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Koenjihyakkei - Hundred Sights Of Koenji CD (album) cover





3.87 | 78 ratings

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5 stars Koenjihyakkei have always been lumped in the Zeuhl genre (rightfully so) because of their operatic vocal style, the repetitiveness of some of their musics and the bizarre word scheme they use. HUNDRED SIGHTS sees the blossoming of Koenjihyakkei's unique, idiosynchratic type of Zeuhl but with much more variety than future albums possess.

The dominant style here is the operatic, keyboard centric deal that fans of the 2000's Koenjihyakkei are used to. But this album tends towards the RIO spectrum much more than any other album in their history. In a sense, if you thought the band was crazy before, you clearly haven't heard HUNDRED SIGHTS.

The style here doesn't seem far removed from Ruins; the addition of keyboards and guitars allows more holes to be filled here than Tatsuya could do on a Ruins album. The crazy Ruins stuff is prevalent on ''Gepek'', ''Ozone Fall'' and ''Zhess'', although the last one has a punk/RIO vibe. The Magma influence is also at its most prominent, and it's not just because there are a few ''Zeuhl Wortz'' and ''Hamtai'' recitations; ''Ioss'' and ''Sunna Zarioki'' really channel the band's inner Magma and inject copious amounts of Red Bull into it.

This Zeuhl/RIO thing gets pretty wacky almost to the point where songs are great but indescribable, such as ''Molavena''. Any safe, melody addicted, symphonic/neo prog stalwart will find reason to pull every last hair out of their head listening to this album as it is nothing like their definition of prog. It is a relentless torture chamber of noise, mostly due to the synth choices and pounding drumming. Surprisingly, Koenjihyakkei manage symphonic restraint on ''Zoltan'', a very soft drone thing very unusual for the band.

Fans of the future Koenjihyakkei might recognize the band's signature sound in ''Avedumma''; it's the only one off the album that could fit on a later effort. But the mostly relentless pace, the obtuseness of the music, the crazy aura are all attracting factors. It's the most unique of the Koenjihyakkei discography that's worth a spin or five.

Sinusoid | 5/5 |


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