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THETA

Symphonic Prog • Japan


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Theta biography
Theta seems to be primarily a vehicle for Vermillion Sands vocalist (and flautist) Yoko Royama. She is joined by Youko Tsushiya on keyboards, Kasuhito Kawakami on bass, and Naroyuki Harada on drums. Her former band mate Masahiro Yamada makes ample guest keyboard contributions, along with other Japanese notables. The only release is 2000's "Seeds of the Dream."

As was the case with Vermillion Sands, there are many comparisons to Renaissance. This is no surprise as Royama spent a lot of time doing covers of Renaissance, and Fairport Convention. There are also allusions to Outer Limits, and Teru's Symphonia, but with a softer touch. It is symphonic, with an emphasis on pretty. The vocals are the centerpiece, and sung in both Japanese and English. Violin and flute add much to this atmosphere. However, complexity is not what this outfit had in mind.

Yoko Royama also released the solo album "Sunny Days" in 1990. Sadly, she became ill and died in 2004.

H.T.(bhikkhu)

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THETA discography


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

3.56 | 27 ratings
Seeds of the Dream
2000

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

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

THETA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Seeds of the Dream by THETA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.56 | 27 ratings

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Seeds of the Dream
Theta Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Theta is a japanese band from late'90s who release so far a single album in 2000 named Seeds of a dream. The band was formed around female vocalist and flautis from defunct Vermilion Sands (another band made in Japan, from late '80's) - Yoko Royama. The music Theta playes and offers here is symphonic prog , more the mellow side not far from Cinema (State of Flux era), Outer Limits in places and even some Teru's Symphonia moments, well not bad for sure, each of this influences are shown in this album in less or big quantity, but the result is a pleasent one for me. The similarity with Renaissance seams to me a little forced, ok Yoko was a big fan of this band and did some cover versions in his career, but the music of Theta and his voice are to me kinda far from this golden english band. The symphonic arrangements goes very well with the flute and violin parts and gives a pleasent atmosphere, in the end tipicaly , at least for me for a japanese band from this times, Cinema is the first to come in mind when I talked about Theta. The complexity of the music is moderate, some jazzy interplays on first track Footprints are shown, but very k, The toy airplane has some AOR feel to it but combined with progressive rock is realy pleasent, I think the best track from here, the rest are ok. Keyboards, bass, drums and guitars make a good job here, leaving the listner with a pleasent taste in the end. So, Seeds of the dream i a good album for sure, but nothing close to an essential listning, desearve 3 stars, but nothing more, but no less either. Sadly, because of her illness Yoko Royama passed away in sommer of 2004, a great loss for japanese music in general and specially for progressive music in particular. While they released only one album, Theta is one of the examples of japanese music where finess and complexity goes hand in hand.

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 Seeds of the Dream by THETA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.56 | 27 ratings

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Seeds of the Dream
Theta Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars I thought I was in for some RENAISSANCE like music when I bought this album. I was wrong.

THETA was lead by a now sadly deceased female vocalist. Her voice is beautiful..... but still far from Annie Haslam's voice. Yoko Royama's voice and English vocals is far lighter and not as dark as Annie's voice. The range is not there. But the vocals are still very good and it is a great shame that Yoko Royama left us mortals in 2004. A lost talent never forgotten. Yoko Royama's vocals flows on the top of some very pastorial and minimalistic symphonic prog. Most of it is accoustic with violin, piano and flute. Keyboards is not a dominating instrument on this album. The music is pretty much like chamber orchestra symphonic prog, best enjoyed in a dark room.

Quality wise, the album sadly lacks some really good tunes. This album is not bad and I have no regrets purchasing it. But the tunes flows into each other without being really memorable. The only memorable stuff here is the Ludwig Van Beethoven rip-offs. When that is said, the music is really not bad. This is a good progressive rock record and only that.

3 stars.

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 Seeds of the Dream by THETA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.56 | 27 ratings

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Seeds of the Dream
Theta Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Very good symphonic prog band from Japan. Ex Vermillion Sands Yoko Royama (vocals, flute, recorder) is of course the star here, but the band is, too, very talented and skilled. Their music is difficult to label, since Seeds of the Dream is a varied and versatile affair. The first track, Footprints, for instantece, is a prog/jazz rock/fusion not very far from other japanese groups like Outer Limits. The only difference are Royama´s soft vocals. But from then on the music becomes more melodic and symphonic, in the vein of the likes of Renaissance, Magenta and Quidam

The use of instruments like the violin, flutes, and accordion in addition of the more common keyboards, bass, drums and guitars give their arrangements a broader, more interesting and colourful pallete of sounds. Some japanese folk roots are also quite present throughout the CD. Vocals are both in english and japanese. Production is top notch. Their songwriting is also of note: as varied as it is, all the tracks flow evenly and work very well as a whole. There are no fillers and I always hear this CD without skipping single track.

I was really surprised by this CD. It´s fine symphonic prog rock with a definitive japanese flavour on it. I hope Theta will release another work like this one soon.

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 Seeds of the Dream by THETA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.56 | 27 ratings

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Seeds of the Dream
Theta Symphonic Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO / Avant / Zeuhl Team & Moderator

3 stars Whoomp! This band Theta is really Japanese pride and treasure!

Generally, I think, Japanese progressive rock bands have beautiful sound and tune. Moreover, of all Japanese progbands, Theta has one of the most beautiful and softest band I want to say. The time I listen to the album is my pleasure.

Interestingly, on the first track very clear but very avantgarde tune gets dashed into me. After this, delicate sound with sad and plaintive Japanese words goes streaming. (There is words translated into English in the sleeve. Please feel theite mind...) On the last stage, I'm sure the song IZUMI knocks and absorbs listeners out. The clear voice and brilliant tune must get us in the Theta world.

Pardon I say more and more...I'm very happy and glad to meet this album.

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 Seeds of the Dream by THETA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.56 | 27 ratings

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Seeds of the Dream
Theta Symphonic Prog

Review by Marcelo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars When I bought this album, I believed I would listen a new version of VERMILLION SANDS, the Japanese RENAISSANCE. After all, both bands has the same female singer -Yoko Royama-, who had impressed me with her beautiful and sweet voice.

So, I was thinking about some kind of RENAISSANCE music again, but it was a mistake. The common point between VERMILLION and THETA, beyond the vocalist (also sung in English and Japanese), is the delicated melodic line, but THETA has an approach to fusion and jazz, not listenable in all tracks but enough to build a different sound.

Violin is the predominant instrument, and gives to the music the classical and refined feeling, while keyboards and drums have an important role too.

A very nice album, really pleasant to the listener. Specially recommended for lovers of the mellow progressive who don't be afraid about a little bit of jazz-fusion sound.

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 Seeds of the Dream by THETA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.56 | 27 ratings

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Seeds of the Dream
Theta Symphonic Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a very delightful mellow symphonic rock album with beautiful female vocals, flute and violin in the forefront of the music. The band origins from Japan but the vocals are both in English and Japanese. There are some reminiscences to RENAISSANCE and SOLSTICE. The well-composed songs have a lot of good melodies, and it's a perfect album for relaxing. Close your eyes and dream away with THETA. This album may be the seed to your dream.

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 Seeds of the Dream by THETA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.56 | 27 ratings

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Seeds of the Dream
Theta Symphonic Prog

Review by Paco Fox

4 stars A japanese group influenced mainly by Renaissance and, at times, by Camel. It's more or less a spin-off band of Vermillion Sands, although this record is slightly less derivate: besides the influences mentioned above, there are also a couple of medieval tunes and some very good use of violin, which makes this a more varied work. The music is very melodic, and most of the time really evocative and dramatic. If you don't mind this and the fact that, at the end, it really isn't very innovative, this can be a very satifiying and moving record.

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