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Ain Soph - A Story Of Mysterious Forest CD (album) cover


Ain Soph


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.99 | 93 ratings

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4 stars The demo that ended up as the ''Ride on a Camel'' documentary album marked the end of Kikuo Fujikawa's presence with the band, at least until the mid-80's.He left Tenchi Sozo, who were renamed to Ain Soph after the arrival of new keyboardist Masey Hattori.The fresh line-up signed with King Records and recorded Ain Soph's debut ''A Story of Mysterious Forest'' in a week at King Records Studio 2 and Studio 901 in Tokyo at the end of January 1980.It was released the same year, featuring an excellent painting of Czech artist Vítezslav Karel Masek as a front cover.

''A Story of Mysterious Forest'' sounds like an improved version of Techni Sozo's material, where the Canterbury influence remains apparent, the CAMEL-like melodies are still present, but the overall performances seems more tight and energetic.The satisfying first side contains nice instrumental Progressive/Jazz-Rock with plenty of symphonic breaks in the keyboard parts and some fine jazzy guitar solos by Yozox Yamamoto.The delivery is highly technical with even some acoustic crescendos, while the two longest compositions are full of decent breaks.Hattori is a perfect replacement for Fujikawa and his keyboard workouts are somewhere between PETER BARDENS' work with CAMEL and DAVID L. STEWART's virtuosic Canterbury themes with NATIONAL HEALTH.Of course the album is highlighted by the self-titled eponymous 10-part suite and its fantastic blending of Symphonic Rock with Jazz/Fusion.The opening Classical-based themes in the vein of FOCUS and THE ENID give their place to some excellent GENESIS-like synths, before Yamamoto strikes back with some superb guitar solos of the highest inspiration, supported by Hattori's symphonic Mellotron.Again some smooth THE ENID-like Classical soundscapes appear and the track ends with a Fusion atmosphere filled with Hattori's impressive synthesizers and Yamamoto's fiery guitars.

No question, this belongs among the best Japanese Progressive Rock releases of the 80's.Fascinating, technical, all instrumental Symphonic/Jazz Rock of high quality.Approach without any hesitation.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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