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Geinoh Yamashirogumi - Osorezan / Dou no Kenbai CD (album) cover


Geinoh Yamashirogumi



3.42 | 14 ratings

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4 stars I've received many recommendations from many forum regulars, many of which I've liked quite a lot. One poster in particular, though, a certain Logan, has let me know about many many obscure gems which I otherwise very probably wouldn't have ever heard of. This album is one of those gems. The collective really got started off with a bang here, creating a truly bizarre, truly wonderful, avant-garde psychedelic masterpiece.

Side one starts things off with a spine-tingling scream, which in itself may be enough to send some listeners packing. It really fits the song's title though, which translates to Mountain of Fear. The track has its more lush moments, with fuller instrumentation and busier sounds in general, then it's got its quieter, more eerie moments. They blend together pretty seamlessly, though, and this track is quite a gem if you're willing to give it a listen.

Side two is the track Copper Sword Dance. Again, we start off with a scream, but not quite as blood-curdling as the first side's. The track continues on with a bit of some religious sounding chanting vocals, though more in the eerie manner than the cheerful manner of some religions. It continues on in a call-and-response manner for a good while, nearly five minutes in fact, before the style changes up and we're presented with some female vocals and the male vocalists in the background providing a rhythmic backdrop. I haven't mentioned yet, this second song has barely any instrumentation that I can notice - just vocals and some sparse percussion late in the song. After a while, the male vocalists take over again. The textures created by the various combinations of vocalists are really great in this song. The all-vocal thing here would be explored more (in a very different variety of styles, I might add) on the group's album Chi no Hibiki Higashi Yuroppu wo Utau from the same year, though on that album the mood is very much less avant-garde/psychedelic (rock in general is completely gone from it, in fact). Back to this one, though - this track could be either more or less difficult for some listeners, as it's no less avant than the first and it lacks instruments (well, about 14.5 minutes in we get some sparse percussion which I mentioned earlier). Still a very worthwhile listen, though.

For anyone who wants a unique, challenging album, I definitely recommend checking this out. It may be uneasy listening for some, but it's worth the effort of getting to know it. 4.5 stars for this one!

SaltyJon | 4/5 |


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