Given the lengthy delay between the recording and release of the band’s debut, October Equus nearly broke up -- and in fact drummer Fernandes departed the group’s lineup -- but Ontalva, Rodriguez, and Pazos ultimately decided to forge ahead. With new drummer José Varela and saxophonist Francisco Mangas, October Equus recorded their second album, Charybdis, which was released on the Russian Association of Independent Genres
) label in 2008. The album received favorable notices for its Rock in Opposition and Canterbury-influenced sound (not that the group members had ever heard such music, of course), as well as a bit of newfound avant jazziness thanks to the presence of Mangas on a number of the album’s tracks. Beginning to make a splash in the avant-prog world, October Equus were invited to perform at Portugal’s Gouveia Art Rock festival the following year.
Apparently suffering from revolving drummer syndrome, the group replaced skinsman Varela prior to the recording of its third and arguably strongest album to date, Saturnal, released by the Italian AltrOck
label in May 2011. With some of its song titles “freely inspired by pieces of poetry by Sun Ra
” (although whether Ra
's actual music was an inspiration to the bandmembers remains an open question), Saturnal featured new drummer Vasco Trilla along with two additional musicians, saxophonist Alfonso Muñoz and cellist Pablo Ortega, expanding the band to a seven-piece lineup. Trilla and Muñoz are also members of the Barcelona-based octet Planeta Imaginario, whose own music is informed by the jazz-rock side of the Canterbury scene (assuming Planeta Imaginario's members have heard that old stuff). ~ Dave Lynch, Rovi