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Shingetsu - Shingetsu CD (album) cover



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4 stars Excellent album created by genial musicians. This is not just a standard, regular music which is very common for progressive melody. The charming and amazing in this fantastic album is Japanese mystic, when it is impossible to guess which note comes after which accord, and which melody comes after which them.

In my opinion Album's first composition - "Oni" is all times greatest progressive music track. Each instrument is on its high. Most of all I would like to mention the greatest vocal which is so common for almost every Japanese band.

The other seven compositions are very melodic and nice to listen to, but only "Night Collection" can come close to "Oni".

My conclusion would be like this: to only first and seventh track I would give five stars, but for the rest five compositions I would give four. Anyway, I would highly recommend it to anyone: L i s t e n t o t h i s a l b u m!

P.S. It would be very interesting to hear the comments about this album from Mr. Hugues Chantraine (His and my ideas are almost always same about the bands.)

Report this review (#32279)
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Great Album, Great vocal and instrumental work! Listen to this album if you like Japanese prog rock. I would mention first composition - ONI at first, absolutely unique and pleasure track, amazing vocal by Makoto Kitayama. So if you did not hear this album yet, I suggest to buy it as soon as possible and enjoy.
Report this review (#32280)
Posted Monday, April 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars This is a nice album that deserves to be discovered. The first and final track strongly evokes mid-Genesis (did Steve Hackett and Tony Banks some secret session work?). But the other tracks has a typical Japanese climate (warm and dreamy), it's very pleasant to hear the ethnic touches featuring acoutic guitar and flute. LOVELY MUSIC!
Report this review (#36038)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars On listening to this eponymous album by Japan's most interesting progressive group, I defy you not to be captivated by the vocals of Makoto Kitayama. Never before will your cd player have purveyed such grievous tones. Well up there with the very best of prog vocalists, Makoto Kitayama, whilst mournful, also manages to be forceful, impassioned, defiant, gentle, wistful.

Fans of 70's prog may find many of the sounds on this album somewhat familiar, reminiscent for example of Hackett and Fripp guitars, and certainly Kitayama's stage presence gives a firm nod to Peter Gabriel's performances. But, although Shingetsu themselves will admit to being fans of groups such as Genesis and King Crimson, (and how can that be a bad thing!) although they do share sonic similarities it does not prevent Shingetsu from carving out a prog niche all their own.

Although sung entirely in Japanese, and therefore ostensibly less accessible to the Western prog fan, 'Shingetsu' will reward close study, of both the lyrics and music. Quintissentially Japanese, but somehow simultaneously universal, the lyric matter of 'Shingetsu' ('New Moon' in English) is all about capturing moments in life and nature; situations and feelings that we have all encountered but perhaps never yet articulated. The beautiful 'Other Side Of Morning' captures perfectly the sensation of stillness and the almost dreamlike quality of a quiet dawn, with ethereal 12-string guitars and a melody rife with nostalgia, sadness and yet hope.

'Fragments of the dawn' is again another beauty, opening with a searing guitar and seriously funky (yes funky!) bassline, quickly segueing into a blissful vocal melody, guitars and mellotron, combining with the lyrics to capture a still moment of meditative contemplation.

But Shingetsu are by no means whimsical prog nancy-boys. They can rock out with the best of them, as proven in the first track, 'Oni', a saga named after a demon, concerning fear and confusion, and also in 'Night Collector' with its furious drumtastic energy.

Even if you can't understand the lyrics, Shingetsu's music plus Kitayama's voice seen solely as another instrument in the mix, are more than enough to highly recommend this wonderful album.

Report this review (#83123)
Posted Saturday, July 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Shingetsu from Japan is a new band to me. My impression is that the prog rock scene in Japan has some good bands. This band is one of the better bands.

Shingetsu does lush symphonic prog like GENESIS with some hints of CATHEDRAL, CAMEL and YES. The vocals is pretty dark and very effectful. The organs and the guitars is very GENESIS like. The flute is not too far away from FOCUS land.

The opening track Oni is excellent and very GENESIS ala their Wind & Wuthering era with plenty of time shifts and intricate bass lines. This is where I also detects hints of CATHEDRAL. The rest of the tracks are in the same vein. Very interesting with it's lush landscapes of keyboards and guitars. The songs are not that great though. Maybe ten times on the turntable is not enough to give the album enough justice. But I know for a fact that this is an album I will listen to in the coming years. This is an album worthy the inclusion in any good symphonic prog collection.

3.55 stars.

Report this review (#203912)
Posted Saturday, February 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars I was quite surprised to find recently how creative and varied was the japanese prog scene in the late 70īs and early 80īs. Unfortunalty not too many bands had a long career and broke up after one or two LPs. Shingetsu is one of them: with a strong Genesis influence (specially around the Wind & Wuthering period) the group made a great mix of european and japanese roots to deliever a truly international sound.

The CD is far from perfect, but as a debut recording, it is also very promising and outstanding. I specially like the first track, Oni, a great prog epic and the last, the beautiful Return Of The Night again very Genesis-like). The remaining songs were also nice but not at the same level as those two. The lyrics are all in japanese, but the delivering is so convincing it hardly matters if you donīt know what the singer is talking about. In other words, a very poignant music that every prog lover should give it a listen.

It is only a shame this band did not have a long career. Certainly they would have outgrow their Genesis mold and delivered some real strong and original stuff. 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#211198)
Posted Monday, April 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars One of the most beautiful but short-lived Japanese progressive bands.

SHINGETSU is, at least in my humble opinion, one of the most greatest Japanese symphonic rock bands, with featuring melodic keyboard player Akira Hanamoto and lyrical vocalist Makoto Kitayama. And here what I want to say strongly is that all songs in this historic album should need the musical sense of all SHINGETSU's players. Personally I love Haruhiko Tsuda's dragging and drowsy guitar...without the unusual guitar sound SHINGETSU's music style won't go well. Of course, strict but flexible rhythm section by Shizuo Suzuki's bass and Naoya Takahashi's drums is absolutely important. This Japanese pride was constructed by these talented player.

Their masterpiece, Oni is the greatest! A plaintive melody by Akira can go with clear and transparent voice and a little languid guitar. Oni, a Japanese terrible monster, seems (hears?) to be even kind and gentle, and be dancing slowly and elegantly. Pop and catchy (even in this work) is the song Asa No Muko Gawa (The Other Side Of Morning). So fresh and like we enjoy morning salad. They are attractive on pop world, too. :-) Hatsunetsu No Machikado (Influential Street) can let us amazed with its reverse play and eccentric plus fantastic tune. This song includes some styles of a march, a ballad, and a rock. Like a lunchbox with various materials LOL. I suggest this song playing be their real pleasure. On the contrary, Reito (Freeze) is a more classic piece, and extremely big Kagaku No Yoru (Night Collector) is like a theme-song of some Japanese hero TV programs... :-) Exactly, this song has a theme of a boy with some extrasensory perceptions and it's natural the song has such an atmosphere.

All the songs are written in Japanese, not English. They might have a patriotic spirit. But I'm sure this work of theirs should be accepted all over the progressive rock world.

Report this review (#213725)
Posted Monday, May 4, 2009 | Review Permalink

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