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Teru's Symphonia - Teru's Symphonia CD (album) cover

TERU'S SYMPHONIA

Teru's Symphonia

 

Symphonic Prog

3.55 | 17 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Japan is famous for taking the best of every country and adapting it to their reality, their Prog scenario is not an exception to this tradition, most Japanese bands blend Symphonic, Neo Prog, Italian Symphonic and also a good amount of AOR to create their unique sound.

This is probably one of the main difficulties of their music, it's hard to be accepted by people who expect a more determined sound, but if you add an unfriendly language for most western listeners, it's an acquired taste not for everybody.........I'm part of the people who enjoy Japanese bands but overall TERU'S SYMPHONIA.

Their self titled album is one of their strongest releases, it's surprising how they are able to play in the hazy limit that divides Symphonic from Neo Prog without falling in the excessive pomp or the extreme simplicity of some bands, their sound is clearly unique and unusually strong for a debut.

"On the 13th Friday" is a song that defines their style, Shoiki Aoki and Chiezo on the keyboards blend the virtuosity of Symphonic pioneers with the characteristic sound of the 80's. The vocals, despite the difficulty I expressed before are very strong when the female singer Megumi Tokuhisa takes the lead, but a bit cheesy and affected when the good guitar player Terutsugu Hirayama sings, an excellent track that combines mystery with brilliance. "Love Songs" has a guitar sound that reminds me of Jan Akkerman, but as soon as Megumi starts to sing, the band takes a turn towards some sort of Folkish mediaeval style, still with a reminiscence of FOCUS.

"In the Town of Loneliness" marks a new change in the band, the soft piano guides the band towards a jazzy sound that is enhanced with the accurate drumming and the interplay between bass and keyboards, a nice variation.

"A Travel to Dream Agency" presents us a return to the style of the first track, while the lush and elaborate keyboards reminds of the 70's Symphonic, the vocals and guitar are clearly oriented towards Neo Prog, the spacey guitar and keyboard instrumental break is absolutely delightful, but the poppy end is a bit disappointing.

The central theme and only epic is the 10:22 minutes long "Symphonia", which as a fact sounds oriented towards Space Rock or Electronic Prog, at least apparently for the choice of keyboards and the electronic sound, but if you listen carefully beyond the sound of the instruments, the structure is clearly Symphonic and reminiscent of CAMEL even when much less soporiferous than the British band. Around the sixth minute a combination of Baroque sounds with synthesized winds give that pompous touch that old Progheads as me love so much.

The music keeps going "in crescendo· with an interesting tune and a style that reminds a bit of the historic conceptual albums by Rick Wakeman all leading to the climatic section that announces the ending (a bit reminiscent of VANGELIS) which simply fades gently. More than ten minutes of Progressive Rock and dramatic changes of styles and even sub- genres.

I don't know if "Innocence" is the best closer for a strong album that combines a frenetic structure with musical virtuosity, mainly because if the softer track in the record and to be honest I don't like the male vocals by Terutsugu Hirayama too much, but despite this facts, the melody reminiscent of "A Trick of the Tail" with an extremely beautiful melody and to end a vibrant section with a lot of strength.

Around the middle of the song, TERU'S SYMPHONIA starts again in the search of their pompous side with a very nice and accurate drumming by Junichi Sato, good speed changes and a bit of Neo Classical sound. To be Honest I enjoy the track very much, the only thing I question is the location, I would had switched places with "Symphonia" to allow the listener end the album with the honey of the most elaborate track on his lips.

Rating this album is a complex task, being that the musicality is outstanding, but it's so hard to understand because of the language, that doesn't allow the western listener to capture the complete essence, so I don't consider it an "Essential masterpiece of Progressive Rock", but instead an "Excellent addition to any Prog Rock collection", and for that reason the exact rating according to my opinion, consists of 4 solid stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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