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Mizukagami - Mizukagami CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.29 | 20 ratings

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3 stars This is a wonderful starting point for anyone interested in exploring the world of Japanese Symphonic Prog. The music has a familiar, comforting feeling that reminds of classic 70's Symphonic Prog. It is usually quite airy, flowing, and light in mood and it also has a very distinct Japanese flavor... even when there are no vocals present.

The opening instrumental section of 'Sakura' is one of the best parts on the album. It summons the spirits of Yes and King Crimson and features beautiful mellotron keyboards, a distinctly Asian melody played on lead guitar, and a thick heavy bass line driving it all along. The music that follows is pure magic... the sound of a gentle stream flowing through a Japanese garden fades in and is accompanied by a melancholic flute solo.

The vocals of Tanaami Futaba, backed by the sound of singing birds, are simply enchanting and carry you to a far-off land of fantasy; pink leaves and lotus flower petals drifting on a cool breeze through an orange sky above bright green fields....

Besides the lovely vocals, classic synthesizers are the dominant instruments on the album. The bass player is very good and holds the lithe flowing music together well. The drums leave something to be desired and feel a little too stiff; they are are the weakest element of the music... but they are steady enough to not drag the rest of the music down.

'Suzukaze' is another highlight which features the most beautiful musical theme on the entire album. A haunting Japanese melody is played on a sad, heavily-reverbed piano and is framed by a wall of chilling effected mellotron. It must be heard to be appreciated, it is a wonderful piece of music.

The rest of the album is generally very high quality as well, but a couple songs do tend to wander and lose me a bit. This is one of the better Symphonic Prog albums of the past decade. A solid 3.5 effort... and a grower. The more you listen to it, the better it gets.

AdamHearst | 3/5 |


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