I discovered Gazpacho a couple of years ago through a friend of mine. He always played it at his home when I was visiting him. Because it was always used as 'background music' during our conversations I never really paid attention to the music. I appreciated the music when it got played but never thought to buy one of their albums because 'it didn't hit me'. I had the feeling something was missing, like a recipe that misses an ingredient, and needs a bit of extra pepper or garlic.
Molok is a concept album like almost all other Gazpacho albums, but this one has a very interesting story, which I will not spoil for the people who still need to listen to the album, although I have one quote that I would like to share with you; “A small code that sounds like a strange noise at the end of the album will cause the correction software that runs in all CD players to generate a random number every time the CD is played. If that number should correspond to the actual position of all electrons in the universe then technically the universe could be destroyed.”... Oh my!
Molok is the first Gazpacho album which I gave 100% of my attention by listening to it alone and not in a room filled with friends. I really had to become convinced... And I became convinced! The music is beautiful, but I really had to get used to the voice of Jan-Henrik Ohme. Some people say their music is related to Marillion, but don't make the mistake that they sound like Marillion. This band has its own identity and cannot be compared with other bands. The length of the album is perfect and keeps your full attention from beginning to end. The album sounds great, a very good production. There are even a lot of heavy bass sounds, which I quite like. The album artwork is also a treat for the eye. Gazpacho has company from several guest musicians, including Gjermund Kolltveit, who plays a very ancient instrument called a Skåra stone.
The percussion intro of Park Bench immediately grabs your attention. There's a lot happening in that song. The instrumental outro is beautiful and vivacious, but has a short weird haunting ending. The Master's Voice is a great follow up of Park Bench and breathes the same atmosphere. Bela Kiss starts with a catchy piano piece, and has a very folky mid-section. It's the shortest track on the album. Know Your Time has a fascinating intro, I really love the bass. After two minutes the song becomes more tender but not much later the song breaks open and becomes heavy. Choir Of Ancestors gives you an uplifting and tender feeling. This song also contains beautiful female vocals and a great guitar solo. ABC is quite an up tempo track but has some magical sedating pieces and I caught myself singing along with the lyrics. Algorithm contains a catchy and atmospheric percussion intro. It's very beautiful (almost) instrumental track. Jan Henrik shows a lot of emotion in his singing voice during the track Alarm. Molok Rising is the longest track on the album. The intro is calm, but the song slightly becomes darker and darker and leaves us with a quite surprising end.
I can understand that some people do not appreciate the music, think it's too soft, or not soft enough, etc... Still, a lot of people love it, so who am I? I even think everybody should actually love this band. I'm sure I will play this album a lot... And in the meantime I keep my fingers crossed, hoping that I will not destroy the universe.
***** Iris Hidding (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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