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Koenjihyakkei - 弌 (Two) [Aka: Viva Koenji !] CD (album) cover





4.04 | 91 ratings

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4 stars Frightening and aggressive. Sonically grim and unforgiving. Insane operatic chants dominate over repetitive pounding drums and distorted bass. Often dissonant and chaotic, this music may be hard for some to endure.

Koenjhyakkei are similar to Magma, but i actually prefer this band. Their sound is relentless and deranged... madness put to tape.

'Quidom' is my favorite track, and is absolutely terrifying! The operatic female vocals are spine-chilling and fit perfectly alongside horror-film piano and monstrous, lumbering drums which drag along like the footsteps of a malevolent stalking oni.

'Brahggo' is a similarly scary track with vocals that alternate between creepy ghost-like whispers and harsh demonic shrieks.

'Quoth Dahha' is another favorite which features more slow doomy parts broken up by anxiety-soaked up-tempo sections that are frantic and panic-inducing.

This music is mind-altering and disorienting... it is relentless and never allows you comfort. It is, therefore, an extremely challenging listen and I think the average Prog fan may have a hard time with this. Seasoned Zeuhl listeners will eat this up right away though, and I strongly recommended it for any RIO/Avant Garde music collection.

The album is a bit too long and repetitive however, with some songs dragging on way too long and lessening somewhat the overall impression of the album... less would have been more. It's hard to listen to the whole album in one sitting.

I will give it 3.5 stars and bump it up to 4 for it's sheer visceral impact. It's impossible to not react to this music... you'll either strongly hate it or love it.

AdamHearst | 4/5 |


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