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SOUND HORIZON

Crossover Prog • Japan


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Sound Horizon picture
Sound Horizon biography
A Japanese symphonic rock combo SOUND HORIZON surprisingly got started as a solo project of REVO, who at first released some copies of soundtracks in computer games only for pleasure in late 1990s. The debut album "Chronicle", featuring Revo's solo works created with synthesizer / drum machines, was released in 2001. This album was sold in a coterie space of a painter Yokotan, who has produced album sleeves of SOUND HORIZON since then.

In 2002 SOUND HORIZON took his/their first turning point. REVO stumbled across Mariko ARAI (aka ARAMARY) and persuaded her to join his project. ARAMARY, as a vocalist with "angelic voices", obviously improved their musical technique and soundscape in their second album "Thanatos", based upon her voices, narration, and whisper. In the same year they released the third album "Lost", followed by two compilations called "Pleasure Albums". Their fourth album "Chronicle 2nd", released in 2004, was positioned not as a remaster of the first "Chronicle" but another creation featuring novel tracks with ARAMARY's voices.

In April 2005, SOUND HORIZON's second turning point has come - they made an official contract with a Japanese major label Bellwood Records and released another compilation "Elysion - Rakuen E No Zenso-kyoku" - this album got so appreciated by many Japanese progressive rock freaks enough to climb up Japanese hit charts. And finally they reached the peak with their masterpiece "Elysion - Rakuen Genso Monogatari Kumikyoku", that got recommended in a Japanese progressive rock magazine Euro Rock Press.

Unfortunately they suddenly met their third turning point as ARAMARY's withdrawal from them in March 2006. As for this serious matter, nothing detailed has been told yet but only that ARAMARY's duty had been completed. As a matter of fact, lots of fans hope her comeback even now. REVO took his heart and kept playing in his project, with a little change of soundscape featuring a small amount of fantasia and a large formation, independent upon "angelic voices".

In November 2006 they released "Roman", during some gigs in Japan. The following one "Moira", launched in September 2008, was called as another masterpiece of theirs. "Märchen", their newest album so far, was released in December 2010. Recently no original creation has been released nor gig has been done but they keep active according to what they say on their website.

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SOUND HORIZON discography


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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Chronicle
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Thanatos
2002
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Lost
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pico Magic
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pico Magic Reloaded
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Chronicle 2nd
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Elysion - Rakuen e no Zensoukyoku
2004
5.00 | 1 ratings
Elysion - Rakuen Gensou Monogatari Kumikyoku
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Roman
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
Moira
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
Märchen
2010

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

SOUND HORIZON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

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Shounen wa Tsurugi wo...
2006
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Seisen no Iberia
2007
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Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Halloween to Yoru no Monogatari
2013

SOUND HORIZON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Roman by SOUND HORIZON album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Roman
Sound Horizon Crossover Prog

Review by Dapper~Blueberries

— First review of this album —
3 stars Japanese Progressive Rock is sort of obscure for me in a lot of ways. The only bands I know in that sort of range is Koenjihyakkei and Ruins. I am way more familiar with the Japanese Zuehl scene than any other sub genre of Prog with only a bit of a few exceptions such as OOIOO and Sigh, however I haven't really gotten in depth with those bands yet. It is something I definitely want to invest more time to, and I decided to search for some good Japanese Prog bands. So I found a list on RYM that showcased some amazing Japanese Prog bands. Le Silo, Flower Travellin' Band, Yuka & Chronoship, all bands I definitely will check out someday, however, one band caught my eye. There was an album cover of 5 people behind a colorful background, with cat ears. This cover, intrigued me to say the least. And then one thing lead to another, and now I am reviewing this album, Roman by Sound Horizon.

So after hearing the album I knew what the band was going for in terms of style. It was a more symphonic sound mixed with traditional rock elements, and it's a really great sound. The beat is on point a lot of the times and it also gives way to more slower and somber songs and interludes in the songs themselves. It has loud bombastic moments that intensifies what is going on in the album, and some mellow moments which gives a good blend of diversity. I especially love track 4, Norowareshi Hōseki. That beginning violin riff (is that even a thing?) is so good, plus the sound effects of what appears to be two kingdoms fighting is super good. I also love how it feels and sounds like a medieval fantasy anime, if that makes sense. Like I can envision this sort of music in a opening to animes like The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Black Clover, or Claymore, especially since this album released in the mid 2000s, and I just really dig it, it sounds fun and it sounds like the band was having fun making this.

However with all the praise I am giving, there should at least be some critique on this album, and that sometimes it feels like things aren't going much anywhere. A lot of times I expect some big thing that gets lead up in the song and it never really comes out. For example, track 7, Tenshi no Chōzō. It is a admittedly pretty piano piece, however I feel like it just never goes anywhere, since it doesn't have some big lead up or at least some lead up to a drum beat or a change in instrumentation or a new singer, and it kinda goes a bit too long being nearly 7 minutes, so I am just kinda looking at a watch waiting for the time to pass. While it could work in it's favor, I think this has a detriment on the album a bit to where I can say I love when the album hits hard and goes in a right direction, however I cannot say I like when it feels like it has no direction whatsoever.

So overall, I really liked this album. It was really cool, had a nice sound and it just felt fun, however I cannot say I fully love this album, due to at times it feels like they are kinda hitting a few walls and do not know where to go. I'll definitely check more of their albums out, and this feels like a good introductory to their sound. So yeah, good album, good experience, I definitely recommend checking it.

 Märchen by SOUND HORIZON album cover Studio Album, 2010
5.00 | 2 ratings

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Märchen
Sound Horizon Crossover Prog

Review by ct2651

5 stars Shooting at everywhere!

Sound Horizon has been a project since 2001 that has started slowly by publishing small instrumentals music mainly in a more classic style of music, it was also not that much original for a Japanese release. In 2004, the main composer and project mastermind Revo decided to make his first big album that will be entitled Elysion. He decided to invite some singer and many guest musician to form his first music hall that will become later not only an album, but his first show with comedian, singer and all that come with a project of this kind.

Today, the project has multiplied his complexity and has become something that must be remembered. Märchen, his fifth big project, is something quite peculiar for Sound Horizon, it's in fact the first time the project is heavily influenced by classic Märchen from Germany. It's also his second album to be extremely varied featuring symphonic metal to classic with everything in between. Moira, his predecessor, was the first to be this much varied, but was also incoherent in many ways. Shorter tracks on Moira weren't longer enough for the different ideas to be absorbed by the listener. On this album however, all the songs have a running time of over 6 minutes and 50 seconds except for the conclusion of the album.

The direct impact of this longer running time directly affect the flow of the song that sound as diverse as they could while still having the possibility to fully develop the different ideas without been overwhelming.

The sound of sound horizon is of the upmost crossover, containing classical reference to pure metal and metal guitar solo, rock guitar solo, waltz, folk of all kind, traditional Japan pop music, jazz, stage band, swing and even cabaret hall kind of music. Did I mention that they even mix in this pot some Darkwave music as shown at the beginning of the 7th song. That is where this project is today, and I think they write the most crossover album of at least Japan if not in all of Asia.

There is still place for improvement, Sound horizon sound a bit kitsch sometime and may disturbed people that prefer their music serious or not too happy. At the same time, Märchen is clearly their darkest album since their beginning. There is in fact three kind of people that shouldn't listen to this. First, people that don't like their music extremely varied. Second, people that detest Japanese lyrics and high notes singer and third, people that prefer to have only one mood in the course of their album. People that prefer a varied experience couple with many moods and style, and of course people that already like musical can't go wrong with this record that is the best the band has offer. It's still a five star because nothing in the world exist that is only a bit similar to this, and it's also great in too many ways to say it's only a "very good" four stars album. I consider this album not too much essential, but very close to that actually.

Thanks to honganji for the artist addition. and to DamoXt7942 for the last updates

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