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Starless biography
Japanese band STARLESS was formed in 1984, and following a succesfull demo the same year they released their debut album Silver Wings in 1985. The following year Yoshiko Miyamoto left the band, and was replaced by Hiroko Nishigaki. By 1988 Starless went into hiatus following a few but active years that saw them established as one of Japan's premier progressive rock bands.

The halt in activites wouldn't last for long however, andd following the release of the live album Unpublished Live Selection '84. '88 a new line-up was assembled, and in 1992 their second studio effort Song of Silence saw the light of day. Three years later the EP Wish followed, after which Starless would disband.

20 years after the formation of Starless a live DVD with footage from 1986 was released, and around the same time the band would reassemble again. Several live appearences followed in the next few years, and in 2007 a new studio production was released: Starless IV: Story Never Ends. An album release tour and various standalone concerts followed. For the last few years their websitye haven't seen any news updates, and it is likely that Starless is in another period of inactivity at this point.

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STARLESS discography

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

3.12 | 7 ratings
Silver Wings
2.40 | 8 ratings
Song of Silence
3.33 | 3 ratings
Story Never Ends

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

3.50 | 2 ratings
Unpublished Live Selection 1984-88

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

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

3.33 | 3 ratings
Song of Silence / Wish

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

3.67 | 3 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Silver Wings by STARLESS album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.12 | 7 ratings

Silver Wings
Starless Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Japan was an endless source of Prog acts during the 80's, but not all bands had the same success.Starless were one of these cases, a group from Osaka formed in 1984.The original line-up featured ex-Scheherazade bassist Jutaro Okubo, who had just left Teru's Symphonia, female singer Yoshiko Miyamoto, guitarist Takao Nakagawa, drummer Nobuo Horie and keyboardist Yoshinori Kamimura.After the demo ''Welcome to the Starless World'', King Records' sublabel Nexus was the one to release Starless' debut ''Silver Kings'' in 1985.

The sound does not differ much from the typical Japanese Hard/Symphonic Rock as performed by acts like NOVELA, VIENNA, 90's-period GERARD or MARGE LITCH.It contains ninerather short compositions, where harder riffs blend with over-the-top Japanese vocals and emphatic keyboard parts.Despite their limited length, the majority of these compositions contains plenty of advanced musicinaship with some nice breaks and alternating atmospheres.The keyboards, including both synthesizers and organ parts, are performed with an evident symphonic mood and they are certainly among the album's highlights.The guitar work ranges from instant and catchy melodies to metallic riffing and powerful grooves, which nicely blend together with the epic keyboard sounds.Additionally the vocals of Yoshiko Miyamoto are pretty decent, often with a theatrical twist, and sound far from annoying.The compositions are coherent, played with passion and energy, and the proggy moments are more than expected from the overall Hard Rockin' attitude of the band.

Satisfying mix of virtuosic Hard Rock and keyboard-based Symphonic Rock with a good instrumental balance.If you can stand the unique color of Japanese vocals, ''Silver wings'' has plenty of nice moments to offer to you.Recommended.

 Song of Silence by STARLESS album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.40 | 8 ratings

Song of Silence
Starless Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars Starless. Where to begin? Well, the band is talented. The guitars and keyboards are good. The drumming is kind of basic and unimpressive. And the singer, Mayumi Minematsu, is, how should I put this, irritating.

There is something to like about the band. They play a high energy mix of pop and prog, with a sound that reminds me of the anime cartoons that come from their native Japan. But that singer. To me, her shrill shouting voice evokes Geddy Lee on the earlier Rush album, before he learned to rein in the harsher aspects of his sound.

But even Minematsu is not all bad. On Nigerarenai Yoru ni Tsukamatte she finally settles down and sings in a coquettish voice, sounding a bit like a lesser Kate Bush. But that's not enough for me to raise the rating.

 Song of Silence by STARLESS album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.40 | 8 ratings

Song of Silence
Starless Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Starless is a japanese prog band that was until few years ago a totaly unknown name to me. Formed in mid 80's and confronting with line up changes across the years they manage to release only 3 albums so far, with lots of years between albums. Song of silence is from 1992, issued by french label Musea. Well, what we have here is a mixed bag of prog metal, symphonic prog, heavy prog even some heavy metal is added, but the result is quite acceptable and fairly ok most of the time, and all done is that specific japanese tradition not far from Outer Limits or Novela. Powerfull progressive metal guitar arrangements like on title track Song of Silence , the longest and the best piece of the album,combined with some like Yes keyboards in places makes from this album a pleasent ride, and when is added some beautiful female vocals the atmosphere is more then ok. What to say more, a good album, not something fantastic , but pleasent and enjoyble for sure. 3 stars.
 Song of Silence by STARLESS album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.40 | 8 ratings

Song of Silence
Starless Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

2 stars Not bad, just not that much Prog. But what's the biggest difficulty here for me, and it's not easy for me to admit it, are the vocals. I don't think it's because of the language, I'm quite fond of Japanese language, but singing here is sometimes unbearable - Kireta Ito is fine, but first part of Nigerarenai Yoru ni Tsukamatte is just awful and boring, until it breaks and more interesting tunes begins to emerge. Then awful beginning returns and the song finishes on Rock end. At least something, at least Rock, when not Prog in this song.

This is typical borderline case, very melodic, very "late 80s" in sound album, something of a Japan Prog awakening (or rather re-awakening). Of course, I was one of those who voted for their inclusion - there is more in this music and even Starless cannot win against titans of Prog, not even against average Proggers, it deserves its neat little space in the back of our catalogue. There are pieces like Again that brings the album Prog down, pure rock melody up.

3(-), it's up to you guys.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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