Gazpacho Missa Atropos on 180g 2LP
The constant drive to pigeon-hole artists often leads to the media creating all manner of new sub-genres to describe acts but few bands can share the ‘classical post-alternative ambient nocturnal atmospheric neo-progressive folk world rock’ label that one journalist gave Gazpacho while struggling to describe the band’s distinctive sound. More orthodox descriptions have suggested similarities to Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, Marillion (and even Aha) but such simplistic comparisons don’t do justice to the true nature of the band’s music.
Formed in Oslo in 1996 by childhood friends Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen along with Jan-Henrik Ohme (later joined by Mikael Krømer, Lars Eric Asp and Kristian Torp), the band have honed this unique sound over a string of critically acclaimed albums and numerous tours, including several with long-time supporters Marillion. These albums and tours, and the internet and word-of-mouth praise that have greeted them, have helped the band build a substantial international fan base.
All the band’s releases until this point have either been self-released or on Marillion’s Racket Records label but the band have now signed to Kscope who are set to give an international release to the band’s latest album Missa Atropos, which has previously only been available in Germany. The follow-up to 2009’s Tick Tock, Missa Atropos is an ambitious concept album.
Dealing with themes of death, fear and loneliness, it combines the band’s musical skills and haunting songwriting to create a beautiful and hypnotic piece of art. Darker than the band’s previous two albums, it still features many of the distinctive characteristic’s of a Gazpacho album, with ambient passages, violin and classical music, elements of world music as well as real samples of coded information sent during the cold war on short wave radio.