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Kalo - Spiral Dream  CD (album) cover



Symphonic Prog

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4 stars ***1/2

An impressive debut from this Japanese band. Their music is kind of symphonic art-rock. The music is centred on the keyboard work of main-man and composer Masahiro Uemura. He also plays electric guitar on most of the tracks and sometimes with a fiery style. The guitar is much more present in some of the tracks than others. A perfect example of his guitar skills is the opener "Dharani" (my fave track from the album). This track is very different from the rest of the album and might give a false idea what is to come after hearing this track. The keyboard work is very mellow and Vangelis-like. It could also be that Kitaro has been an influence for him (also a Japanese artist). It's like he paints landscapes with his keyboard sounds if you know what I mean. There is a lot of that sounds like a cello but it is not credited in the liner notes. Perhaps it is programmed? Anyway, it only riches the soundscapes. The music is always very melodic.

Out of the twelve tracks there is nice female vocals in three tracks by Miori Naritomi. I like that the female voice is very present in many Japanese prog acts and it has been like this since the 80's. My favourite tracks from this album are "Dharani", "Sunset" and "Sensitive Air".

Conclusion: A very nice almost all-instrumental album. This is for anyone who would fancy something that is somewhere between Vangelis and symphonic prog.

Report this review (#30827)
Posted Monday, May 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
3 stars This mostly instrumental Japanese album kicks off with some dominant guitar with swirling keyboards behind - then it is straight into a guitar-led waltz through some glorious prog, with more than one eye on IQ but probably in a more rocky fashion such as Uli Jon Roth. But this doesn't last too long, and soon it is into the realm of dreams and gentleness, which then seem to last for a lot of the album. The band have decided on their musical style but it does mean that soon this album is nothing more than background. That is a shame as if there had been more music like the first number "Dhavrani" then this would have been an album to cherish. It is now available in Europe through Musea.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, June 2004

Report this review (#1100418)
Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 | Review Permalink

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