The trajectory (that is, the insanity) went something like this.
I bought the Gazpacho cd, Fireworking at St. Croix, and I was so taken with it, I ordered the blu-ray of the same title, which also includes a Soyuz (previous album) concert, three interviews, and some extras. This wasn’t enough, however. I was so taken with the blu-ray that I ordered the deluxe edition earbook which includes the CD (now expanded to two discs), the DVD, the blu-ray, all in a specially-packaged hardback book.
Ok, let me be totally honest. To be sure, the trajectory didn’t go just “something like this,” it went exactly like this. Now, I proudly own three versions of the same release. My home office just reeks of Fireworking at St. Croix!
My Gazpacho intensity actually goes back to 2007 when the band released one of the most epic of all third-wave prog releases, Night. I have no idea how many times I’ve listened to Night. It numbers well into the 100s, ranking up there with listens of Talk Talk, Big Big Train, and Rush. Since 2007, I have happily bought and collected every single Gazpacho album, studio as well as live, past, present, and, it seems, future.
I’ve listened to each album multiple times—too many to be counted, really—and I’ve somehow absorbed this Norwegian art-rock band into my very self. They actually refer to themselves as an anti-band, but, nonetheless, a band they are.
As it turns out—as I learned from the interviews on Fireworking at St. Croix—the band sees all of its release since Night as a single whole, each a part of a connected universe, a “Gazpacho-verse.” Combining Christian, pagan, and Darwinian imaginary and themes, the band seems to revel in a sort of mystic Gnosticism (lyrically speaking) and delightfully complex musical structures.
Fireworker (the studio album) and its live release, Fireworking at St. Croix, follow the story of the Fireworker, a sort of demon that both animates and dominates man. He, the Fireworker, is a sort of parasite as well as a lifeforce, guiding as well as riding evolution.
As noted above, the band’s lyrics tend to be rather Gnostic (but in a fun way). They’re also always mythic and thoughtful.
I’ve had Fireworking at St. Croix (in one form or another) since its release in the U.S., and I’ve been listening and watching it almost non-stop. There is a lot of great music out there, but this is really some of the best of the best.
Now, if I can only get to Europe and watch the band live. . .
To order the deluxe version, go to Burningshed.com.