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Mugen - Sinfonia Della Luna  CD (album) cover

SINFONIA DELLA LUNA

Mugen

Symphonic Prog


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4 stars Mugen is one of those japanese bands that make you feel you are listening to a pastoral italian band. The music is ethereal, full of magical changes, lots of full range keys, If you like fine keyboards, go for it.The singer has a great voice, though sings in japanese. Enjoyable even in the quietest moments. Ricardo Otero, Mexico.

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Send comments to Ricardo Otero (BETA) | Report this review (#4935)
Posted Thursday, February 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is another masterpiece of the symphonic prog. Even japanese prog sounds very different than the occidental, I think that Mugen brings us a beautiful experience, with some Genesis and classical influences. "Sinfonia della Luna" and "Dance... Romantic" are two great pieces of prog rock. Sounds like a magical tale of an ancient stroyteller. More than essential. If you want to continue this experience please listen "Leda et le Cygne"...

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Send comments to progadicto (BETA) | Report this review (#39812)
Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Fairly derivative sympho-prog from Japan. The 18-minute title suite ought to be entitled "Variations on a Theme by Tony Banks", considering the amount of times they plunder synth parts from "Dance on a Volcano"!

Actually, they remind me less of Genesis overall than light-classical sympho in the vein of the Enid, Sky, Gordon Giltrap and the like. It's super-ultra-mega-lush stuff with tons of synthesizers and Mellotron, with the occasional acoustic guitar wafting through. Drums are used sparingly.

Vocalist Takashi Nakamura rather gets on my nerves. He's not bad as far as technique or pitch-control goes, but his style of singing is very arch and stilted, often going into a rather annoying clipped, staccato kind of singing as on "Magical Wand". He's the biggest road-block to my enjoyment of this album (apart from the obvious unoriginality).

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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#47271)
Posted Monday, September 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Apart from the language, the effect of listening to Sinfonia Della Luna is like that of a kinder gentler 70s Italian symphonic band, which is not a bad space to be in. Certainly Mugen shows a bit too much Genesis influence especially in the opening suite and "Dance Romantic". But the lovely "Ballo della Luna" seem more inspired by the romantic end of prog in the geographic sense of the word, and showcases Takashi Nakamura's gentle and soothing voice as well as the band's measured approach to its art and its ability to create and build atmospheres. Akira Kato's guitars are used sparingly but add a welcome warmth and oomph early (acoustic) and late(electric) in "Ballo". Even the bonus cut "Leonardo" is pretty. But if you are looking for a rawer attack or even some of the shizophrenia of other Japanese symphonic bands, steer clear. This is one for the quiet moments spent contemplating the moon.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#159933)
Posted Saturday, January 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars First studio album by Mugen, Japanese band championed by keyboardist Katsuhiko Hayashi and aiming at the preservation of progressive rock after the end of the 70s. Tha band's overall style is rooted on influences received from PFM, Renaissance and The Enid, with touches of Genesis, late 70s Wakeman and Camel scattered in places whenever things are taken to more a more intense level. The final result of the sort of sound elaborated in this album certainly makes the band a hybrid of Pageant, Mr. Sirius and Midas: this band is evidently apart from the peculiarly sinister symphonic trend of Outer Limits, the Canterburian ideology of Ain Soph and the Crimsonian dogmatism of Bi Kyo Ran. The namesake piece opens up teh album with agile, epic moods, with atmospheres tightly placed on recurrently slow tempos: the spacey intro is just lovely in its eerie portrait of cosmic atmospheres. The emergence of some explicitly extroverted arrangements manage to generate an exciting dynamics in the main melodic developments. 'Magical Wand' has a more defined agility, and indeed it sounds related to the neo-prog standard in some ways, but arguably the highest dose of agility is concentrated in track no. 4, entitled 'Dance? Romantic' - this track comprises influences from ATOTT-era Genesis and "Criminal Record"-era Wakeman. The brotherhood of digital and vintage keyboards on an exciting rhythmic structure that alternates 5/4 and 7/8 tempos makes this track a particular highlight. Between these two tracks is 'Venezia', a moderately pompous exhibition of typical symphonic prog staged as a ballad. 'A Parade of the Wonderland' is a brief pastoral excursion that announces teh core theme of teh album's closer, 'Ballo della Luna'. This one gets started with lovely acoustic guitar harmonizations, and it eventually turns to a magnified exercise on symphonic splendor, combining the elegant energy of Bozzio-era UK and the constructed vibe of late 70s Camel. This is how the original vinyl ends, but the CD edition brings a bonus track called 'Leonardo', a pastoral song with subtle cosmic undertones. Even though it is a bonus track, it sure provides an adequate ending for this listening experience. Even though this album does not match the energy that will be exprssed in the band's final release "The Princess of Kingdom Gone", this happens to be, IMHO, a very good addtion to any good prog collection. I grant 3.75 starts to this one.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#241026)
Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Fully symphonic with even a classical approach, the music that is featured on this album should please all the ELP fans for the synths use. Classic ISP lovers will also be delighted, I assume.

The accent is set on the extensive use of keyboards and ranges from bombastic to pompous. Romantic, melodic and sweet: this is a short description of what you can discover here. The long opening song holds each of these ingredients and is by far the most interesting part of this album.

The shorter songs are well played, but are a bit simple in structure and too much straight forward. Of course, the mellotron adds a superb value to the overall music played ("Venezia"). Some "Genesis" reminiscences are noticeable during "Dance Romantic". Not bad at all.

The other long track of this album "Ballo Della Luna" is also an excellent piece of music with a majestic finale where magnificent guitar meets aerial mellotron. It is my fave of all and contrasts with the mellow and childish "Leonardo".

A good album: three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#308526)
Posted Saturday, November 06, 2010 | Review Permalink

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