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Mr. Sirius - Barren Dream CD (album) cover

BARREN DREAM

Mr. Sirius

 

Canterbury Scene

4.21 | 29 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In the prog revival movement that started in Japan in the late 70s and became reaffirmed during teh 80s and 90s, there was room for every trend, even for this sort of mixture of symphonic prog, Canterbury-satyle jazz-prog and pastoral moods that Mr. Sirius developed as its own musical ideology. Masterminded by the skilfull multi-instrumentalist Kazuhiro Miyatake (keyboards, flute and acoustic guitars), the band's debut album "Barren Dream" remains to this day a solid example of how good prog rock continued to be as an artistic endeavor after the 70s. Miyatake had already had a wide array of experiences in his native progressive arena (for instance, Pageant and Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica), and now it was time to fully convey his vision through this band's functioning. The album starts with the first suite, "All the Fallen People", which clerly manifests the main progressive virtues of Mr. Sirius' music. This is gentle symphonic prog not devoid of stamina, well-constructed sequences of melodic bases in which the mood and motif shifts emerge fluidly, a crafted combination of serene beuaty and energy. Teh main mission of Hiroko Nagai's voca ldeliveries is to enhance the relaxing aspect of the bucolic side that Mr. Sirius imparts with academic elegance. All in all, throughout teh evident complexity devoted to this msuical architecture, a sense of warmth prevails. Netx is the brief instrumental 'Sweet Revenge' [... too brief...], which brings a jazz-rock tapestry of exciting colors. The nex ttwo pieces are focused on somethign quite different, that is, instrospective moods wrapped in a pastoral sonic landscape ('Step into Easter') or in a return to Romantic chamber ('Intermezzo'). The pairing of these tracks serves as a culmination of the road to eclecticism that Mr. Sirius designed for teh album as a whole: just by listening to these four tracks, the listener is capable of stating the band's progressive game. The album goes on with 'Eternal Jealousy', a song that steadily brings back much of the vibrant colorfulness we had met in track 1, only this time with a powerful jazzy ingredient that conditions its integral framework. It can be described as a Camel thing wrapped in Gilgamesh sheets and adding colors from Bruford's first two solo albums. This is a really excellent track: its 8 minute span feels so short once you notice that it's ended. You might as well listen to it twice in a road, but if you don't, you will be immediately treated with a lovely Rennaissance-meets-Anthony Phillips piece entitled 'Lagrima': the eerie marriage of female vocals and acoustic 12-string gutiar gets conveniently adorned with flute lines and soft percussion in places. The closing track is also the longest: it lasts almost 13 minutos. Essentially, it is a hybrid of the moods from the majestic 'All the Fallen People' and the ultra-dynamic 'Eternal Jealousy'. Pompous it is, but its inherent compelxity is handled solidly in order to keep things under control lest the moments focused on melodic expansions become overtly self- indulgent. "Barren Dream" is more than just an album and it is not simply a great progressive album: it is an exercise on fine pottery in the shape of articulated sound. Simply recommended to all prog rock collectors over the world, no ifs or buts...

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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