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Mongol Doppler 444 album cover
3.54 | 38 ratings | 7 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. From The Beyond ~ Doppler 444 (9:58)
2. Garadama (7:04)
3. Homewards (1:04)
4. Driller (5:55)
5. Merazoma (6:47)
6. Greatful Paradise (18:12)

Total Time: 49:00

Bonus tracks on `Complete Version' reissue 2013:

7. Lammy including excerpts from Hhai (live) (8:49)
8. Merazoma (live) (7:43)
9. Greatful Dead - Armoire Et Persil (live) (13:19)

Total Time: 78:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Takeshi Yasumoto / piano and keyboard
- Hirofumi Mitoma / guitars and straws
- Naoto Amazaki / fletless ignition bass
- Kiyoshi Pochi-Imai / drums and percusssion
- Shigeru Moriya / guitar on live bonus tracks 7, 8 and 9

Releases information

Belle 97320
CD - Musea - (2013) FGBG 4913

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Aussie-Byrd-Brother for the last updates
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MONGOL Doppler 444 ratings distribution

(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MONGOL Doppler 444 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by maani
2 stars With a HUGE, shameless nod to U.K., Mongol offers a hectic, sometimes enjoyable, but utlimately flawed album full of heavy jazz-rock ideas. I am not one who is impressed by technicality for technicality's sake: it is not enough to be able to PLAY this stuff; one has to be able to WRITE it - with originality and direction - as well. In this regard, Mongol largely fails, though with some notable exceptions. The first two tracks are largely "mindless" prog-jazz-rock-fusion; it apparently never occurred to the band that they have to state a theme FIRST, and THEN riff around it; instead, they simply play and play and play and play, with no stated theme and little sense of direction. Sure, the musicianship is excellent. But, as stated, that's not enough. With "Driller" and "Merazoma," the band "discovers" the value of an initially stated theme. These two are the best tracks on the album because they "make sense" - i.e., they have an inner logic and a clear sense of direction. Given this, I had high hopes for the final, extended composition. Oh well. "Greatful Paradise" is a let-down for the opposite reason: the band simply doesn't do ENOUGH with all that time. They state a theme (a pretty good one, with a neat straight-ahead Bonham-type beat under some heavy jazz-rock playing) - and then play it over and over for almost 10 minutes. They then state another theme (also fairly interesting). However, not only do they play THAT one for 5-6 minutes, but the two themes have no connection to each other: the band doesn't even pretend to segue from one to the other. The third and final theme is similarly unconnected, and only lasts for a minute or two. / As noted, this is not a BAD album, especially in its genre - the musicianship is superb, and many of the ideas are good - and is certainly worth a listen or two and, if you really like U.K.-type prog (even if it is highly derivative), worthy of having in your collection.
Review by hdfisch
3 stars This is a very much technically orientated Jazz-Metal-Fusion album and actually quite impressing on the first listen, at least for the point of musicians' performance. But in fact I'd like to agree to Maani's comments, that in a way the compositions are quite direction- and aimless. It's not the type of music you can enjoy to listen to for almost 50 minutes because it has too little structure and variability. But still it's not a bad album and for sure quite unique in respect of its weirdness, moreover it's the only output by this band and difficult to find. If you are a great fan of technical metal you should probably do the effort and try to get it. Anyway worth a listen or two!!
Review by b_olariu
4 stars Mongol is one of the forgotten jewels of Japan in the '90's. This band manage to release one single album in 1997 named Doppler 444 and then disappered into oblivion, partial, because some of us remember this band and give the credit they desearve. Release on CD by Belle Antique , today is a very hard to find item, but not impossible aswell, but if you can get this treasure in your hands, don't hesitate to listen because this japanese kick major ass on every piece. In the liner notes is said that the tracks were recorded and engineered between 1988 and 1996, by one of the members, Driller, the guitar player. This is one of the most intristing jazz fusion album ever coming from Japan, with blistering moments, with some symphonic touches here and there, because of the keyboards orientation arrangements, but the man behind this whole attraction to me is the drumer - Stamper, who did aswell the art work of the album. To play how this guy playes here, is beyond me, excellent musician, with some absolute stunning drum chops, maybe one of the best you ever here in this field. Of course, the whole band is top notch, each one with truly amazing moments on each instrumen, but they sound like a real unit here, no weak moments, some fantastic interplays between keys and guitar, what else a great album. They combine jazz with fusion elements, some more metalic elements are added here and there, some even zheulish atmosphere but all done with profesionalism. From what I see here, this album is underrated and too low rated, and only 4 reviews from 9 totaly since today, this is strange for me. Not very well known band, but to those who search for good music, progressive music specially , is almost impossible not to trace out this amazing band. If you find it don't hesitate to have it because is great jazz fusion album and very unnoticed.4-4.5 stars, one of the premier league albums from the '90's in jazz fusion field. Recommend for sure.
Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The only studio album of Japanese short lived band. Very high level of technical excellence, combining some symphonic prog elements with jazz rock and heavy fusion arrangements. Fully instrumental work, it is heavily influenced by UK's (band) music.

Guitarist Hirofumi Mitoma is very Holdsworth-like musician (he participated on another Japanese band NOA during late 80-s, where he played pure guitar jazz-rock fusion, heavily influenced by Allan Holdsworth), so you can expect Holdsworthian guitar sound there. Total sound is based on keyboards passages, but all musicians has their time.

The main problem with this music is composition. Being very competent technically, all songs have not too much structure or melody, so sound as one long composition. Musicianship is very dynamic, almost aggressive, so I don't think this album could be boring. But too often the music sounds as techniques demonstration.

Another problem is originality. Excellent musicians has quite faceless style. Great UK imitators? In all, still enough pleasant album to be listened ( especially for aggressive heavy fusion fans as well as for those with interest to UK - like music). Not too original, but very competent and energetic album.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another one-and-done prog band, Mongol played a heavy and high energy style of instrumental fusion that also drifted over into genres such as symphonic prog, Zeuhl and even a touch of the Canterbury sound. For their highly regarded sole release from 1997, `Doppler 444', their sound was characterized with endless movement through frequent rhythm changes within a chaotic musical environment. There's not a lot of jazz moments for a fusion album, instead the band liked to incorporate blitzkreig keyboard solos and extended electric guitar runs with a driving, powerful momentum, performed with that trademark precise Japanese technicality. Once in a while the music sounds like a bit of a clinical showcase, but other times the delirious enthusiasm and over-the-top mania the band presents will really make you smile!

There's definitely clear influences from bands past and modern for the time worked into Mongol's frantic take on proggy fusion. The busy `Garadama' features bombastic Emerson, Lake and Palmer-styled attacking keyboard pomp blended with epic melodic lengthy guitar soloing and the romantic synths of Pendragon. The serrated edge of `Driller' could easily have been on King Crimson's `Thrack', and occasional passages scattered throughout the album recall the instrumental virtuosity of Dream Theater. The brief `Homewards' could be an outtake from an Ozric Tentacles album with it's oriental rhythms over emotional guitar soloing. Andy Latimar and Camel are also clear influences in the slower parts of the album, and, to my ears, some sections of `Merazoma' and little moments scattered around remind me of video games I played in my youth from the same era, perhaps something off the Genesis or SNES?

My favourite track is the 18 minute `Greatful Paradise', an unholy cross-breeding of King Crimson and Weidorje, an intimidating brooding sledge-hammer of Zeuhl that just never lets up. It's no surprise to read in the CD booklet that bass player Naoto Amazaki regards Bernard Paganotti as an inspiration. Just listen to the dark dirty groove of his pulsating thick fretless bass, building up an imposing hypnotic fury and forcing you to surrender! After a short eerie ambient section, the band goes mental and tears through a maddening rapid-fire delirious run of loopy synths and twisting guitar mangling.

The most recent reissue, billed as the `complete version' (I'm not sure what exactly was edited in the original CD release?) comes with three bonus live recordings. After a guitar heavy first half, the upbeat and cheerful Canterbury-styled `Lammy' suggests the band were overdosing on Egg's `The Polite Force' and National Health at the time, along with the two U.K albums. An expertly tight and heavy reading of `Merazoma' is even more overloaded with E.L.P bombast, and `Greatful Dead' is a live version of a segment of the Zeuhl closer retitled, a shame that it doesn't quite have the same level of brutality as the studio recording.

As much as I really enjoy this album, I do find it all a little overwhelming and totally exhausting! There are times when it drives me up the wall and really wish the band would calm down a little more, as it's essentially all about energy and movement, very little in the way of emotion or making the listener think! That's not necessarily a negative thing, so if you want something resembling the musical equivalent of a quick adrenalin-shot straight to the heart playing by supremely skilled and professional musicians, look into `Doppler 444'!

Four stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars It's a great great album, if you are fans of Canterbury scene, zheul, Rio and Metal, this album it's for you, much friends are unanimous and very happy to listen Mongol Doppler 444... It's a real dicovery for every Progfans and if you like specially Caravan "In the land of grey and Pink" you are ... (read more)

Report this review (#214873) | Posted by younnn | Monday, May 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If I could, I'd put 10 stars to this album!!! What a brilliant mixture of the best prog-rock genres in their mightiest manifestation!!! It's hard to classify THIS music style. What style is that? I see there some elements of jazz-fusion, canterbury, sympho-art, hard, techno-metal and God knows which ... (read more)

Report this review (#24222) | Posted by myas0 | Monday, February 2, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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