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Koenji Hyakkei - 弌 (Two) [Aka: Viva Koenji !] CD (album) cover


Koenji Hyakkei



4.04 | 94 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Although Koenjihyakkei can be said to play a modern interpretation of zeuhl, complete with indecipherable chanted lyrics and song-titles, be aware that their music is a little more punishing on the ears than any of the classic bands. Their songs are loud, insistent and prone to sudden metamorphoses - you'll be lucky if half of the songs on any Koenji album possess an introduction worth the name.

The very first track, "Grembo Zavia" illustrates these points within two minutes of pressing play, being a mixture of mantras at every vocal register and demented bass lines built around intentionally stilted time structures, as if during composition they had written the melodies in a sane signature and simply stripped out all of the calm beats.

It's an exciting way to begin an album but I hope you're enthusiastic as they are, because they maintain this level of manic energy from start to finish with only the gaps between tracks as reprieve. Some of the songs are slower but they're written in such a way as to take this as an opportunity to become heavier! It is this tenacity that unfortunately renders some of the shorter tracks a little faceless and skippable - a little light and shade could have helped to grant each song its own definite personality but here they run together. To this reviewer, the most brilliant songs are the ones that reach past eight minutes.

If you're looking for something decidedly fresh and challenging then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this album to you - just make sure you don't have a headache when you press play.

laplace | 4/5 |


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