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Experimental/Post Metal • Japan

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Gonin-Ish biography
(From the band's website): "The name of Gonin-ish refers to the Japanese classical literature work "Hyakunin-ish". Hyakunin-ish is a book which contains hundred of poems. The poems are constructed by divided characters, and the dividing rule is 5, 7, 5, 7 and 7 characters. "Hyakunin" means people of one hundred, and "Ish"means one poem. A man at A.D.800 selected 100 excellent poems from a lot of poems. For this reason, the collection was called "Hyakunin-Ish", and these poems were inherited in the card game. The rule of this game is very simple: when the introduction of a poem is read aloud, players are to scramble for cards. In the new year, a championship of Japan is held for this game.
Relatewd to the above. The words "Gonin" (means five people) and "ish" (means one poem) were selected for the name of GONIN-ISH. So, the name of the band refres to the uniting of songs by the five members.

GONIN-ISH is a Japanese experimental progressive-metal band formed in Tokyo in 1997. It was born out of the ashes of a cover band named ANEKDOTEN (no relation with the Swedish band of the same name).

In 1998 they recorded their first demo, under the GONIN-ISH name. They immediately got signed by a Japanese indie label to record their first full-length.

In 2000 they released their debut album, "Gonin-Ish", to good reviews from both national and foreign specialized press. They toured Japan and played various gigs across the territory.

In 2002 they released a single and in 2005 they finally recorded and released their sophomore effort, "Naishikyo-Sekai", to great acclaim in Metal-zines like "BURRN!" (80 out of 100 points).

GONIN-ISH plays a very technical brand of Experimental progressive-metal. The band is able to create great melodies, always with delicate pianos, percussive pianos (which they use to great effect), odd time signatures and difficult soloing passages. Their music has elements of classical "prog-rock" but also of death-metal, gothic-metal and even punk. Their inclusion in PA is mandatory.

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GONIN-ISH discography

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GONIN-ISH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.14 | 7 ratings
3.59 | 13 ratings

GONIN-ISH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GONIN-ISH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings

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

GONIN-ISH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Muge no Hito


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Naishikyo-Sekai  by GONIN-ISH album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.59 | 13 ratings

Gonin-Ish Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Jadittir

3 stars Well...the latest Gonin-Ish album, Naishikyo-Sekai (the endoscopic world), is my first encounter to this flamboyant group of Japanese musicians. They called themself Gonin-ish (roughly means "song by five members") and they describe their music as progressive fusion metal from Japan. After my first listening session, I feel it's difficult to discern it as a prog-fusion metal album. Rather, I would classify it as a Tech/Extreme prog metal or Avantgarde album as it has been classified by PA. I think I am a bit skeptical on a terminology such as Prog-fusion metal since I have had my exceptional experience with band like Exivious' debute and Canvas Solaris' Penumbra Diffuse. I could not find enough ground to classify both sui generis albums as the same kind of animal. Their music, regardless of its classification, rely heavily on such complex, syncopatic, polyrhythmic passages with metal guitar riffs and solos, piano/synth, fusion bass (only thing I could classify as fusion) and heavy metal double bass drum. The singing style, on the other hand, extremely vary from soft J-Pop, poetic chanting to death growl and screaming.

The short description of the music is "weird". That is a reasonable description you could expect from this kind of tech/avantgarde band. Their music is nice and emotional. Musicians are talented and fluent in their own instrument. The recording quality is somewhat so-so and I feel that with better job on mixing...the band would sound way better. What is really lack, however, from this band and this album in particular is it possesses a small quality of "uniquity" and "originality" which is required to become a big distinguishable fish in the sea. I can't help but notice that some part of some song sounds peculiarly similar to Unexpect and Kayo Dot. Some passage, in the contrary, reminds me of dream theater's famous duet between John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess. Nothing bad about their music and arrangement, don't get me wrong, as they sweep through a dynamic heavy devy type of sound to soft piano as an interlude..with rises and falls of the stream of music. Albeit, this kind of arrangement could be found plentifully in this era. I however found this album to be immensely fun to listen to. The only letdown of this album is its shortage of musical creativity.

I may reserve my further opinion about their similarity to other band and would nevertheless recommend this album to those who enjoy the music of the above description. Bottom line is this is a worldly good music, despite of it origination. You will not be disappointed by the band's artistic attempt to wow all Tech/extreme prog addicts and be sure to watch out for their next album.

Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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