What do you get if you happen to mix the cosmic djent hookiness of TesseracT, mid-70s King Crimson, Vola, and Karnivool with the quirky lyricism and vocal traits of Björk? Nicely, you’d most likely get one thing rather a lot like Swedish progressive stoner/doom/people/psychedelic rock band Gaupa (Lynx). Led by frontwoman Emma Näslund, the quintet proved to be one of many nation’s most enjoyable newcomers with their 2020 debut LP, Feberdröm (Fever Dream). Now, they’ve returned with an arguably extra attractive and daring full-length sophomore sequence: Myriad. Delightfully hypnotic and mysterious, it additional solidifies the group as an artfully aggressive venture that no metallic fan ought to miss.
Since forming a number of years in the past, Gaupa have earned loads of acclaim and thrilling alternatives. For example, they performed at Scandinavia’s largest rock pageant, Sweden Rock, in 2018. Plus, they signed with Nuclear Blast Information—house of As I Lay Dying, Symphony X, Testomony, and In Flames, amongst many different main acts—in 2021. On the time, Jens Prüter (the pinnacle of A&R at Nuclear Blast Information Europe) remarked that the group “tear[s] down boundaries between genres – only for the sake of artwork.” Certainly, Myriad shuffles by types with commendable deftness and boldness, nevertheless it by no means appears incoherent. Quite the opposite, it paints Gaupa as a extremely targeted but adventurous ensemble with equal quantities of standard and experimental attraction.
Opener “Exoskeleton” firmly establishes Gaupa’s musical playground by way of its hodgepodge of sludgy guitar riffs, fast rhythms, and soulful singing. Finally, extra feisty guitar licks and percussive shake-ups evoke Queens of the Stone Age and Porcupine Tree (circa Worry of a Clean Planet, particularly); all of the whereas, Näslund’s bewitching melodies and saintly backing harmonies can’t assist however captivate. In whole, then, the monitor is a extremely intriguing synthesis of accessible foundations and avant-garde theatrics, and it completely units up the remainder of the report.
On that notice, follow-up “Diametrical Enchantress” goals a bit extra towards grunge and Southern rock, to the purpose that its refrain have to be an [un]intentional homage to Nirvana’s “Coronary heart-Formed Field.” Later, “Ra,” “Mammon,” and “My Sister is a Very Offended Man” faucet into the identical form of modern aggression, with the latter’s explosive ending jam highlighting the talents and chemistry of drummer Jimmy Hurtig, bassist Erik Sävström, and guitarists David Rosberg and Daniel Nygren.
Myriad is a terrific report from starting to finish. By fusing a number of significantly completely different approaches, the album—like Feberdröm earlier than it—tastes like a splendidly eclectic stew. It’s typically concurrently antagonistic, poetic, and unpredictable, with sufficient absolutely realized deviations to make sure that none of it will get stale. Better of all, it’s barely playful, too, so it demonstrates humility beneath the band’s unquestionable songwriting and compositional abilities. Hopefully, Myriad will lastly push Gaupa additional into the prog metallic limelight.