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Asturias - In Search Of The Soul Trees CD (album) cover





4.04 | 45 ratings

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4 stars Yoh Ohyama leads this Japanese chamber rock ensemble through a collection of elegant and scored pieces which come together well as two separate pieces on In Search of the Soul Trees. Earlier albums from Ohyama include 1988's Circle In the Forest, Brilliant Streams two years later and Cryptogram Illusion in 1993.

"Pilgrimage" has moments mimicking After Crying's grand pacing and harmonious blending of instruments. Another touchstone might be early Gandalf, but I never heard Gandalf as inventive or able to bring out the best in the whole band as Asturias. Most songs are a mix of acoustic and electric instruments, with Yoh Ohyama pulling out the Mike Oldfield setting on his electric and acoustic guitars quite often. Ohyama's acoustic guitar playing can also make his songs sound like a Michael Hedges piece.

Each piece is a study of a very disciplined and integrated band, with a very rounded sound like Camel. "Storm" brings out the full force of the ensemble, electrified like a rock band, and with a big percussion group. The tracks for the two Parts are not separated by quiet space, but merge into each other, which creates a very nice listening experience.

Very recommended for Mike Oldfield and Japanese offshoots like Shengetsu, Flat122 and LU7.

BGrosjean | 4/5 |


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