Heavy Prog • Japan

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Rosalia biography
Following the success of other Japanese progressive acts, such as STARLESS, ROSALIA was formed in Osaka in 1986 by Naomi MIURA, keyboardist and vocalist, along with Iori SAKAGAMI, lead vocals, Yukiyo TAKEDA, guitar, Eiko FUJIMOTO, bass, and Emiko NISHIDA, drums.

Although ROSALIA experienced a robust touring schedule (the high point of which was an excursion to Tokyo in 1989 where they opened for French symph rockers ATOLL) and had several tracks appear on various compilations, the band only managed to produce one official release, the 1990 EP "Zillion Tears", and the group dissolved shortly thereafter.

Stylistically, ROSALIA's sound was glammy and heavy, but a bit too keyboard based to fit in with progressive metal (the band claimed ELP as an influence), and they recall Moving Pictures era, rather than 2112 era, RUSH. ROSALIA was a bit unpolished to truly be a forgotten gem; but an unpolished gem is still capable of shining with a little elbow grease, and it is unfortunate that the group did not commit the studio time to fully realizing their sound.

: : : The Whistler : : :

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ROSALIA discography

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3.00 | 2 ratings
Zillion Tears


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 Zillion Tears by ROSALIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1990
3.00 | 2 ratings

Zillion Tears
Rosalia Heavy Prog

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Rosalia is an extremely obscure prog-rock band from Japan who managed to release only one mini-CD in 1990. On EP called "Zillion Tears", this all-female group presented 4 tracks clearly influenced by music of Novela, Starless, early Gerard, Teru's Symphonia and alike. There's nothing particularly impressive here, no new grounds were discovered but it's very enjoyable prog-rock with some nice 70s retro touches (especially in keyboards department) which should satisfy Japanese music fans.

4 songs included on "Zillion Tears" are:

1. "Step On Sepia Dream" - first composition isn't so good. It's a weird instrumental which tries to mix symphonic prog with some strange avantgarde music. Thankfully in the middle there are more melodies (played on mellotron and Solina string ensemble) which are a bit cute but in general I'm not fond of this track. It would be a good introduction if it was shorter. 4 minutes is still too long for such material...

2. "Another Glassy Moment" - fun really begins here as we can listen to full band playing entertaining heavy prog very much in Novela fashion. Iori Sakagami's vocals are truly good, rhythm section is simple but adequate and Naomi Miura doesn't shine with any extraordinary keyboard solos but her swirling Korg organ (sound like good-old Hammond so don't worry) and synth flourishes are decent enough. Overall nice song with memorable melody.

3. "Prisoner" - no doubt that this is my favorite track of Rosalia. A bit sinister atmosphere with overwhelming synthesizers and organ which build great tension. Vocals are good too, just like Yukiyo Takeda's surprisingly relaxed guitar solo, but the real opus magnum of "Prisoner" is extended organ/synth solo in the middle which reminds me of another female group from Japan - Ars Nova. Near the end there are some strange ( a bit King Crimson-like?), dis-harmonic fragments but in general it's a top notch composition.

4. "Zillion Tears" - the longest song on this EP is also the most symphonic one. It's filled with very emotional vocals, classical sounding piano fragments, mellotron outbursts and some other orchestral keyboards effects. There is also a moment of sheer beauty during spectacular organ/guitar interluding soloing. Highly recommended mini-epic.

Overall I have to say that "Zillion Tears" definitely is an interesting EP, but sadly it's only EP, so we can't really judge Rosalia's music based only on 4 compositions. I wish they recorded full-time album, so I would say something more... Anyway their style is really nice, it's surely not a classic like albums recorded by other Japanese super-groups like Novela, Gerard, Ars Nova or Social Tension, but it's still decent.

Recommend for fan-boys of aforementioned Novela, Teru's Symphonia, Vienna, Starless, Scheherazade etc.

P.S. If you want to hear more music played by Rosalia's keyboardist (Naomi Miura), I'd suggest you to check out compilation "Kings' Boards" (also from 1990) where she plays in fantastic track called "Corde Spirale".

Best track: "Prisoner"

It's only 20+ minutes EP so I think 3,5 stars is the most I can give here.


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