting.
Made up of guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums, the four members of October Equus have put together some intriguing sounds here. The opener "Lupus in Fabula" is a rumbling and complex prog workout that mixes both Larks Tongues in Aspic and Discipline era King Crimson (especially the jagged guitar work) with the extreme counterpoint keyboard style of Octopus era Gentle Giant. "October Equus Suite" makes up tracks 2-7, and mixes dark, jarring passages with some spacey and even symphonic tones. Think Henry Cow by way of Gentle Giant with some King Crimson for good measure. Keyboard player Victor Rodriguez utilizes many different tones and sounds on the CD, mostly covering vintage stuff like Moog, Mellotron, Rhodes, and Hammond. Check out the ominous Mellotron on the creepy "End: On a Lance", a song also notable for a tasty guitar solo. The guitar work of Angel Ontalva is pretty aggressive at times (check out his fuzzed out and jagged licks on "Head of the Winner") as he favors a biting tone with just enough distortion, giving him a slight Robert Fripp- like sound. Bassist Amanda Pazos and drummer Txema Fernandes support all the explosive firepower with plenty of nimble rhythms-check out their acrobatic underpinnings while Ontalva's guitar roars and Rodriguez adds his Hammond & Mellotron washes on "Reliqua Tempora".
Chances are October Equus might not be a household name in the prog community now or in the near future without some serious word of mouth and marketing on the Internet. So do yourself a favor-if you like dark and complex instrumental prog that has plenty of references to the 70's, give this one a try. You'll be glad you did.
- Lupus in Fabula
- Field of Mars
- Head of the Winner
- End: On a Lance
- Reliqua Tempora
- Minus Nihilo