Exposé Online banner

October Equus — Presagios
(octoberXart Records oe03, 2019, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-12-30

Presagios Cover art

It’s been half a dozen years since their previous full band studio album Permafrost, but it’s no surprise given the elaborate compositions and complex arrangements, which are always a curious delight, and not something that lends itself to be cranked out on a typical annual rock band schedule. With Presagios, only three members remain from the Live at R.I.O. Festival 2014 album, those would be the band’s two composers, guitarist Angel Ontalva and keyboardist Victor Rodriguez, as well as bassist and engineer Amanda Pazos Cosse. The newcomers include cellist Pablo Ortega, flutist Yolanda Alba Rodriguez, John Falcone on bassoon, and drummer Piotr Talalay, all taken more new members than old, but turnover has always been a constant in the band while Ontalva, Rodriguez and Pazos are at the core. The eleven instrumental tracks presented here cross numerous variations of what would typically be labeled chamber rock; you’ve got some seriously chamber instrumentation (cello, flute, bassoon) mixing with the four piece rock band core, although the drumming is very articulate and nonstandard, as is the rest of the core instrumentation. On tracks like “Cefiro” one might well be reminded of early Univers Zero with the addition of keyboards, whereas tracks like “Ceniza” follow a more lively and playful style, with rippin’ guitar and keyboard solos throughout its near three minute duration. “Estelas” is another playfully rhythmic and beautifully melodic piece with a strong presence for cello, while the title track offers that dark and foreboding sound led by bassoon and keyboards that might be a good soundtrack for crawling on your hands and knees through the cemetery at midnight, until it all speeds up at around the three minute mark and finds a steady groove with some blistering guitar through the song’s conclusion at close to five minutes. I’ve barely scratched the surface with these four tracks, but rest assured Presagios is a brilliant album from beginning to end, certainly worthy of a place next to all of October Equus’ previous work, and should be of interest of all fans of instrumental chamber rock.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): October Equus, Ángel Ontalva

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Drama - Strange Expression – A trio from Erie, Pennsylvania, Drama's music combines three qualities that are seldom found together in the right proportions: hard hitting, high energy progressive rock; an excellent singer; and a...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues