Since the Norwegian band Gazpacho were signed to the Kscope record label in 2010 their career took a flight. It was just what this band needed to go to the next level to become a even more professional band. Even more lovers of progressive rock embraced their music and went to see them perform. However not all of their fans were able to see their musical heroes on a stage. The band just didn't manage to visit every country they are coming from. A problem that more and more bands nowadays have to deal with. This certainly was one of the reasons to come up with another live release after the band came with A Night At Loreley (2CD/DVD 2009/2010) and London (2CD 2011). This way they could come to the living room of the ones who love their music the most. Therefore they released Night Of The Demon.
This is a recording of a concert done during their tour to promote Demon (2014, see review), their latest studio album. Being rather popular in the Netherlands was obviously the reason to film and record their performance at De Boerderij in Zoetermeer on the 12th of April last year. The result is a release of a 2 disc CD/DVD digipack with a 24 page colour booklet. Strangely enough not any picture of this Dutch concert can be seen in the booklet. Instead there is artwork that very much goes in the line of designs on earlier releases. Every track is described in the liner notes and gives a bit of inside information what they are about. Those songs are taken from their albums Tick Tock (2009), Night (see review, 2007/2012), Missa Atropos (2010), Firebird (2005), March Of Ghosts (2012) and of course Demon.
Unfortunately only nine tracks of the whole concert can be heard on the CD. Therefore it would have been a better idea to include two discs with the audio of the complete concert that can be watched on the DVD. I guess it must have been a very difficult decision for the band to decide which tracks would end up on the CD. The almost eighty minutes of music are very good, but the best part in this package is absolutely the disc on which the whole performance can be seen. The way Jan Henrik Ohme (lead vocals), Jon-Arne Vilbo (guitars), Thomas Andersen (keyboards), Lars Erik Asp (drums) Kristian Torp (bass) and Mikael KrÝmer (violin, mandolin) are being filmed while performing the 14 songs of the setlist, is just outstanding. It looks as if from every corner on stage a camera captured all the moves the musicians made. At a very close range you can see them touch their instruments or sing the vocal parts. Furthermore the sound that accompanies those wonderful shots of the band members sounds pretty amazing. Moreover every song performed is named on the screen and introduced by a beautiful image. Gazpacho makes rather quiet music and so it is not easy for everybody to get into their style of progressive rock mixed with post rock. The light version of Marillion needs all your attention while listening to their music. But live Gazpacho's music gets you more by the throat then when you are listening to the studio versions of the songs they have written since they came together in1996. Live everything sounds just a little more dynamic and intense. The beautiful guitar solos and instrumental passages are of a great beauty, while the contemplative vocals entirely fit into the picture. The stage that was very well prepared to promote their at the time new album Demon very much helped to get into the mood of the music as well. In keeping with the demonic concept album the atmosphere on stage was bleak, dark almost. Projections supported this sentiment even more.
Those who are only gripped by listening to the music of Gazpacho so far, should eventually try with the visual aspect as well. They will find out they will receive a great show of an outstanding band. Because the band was, without doubt, at the top of their game on the Night Of The Demon! This superb concert was documented the best possible way on this CD/DVD release. Everybody involved who made it possible to get this amazing high level should get a show of hands! Both thumbs up for them! Therefore I can only give one of the best live releases of the last couple of years the highest rating possible. The five stars are well deserved for this excellent piece of art!
***** Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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