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Mugen Sinfonia Della Luna album cover
3.51 | 33 ratings | 7 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sinfonia della luna (8:20)
2. Magical wand (4:05)
3. Venezia (4:55)
4. Dance...romantic (5:25)
5. A parade of the wonderland (2:00)
6. Ballo della luna (10:30)

Bonus track on CD releases:
7. Leonardo (6:04)

Total Time: 52:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Takashi Nakamura / lead vocals
- Katsuhiko Hayashi / synthesizers, Mellotron, recorder, acoustic guitar, composer & producer
- Akira Kato / bass, bass pedals, Classical guitar
- Masaya Furuta / drums

- Takako Hayashi / lead vocals (7)
- Makoto Kaminishizono / electric guitar (4,6)

Releases information

LP self-released - Luna 001 (1984, Japan)

CD Made In Japan Records ‎- MCD-2909CD (1986, Japan) Remastered with a bonus track
CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4192.AR (1997, France) With a bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MUGEN Sinfonia Della Luna ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MUGEN Sinfonia Della Luna reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Progbear
2 stars Fairly derivative sympho-prog from Japan. The 18-minute title suite ought to be entitled "Variations on a Theme by Tony Banks", considering the amount of times they plunder synth parts from "Dance on a Volcano"!

Actually, they remind me less of Genesis overall than light-classical sympho in the vein of the Enid, Sky, Gordon Giltrap and the like. It's super-ultra-mega-lush stuff with tons of synthesizers and Mellotron, with the occasional acoustic guitar wafting through. Drums are used sparingly.

Vocalist Takashi Nakamura rather gets on my nerves. He's not bad as far as technique or pitch-control goes, but his style of singing is very arch and stilted, often going into a rather annoying clipped, staccato kind of singing as on "Magical Wand". He's the biggest road-block to my enjoyment of this album (apart from the obvious unoriginality).

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Apart from the language, the effect of listening to Sinfonia Della Luna is like that of a kinder gentler 1970s Italian symphonic band, which is not a bad space to be in. Certainly Mugen shows a bit too much Genesis influence especially in the opening suite and "Dance Romantic". But the lovely "Ballo della Luna" seem more inspired by the romantic end of prog in the geographic sense of the word, and showcases Takashi Nakamura's gentle and soothing voice as well as the band's measured approach to its art and its ability to create and build atmospheres. Akira Kato's guitars are used sparingly but add a welcome warmth and oomph early (acoustic) and late(electric) in "Ballo". Even the bonus cut "Leonardo" is pretty. But if you are looking for a rawer attack or even some of the schizophrenia of other Japanese symphonic bands, steer clear. This is one for the quiet moments spent contemplating the moon.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars First studio album by Mugen, Japanese band championed by keyboardist Katsuhiko Hayashi and aiming at the preservation of progressive rock after the end of the 70s. Tha band's overall style is rooted on influences received from PFM, Renaissance and The Enid, with touches of Genesis, late 70s Wakeman and Camel scattered in places whenever things are taken to more a more intense level. The final result of the sort of sound elaborated in this album certainly makes the band a hybrid of Pageant, Mr. Sirius and Midas: this band is evidently apart from the peculiarly sinister symphonic trend of Outer Limits, the Canterburian ideology of Ain Soph and the Crimsonian dogmatism of Bi Kyo Ran. The namesake piece opens up teh album with agile, epic moods, with atmospheres tightly placed on recurrently slow tempos: the spacey intro is just lovely in its eerie portrait of cosmic atmospheres. The emergence of some explicitly extroverted arrangements manage to generate an exciting dynamics in the main melodic developments. 'Magical Wand' has a more defined agility, and indeed it sounds related to the neo-prog standard in some ways, but arguably the highest dose of agility is concentrated in track no. 4, entitled 'Dance? Romantic' - this track comprises influences from ATOTT-era Genesis and "Criminal Record"-era Wakeman. The brotherhood of digital and vintage keyboards on an exciting rhythmic structure that alternates 5/4 and 7/8 tempos makes this track a particular highlight. Between these two tracks is 'Venezia', a moderately pompous exhibition of typical symphonic prog staged as a ballad. 'A Parade of the Wonderland' is a brief pastoral excursion that announces teh core theme of teh album's closer, 'Ballo della Luna'. This one gets started with lovely acoustic guitar harmonizations, and it eventually turns to a magnified exercise on symphonic splendor, combining the elegant energy of Bozzio-era UK and the constructed vibe of late 70s Camel. This is how the original vinyl ends, but the CD edition brings a bonus track called 'Leonardo', a pastoral song with subtle cosmic undertones. Even though it is a bonus track, it sure provides an adequate ending for this listening experience. Even though this album does not match the energy that will be exprssed in the band's final release "The Princess of Kingdom Gone", this happens to be, IMHO, a very good addtion to any good prog collection. I grant 3.75 starts to this one.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Fully symphonic with even a classical approach, the music that is featured on this album should please all the ELP fans for the synths use. Classic ISP lovers will also be delighted, I assume.

The accent is set on the extensive use of keyboards and ranges from bombastic to pompous. Romantic, melodic and sweet: this is a short description of what you can discover here. The long opening song holds each of these ingredients and is by far the most interesting part of this album.

The shorter songs are well played, but are a bit simple in structure and too much straight forward. Of course, the mellotron adds a superb value to the overall music played ("Venezia"). Some "Genesis" reminiscences are noticeable during "Dance Romantic". Not bad at all.

The other long track of this album "Ballo Della Luna" is also an excellent piece of music with a majestic finale where magnificent guitar meets aerial mellotron. It is my fave of all and contrasts with the mellow and childish "Leonardo".

A good album: three stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Mugen's debut sounds to me like it's occupying a sort of middle space between vintage symphonic prog and the sort of melancholy pop-orchestral material often used in Japanese movies or anime of this era, much as in the UK the neo- prog scene was trying to blend vintage prog with then-current rock music. In both cases, you have the artists in question seeking to balance their love of prog with an attempt to connect with the audiences and market they were working with - with the UK neo-proggers you had the British music scene in the wake of punk, whereas Mugen and other 1980s symphonic units you had the Japanese music scene to contend with.

This seems particularly evident to me in the use of keyboards and synthesisers on the album (primarily handled by Katsuhiko Hayashi, though lead vocalist Takashi Nakamura adds some synth work here and there and accompanying vocalist Takako Morita also contributes keyboards on Ballo della Luna. The keyboard sound on the album ranges from the then-vintage (just listen to that organ!) to then-current, with the band's compositional approach delicately making best use of this broad range of textures. Add subdued backing and mellow, melancholic vocals, and you have an approach to prog which Mugen and their peers made their own during this time period.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is another masterpiece of the symphonic prog. Even japanese prog sounds very different than the occidental, I think that Mugen brings us a beautiful experience, with some Genesis and classical influences. "Sinfonia della Luna" and "Dance... Romantic" are two great pieces of prog rock. Sou ... (read more)

Report this review (#39812) | Posted by progadicto | Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mugen is one of those japanese bands that make you feel you are listening to a pastoral italian band. The music is ethereal, full of magical changes, lots of full range keys, If you like fine keyboards, go for it.The singer has a great voice, though sings in japanese. Enjoyable even in the qui ... (read more)

Report this review (#4935) | Posted by Ricardo Otero | Thursday, February 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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