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Gaupa - Myriad

by Jamie Hollis at 18 January 2023, 12:25 AM

These Swedish doom prog rockers have a superbly unique sound and image. GAUPA are certainly out of the ordinary. Strangely, when listening to their latest album “Myriad”, I found myself just falling into the music rather than trying to write a review about it. That can only mean it was a great album all round so you might as well skip reading the rest of this review and spend your time listening to the album instead. The first thing you need to know is that I am not a huge fan of doom, but I do enjoy progressive rock and softer stuff. To me, “Myriad” is a blend of all the above. I can hear influences from all over the place being mixed together in a way that I couldn’t have imagined.

“Exoskeleton” is a creepy and dark track with a memorable chorus. As soon as you hear Emma’s voice it’s impossible not to be enticed. This is helped even more by the excellent production which keeps that distinctive voice right at the center of attention while the low tuned guitars echo deep in the mix with ease. Everything is just where it needs to be. In “Diametrical Enchantress”, the vocals once again creep us out. The doom influences shine through brightly here which isn’t massively to my personal taste but I’m still able to appreciate it when mixed in with everything else. “Moloken” is a nice change of pace, opting for a slower speed which oozes atmosphere and tension. Emma’s vocal tone matches the vibe perfectly and her emphasis on certain letters is superbly fitting for the verses. There are some beautifully melodic guitar sections in this song with sensational tone particularly in the second verse.

“Ra” has perhaps the most normal song structure on the album. Although this one does seem to meander a little, it has the same raucous sound as the rest of the album which has so much perfect imperfection to it that it’s difficult to become tired of it. “Elden” has another truly stunning atmospheric introduction like “Moloken”. It’s hard to explain what these intros sound like. I have very little to compare them with. You just have to hear it!  “My Sister Is A Very Angry Man” has possibly my favourite riff on the album along with time changes that baffled me upon first listen and kept me going back to try and figure them out.

“Sömnen” is Swedish for Sleep. The song fits the title brilliantly. This is a wonderful song. As someone who doesn’t really pay attention to lyrics, this is a wonderful musical treat on the album as an acoustic guitar takes front and center allowing more space for Emma’s glorious vocals. Can’t get enough of that voice. “Mammon” is one of the quickest seven minutes of music I’ve ever listened to. It felt more like a four minute song! There are, once again, all sorts of influences floating around in this track. It makes for a great album closer and leaves us expecting more.

GAUPA are cool in their own way. No doubt about it. They’ve got an edge to their music and they are incredibly lucky to have one of the most unique voices in music that I’ve heard in Emma Näslund. I’d highly recommend this album to anyone at all as I think it could probably appeal to people who like all kinds of genres and artists from BILLIE EILISH right up to SLIPKNOT. There’s something here for everyone. Nice work GAUPA! “Myriad” is an excellent achievement.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Exoskeleton
2. Diametrical Enchantress
3. Moloken
4. Ra
5. Elden
6. My Sister Is A Very Angry Man
7. Sömnen
8. Mammon
Emma Näslund – Vocals
Jimmy Hurtig – Drums
Daniel Nygren – Guitars
David Rosberg – Guitars
Erik Sävström – Bass
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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