Black Oni is the second part of an epic trilogy that started with 2004's highly acclaimed Five Suns. Like that album, it is composed of one track separated into five parts. It shares the same lineup as Five Suns, too (not always the case with Guapo): Daniel O'Sullivan on keyboards and guitar, Matt Thompson on bass, and Dave Smith on drums. Black Oni is filled with organ clusters and electronic tones that give way to heavy progressive rock peppered with electric piano, Mellotron, and a slew of other brilliant excesses. The album is filled with complex miniatures -- like the Philip Glass-style minimalist piano introducing the third section -- that work well, as they never really veer too far from the foreboding feel of the whole album. Anyone who likes Olivier Messiaen, Magma, or Dark Magus-era Miles Davis will find something to like here, but if you like all three, Black Oni is essential.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Wade Kergan