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Korekyojinn - Arabesque CD (album) cover





3.61 | 13 ratings

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3 stars Although 5 years passed between Korekyojin's debut recording and their sophomore release, it sounds as though just a few short months and some intense gigging seperated them. This is both a strength and a weakness; this time around the arrangements allow the individual musicians a little more breathing space, and the ethnic percussion is better integrated into the sound, but there's nothing here that quite matches Poet and Peasant from their first album.

The album kicks off as it means to go on, with two pieces boasting skull crunchingly heavy riffs that take brief excursions into jazz and funk while never losing sight of the hard rock that underpins most of this album. Kido Natsuki covers an insane number of bases on guitar and has several Jimmy Page moments, sounding uncannily Zeppelin-esque on Betwixt, while Mitsuro Nasuno sounds like the lovechild of Chris Squire and Bootsy Collins. Yoshida Tatsuya, as ever, sounds like he's got Carl Palmer and John Bonham's drum kits welded together and a couple of extra limbs so that he can hit everything simultaneously (in fact he plays a pretty standard 5 or 6 piece kit with a single bass drum). The acoustic interludes that broke up the first album are present and correct and sound more fully realised this time around - Presage could have escaped from Led Zeppelin 3, an album which was obviously something of a touchstone for these sessions. It's a wholly instrumental affair again, which will make it more palatable to those who find the unique vocal stylings of Ruins and Koenjihyakkei off putting.

The 3 musicians sound like they're having a hell of a time rocking out and negotiating Yoshida's labyrinthine scores, and there are riffs and runs on here that will stay lodged in your head for months, but as on their previous outing there's the occasional feeling that it's a display of technique for its own sake. Fans of Thrakkattak style King Crimson and brutal prog in general will find plenty to enjoy on here, but newcomers may be better advised to start with the debut or the live album Isotope.

Syzygy | 3/5 |


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