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Naikaku - Shell CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.17 | 49 ratings

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4 stars Shell is yet another instrumental album I’m reviewing here lately, but what an album this is! The recording is dominated by drum and bass tandem with flute and guitar coming and going as the music evolves. Even in it’s heaviest moments the rhythm sections stands out pretty well. What else an ex-bass player may need? The flute and occasional trumpet gives this album a very jazz-like feeling.

Crisis 051209, the opening track, begins with drums, gradually joined by flute, bass and guitar. The song is divided into five interleaving parts of Exits and Crisis-es, with former being moments of prog madness all the little tigers loves so much and the later begin a flute-driven slow downs, including a little chaos spilled around 5th minute– resembling a jazz band warming up and playing different solos at the same time–that finally calms down with bass pointing the way out of this madness.

The third song of this album–being only 7 minutes long–has the longest title I’ve seen so far. It goes like this I found a deep dark hole and I am going to jump in! There will be no proof of my existence in this dark abyss. No-one will find me here! I have to compensate for being born by the redemption of my life into death. I will become a commendable entity and stop all the senseless butchery and useless cruelty I have inflicted onto other souls. Right from the start we only live in the “now”. But if we even stop to think of the here and now, it has already become the past in a twinkling of a moment. In turn, the future is pushing against the now and this whole perception as we know it soon becomes the past. To try and verify the moment of “Life” is an impossible task. When trying to prove life, it becomes a past existence in which there are too many memories. All in all, in the end life and death are exactly the same. So I am going to follow my dream and dive into my chosen fate!. Phew… And indeed, somewhere in the middle of the song the guitar advancement changes into eerie sounds you might hear in some deep underground cavern, reminding me Galois by Gordian Knot. The song ends as it had begun with jazzy flute and trumpet duo.

Although I’ve mentioned two songs, the whole album is a very interesting experience, with heavy rockin’ Lethe, where scorching guitar riffs intersperse with smooth flute passages, or floating Tautrogy. All in all, Shell is yet another proof that Japanese prog is highly individual and quite different from what’s being currently produced on both sides of Atlantic ocean. It’s best listened to without any distractions, just not to loose focus on what’s going on in the songs. Definitely a must-have CD for die hard bass guitar junkies like me, and an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Another gem in my collection.

therek | 4/5 |


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