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Koenji Hyakkei - Hundred Sights Of Koenji CD (album) cover


Koenji Hyakkei



3.87 | 86 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Before I start my review, I would like to mention that it will be on the remastered version of the album, as that is the one I own and I have yet to hear the original version at the time of this review.

Koenjihyakkei was a band whose name I had heard mentioned by other Magma fans around these forums. Many of said fans who had heard Koenjihyakkei highly recommended them. I was naturally intrigued, and after reading their bio and hearing a few samples on YouTube, I figured they might be a band I would enjoy immensely. And as it turns out, I was correct. Their debut, however, was actually the last album that I ever heard of their first four. And while it is probably my least favorite, it's still an absolutely thrilling release.

While Magma is very much more minimalistic at times, Koenjihyakkei is much more frantic. Think jazz rock on crack, because I can't really think of a better description. I thought Magma's vocals were over the top sometimes, but Koenjihyakkei's make me feel that Vander is actually quite relaxing when he shouts and screeches sometimes. Tatsuya Yoshida is also an absolute beast in terms of drumming. His style is very frantic and he is all over his kit most if not all of the time. This is high energy music, and for some, it may be fairly tiring on the ears. And yet, you can't deny the vibrant energy that the band inserts into each of their songs, be it from female vocal chants or Yoshida's complex drum patterns. The one thing that makes Hundred Sights stand out most from the rest of Koenjihyakkei's discography is that it has much more of a folk influence than later material. It's actually kind of refreshing to hear some of the musical influences from their homeland that are absent on future Koenjihyakkei releases.

Again, while this is my least favorite Koenjihyakkei album, it is still filled with high-quality material. I would expect nothing less from the Tatsuya Yoshida-led material I've heard so far. This album definitely deserves a 4 star rating, and anyone wanting to hear good modern Zeuhl is highly advised to check Koenjihyakkei out.

horsewithteeth11 | 4/5 |


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