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MARGE LITCH

Progressive Metal • Japan


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Marge Litch biography
Originally formed in 1986 as a hard rock band, MARGE LITCH produced several demos and limited-release recordings before issuing their debut album with a much more classically-influenced symphonic sound (largely supplied through strings-synthesized keyboards).

The band's dynamic style is similar to that of RHAPSODY FIRE with its excellent production and highly skilled individual performances. While vocals are sung in Japanese, the band's female vocalist demonstrates great range and a timbre that often borders on operatic. The band's vary too often to classify, from classical to neo to metal to gothic, all delivered with layers of keyboards and complex (sometimes acoustic) guitar. While the guitar passages can be quite heavy at times, the band for the most part separates themselves from similar progressive metal bands by their notable lack of shredding or bombastic arpeggios, preferring instead to craft intricate rhythms interwoven with moody but beautiful, lengthy instrumentals.

The band's studio albums were originally released on cassette, but some have been reissued on CD, primarily by Musea Records. The band produced four studio albums before disbanding in the late nineties when several members left to form the progressive metal band ALHAMBRA.

MARGE LITCH deserve a place in the Archives for their highly symphonic and classically-influenced sing constructions, their wide and creative range of styles, and especially for the striking quality of their vocal arrangements.
Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

Marge Litch official website

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MARGE LITCH Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy MARGE LITCH Music


Fantasien 1998Fantasien 1998
Import
Musea Records France 2006
Audio CD$49.75
$268.38 (used)

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MARGE LITCH discography


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MARGE LITCH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.09 | 3 ratings
Fantasien
1991
3.49 | 3 ratings
The Ring of Truth
1993
3.00 | 2 ratings
Crystal Heart In The Fountain
1995
3.20 | 7 ratings
Fantasien 2
1998

MARGE LITCH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Particuliöh
2000

MARGE LITCH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MARGE LITCH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MARGE LITCH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MARGE LITCH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Ring of Truth by MARGE LITCH album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.49 | 3 ratings

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The Ring of Truth
Marge Litch Progressive Metal

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Marge Litch was the brainchild of guitarist Yo[&*!#]eru Yokoyama, who formed the band in Tokyo in 1986 as Mage Lich.After a few cassette productions female singer Junko Nakagawa joined the band in 1989 and the name was changed to Marge Litch.It was followed by the debut album of the band ''Fantasien'' in 1991 (re-recorded later as ''Fantasien 2'') and the next year the band signed to Made in Japan Records, releasing the sophomore effort ''The Ring of Truth'', recorded at Triade Studios in Tokyo with Tadatoshi Goto on bass, Tetsuro Nagakura on drums and Yasuyuki Kuwabara on keyboards.

Marge Litch blended the traditional lines of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock with the grandiosity of keyboard-driven Symphonic Rock and the final result recalls bands like GERARD, NOVELA or TERU'S SYMPHONIA, though a bit heavier.The arrangements are quite long with plenty of interesting ideas, where sharp guitar riffs stand next to smooth piano lines and orchestral passages.Kuwabara's keyboards really shine through and it is the main reason to buy the album, regarding the average prog listener.His Classical-oriented keyboard interludes, soft piano lines and organ-based explosions are really majestic, while Yokoyama's guitar follows the line of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal: edgy riffs, hard virtuosic solos and powerful lead rhythms.The combination, while not always conveincing, manages to create a good and bombastic mix for most of the album's length.The voice of Nakagawa does not differ much of this rule.While not being always satisfying, her chords seem to fit perfect with the band's style, especially the high-pitched moments, which surprisingly (for a Japanese singer) are not disturbing.

If you like the idea of blending Symphonic Rock with hard guitar riffs and a bombastic rhythm section, Marge Litch is your band.While ''The Ring of Truth'' suffers from a mediocre production, the musicianship is good enough to satisfy both fans of Progressive Rock and more traditional Hard Rock.Recommended.

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 Fantasien 2 by MARGE LITCH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.20 | 7 ratings

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Fantasien 2
Marge Litch Progressive Metal

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In 1986 this Japanese band formation started as a hardrock band and they made 3 demos. From 1988 Marge Litch was more influenced by fellow Japanese bands Novela and Starless, both blended symphonic - and hardrock. After another 2 demos Marge Litch released their debut album "Fantasien" in 1991, seven years later we can enjoy a re- recorded version from that debut album. I needed a few session to get into their very varied progrock: classical and symphonic rock (orchestral keyboards), hardrock (heavy guitar riffs) and even opera (the vocals). This unique sound is delivered by good musicians, even the female vocalist (usually Japanese singers do have a bit squeeky voice!) and the compositions (most between 7 and 12 minutes) contains many surprising ideas and a clear sound. The keyboardplay is excellent, in the vein of Toshio Egawa (Novela, Gerard, Scheherazade). The guitarplayer showcases hit talents on the acoustic guitar in "Desire for wealth" (with echoes from John McLaughlin) and on the electric guitar in the captivating track "The sacred war" (a very moving solo). The highlight on this CD is the complex composition "Cruel alternative" featuring splendid keyboards (from majestic Mellotron to sparkling piano) and some great breaks. To be discovered!


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 Fantasien 2 by MARGE LITCH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.20 | 7 ratings

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Fantasien 2
Marge Litch Progressive Metal

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Actually, the title of this album in FANTASIEN 1998.

Having finally gained much-needed musical skill over the years, Marge Litch revisit the work that they began their digital recording career with. Only this time, they did it right.

I knew when I first heard FANTASIEN that there was a special work kicking and screaming to get out. I was right, this is a wonderful album, full of exciting rock guitar and lush, orchestrated keyboard textures. Junko Sera is in her finest voice ever, her singing brimming over with untold, operatic power, soaring over the music. She has the aid of a choir and Outer Limits singer Tomoki Ueno, adding some male operatics to act as a counterpart to her full-bodied soprano.

While the original FANTASIEN (which is a rare collector's item these days) was more of a luxury for completist collectors, FANTASIEN 1998 is a jewel of symphonic rock, with a profound metal feel. A very underrated album, much recommended.

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 Crystal Heart In The Fountain by MARGE LITCH album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Crystal Heart In The Fountain
Marge Litch Progressive Metal

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This album has two drawbacks. First of all, it's only 71 minutes long. There's no real reason it needs to be two discs long. Second of all, like a lot of discs that push the 80 minute limit, there seems to be a lot of filler.

Other than that, the band builds on their strengths. They've added a full-time keyboard player (Masahiro Takeuchi) and Junko Sera (née Nakagawa)'s voice just keeps getting better. It all comes together on the 21-minute, three-part suite that takes up the entirety of Disc One, some of the band's most powerful and exciting music.

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 The Ring of Truth by MARGE LITCH album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.49 | 3 ratings

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The Ring of Truth
Marge Litch Progressive Metal

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A decided improvement over FANTASIEN, the band's first CD release. The band have learned from their mistakes. The addition of Yasuyuki Kuwabara on keys opens the band's sound up a good deal, allowing for the lush symphonic feel they were obviously going for on FANTASIEN to pervade. Likewise, Yokoyama is now free to indulge in layers upon layers of orchestrated guitarwork, bringing Brian May to mind.

But the biggest improvement is singer Junko Nakagawa. No longer the squeaky-voiced little girl she was on FANTASIEN, her voice has grown rich operatic overtones. At last her voice is powerful enough to match the music. On captivating numbers like "The Haunted Voice" and "Witch Of Ice", her voice truly becomes a force to be reckoned with.

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 Fantasien by MARGE LITCH album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.09 | 3 ratings

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Fantasien
Marge Litch Progressive Metal

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Marge Litch deserve more credit for pioneering the style known as "symphonic metal". With at least a half-dozen cassette releases already under their belt, they were doing this kind of thing years before the concept was a glint in the eye of the likes of Nightwish or Rhapsody.

That said, this album is not that hot, actually. The keyboard sounds (courtesy guitarist Yo[&*!#]eru Yokoyama) are a tad on the thin side, as are Junko Nakagawa's vocals. She possesses the squeaky "baby doll" voice one often hears in Japanese pop. But for a prog-metal act, it just doesn't cut it.

On the plus side, the songs are quite strong, featuring often memorable melodies. With a better production and better vocals, they could really shine.

Luckily for us, they went ahead and did it for us.

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 Fantasien 2 by MARGE LITCH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.20 | 7 ratings

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Fantasien 2
Marge Litch Progressive Metal

Review by geezer

2 stars The real title of this album is actually "Fantasien 1998". Marge Litch is a Japanese band whose music is somewhere between symphonic and prog metal. I find it a bit hard to categorize them. Some of the songs are more in the symphonic style like the opener "Starting for Adventure", the closer "Fantasien" and the track "Dealing with the Witch". These are also the best tracks in the album in my opinion. The rest of the album falls more in the prog metal genre. This is mostly due to the guitarist Yo[&*!#]eru Yukoyama whose influences are clearly from the prog metal genre. This is also the #1 reason why I dislike this album. Worth noticing is that the singer is female. Despite the English song titles the lyrics are in Japanese.

If I'm not completely mistaken this album is a remake of their debut album "Fantasien" from 1991.

Conclusion: Not a bad effort but this album doesn't get repeated listens from me. You may want to check this if you fancy a mix of symphonic and prog metal.

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