Exposé Online banner

October Equus — Permafrost
(octoberXart Records oe01, 2013, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-12-19

Permafrost Cover artIn 1845 Captain Sir John Franklin led an ill-fated expedition to find the Northwest Passage. After a few early fatalities, the two ships became icebound in the Victoria Strait near King William Island in the Canadian Arctic and were lost. The only evidence of the expedition are the frozen mummified remains of three crewmen buried in the permafrost on Beechey Island. These crewmen probably died of pneumonia and/or tuberculosis, hastened by lead poisoning from the badly soldered cans in the ships' food stores. Franklin's lost expedition has been the subject of many songs, poems, short stories, novels, and TV documentaries. October Equus' Permafrost is the latest. Unlike Simon Fisher Turner's soundtrack to The Great White Silence about Captain Robert F. Scott's expedition to the South Pole, Permafrost is not a sound poem. Instead Permafrost consists of eight tracks of excellent progressive jazz averaging about five minutes each. I am only familiar with their debut release from 2005, and I still detect some references to Le Orme, especially in the keyboard passages. Overall, the music is dark with another touchstone being the French band Shub Niggurath. However, to me, the music is not particularly cold or frozen, it demands your attention. And it is more like one entire composition lasting 40 minutes with eight movements instead of separate tracks. Today the band consists of Ángel Ontalva (guitar), Victor Rodriguez (keyboards), Amanda Pazos Cosse (bass), and Vasco Trilla (drums). All are accomplished musicians whose talents compliment each other by weaving various various themes, rhythms, and lines into one seamless composition. If you long for intelligent music, then Permafrost is for you.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): October Equus, Ángel Ontalva

More info
http://www.octoberxart.com

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gentle Giant - King Biscuit Flower Hour – Gentle Giant as a live touring band (1970-1980) were always in a period of transition and refinement. The group would craft a challenging album from the palette of musical ideas by Kerry Minnear and...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues