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Release Date: November 23, 2015
Norweigan think-rockers Gazpacho return with their new album Molok. Their last album Demon was incredible and helped me get past their insufferable band name. Molok may not be as much of a sleeper hit for me, but it’s deep, thoughtful lyrics and almost unparalleled musicianship take their work on Demon a step further into greatness.
Molok’s story is better told on the band’s website ( www.GazpachoWorld.com ) but basically this is the story of a 1920’s man who makes the philosophical connection that whenever people worship a god it tends to involve some sort of stone (statues, cathedrals, mecca, Stonehenge, etc.). , noting that “God seems to have been chased by his worshippers into stone never to return.”
It’s hard to pick favorites here because much of it flows so completely together that I’m not entirely sure we needed song titles. The more uptempo “Bela Kiss” is a really fun tune that swaggers and sways in between moody, carnivalesque pieces that make it feel like a less drunken version of Gogol Bordello. “Choir of Ancestors” is another personal highlight for me. It’s got a powerful punch led by the piano and rhythm section that leads beautifully into “ABC” whose music responds in kind to the plodding ending of its predecessor.
Of course, “Molok Rising” is nearly its own EP, ending the album with a dynamic, ever-shifting musical monolith. It slowly builds, adding instruments and picking up tempo until the last minute and a half our so (out of nine-plus minutes) where it levels out and allows the gothic feel of much of Demon back in.
Molok is more fluid than Demon was. The songs are shorter, with the exception of the final epic “Molok Rising,” there is a better and wider use of strings and the gothic underpinnings of Demon are largely absent here. It doesn’t sound like another band, but it is a lot “cleaner” and more succinct. If you enjoy anything from late career Pink Floyd to Devin Townsend to The Pineapple Thief than you shouldn’t miss out on this one.
Reviewed by Mark1340