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PAGEANT

Symphonic Prog • Japan


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Pageant biography
This is one of the beauties of the Japanese progressive rock. PAGEANT was formed in '81 by guitarplayer Ikkou Nakajima, singer/keyboard player Hiroko Nagai, bass player Nagashima and drummer Hideaki Indou. In '85 they appeared on a Japanese progrock compilation entilted "Progressive Battle" and one year later PAGEANT released their debut-album "La Mosaïque de la Rêverie", a 'classic'. The band was completed by Kazuhiro Miyatake (flute and electric guitar) and Nobuyuki Nagashima (bass) on those records. The second album "Abysmal Masquerade" appeared in '87 and two years followed by the third record entitled "The Pay for a Dreamer's Sin". On this album Hiroko Nagai and Hideaki Indou remained from the original line-up, Kazuhiro Miyatake played flute on two tracks and the band's new guitarplayer became Hiroyuki Maeno.

The first album "La Mosaïque de la Rêverie" is one of the most acclaimed Japanese albums: beautiful 24-carat symphonic rock, very melodic and harmonic with strong hints from GENESIS, CAMEL and RENAISSANCE. The compositions contain twanging guitars, delicate flute, lush keyboards and sensitive electric guitar. The Japanese vocals sound very convincing: powerful and high pitched. The climates changes from dreamy to bombastic with splendid build-ups and exciting 'grand finales'. The second album "Abysmal Masquerade" is in the vein of the first but sound less elaborate and less compelling. It contains two new versions and one live version from the first album. The third album "The Pay for a dreamer' Sin" is more progressive pop like CLANNAD and Kate BUSH than symphonic rock but sounds tasteful with strong, harder-edged guitarplay.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

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Kamen No Egao by PageantKamen No Egao by Pageant
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PAGEANT discography


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

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

3.66 | 41 ratings
La Mosaïque de la Rêverie
1986
3.12 | 21 ratings
Abysmal Masquerade
1987
3.80 | 15 ratings
The Pay for Dreamer's Sin
1989

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

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

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

5.00 | 2 ratings
Kamen no egao
1987
5.00 | 1 ratings
Indies Collection
1988

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

PAGEANT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Abysmal Masquerade by PAGEANT album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.12 | 21 ratings

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Abysmal Masquerade
Pageant Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Pageant were one of the leading prog bands from the '80 in Japan. Formed in 1981 and afer some line up changes the first album saw the light in 1986, the second offer in 1987 named Abysmal masquerade and the final one saw the light in 1988, then they disbanded and gone into oblivion. The music is quite good and complicated , highly symphonic, something between early Gerard or Theru's Symphonia also from Japan with a twists towards Genesis or Renaissance. Abysmal masquerade has two new versions and a live version from the first album the rest of the pieces are original. The vocals are in japanese and has that high pitched aproach, Hiroko Nagai got almost a child type of voice, in places is ok , but has some irritating passages aswell. All in all a good towards great album from japanes prog school, not to be missed. 3 solid stars, rounded to 3.5 in places.

 La Mosaïque de la Rêverie by PAGEANT album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.66 | 41 ratings

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La Mosaïque de la Rêverie
Pageant Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Among the hottest names of the 80's Japanese Symph Prog movement, Pageant were found in 1981 by ex-Fromage guitarist Ikkou Nakajima along with keyboardist Ieteru Monno and joined soon by female singer Hiroko Naga, bassist Nobuyuki Nagashima and drummer Shirokatsu Sato.In 1982 Sato and Monno were replaced by ex-Scheherezade Hideaki Indou on drums, while Naga took on the keyboard duties.During the spring of 85' a Pageant track appeared on the ''Progressive battle'' sampler, leading to a contract with Made in Japan Records.The recordings of the band's debut took place between December 85' and January 86' at the Jam Studios in Osaka, featuring also bassist Kazuhiko Yamada and guitarist/flute player Kazuhiro ''Mr.Sirius'' Miyatake, who also spent time with Mugen around the period.

Pageant were among the few bands trying to avoid the cheesiness of many Japanese prog acts of the time, leaning towards the Classical education of Naga on vocals and keyboards and leaving aside the bombastic synthesizer stylings.So the music of the band relied heavily on Nakajima's guitar work, offering some splendid breaks and evident Classical influences, but there was also plenty of space left to Miyatake for a strong amount of acoustic guitars and delightful flute passages.The keyboards are distinct with alternating grandiose synthesizers and nice organ throughout.The arrangements of the band are mostly interesting, following the symphonic fundamentals with light interplays and plenty of good melodies.The two shorter tracks however still contain the familiar flaws of the Japanese scene: Groovy cinematic prog with a rather plastic sound and average vocals by an otherwise quite decent vocalist like Naga.From the (good) rest of the album ''Un Giel De Celluloide'' shines through: Excellent Symphonic Rock with dramatic moments, surprisingly the only one where Nakajima himself handles the vocals.

The decent fame that followed the band throughout their short career finds some good reasons in ''La Mosaïque de la Reverie'', with most of its part being well-played and often romantic Symphonic Rock with Retro influences and a good effort next to the files of MUGEN and SHINGETSU.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 La Mosaïque de la Rêverie by PAGEANT album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.66 | 41 ratings

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La Mosaïque de la Rêverie
Pageant Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars The first studio albun from Japanese band PAGEANT "La Mosaique de La Reverie", is a good example of the possibility of to make a brilliant work of progressive music, without great individual performances (since the musicians aren't virtuous, but only good musicians) besides the band don't sounds like a "cheap copy" of their main influences : GENESIS and in smaller scale CAMEL and RENAISSANCE . A interesting point in this albun, is the use of 6 and 12 strings in addition with eletric guitar in attempt of create a more lyrical atmosphere,as for instance in the track 1 "La Mosaïque De La Rêverie " , track 2 "Vexation", track 5 "Rires Dans La nuit" and the track 6 "Un Giel De Celluloide" ( in this track for create a more folk "landscape" ). Another strong point are in the female vocals, which are very pleasant and without exacerbation ( an exception in terms of Japanese bands). Although all the tracks in this albun are great, I wish to detach more 2 tracks, the track 3 "Echo" a overpowering heavy-symphonic prog with a keyboard solo in Wakeman/Banks style and the track 4 "L'Enfer Des Poupées" with a martial therme. Due to this my rate is 4 stars !!!
 La Mosaïque de la Rêverie by PAGEANT album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.66 | 41 ratings

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La Mosaïque de la Rêverie
Pageant Symphonic Prog

Review by Theriver

3 stars Who will enjoy this album?

A recommended album for prog symphonic fans and people who never heard any album of the 80's Japanese prog scene.

What do we have here?

Typical and colourful Japanese symphonic prog album. A lot of luxurious keyboards of course, moog, mellotron, used as background as well as for energetic solos. The piano is used too in some very beautiful quiet sections. The guitar is emotive as Andrew Latimer can be, electric for a couple of great solos, specially the one at the end of "Rire dans la Nuit", and acoustic as the intro of "Echo" or to support some vocals. We cannot forget as well the flute which will remind you its best intervention with Genesis or Camel. The main vocalist Hiroko Nagai has a superb voice, not as disturbing as some her compatriots singing like her in Japanese who are simply too high pitched and piercing for me. The highlights here are the tracks "La Mosaique De La Reverie" which open the album, and "Rire Dans La Nuit" with some part well inspired by of "Firth of Firth". The sensitive ballad "Epilogue" closes magnificently the album.

Why I rate it 3 stars:

Despite the album however remains good throughout; the typical 80's sound (of the drum for example) and the singer voice can be sometimes (only sometimes) annoying if you are not used to it.

 La Mosaïque de la Rêverie by PAGEANT album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.66 | 41 ratings

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La Mosaïque de la Rêverie
Pageant Symphonic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Pageant was one of those interesting progressive rock items that emerged in the Japanese 80s scene while the big giants of the genre had declined for good. Pageant refused to be pigeonholed within the neo-prog territory (unlike their comaptriot act Outer Limits) and chose to calibrate the influences of classic Genesis, classic Renaissance and classic Camel, instead. Also, Pageant is very keen on instilling Far Eastern airs into its compositions to a somewhat large degree, not unlike other brilliant compatriot acts named Ain Soph and Bellaphon. This band can also be appreciated as the threshold to another one, Mr. Sirius, soon to be formed and led by flutist-guitarist Kazuhiro Mitayake. His intervention in teh Pegant line-up was actually an eleventh hour addition, which possibily indicates that his entry was the factor that allowed this band to ultimately create such a solid sonic scheme for a debut album. The album is full of recognizable melodic hooks, delivered with grandiose energy in the rockier parts. Well, now let's go for the album's repertoire itself. The namesake track kicks off the album with musical box noises and then develops a very rich framework of melody and harmony that bears a typical symphonic feel. 'Vexation' also has much of it, but the emphasis is more focused on the bucolic factor. This opening duo are perfect examples of the way that the band fluidly combines the extroverted and introverted passages, with enough room for specific flute solos and a sense of stamina provided by the powerful keyboard orchestrations. 'Echo' and 'L'Enfer des Poupées' are effective rockers that rely on the straightforward catchiness of the main motifs; comapring both, the former feels more cohesive and bears a tighter compositional structure, even becoming an undisputed highlight of the whole album. 'Rires dans la Nuit' sets another highlight by enhancing the symphonic-meets-pastoral framework of track 2 through an increased dose of symphonic bombast. Less majestic but equally accomplished in terms of melodic development, 'Un Ciel de Celluloid' displays a well- ordained architecture of acoustic guitars, lush keyboards and a loveliest flute solo. 'Epilogue' is the symphonic power ballad that closes down the album with full splendor: the keyboards' input is especially featured here without getting particularly overwhelming, and even the melodic density is toned down a bit when the flute solo emerges. Such an efficient ending is the one required for this lovely progressive rock album from the 80s: Pageant is a mandatory name in the symphonic prog collector's agenda.
 La Mosaïque de la Rêverie by PAGEANT album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.66 | 41 ratings

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La Mosaïque de la Rêverie
Pageant Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another ´lost´ gem of the progressive scene in Japan of the 80´s. I was always amazed of how many good groups japan had at the time. I found out about this group only recently and what a nice surprise it was! Their sound is quite unique being a mix of symphonic prog with some japanese folk mix in (specially the vocal parts). I liked those bombastic keyboards put together with acoustic guitars a la Renaissance and some fine flute. Vocals are a bit acquiring the taste: not bad but also not great either. In fact, Hiroko Nagai, who also handles the keyboards, sings with passion and convinction, even if I didn´t like her timbre too much.

Production is quite good and their songwriting is excellent. Every track is a mini epic with many shifting moods and fine arrangements. They sure had a style of their own by the time they recorded La Mosaique De La Rêveie. they sound like no one in particular, and yet the overall sound is quite familiar and pleasant. There are no highlights nor fillers, all the album flows quite evenly. If you don´t mind those typical japanese vocals and lyrics, I recommended it highly.

 La Mosaïque de la Rêverie by PAGEANT album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.66 | 41 ratings

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La Mosaïque de la Rêverie
Pageant Symphonic Prog

Review by AdamHearst

5 stars Pageant's debut is one of the best Symphonic Prog albums of the 80's.. and possibly my favorite after Asia Minor's 'Between Flesh and Divine'. The music has a mystical fairy tale atmosphere: full of bright colors, vivid landscapes, unusual mythic characters, and dark shadowy forests. A lush ethereal mood flows through these seven tales like a shining crystalline stream.

Different from the over-produced and diluted 'Neo-Prog' albums from that same time period; 'La Mosaïque De La Rêverie' has quite a 70's sound and aesthetic... and an elaborate approach to songwriting. The closest comparisons would be Renaissance and Apoteosi, due mainly to the pure and angelic voice of 'Hiroko Nagai'. The sound-palette is also comparable to mid-70's Genesis (think Wind & Wuthering). There is a distinctly Japanese sensibility to the compositions which adds an exotic and fantastical element to the otherwise familiar Symph-Prog approach.

The album begins with a music box playing the 'go to sleep' lullaby theme... hypnogogic tranquility ensues as you begin drifting through an enchanted dreamworld.

This hypnotic spell lasts for nearly the full duration of the album... only slightly broken on the song 'Un Giel De Celluloide' where the female vocalist is mysteriously absent. In her place is the voice of 'Ikkou Nakajima' who sounds to me like a Japanese version of David Byrne. It's still a very good song with beautiful flute and synthesizer instrumentation... but i do believe it was a slight mis-step to bring in a different lead vocalist here. I can only imagine it was a choice made for lyrical content, which doesn't translate at all for non-Japanese speaking listeners.

The rest of the album is absolute perfection in my view... every song is a highlight. I would site 'Vexation' as my personal favorite: an enthralling and trance-inducing epic featuring a Genesis-like acoustic guitar and flute intro with some of the most lovely vocals on the album and the sound of a cooing baby in the background... followed by an excellent extended up-tempo instrumental section.

Japan seemed to be the only place in the world still producing top quality Symphonic Prog music in the mid-80's... and this is the greatest recorded testament to that fact that i've heard so far. That scene is well worth exploring if you are only familiar with the classic 70's bands... and this is the perfect album to start with.

This is a depressingly under-rated album and is (for my tastes) a true masterpiece! If this album were released in 1976 instead of 1986 i think more people would agree with me. Highly recommended to all Symphonic Prog fanatics... especially those with an interest in Japanese culture and music.

 Abysmal Masquerade by PAGEANT album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.12 | 21 ratings

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Abysmal Masquerade
Pageant Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The first album from Japanese progrock band Pageant is one of my favorites, what a wonderful symphonic rock sound: great female vocals and beautiful, very compelling compositions with echoes from mid-Genesis, Camel and Renaissance. This second album entitled Abysmal Masquerade (the Japanese title is Kamen No Egao, the European Musea release is slightly different from the Japanese Crime Records release) showcases two faces. Face one: longer compositions in the vein of the first album featuring lots of shifting moods, bombastic keyboards and flowing, sensitive electric guitar work. Face two: short songs, alternating between dreamy/romantic and up-tempo delivering tasteful guitar - and keyboard play. At some moments female singer Hiroko Nagai (she also plays keyboards) lacks a bit power but in general se has one of the most beautiful voices in the Japanese progrock scene, a bit similar to Kate Bush. By the way, the titletrack was released as a single in Japan, this Musea release contains two versions of it, 'flute' and 'live'. A wonderful CD!


 La Mosaïque de la Rêverie by PAGEANT album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.66 | 41 ratings

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La Mosaïque de la Rêverie
Pageant Symphonic Prog

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Fairly typical-and yet, exemplary-take on the Japanese mega-symphonic sound of the 1980's. Front and center of the band is singing keyboardist Hiroko Nagai, who in tried and true Japanese style fills every corner with lush symphonic layers of synthesizer. She's better known, however, for her powerful yet often delicate singing voice. She's certainly superb!

The fullness of sound is quite astounding. Oft-compared to Renaissance, and that's somewhat true over the softer passages. But they alternate between harder, more fire-tipped sections of the sort you would never find on a Renaissance album. Guitarist Ikkou Nakajima certainly comes into his own here, adding an aggressive and authoritative stance to the music. They're never as hard-edged as, say, Providence, but neither are they as mellow and airy as Mugen. Nowhere near as derivative, either. They have absorbed their influences well.

 La Mosaïque de la Rêverie by PAGEANT album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.66 | 41 ratings

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La Mosaïque de la Rêverie
Pageant Symphonic Prog

Review by geezer

4 stars This is one of the best Japanese symphonic albums. The band played its first concerts already in 1982 but this debut album wasn't released until in 1986. The band, like many other Japanese progressive bands, had a female singer Hiroko Nagai. She is classically trained and absolutely one of the best of these Japanese female singers there is. In addition, she also plays the keyboards that are centred on piano. In general, this band has a great harmony in their playing. I think this is the main reason in addition to the strong compositions that this band stands out from the Japanese 80's progressive scene. The music is very refined symphonic and not as bombastic like for instance Teru's Symphonia from the same period. Guitarist Ikkou Nakajima, who was previously a member of Fromage, deserves a special mention as he was without a doubt one of the best Japanese guitarists. The band had also a flautist Kazuhiro "Mr. Sirius" Miyatake who ads a nice touch with his delicate playing. He is also known for his Mr. Sirius albums that he released shortly after this album was released. Hiroko Nagai was the vocalist in this band as well.

The album starts with the very good title song. My favourite song though is "Echo" which is the rockiest and most controversial song in the album. It's a very good track though and showing the band's capabilities at best. All tracks are at least good and therefore this album doesn't have any weak moments.

Conclusion: A classic from the Japanese symphonic scene!

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