Guapo - Five Suns

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Cuneiform Records
Catalog Number: Rune 184
Format: CD
Total Time: 62:47:00

Five Suns? Yeah right. Perhaps if yours truly found himself at home in the unwelcoming realms of Charon, feasted upon the blood of his enemies, and had the unfortunate curse of having a bad trip about every, oh, two minutes, Guapo's latest outing could be considered a quintuple arrangement of life-giving stars. The way it stands, however, the only five suns the listener will get from this harrowing tour-de-force will be those above an apocalyptic sky teeming with toxic fumes and a temperature worthy of Hades himself. Don't forget to mix in a good amount of neurosis, paranoia, claustrophobia, and martial steadfastness. Yeah, I know; it sounds pretty cool. It is.

Apparently someone somewhere once said that Guapo resembles Lark's Tongues in Aspic's King Crimson, which is pretty much like comparing Weezer to Slayer, golf to rugby, or picturesque streams to incoming asteroid storms. Forget the Crimson reference and remember that rock critics tend to categorize every single progressive band on the planet as a bastard child of Yes, Pink Floyd, Rush, or the aforementioned Crimson. Hell, if it were up to the hip staff of Rolling Stone, Guapo would most likely be the spawn of all four of them. Then it would storm the infamous mag's offices, drive everyone mad with a dead-on attack of massive proportions, and spit it all out; all in one fell swoop. No, ladies and gentlemen. Guapo is not a King Crimson. Guapo doesn't want to be a King Crimson. Guapo doesn't need to be a King Crimson. And with the incessant onslaught of Dave Smith's drums and the maddening drive provided by cohorts Daniel O'Sullivan and Matt Thompson, it's clear why: these guys don't intend to share the world with anyone anytime soon.

And they won't have to, unless the boys in Magma (well, they actually aren't quite boys anymore) decide to duke it out with them in a death duel, which not only would be a marvel to look at, but would also make even California's current governor cower with fear. Steering back to the matter at hand, however, the reason why the members of this British trio could aspire to dominate such a considerable piece of land is the fact that the intensity they conjure is simply bewildering. Although the multi-movement "Five Suns" does steam off towards the end and leaves an ever-so-slight trail of disappointment behind, the core of the piece is so obliterating, so perversely sinister, and so unforgiving that the listener can't help but feel a bit of delicious psychosis sinking in and consuming whatever traces of normality struggle to remain. Noisy drones here, pseudo-jazzy licks of concentrated darkness there, unstoppable walls of crushing marches further along the path, and a constant sense of alluring trance are all weapons of choice in Guapo's arsenal. You might as well know what the band is going to hit you with, because you should remember the following: Guapo cannot be stopped.

And truth be told, you probably wouldn't want the British outfit to do so either. If the hypnotizing soundscapes of "Five Suns" don't produce the effect, there are still "Mictlan" and "Topan" to ineluctably involve the listener in a world of precisely placed dynamics, intelligent structuring, and sheer power. If that doesn't suffice, then you must be a resident of the netherworld itself. Either that or you forgot to push "Play" on your stereo. For the rest of us mere mortals who are aware of the trappings of modern sound-reproducing devices, however, one thing stands crystal clear: Five Suns is coming and embedding itself into our consciousness, whether we like it or not.

Five Suns: I. (4:32) / II. (10.19) / III. (10:30) / IV. (12:57) / V.( 7:54) / Untitled ?empty" track (1.00) / Mictlan (8:58) / Topan (6:37)

Daniel O'Sullivan - keyboards, guitar, electronics
Dave Smith - drums, percussion
Matt Thompson - bass, guitar, electronics

Towers Open Fire (1997)
Hirohito (1998)
Death Seed (2000)
Great Sage, Equal Of Heaven (2001)
The Ducks And Drakes Of Guapo And Cerberus Shoal (2003)
Five Suns (2004)
Black Oni (2005)
Elixir (2008)

Genre: Other

Origin UK

Added: September 27th 2004
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra

Artist website:
Hits: 901
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]