Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Pochakaite Malko - Pochakaite Malko CD (album) cover


Pochakaite Malko



3.61 | 23 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Pochakaite Malko's debut album is a kind of Zeuhl/RIO/Symphonic hybrid that is very much a product of the contemporary progressive scene in Japan. Bassist Shigekazu Kuwahara was in the first Koenjihyakkei line up, and his playing is heavily influenced by Jannick Top and Bernard Paganotti. The drummer is firmly in the Zeuhl/RIO camp that produced Yoshida Tatsuya, and over this rhythm section two keyboard players weave complex patterns of the Emerson/Banks/Bardens variety.

This is a band with its roots firmly and proudly in the early 70s. On the first listening I was reminded at various points of Heaven and Hell by Vangelis, Zappa's RDNZL, ELP's KE9 and Tarkus, all underpinned with a growling, rumbling bass and the kind of precise yet unpredictable drumming of Magma and their Zeuhl acolytes. As appealing as all this may sound in theory, it doesn't always work that well in practice. It's not often that prog fans complain that the music features too many keyboards, but that's the downside of this album; as good as it often is, and the writing and playing is generally excellent, the arrangements sometimes get bogged down in dense layers of organ/synth sounds where another instrumental voice could have injected more colour and life into the performances. This is borne out by the two tracks which feature guest performers; Trinity is a largely acoustic world music interlude with a strong Indian feel, while 5th Element features an ethereal female vocal which is an effective foil for the synthesiser melody which runs through the piece, and these are the most memorable tracks on the album.

Newcomers to Japanese prog, especially the burgeoning Zehl/RIO scene, could do a lot worse than start here, but Ruins' 'Symphonica', Koejihyakkei's 'Nivrayam' and Happy Family's 'Tossco' all explore similar territiory more effectively. Ultimately it's a bit like an over rich chocolate cake; enjoyable in small pieces, but difficult finish in one go. Worth checking out, but subsequent Pochakaite Malko releases are better.

Syzygy | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this POCHAKAITE MALKO review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.