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Ningen-Isu Manatsu No Yoru No Yume album cover
3.00 | 2 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Yoru Ga Naku (7:47)
2. Tenraku No Gakuten (5:36)
3. Seinen Wa Kohya Wo Mezasu (5:09)
4. Sora Tobu Enban (8:25)
5. Saru No Sendan (4:12)
6. Enma-Choh (5:11)
7. Hakujitumu (5:12)
8. Botan-Dohroh (6:24)
9. Sekai Ni Hanataba Wo (8:43)
10. Umi-Monogatari (4:12)
11. Himan-Tenshi (4:56)
12. Dottoharai (7:16)

Total Time 73:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Shinji Wajima / guitars, vocals
- Kenichi Suzuki / bass, vocals
- Nobu Nakajima / drums, vocals

Releases information

Title translates as "The Midsummer Night's Dream"

Artwork: Yasuo Aoki

CD Tokuma Japan Communications ‎- TKCA-73226 (2007, Japan)
CD Meldac ‎- TKCA-10183 (2016, Japan)

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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NINGEN-ISU Manatsu No Yoru No Yume ratings distribution

(2 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (100%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NINGEN-ISU Manatsu No Yoru No Yume reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FragileKings
3 stars A Midsummer Night's Dream. That's the title of Ningen Issue's 14th album, only it's written in the Japanese translation. Released in 2007, this was the final studio album to be released by the band in their first 20 years of recording. Two years later, a twentieth anniversary double-disc compilation would be released, followed thereafter by their 15th studio album, "Mirai Romanha".

This album sees the band continue on the course they set for the 2000's, which was to continue their perpetual embracing of all things heavy rock while keeping their sound close enough to alternative rock and hard rock that they could maneuver into more melodious and divergent song-writing as it suited them. Yet precursors to the heavier metal sound of the 2010's were already apparent in places.

The album begins unusually with a track by Shinji Wajima. I say unusually because the majority of Ningen Issue's albums begin with a song by the gruffer and usually more heavy-hitting Ken'ichi Suzuki. Wajima's track, "Yoru ga Naku (The Night Cries)" exhibits the band's penchant for delivering solid hard and heavy rock tracks that abruptly break off into something unexpected. In this case, there's a break down where the music becomes a guitar rock version of what sounds like some older generation's easy listening tunes. The first time I heard the album, I had to check what new track had begun playing, only to discover that I was still on track one. The song then returns to the faster, more heavy rock styled package it came in.

Ken'ichi Suzuki shows up true to form on track two, "Tenraku no Gakkyoku (A Musical Piece of a Downfall)". Fast and heavy, the track is closer to thrash metal. Suzuki employs his usual tortured and growly vocals with a decided enunciation harkening back to Kabuki theater. This song is one hell of a butt kicker and a sign of things to come in the next decade.

Track three, "Seinen wa Arano wo Mezasu (Youth Strives for the Wasteland)", is a surprise track by Suzuki because although it begins like a Saxon-inspired hard rock track, it switches gears partway through and becomes something melodious and pretty, resembling music from a Devin Townsend Project album like "Sky Blue" or "Epicloud". Wajima pulls off a very cool slide guitar solo here as the song returns to its early eighties metal riff and rhythm.

Then there's the Twilight Zone. Well, it sounds that way as "Soratobu Enban (Flying Saucer)" begins. This starts off sounding like a more laid back Red Hot Chili Peppers funky alternative rock piece. But by the chorus it sounds more like an early seventies Japanese rock band. Wajima brings out the Theremin for this track, creating space effects. After a smooth guitar solo, the song becomes more atmospheric and thanks to that Theremin, more psychedelic sounding before returning to its main form.

"Saru no Sendan (Fleet of the Apes)" is a charging rocker with drummer Nobu Nakajima taking the lead vocals. "Enma Chou (Record Book of the King of Hell)" is a Suzuki heavy rocker about where all sorts of sinners can expect to go after death. The King of Hell, Enma, keeps a record book of all sinners and their sins and decides which of the eight hells they should be sent to. In contrast, Wajima's "Hakujitsu-mu (Day dream)" is a mellower song with wavering space guitars that marry psychedelic rock with modern Japanese rock.

"Botan Doro (Peony Lantern)" is inspired by a 19th century Japanese ghost story that was originally inspired by a Chinese ghost story. The track is one of Suzuki's heavy and ominous works with his deliberate theatrical vocal style and a bass/guitar riff that seems to trip over itself. Frequent short bass breaks put their stamps on this track as well. This is followed by Wajima's "Sekai ni Hanataba wo (A Flower Bouquet for the World)" which reads, through spoken word, the message in a letter written by a fictional war journalist photographer about what he sees and experiences and thinks as he documents a war-torn south sea island. The song bears a message of the ravages of war and a plea for peace.

Suzuki's quick-step rocker, "Umi Monogatari (A Pus Tale)" plays with a pachinko machine line from Sanyo called the Umi Monogatari Series. In this case, the Kanji for "umi" is the one for "sea". Suzuki uses the Kanji for "pus" instead. The lyrics in the chorus are a collection of Japanese onomatopoeia for descriptions of pus. The song is a fun, hard rocker that almost seems to invite a Dick Dale guitar solo or could almost break into a Cossack tune and dance at any moment. It's a fun track with a suggestion of Eastern European lineage.

Suzuki throws one more humorous title at us which yet another solid early eighties heavy metal track in "Himan Tenshi (Metabolic Angel)" which seems to be about an obese angel with an unstoppable appetite. Wajima gives us yet another perfect heavy metal guitar solo. The we reach the album's finale with the live staple, "Dottoharai", meaning the grand finale but often translated as "That's All for Tonight". It's one of the band's signature stoner/doom metal tracks by Wajima with a King Crimson-inspired instrumental section that is built upon short bursts of guitar, drums and bass.

I personally find this album to have less to offer of stand out interest than many of Ningen Isu's other albums, though from a heavy metal perspective this album sure kicks some major butt! I still have my own selection of favourite tracks, many of which get carefully placed into mixed playlists of Ningen Isu's music. I think that it is one of their less progressive albums, and for that I can't get as excited on this site about it as I could on the MetalMusicArchives site. I sometimes think that Ningen Isu are in ways similar to Rush. No one doubts the prog rock masterpieces that are "Farewell to Kings" and "Hemispheres" but some other albums seem less proggy and more focused on songwriting. Ningen Isu frequently sound like Rush around the "Vapor Trails" and "Snakes and Arrows" albums. Solid musicianship, good songwriting, great playing without being too showy, and a real sense for guitar solos. "Presto" may not be a good example of a prog album and this one here might not be either. But it has a very good selection of songs.

Essential if you love the band. Excellent addition to your collection if you love this kind of hard-hitting and heavy rock. Good if like like heavy prog, but if you want something with a little more obvious progressiveness to it then there are other albums by this band that do better to satisfy the prog appetite. I'm quite happy with it but for a prog web site I have to give it three stars only.

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