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Koenjihyakkei - 2 (ni), AKA Viva Koenji! CD (album) cover

2 (NI), AKA VIVA KOENJI!

Koenjihyakkei

 

Zeuhl

3.91 | 70 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. When I listened to this the first time my initial reaction was "This isn't Zeuhl, it's Rio / Avant". Well after many listens this clearly is Zeuhl, it's just a modern take on the genre. Of course there have been many styles of Zeuhl over the years and I guess this is more of a Rio / Avant / Zeuhl combination. I would not suggest starting with this band if you want to check out the Zeuhl genre. This is at times fast paced, chaotic and frantic. It is drum led (featuring the RUINS drummer) with their own made up language (wonder where they got that idea from), with often operatic and crazy vocals thrown in the mix. The Alternative Press had this to say about this band "...this is not only the most brilliant of all of contemporary Japanese bands but perhaps the greatest band currently operating in the world." The most difficult part of this album for me is the frantic vocal dominated sections, I just don't like them.

"Grembo Zavia" is pedal to the metal with vocals and drums leading the way in this fast paced tune. Some brief guitar after 3 minutes and later 6 minutes in.After 6 minutes the song changes as it slows down with a dark and heavy soundscape. Nice. Light, haunting female vocal melodies arrive as the heavy melody stops. The heaviness returns and the drums are all over the place, this is an intense ending. "Graddinoba Revoss" has vocals that seem like they should be in an opera as they dominate with the drums playing a lesser role. "Sllina Vezom" features fast paced female vocals. Zeuhl-like vocal sounds a minute in. The song stops and all you hear are piano notes that build to a melody. A full sound 2 1/2 minutes in with male vocals this time.The guitar is great 3 minutes in and the female vocals are back. "Quidom" is a really good song that contrasts the heavy sections (with female vocals), with the more uptempo passages (with guitar, piano and drums). I like the way the guitar grinds out the melodies on this one, and I love the heavy slower sections. A top three track for me.

"Aramidda Horva" hits the ground running with male and female vocals leading the way accompanied with drums. Crazy vocals 5 minutes in. Tough song to get into. "Cembell Rotta" is more like it ! My second top three tune. Great vocal display in the beginning. Soft vocals are contrasted with the screaming vocals. Nice guitar 3 1/2 minutes in. "Brahggo" is another top three that opens with some fantastic guitar that continues throughout, more in the background though as the vocals dominate. "Rissenddo Rraimb" has such a good,uptempo melody. The keys sort of run with it 2 minutes in and later at 5 1/2 minutes. Vocal melodies are good 2 1/2 minutes in, and the other highlight for me is the blistering guitar after 6 minutes. "Guoth Dahha" is a powerful song that reminds me of SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM. This is a dramatic song with yelling and a lot going on. This is such a great song. 5 1/2 minutes in it changes to a more straight forward sound as drums and female vocal melodies lead the way. "Pamillazze" is a short concluding track just under a minute and a half in length. It features some crazy female vocals as piano,guitar and other sounds pierce the soundscape.

While I appreciate the complexity of the playing and of the arrangements (including the vocals) this is often difficult to digest and therefore to enjoy. It keeps getting better though. Amazing stuff.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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