Soyuz is already the tenth album by our friends from Norway, Gazpacho. On this site they certainly do not need an introduction anymore. A number of reviews are available and you probably have read all of them. On this album the veterans Thomas Anderson, Jan H. Ohme, Jon-Arne Vilbo, Mikael Kramer and Kristian Torp play along. Drummer Lars Erik Asp has been replaced by the old drummer Robert Johansen, who is back on the litter.
When I received the music from Soyuz to write a review about it, I had quite mixed feelings. Of course, if I like the music, I want to write a good review about this music. However, I have a bit of a hate / love relationship with this band. The band has been around for a long time, as I wrote above, but until now I have never succeeded in really getting into the music. Every once in a while I listen to an album, but if I am honest I have to tell you that I never listened to a whole album. Before the end was there, the disc was out of my player. In one way or another, Gazpacho cannot please me. I was a bit anxious for this review.
The big, big advantage of writing reviews is that you MUST get into the music by listening to it a lot, so you can really tell something about it. I will never write a review after listening to the music for only one or two times. Then the music does not fit in your system, you are not one with the music at that point. So I started my'obligatory' listens to be able to get into the music, because, as stated before, you can do a 'shortage' to the band. My Ipod now says that I listened to Soyuz for 16 times at this moment. I guess it will be doubled by the end of the year. I have found out that I have failed both the band and myself by not listening to Gazpacho.
Atmosphere is an important part of Gazpacho. Atmosphere you have in all kinds of variations where melancholic fits most with the music of Gazpacho. No fun love songs or funny tunes but doom and gloom about things that did not go well, like the story about the Soyuz from Russia. I do not enter into content on the theme. In Hypomania there is a continuous threat, 'who attacks us?', heavily supported by the driving bass. In Emperor Bespoke everything revolves around atmosphere, beautiful guitar solos and beautiful violin playing. In Sky Burial the penetrating and repetitive piano sounds are striking, you get goose bumps. The longest track of the album is Soyuz Out with over 13 minutes. In this song, a lot happens in my opinion, from the roaring bass in the style of Pink Floyd to a ladies choir, depressive vocals, emotional passages, sometimes you want headbanging, sometimes you get a smile on your face; this is what music does to you. Just let yourself be carried away and experience it, undergo it. Rappaccini closes after Soyuz Out. Here you can hear many orchestral moments, beautiful, fragile vocals, a beautiful violin, a beautiful, quiet guitar solo and finally the song fades out with 3 piano sounds.
Quickly pressing the repeat button again is my proposal. Or will I rather start listening to the older albums?
**** Michel Stolk (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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