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Kehell biography
KEHELL was a jazz rock trio founded by Shigekazu KAMAKI. The trio started out in 1985 as another project of KAMAKI, the last one before it being the obscure neo prog band ORPHEUS. It would take the band 14 years to release their only album, having only been involved with demo tapes and providing songs for compilations. Their album might appeal to fans of neo-prog and fusion alike, with the use of instruments like guitar synthesizers the music of KEHELL is quite atmospheric in the 80's kind of way and reminiscent of ORPHEUS, but of Allan HOLDSWORTH as well.


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3.06 | 5 ratings

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KEHELL Reviews

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 Galileo by KEHELL album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.06 | 5 ratings

Kehell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by JazzFusionGuy

3 stars Kehell is Shigekazu Kamaki on guitars, guitar-synth, and pedal-synth with Yasuyuki Hirose on bass and Toru Hamada on drums. This is Japanese prog fusion with smooth jazz fuzak and guitar rock yearnings. What do I mean? Well, Kamaki seems to want to be a jazz rock fusion composer/musician but many times he breaks out into Beck/Montrose/Satriani rock riffs and flurries of guitar-hero effects in the midst of moments that one might expect . . . ah, more fusion and less flash. Kamaki's compositions and stylings flirt with fusion but exhibit genre-schizophrenia. Songs will flow Satriani rockin' out then late 90's fusionesque then Yellowjackets smooth jazzish and then back to Ronnie Montrose or Rick Derringer bombastic glitter. (That was just tracks 1 and 2.)

Things get more interesting on "Colony #2" where some swiftly executed Holdsworthian* chordal passages intro the song but . . . you guessed Kamaki is back in the straight up rock riffs, only to outro in a mirror of the intro. "Replica" is a tad Bill Connors in guitar voicings up front but quickly descends into pentatonic and do, re, mi . . . rock. I am sorry but the bland fuzak backgrounds for Kamaki's rock riffs grate, oh so frequently. Yeah, there's a strong melodic leaning but this has been done before by so many rock bands trying to be fusion groups. Kamaki's Kehell is almost fusion, not really prog, sorta smooth jazz, flirts with rock and never lands squarely in any genre.

If you're a guitar-head like myself you'll find Kamaki a solid musician that is confident and poised for attack but I dunno, his style seems "automatic", pristine, mechanical, precise, perfect but sterile and soul-less. The whole band is similarly tight and faultless in each song's needs. I just found little happening in Galileo to make this reviewer say, "Wow, this is very cool". On "Kaiper Belt" Kamaki does experiment with a variety of time signature mutations. Kamaki needs to decide whether he wants to play soul-fired jazz rock fusion or keep on pulling out predictable rock riffage buried in a sandwich of near-fusion. Musicianship is great but there's an identity crisis in Kehell.

*Footnote: I was inspired to seek out Kehell due to some amateur reviewer's comments posted many moons ago at about them doing Holdsworthian jazz better than the awesome Scott McGill's Hand Farm. NOT! McGill still reigns supreme in this regard. Kehell doesn't even come close.

 Galileo by KEHELL album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.06 | 5 ratings

Kehell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Kehell - this obscure little known progressive jazz fusion band from Japan with one album released in 1999 named Gallileo might appeal to fans of Holdsworsh, Bruford , in places Brand X or Kenso. Formed in 1985 by Kamaki , aswell member of neo prog band Orpheus back then and later on will apear in Mr Sirius (a nother worthy japanese prog band from late'80 to early 90). So, Galileao is an instrumental affair, this trio really done some great moments here, the pieces flow one to other very well, very atmospheric in aproach, quite complicated passages, refined compositions and very elaborated arrangements., specially on title track. Issued at Musea. All in all more then decent effort by this obscure band, I think worth investigated, I was pleasent surprised.3 rounded to 3,5 in places.

Thanks to evolver for the artist addition.

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