Gazpacho – Fireworker: Album Review

Gazpacho’s doyen is ethereal, analytical and powerful music. In Fireworker they’ve released another forceful, vigorous and compelling new album. 

Release date:  18th September 2020

Label: Kscope

Format: CD, / vinyl / digital

The Norwegian’s flourishing reputation has been etched out both from previous recordings and stimulating live performances. Gazpacho may appear in the shadows of iamthemorning, Anathema, Pain of Salvation, Caligula’s Horse, Riverside, The Neal Morse Band, and Steve Hackett and the like who they’ve mixed with at notable prog festivals. However, all their glory is  displayed on this awe-inspiring album.

Reflecting the outstanding quality of Scandinavian prog rock, Gazpacho has revealed to us that imaginative, conceptual, thought-provoking music does not solely belong to the classic prog groups of the 70’s.

The nearly 20-minute suite  Space Cowboy swings from melodic to chaotic, from solo vocals to choral. It explores the concept that human destiny is controlled by factors not just beyond their control but frighteningly beyond their will. This monstrous tenet is portrayed within a dynamic composition that will impress.

Another 15-minute epic, Sapiens, represents the bottom half of this musical sandwich and also fluctuates in dynamics and atmosphere. It continues the theory that we are merely carriers of the controlling spirit that dwells within us.

Haunting and devIlish these compositions may be but nonetheless moodily and hypnotically entertaining. 

Earlier compositions may also have touched on isolation and turmoil and been deeply analytical but Fireworker encompasses all the features and musical styles of its predecessors. 

Keyboardist Thomas Andersen elucidates: “There’s an instinctual part of you that lives inside your mind, separate from your consciousness. I call it the ‘Fireworker’ or the ‘Lizard’ or the ‘Space Cowboy.’ It’s an eternal and unbroken lifeforce that’s survived every generation, with a new version in each of us. It’s evolved alongside our consciousness, and it can override us and control all of our actions.

The filling between these two epics are three diverse tracks. The first,  Hourglass, has several layers of enchanting vocal, monastic choral and delightful piano keyboard. The single lifted from the album, Fireworker, is in itself is multi-faceted journey through the mind is musically twisting and changing. The divine, ethereal Antique completes the filling.

As modern concept albums go this recordtouches the buttons for those who are enthralled by deep, meaningful theories but is equally enthralling for those who admire wonderfully constructed music. Whichever is to your liking you will be drawn into the other as this album deserves to be seen as all-encompassing in its entirety….. but remember you have no choice, you’re not in control!!!! 

Listen to Clockwork here:

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