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Gerard Empty Lie, Empty Dream album cover
3.02 | 29 ratings | 5 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The acts of the Apostles
2. Conquest of the dark
3. Wall
4. Empty lie, empty dream
5. Hopeless blue star
6. Future
Bonus tracks:
7. Love game
8. Again

Total Time: 47:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Toshio Egawa / keyboards
- Yukihiro Fujimura / vocals, guitars
- Yoshikazu Hatakeshita / guitar (3)
- Masaki Tanimoto / drums
- Yasumasa Uotani / bass

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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GERARD Empty Lie, Empty Dream ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GERARD Empty Lie, Empty Dream reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Typical 80's symphonic japanese prog , that iIdiscovered in the mid 90's and made me wish I had not. Just kidding. But this does take some getting used to, as this might have been of importance for people discovering prog in those years, but to me this is irrelevant , pointless and tedious music adding nothing to the cannons of the genre. On top of it , this sounds overly symphonic and as usual , the japanese vocals irk me badly - a remark I must make of most of Japan groups. This is said without the slightest racist intent as I still hold dear and fond memories of an ex-japanese fiancée. This might be of great valor to people so I give it 2* as to not hurting anybody and it did have the merit of appearing in 85 - time when only England and Japan neo kept the movement alive.
Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars GERARD (the name is derived from a shop in Tokyo that sold clothes) was the first Japanese prog rock band I ever heard and they are still my favourites. Their first two albums ( from '84 and '85, both in '88 released on CD) belong to the best prog rock ever made in Japan: exciting and alternating compositions with moods that shifts from mellow with piano and warm vocals to powerful mid-tempo rhythms and bombastic outbursts featuring biting and blistering guitar runs and sensational, often dazzling synthesizer play (TOSHIO EGAWA is the amazing Japanese answer to Keith EMERSON and Rick WAKEMAN). The interplay between the musicians is splendid (like metal-inspired guitar soli and violin- Mellotron waves or biting runs and spectacular synthesizer flights) and the rhythm-section sound very dynamic and adventurous. GERARD's music has hints from ELP, ELOY, DEEP PURPLE and GENESIS (ARP Pro Solist sound) but their sound is very distinctive, especially these two albums (when guitarist/singer Yukihiro Fujimura left to found VIENNA, GERARD turned into a very ELP/UK like trio). I do have a slight preference for the second album: it sounds a bit more mature and the first album has two mediocre ballads (AOR meets symphonic rock) while the second album only contains strong tracks. I you are up to harder-edged and alternating bombastic prog rock with lots of exciting instrumental work, this band is yours!
Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Second Gerard album is played in the key of their debut. What means they are kind of flat and bombastic ELP clone.

Toshio Egawa is skilled keyboardist, but the way he uses his keys is terrible - the music is build on extremely bombastic passages of un-natural sounding keyboards. All other instruments are used as not very important back-up support to heavy soloing keyboardist.

Music is not original at all, and being melodic, often sound on the border with Japanese pop. Vocals (on Japanese) is openly pop-oriented and doesn't add much to the sound. To be honest, comparing with their debut this album is a bit more balanced in sound and using of instruments. But in all, the album is still below the level of average symphonic prog release.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars It is truly amazing to consider how many Japanese bands were influenced by ELP !

Gerard is one of them and I have to admit that the music they performed is rather enjoying, hence not very personal or creative.

Skilled musicians for sure, the music they perform is totally on the symphonic prog side (and not neo prog as they are categorized by now). This album is mostly instrumental, which is a good decision since I can't say that I am thrilled with the vocals when they occurred.

The music performed is not only keyboards oriented (like "Ars Nova"). It shows some fine guitar breaks, which provide some different and varied sounds which moved them away from some sort of their model (ELP). This album is accordingly less cloning to the great trio.

Maybe that a full instrumental album would have worked better but anyway this is a good album that I rate with three stars. Classical piano, bombastic moments, delightful guitar breaks are greatly compensating the weak vocals.

As many reviewers mentioned, this album is a true symphonic album; not neo.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Actually 3.5 stars

Gerard were one of the leading progressive rock bands from the '80 in Japan together with Novela, Fromage, Pale Acute Moon, Outer Limits or Mugen. They offer a quite good symphonic prog very much in vein of UK or a harder version of Genesis (Trick of the tail era) but with their own twist and with that particular japanese flavour , musicaly speaking that many bands from '80 from this country had. I review so far two of their albums and I liked what I've heared so I've decided to check two more from their catalogue, one of them is Empty lie, empty dream, the second release from 1985. This is enjoyble to me for sure, is to low rated for such music, really. Symphonic prog well played and well performed. The album is mainly instrumental and the keyboards and guitar are great. In their first phase they sounded not very much a la ELP like their later releases, because of the guitar arrangements, this instrument being left aside from Pendulum onwards. So, , forte pieces are the opening instrumental The acts of the Apostles , really awesome pieces where the talent of Toshio Egawa on keyboards and of Fujimura on guitar is obvious. In that darker days of prog mid 80s only japanese school of prog counted on market and the british neo prog who just exploded in Europe around that time, and of course do not forget Rush, the rest of the world were in shadow and the rest of the movement in aderground for sure. So, this release keeps the flag as high as possible for that period, no weak moment but in same time nothing is close to masterpieces status, still enjoyble and good from start to finish.

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