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Kenso Kenso III album cover
3.81 | 59 ratings | 5 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sacred dream I (2:49)
2. Power of the glory (4:16)
3.The breeze whispered through my mind (1:12)
4. Far East celebration (2:43)
5. La liberté de l'esprit (6:11)
6. Patter of the groovy (0:51)
7. Turn to solution (6:34)
8. Nostalgia (2:54)
9. Sacred dream II (6:04)
10. Beginnings (6:36)

Bonus track on 1985 & 2002 CD releases:
11. Sea (6:08)

Total Time: 46:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Yoshihisa Shimizu / guitar
- Toshihiko Sahashi / keyboards
- Kenichi Oguchi / keyboards
- Kimiyoshi Matsumoto / bass
- Haruhiko Yamamoto / drums

- Junna Kaku / vocals
- Tsunekatsu Takagi / vocals
- Shiro Yajima / flute (4,11)
- Kyoko Nemoto / oboe (2,3)
- Atsushi Makiuchi / keyboards (7)
- Hiroyuki Namba / keyboards (5,7,10,11)

Releases information

Artwork: Yukiko Nojiri

LP King Records ‎- K28P-542 (1985, Japan)

CD Nexus ‎- KICS 2509 (1985, Japan) With a bonus track
CD Nexus ‎- KICS 2898 (2002, Japan) 24-bit remaster with a bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KENSO Kenso III ratings distribution

(59 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KENSO Kenso III reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Kenso's third namesake album is one of the hottest and most energetic prog efforts released during the critical 80s period: such a pity I didn't know them back then! By the time 'Kenso III' was recorded and released, Kenso had finally become a well-oiled instrumental ensemble, with a clear artistic path set in their common creative mind, and with enough proficiency to accomplish it in a classy, exquisite manner. The number of guest musicians who occasionally appear along the repertoire does not stop the band from portraying their real own style: along with the clear influences they received from excellent acts such as Hatfield & the North, National Health, and early 80s-Weather Report, they managed to instill a healthy dose of Far Eastern flavours in order to create something of their own within the boundaries of jazzy-prog. The (not too abundant) use of analog synths makes this album sonically similar to many jazz-pop recordings of that era, but the material never falls into easy listening patterns: its catchiness relies on the nice counterpoints and tectures played on keyboards, which fluidly complement the guitar and synth solos. The repertoire is so even in terms of compositive excellence and clever arrangements that it's hard to mention just a few examples... but I'll try: the opening number, as well as tracks 4, 5, 9 and 10, are the most representative highlights of the album. Besides, you can find a couple of nice interludes (tracks 3 and 6) that introduce some well-balanced weirdness in the middle of this melodic feast. The bonus track is actually a re-recorded version of an original piece from their debut album. In conclusion: highly recommended!
Review by Sean Trane
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

One f the longest living group from Japan, Kenso started in the mid-80's along with many of their ultra-symphonic neo like Bellaphon, Gerrard and a few more, with only By Kyo Ran sounding a bit less symphonic and crunchier and later Ars Nova sounding more adventurous. As usual with all of these Japanese second wave groups, Kenso was extremely derivative, forgetting completely their predecessor 70's groundbreaking works (Far Out Family Band, for ex or Yamashta) and concentrated on imitating the 70's Camel or Genesis with the catastrophic instruments of those mid-80's. While I find Kenso's music on this album boring and sometimes limit-laughable, we must think that it hasn't aged well and it is a product of its time.

What to say of the music except that it sounds completely derivative, ultra-symphonic, completely un-original and pretentious. And extremely boring as well. At least for today's ears?. But I guess in the mid-80's, there wasn't much else to lay your ears upon so I can understand some people might regard this highly, because there was nothing else but Japan and the few UK neo-prog groups to give this type of symphonic rock music, Kenso is fronted by a double synth attack and backed by a rarely upfront guitarist, with no vocals (or few, thankfully), an odd flute (Celebration) and an oboe (Nostalghia) and much of their compositions sound all the same bar two slower numbers with a reduced line-up. Don't get me wrong, these five guys are all good musicians and all, but this lacks power and guts?. It's way too slick, over-produced and can lead to understand why some smirk when listening to this, because it's got no life.

Hardly anything even remotely close to essential (or good, but that's IMHO), Kenso's early albums are generally best avoided unless you like a wimp prog of the lean years. And don't just take my word for it?. My trusted colleague reviewer Cesar says that this is their most energetic album so far?. Although I understand this album is generally well regarded by historical fans and that you'll be tempted to acquire it?.. please don't blame me afterwards, I warned you.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Between 83' and 85' Kenso appear to have gone through a transitional period.Very good news were that the band was eventually discovered by a major Japanese label, King Records, and signed a good contract.Moreover they seem to have started recording material for a third work with the line-up of ''Kenso II'', but the majority of it was executed by a fresh line-up, without flutist Shiro Yajima and keyboardist Atsushi Makiuchi and with two new member joining on keyboards, Kenichi Oguchi and Toshihiko Sahashi.''Kenso III'' was released in 1985 with guest members on keyboards, oboe, vocals and flute, most important figure among them was Namba Hiroyuki.

Music of Kenso starts seriously to be regarded as one of the most dominant and convincing Prog stylings during the 80's.They still deliver a hot, smoking Symphonic/Fusion with frenetic paces and incredible interplays, showered with nervous synthesizers and virtuosic guitar moves.What seems to be just amazing is that the group maintains a high level of quality music, no matter if it keeps constantly the foot on the gear.The music is basically all instrumental with links to compatriots MR. SIRIUS, AIN SOPH and KBB, featuring absolutely satisfying instrumentals with Jazz-Rock styled guitars, sudden tempo changes, shifting climates and complex arrangements.Their early Canterbury-inclined touches start to fade in the sake of a more powerful performance with a serious sense of melody among the complicated themes.Lots of symphonic keyboards and Classical-drenched textures along with a fair dose of melodic flute drives guarantee the deep symphonic content of the album.The jazzy and Fusion influences are more apparent during Shimizu's guitar pyrotechnics and the general structure of tracks, which are performed with technique.Good, classic reference points from the worldwide Prog scene are definitely FOCUS, CAMEL, THE ENID and ALLAN HOLDSWORTH.Stunning material.

Kenso are too talented of a band to simply fail.Another qualitive, adventuruous and totally intricate work, which lists them as a top-5 combo among 80's Japanese Prog acts.Highly recommended.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This 1985 release, follow up to the magnificient Kenso II is the most fusion-based album Kenso ever recorded. Still I wouldn't call this a pure fusion outcome, prog is very much in there, so is japanese music (traditional folk and popular music). No 1-3 star tracks, only 4-5 star tracks, a stand ... (read more)

Report this review (#390844) | Posted by BrainStillLife | Monday, January 31, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another amazing album from Kenso. This amazing Jazz Fusion band have a intricate space music to a fast change Jazz that creates a high complex music that I like very much. The begining of this album is very beautiful with a keiboard arrangement and finish in a beautiful final jazz arrangement ... (read more)

Report this review (#201955) | Posted by João Paulo | Saturday, February 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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