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Baraka biography
Tokyo band BARAKA [not to be confused with several other like-named groups] was formed in 1997 by Shin ICHIKAWA(bass,vocals), Issei TAKAMI (guitar,vocals) and Max HIRAISHI(drums). Boasting a variety of styles including jazz, blues, funk and progressive rock, the band has released many albums since 1999 (usually titled after the band). Their seventh album, 'Baraka VII', was their first all instrumental release.

The trio is infamous in its native Japan, having had over three hundred gigs on the island. They have also toured extensively around the globe, from Thailand to Toronto, and even attended the Prog'Sud International Progressive Rock Festival at Marseille in May, 2006.

Musically, BARAKA freely mixed lounge jazz and loud rock in a way that resembles metal more than fusion. This hard rock grounding, plus a couple of spacey keyboards occasionally mixed in for good measure, might make the listener think of a jazzier, subtler, more instrumentally minded RUSH. An excellent band for fans of metal and fusion alike.

- The Whistler -

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BARAKA discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

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

2.50 | 2 ratings
2.50 | 2 ratings
Baraka IV
2.50 | 2 ratings
3.60 | 5 ratings
Baraka VI
3.77 | 11 ratings
Baraka VII
3.08 | 13 ratings
Shade Of Evolution
3.76 | 20 ratings
Inner Resonance
3.75 | 12 ratings

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

BARAKA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Atlantic Best of Baraka

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

BARAKA Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Inner Resonance by BARAKA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.76 | 20 ratings

Inner Resonance
Baraka Heavy Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A varied production by this veteran Japanese outfit. Opening and closing with energetic numbers not too dissimilar to early 80's Rush, featuring driving bass, atmospheric synths and staccato guitar riffs, in between those pieces are a couple of fusion inspired ventures followed by efforts closer to new age territories in overall style.

The latter part of the album, starting with Yggdrasil and ending with Gate to Principle, is the least interesting as far as I'm concerned. Yggdrasil is a good effort, where the recurring space-tinged motifs work very well, but the following ventures into similar territories gets to be just a tad too overly explored for me to be able to maintain my fascination.

Fans of early 80's Rush that don't mind a few slices of Vangelis now and then might possibly be the perfect audience for this album, and those who recognize themselves in that description are well adviced to seek out this latest production of Japanese band Baraka.

 Inner Resonance by BARAKA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.76 | 20 ratings

Inner Resonance
Baraka Heavy Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Inner Resonance combines two parts in their music. It's important to state that there are almost ambient, trippy and easy-going like parts of soft music (jazzy?), but there is also far more heavier part (by far more I mean about 500% heavier than calm part, but it still doesn't make some kind of Brutal Metal out of it, as first part is really very quiet). Including first song, Palm Trees Of The Maldives, where these said trees really Rocks. Or Progs ? Both I suppose.

Then it calms a little bit (not much, I don't want to use percentage anymore) with Reflected Waves which also takes more melodic edge. Shortie Plunge From The Darkness is understood by me as half drum solo (showcasing), half bass lookout (yes, I said lookout and I'll stick to this terminology). Atlantic is perhaps the point, when it takes turn and things starts to calm down. Radically (in a calm way, ahem). This song floats like ocean waves and it's the one which persuaded me to use word "trippy".

Seam Of The Globe, the second longest song uses Jazz elements again to create something in a slightly different genre. Yggrasil, no offense folks, would be better suited into some PC game (for turn based strategy, where you need quiet music to let you think). And here we are again (I listened this album few times in a row, only to start writing after x-th playing, so this is my about 5th listening of this song) is quite similar to previous (and following track, Gate to Principle), maybe they're part of bigger suite, even unintentionally composed one. Not bad though. The Definition is in the name of Heaviness again. Well done to be honest.

4(+) perhaps, this album is quite charming. Certainly has its magic.

Beautiful cover we have here, really.

 Baraka VII by BARAKA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.77 | 11 ratings

Baraka VII
Baraka Heavy Prog

Review by Gooner
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Great place to start with Baraka is right here. All instrumental. Have you ever wondered what Rush would sound like if they ever released an instrumental album? Look no further than BARAKA. If you enjoy Rush, Talisma, Priam, Ed Wynne of the Ozric Tentacles, Pat Metheny, Joe Satriani, Robin Trower and the band Kong...BARAKA would definitely appeal to you. This album covers the whole slate of the aforementioned. _Bharmad_ is the 20 minute masterpiece on this album with recurring themes, etc. The rest of the VII album holds up well after the 20 minute masterwork. In fact, if you're not up for a continuous 20 minute instrumental piece, there's an additional 6 tracks(a traditional album's worth) of fine material. At times jazzy, at times contemplative/bluesy and others outright borderline heavy metal...BARAKA is sure to please. Keyboards appear slightly more as a colouring than a prominant instrument in the Baraka-sound. Another great point of reference for the BARAKA-sound would be the album by Kazumi Watanabe known as _Pandora_ from 1992(with Resonance Vox). If you wanted more where that came from, BARAKA VII would be a great addition to your prog.rock/jazz fusion collection.
Thanks to atavachron for the artist addition.

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