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Koenjihyakkei - Angherr Shisspa CD (album) cover





3.93 | 130 ratings

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Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars I've heard Koenjihyakkei described as many things: Magma on crack, Magma on speed, Magma on PCP. But in reality although they are without a doubt greatly influenced by Vander & co., this band is much more intense and complex. They also sing in their own made-up language, unnamed, which is even crazier than Kobian(which really just sounds like German with a Russian accent). Koenjihyakkei add the energy of punk and metal to Zeuhl, but on this album there is no guitar and the piano is much more prominent than on earlier albums. Also they have a reeds player who adds another dimension to their music. It also seems that the operatic vocals stand out more than previously.

For an album recorded in 2005, the sound is not too bad. By that I mean that unlike most music released since the mid-90s this doesn't sound too loud or too *perfect*. Although the synths used here seem to be *modern*, they don't sound as annoying or cheesy as most synths you hear in modern music. The drumming of bandleader Yoshida is completely crazy as usual; I think this guy is incapable of playing a *beat*, judging by his work with this band and his work in Ruins. The only thing keeping me from giving this 5 stars is the song "Mibingvahre", which is a bit too repetitive for this band; it also sounds much closer to Japanese avant bands like Wha-Ha-Ha, Boredoms and OOIOO than Koenjihyakkei. Unlike most Zeuhl the bass here isn't thick and chunky for the most part.

So what do the best moments sound like? Well, the vocals aren't always operatic wailing, sometimes they can be very chant-like. The piano playing is very jazzy at times but can also be almost classical sounding at other times. The reeds and synths don't jump out at you but mix in well with the drums, bass and vocals. If you aren't allergic to metal or punk you may enjoy the intensity of the music. If the vocals of Christian Vander or Dagmar Krause don't turn you off, you may at least tolerate the vocals here. There are two female vocalists here and they generally don't sound as crazy as the male vocals do. Overall, a solid 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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