Gazpacho - Molok

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:8 Release Date:2015-10-23

Like a soundtrack to a dreamy acid trip scored by the spawn of Danny Elfman, Roger Waters, and Peter Gabriel, the latest offering from Norway’s Gazpacho is a heady experience that reaches glorious heights but also lacks from a sense of variety. 

“Park Bench” is the first track, and it starts off ominously enough with a military-style drum cadence before the soft enticing vocals of Jan-Henrik Ohme commence, accompanied by tinkling keyboards, eventually giving way to the rest of the band, topped off with an angelic chorus, giving the song a layered, gorgeous, orchestral majesty. 

“The Master’s Voice” has a toy-keyboard like intro, plinking along like a warped twist on the Harry Potter theme. “Choir of Ancestors” is a beautiful song, with lyrics that underscore the religious theme of the album, and “Algorithm” begins with a haunting humming melody and spare percussion; an ethereal instrumental number that dissolves into gusts of wind before the plaintive “Alarm” breaks the spell. Speaking of the religious motif, if you’re wondering where the title “Molok” comes from, it’s the name of a demon to which children were sacrificed. So there’s that.

There are echoes (no pun intended) of Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, and Mazzy Star throughout. Those ingredients are blended well with the skillful musicianship of a veteran band to provide the perfect accompaniment to a hallucinogenic experience or perhaps the music piped into an opium den. It's all quite blissful and hypnotic. On the negative side, this is an album that maintains the tranquil pacing throughout, which got a bit tedious to me. Yet, if such atmospheric style is your taste, this would be a great addition to your collection.

By the way, the band is on a European tour for the next two months, and I can only imagine how much more hypnotic the experience must be live.

 

 

 

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