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Bi Kyo Ran

Heavy Prog

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Bi Kyo Ran Parallax  album cover
3.37 | 41 ratings | 7 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Silent Running (7:57)
2. Prediction (9:28)
3. Suite Ran (21:10)

Total Time: 38:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Masaaki Nagasawa / drums
- Masahide Shiratori / bass
- Kunio Suma / guitar, vocals

- Toshio Egawa / keyboards, Mellotron
- Hazime Mizoguchi / cello
- Toshihiro Nakanishi / violin
- Hitoshi Okano / trumpet

Releases information

Cd. Crime/King KICP-2217 / Cd. Belle Antique 95186 (1995)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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BI KYO RAN Parallax ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

BI KYO RAN Parallax reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

Haven't I heard this on some KC album before? Dumb question from me as their main (and only) influence of this group is KC , this is sometimes sounding like a clone band. However at the time of release , this should've been news for once there was a Japanese band that did not do this mid-80's neo-prog with overly symphonic arrangements.

But the interest of this band (and I believe most BKR fans will agree that this is their better album) is rather tenute for the proghead looking for groundbrealing music. BKR were a good band, but historically, their career will be at best a small footnote into the annals of prog rock history.

Review by loserboy
4 stars Scrumptious mostly instrumental work combining a strong allusion to the work of KING CRIMSON with an edge of "Head Music". Bi Kyo Ran are a 3 member ensemble with a love for deeply involved Progressive Rock. Of immediate note is the succulent guitar playing of Kunio Suma who could easily belong to Robert Fripp's "League Of Crafty Guitarists". "Parallax" is essentially comprised of 3 tracks, one of which clocks in at around 21 minutes and is the centre piece of the album "Suite Ran". One of the great aspects to this album for me is their genius use of varied instrumentation. At select moments one recognizes deep cello, warm violins, punchy trumpet and even some lovely mellotron. This is highly detailed and expressive music which caters to those who love highly involved and deeply inventive music.
Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars The King Crimson-invasion must have snatched the bodies from Bi Kyo Ran, especially guitarist Kunio Suma seemed to have had alien-commands only to play like Robert Fripp! The album "Parallax" is the most original and varied one, loaded with ominous climates. The line-up features the # 1 Japanese keyboard virtuoso Mr. Toshio Egawa (Novela, Gerard, Scheherazade), he contributes with some beautiful Mellotron playing. The focus is on the blistering guitarwork but you can also hear instruments like the cello, violin and trumpet. Despite the obvious echoes from King Crimson, this CD has some very captivating moments.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Bi Kyo Ran's second album finds the band persisting on resurrecting the momentum of "Red"-era King Crimson with an added refurbishing hard rock-centered freshness. Kunio Suma, doubling on lead guitar and mellotron, leads the band through the valleys of his Crimsonian musical vision. The opener 'Silent Running' is a real treat of exciting vibe, due to the combination of rawness and melodic catchiness, displaying a convincing sense of energy and not using an exaggerated dose of complication concerning the arrangements. Suma's effective riffs and aggressive Spartan solos on guitar are firmly sustained by the rhythm scaffold. In my opinion, the stellar moment of this number is the violin solo provided by guest Toshihiro Nakanishi, whose musical sensibility somewhat reminds me of Eddie Jobson's. As catchy as this track is, it can't compete with the other two, which get to reveal the real dimension of Bi Kyo Ran's powerful prog trend to the listener's ears. 'Prediction' kicks off with a deceitfully languid motif that soon gives way to a diverse exposure of instrumental density, at times showing off in a very frontal manner, at times partially hiding behind a mask of complex simplicity with slight bluesy flavours. This time Suma really goes enthusiastic - indeed, almost mad - with his Fripp-inspired neurotic guitar textures, leading the way for the development of the composed ideas. The track's climax starts with a weird sonic sequence, including horns, until the initial motif is briefly reprised - a great ending. But the album's great ending is incarnated in 'Suite Ran', the sidelong track that occupied the entire B-side of the vinyl edition. This 21-minute long, 5-part monster delivers the most bizarre melodies and counterpoints in the album, while the track's overall spirit alternates between the sinister and the ethereal, like a nightmare that has a mystic vibe in it. The mellotron is heavily featured on this one, rivaling with the lead guitar in the "stealing the spotlight" game like a dreadful contender in a battlefield of madmen: the minimalistic horn arrangements serve as allies for the mellotron side, in this way, enhancing the aura of emotional oppression that almost fills the suite's entirety. Picture a triple marriage of 'Red' straightforward harshness, 'Lark's Tongues in Aspic' inscrutable magic and 'Fracture' storming power, held in the exuberant cathedral of "Lizard". This album displays a solid confluence of the power of complex rock and the overall artistic neurosis of King Crimson, with a predominance of the latter factor: in many ways it would be fair to say that Bi Kyo Ran's most notable virtue is their ability to recapture the musical magic of the average prog fan's favorite KC period, but that's not the whole picture. Bi Kyo Ran knows how to handle the art of noise in the forest of their obvious influences, and the excellent "Parallax" is a proof of that.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars "Parallax" was BI KYO RAN's second studio album released in 1984. Their next studio album wouldn't be recorded until 1995. They are a trio who brought in several guests to play instruments such as cello, trumpet, violin, keyboards and mellotron. Compared to their debut I would say this album has more variety on it as well as more mellotron. If I had to choose between the two it would be difficult, but I think I would pick the debut for it's harder edge.

"Silent Running" has an energetic intro before the Japanese vocals come in and things calm down quickly. This contrast continues throughout this song. The rhythm section shines on this track. Some Fripp like melodies are fired off by the lead guitarist and the violin is quite aggressive 5 minutes in as the drums pound away. "Prediction" opens with a beautiful melody, but it is replaced quickly by vocals and waves of mellotron. Some good vocal arrangments follow that actually become complex after 4 minutes. We then are treated to about 3 minutes of amazing guitar melodies as more mellotron rolls in .

"Suite Ran" is a side long suite that is divided into five sections. This is a ride people.There is some aggressive guitar early as the drummer beats out some short, fast bursts.There is then this long section where we get trumpet, followed by violin, followed by trumpet, followed by cello, followed by more trumpet. The whole time there is some fantastic drumming and great bass lines. Nice. The song then changes to a spacey soundscape as the guitarist plays a hypnotising melody that eventually becomes a screaming solo 14 minutes in. Actually there is a lot of guitar noise for a couple of minutes.17 minutes in the song changes again to a pastoral calm during the final section called "Epilogue: Crimson Children (Pupils staring at a stream)".

Another incredible record from these Japanese wonders.This album is significant because it was released in the eighties, and even more significant because this is fantastic progressive music.

Review by Gooner
2 stars Nothing too outstaning here. Sort of like a Japanese version of King Crimson...'70s composition style but '80s production. Not very original, really. You might hear some Drama-era Yes too, but very derivative. Guitarist tries his darndest to get a Fripp-tone at every corner. For the curious only. Suite Ran is not too shabby. Recommended to hear at least once.
Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars The start of "Bi kyo ran" goes back to 1974 for them. It is said that he absorbs various music at infancy time and the method of the performance in the guitar was established according to the remark of guitar player's Kunio Suma. The method of very various music was flooded in the situation of Prog Rock of Japan at the time of the 70's. The performance to take the methodology of King Crimson from a stage as early as this Bi kyo ran to the band in the flow might not have existed so much in the situation of Prog Rock of Japan. The fact that King Crimson exists in one of the directionality of the method of his performance and the band in the remark of Kunio Suma might be correct. However, circumstances of the unique culture of Japan and music. Or, when exchanging it with various musicians, their methodologies were established.

It discovers in no stay in Heavy Prog and taking also of the method of some music and the listener might be able to discover it if it listens to their performances of course. It might be certain to have equipped various knowledge and technologies that do not stay in Heavy Prog as a concept of the band to which they formed Bi kyo ran as a band of the copy of King Crimson by the idea besides the activity of active "Madoromi" in the band.

They announced 1st album in 1982. The sounds of them listened with this 1st album were music that made the idea of the music that they had digested till then based on a heavy sound in which the methodology of King Crimson was exactly taken an embodiment. It might have succeeded if their debuts were caught as a few greetings. The composition and the method of their thought music had already been digested in their activities and might have ripened as a meaning of the band.

This 2nd album was produced after one year the announcement of 1st album and announced. Their styles are established further and will improve greatly in about one year in the technology of the performance and the composition of the tune. Making and the idea of the sound will give the listener the impression of advancement and the refinement while establishing the methodology of the band. Band leader..remark..a variety ideas might merge well in their music characters and be reflected in this album as an original style. The road that they passed is never thought to take various ideas into the method of their performances well exactly continuously of mimicry.

"Silent Running" ..tune.. has finished with age at that time and their performances when unifying it the very refinement. The soundscape is refined and I hear the advancement of the idea and the composition from 1st album further. A song and a complex rhythm will extend further and have one space part. Development that is reminiscent of the idea of initial King Crimson from ..Heavy.. Riff might be splendid. And, the method by the contribution of the keyboard and the performance of the band might succeed.

"Prediction" never becomes interrupted from the first and is connected. It starts from the part of the ballade and it progresses by a beautiful melody. The tune gradually becomes intense, makes one extension and the part of sedition cohabit, and progresses. The impression to which the part of the idea that multiplies from the first stage of King Crimson to middle term and is done has been taken is given. However, the idea might succeed if it thinks consistently as directionality of the band. The performance has evolved compared with 1st album.

"Suite Ran" might be a tune to establish directionality as the band. The march of a heavy sound might be a part kneaded well when Bi kyo ran is performed. The part of a complex rhythm and sedition advances further by the contribution of the keyboard and the trumpet. The classics and avant-garde parts are one challenges to their music. The tune reaches the peak and rushes into the top. The flood of the sound will be calculated and the existence of this album be told with various ideas.

After having announced this album, they required years for about 12 years by the time it began the following work. The music at which they aimed with 1st album and this album and the idea are exactly offered to the listener with the evolution of the band. These albums of men who announced at the peculiar time called for Prog Rock and other music the 80's are important as the performance done as [**] never cracks to the fashion by an original methodology and important parts when talking about circumstances of the music of Japan. mightIt is likely to succeed though it considers from the idea of Heavy Prog as their albums.

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