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GERARD

Gerard

Neo-Prog


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Gerard Gerard album cover
3.31 | 25 ratings | 4 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Meridian (2:57)
2. Orpheus: (8:52)
I) I cry for help
II) Decision
III) Elysium
3. Incantation (3:31)
4. Lasting memory (5:15)
5. Revenge (3:34)
6. Melting time (9:39)
Bonus tracks
7. Visionary dream (4:27)
8. Midnight dreamer (4:29)

Total Time: 42:44

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Toshio Egawa / keyboards
- Yukihiro Fujimura / vocals, guitars
- Yõhei Kawada / bass
- Masaharu Satõ / drums
- Masaki Tanimoto / percussion
- Yasumasa Uotani / bass

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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GERARD Gerard ratings distribution


3.31
(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (36%)
36%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

GERARD Gerard reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well you could also erase another half star, as this debut album didn't pay a tribute to the bombastic style by ELP at all, or any similar Prog band of the seventies at least (whose profusion of epic keyboards was the main target), but with its peek of harmonic solutions, being not so remarkable, it was alone a controversial episode, that is such a new-prog work with hints of hard rock music. In fact their stuff was often much inferior for example than that one produced by another Japanese band called "Teru's Symphonia" (regarding of their taste within the development of the suites) and something was missed at the beginning.Nevertheless here you find the analogical synthesizers and every kind of orchestration, which has been the typical "trademark" by K. Emerson, E.Jobson or Rick Wakeman for example, even though inside a certain "Marillionian" mood, which is disturbing nowadays... Toshio Egawa- the founder of the band- was not reduced to a derivative role only and the contribution of the Japanese keyboardist was interesting in a few circumstances,especially where he didn't want to give us any demonstration;but- apart from these considerations- I think that such work was quite personal yet, despite of their several stereotypes they liked to use,above all considering the epic and hard prog scene of the early eighties.Moreover their following transformation into a different ensemble, performing an hard rock genre definitively, made their stuff quite forgettable some years later!!!This was at the end a normal new-prog stuff, symphonic oriented and pretty much derivative, characterized by interesting music features-sometimes remarkable- and anything else ...make your own choice!!

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Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The japanese progressive rock scene tends to be one of strongest and surely one of my favourites prog rock movements with a personal bombastic sound.From what I've listened to (Ars Nova,Midas,Outer Limits,Kenso etc.), I'm totally blown out.GERARD must be considered one of the most consistent bands from Japan.Formed in early 80's by keyboardist Toshio Egawa,GERARD have a long and succesful career that lasts over 20 years.Egawa is a veteran of japanese prog rock,being formerly a member of great bands like Schezerade,Fromage and most importantly Novela,maybe the band who established the nowadays japanese symphonic style of rock.After his departure from Novela,Egawa formed GERARD without denying his former ''symphonic'' past.After several gigs,the band released their first eponymous debut in 1984.

This album is another example of great japanese prog rock created by mature musicians.The ELP influence is quite obvious through the grandiose and bombastic style of the keyboards of Egawa.Things do not stop here.There is an evident hard-rocking sound mostly created by the guitars,as well as some neo prog touches here and there.The ''Meridian'' intro sets the listener into the general atmosphere of the album with its symphonic/bombastic/melodic sound.The ''Orpheus'' suite is a decent example of a symphonic rock opus,with superb classical influenced piano,keyboards and vocals,a track very much in the vein of early ARENA.''Incantation'' is my favourite track.A 9 min. mini epic with beautiful melodic symph keyboards haunting it,followed later by equally melodic guitars.An emotional stunner!''Lasting memory'' is another ELP influenced without much variety,it's like a ballad-like suite with alternating keys and vocals.''Revenge'' is the first track where the hard rock influences of the band are in first place with the strong guitar start and the solos that come later,accompanied by bombastic synthesizers of Egawa.''Melting time'' is another mini-epic that has a slow start mainly covered with the voice of Yukihiro Fujimura,but later it changes to a mind-blowing over-complex organ/keyboards/guitars interplay.Great track!''Visionary dream'' should be considered as the ballad of the album without lacking in grandiosity or classical influences.The closer of the album is the most neo-proggish track of all,with AOR-ish synthesizers,rhythm,guitar solos and vocal melodies,it is quite enjoyable but has a lot of weaknesses compared to the other tracks...

GERARD's debut is a fine effort of symphonic progressive rock in the vein of ELP,mostly keyboard- driven (amazing work by Egawa in this section),lots of strong moments and great melodies...Don't let the neo-prog label prevent you from buying this album...This is pure grandiose quantitive symphonic prog!My fair rating is 3.5 stars...

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Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Debut album of Japanese keyboardist veteran Toshio Egawa one of projects. Opener "Meridian" sounds quite attractive - not original, but in good ELP tradition: heavy keyboards based bombastic melodic sound.

But from the second song I was disappointed: as often with Japanese prog rock bands (usually fusion or symphonic) the music is not only very secondary, but this time it's openly imitative. Keyboards sounds very synthetic, all the sound mix is unnatural, more like from cartoons, than from real life. In combination with extremely bombastic musicianship, almost all songs sound more as symphonic prog parody, soundtrack for comics, than real original compositions. Vocals are strange, spacey, but often out of place.

Some compositions are quite heavy, but it doesn't help. During all listening I had the feeling I listen to plastic joke, synthetic parody to symphonic prog release.

For heavy fans of SUCH music only.

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Latest members reviews

4 stars I was quite impressed with this album; a great symphonic one emerging from the 80´s, driven by keyboardist extraordinaire Toshio Egawa (his solo spot on the Novela live album is amazing and shows a clear rendition/tribute to Keith Emerson). There´s a good balance between keyboards and guitars a ... (read more)

Report this review (#171093) | Posted by elpprogster | Thursday, May 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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