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erik neuteboom
3 stars The first album from Japanese progrock band Pageant is one of my favorites, what a wonderful symphonic rock sound: great female vocals and beautiful, very compelling compositions with echoes from mid-Genesis, Camel and Renaissance. This second album entitled Abysmal Masquerade (the Japanese title is Kamen No Egao, the European Musea release is slightly different from the Japanese Crime Records release) showcases two faces. Face one: longer compositions in the vein of the first album featuring lots of shifting moods, bombastic keyboards and flowing, sensitive electric guitar work. Face two: short songs, alternating between dreamy/romantic and up-tempo delivering tasteful guitar - and keyboard play. At some moments female singer Hiroko Nagai (she also plays keyboards) lacks a bit power but in general se has one of the most beautiful voices in the Japanese progrock scene, a bit similar to Kate Bush. By the way, the titletrack was released as a single in Japan, this Musea release contains two versions of it, 'flute' and 'live'. A wonderful CD!
Report this review (#74016)
Posted Tuesday, April 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Pageant were one of the leading prog bands from the '80 in Japan. Formed in 1981 and afer some line up changes the first album saw the light in 1986, the second offer in 1987 named Abysmal masquerade and the final one saw the light in 1988, then they disbanded and gone into oblivion. The music is quite good and complicated , highly symphonic, something between early Gerard or Theru's Symphonia also from Japan with a twists towards Genesis or Renaissance. Abysmal masquerade has two new versions and a live version from the first album the rest of the pieces are original. The vocals are in japanese and has that high pitched aproach, Hiroko Nagai got almost a child type of voice, in places is ok , but has some irritating passages aswell. All in all a good towards great album from japanes prog school, not to be missed. 3 solid stars, rounded to 3.5 in places.

Report this review (#1536588)
Posted Monday, March 7, 2016 | Review Permalink

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