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Symphonic Prog • Japan

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Negasphere biography
Negasphere hail from Japan and were formed in 1977. Kawasaki Kaoru founded the group and played keyboards on both studio albums. In the initial stages of the band the sound was closer to Led Zeppelin rather than the Symphonic sound they would soon adopt, and Kaoru played bass also. Majima Hiroyoshi joined in 1981 giving the band a more definitive sound with his electric guitar playing. An instrumental album was released "Seishinkougakuyo Henyo", and a self titled cassette with music that was influenced by Atoll. There was a revolving door membership in the rhythm section, but finally stability came in 1982 with the addition of Tokutake Hiroshi on bass guitar, and later ex Mahojin member Sugano Shiro on electric drums. In 1983 they were joined by keyboardist Yata Toru and Negasphere hit the studios to release their debut album "Castle In The Air" in 1984.

The band played live with a number of vocalists but before recording the debut the latest vocalist retired leaving them without a singer for the album. Majima stepped in to sing and the band felt the sound was successful enough to maintain utilising the guitarist as lead vocalist for the year of 1984. The following year the band released their second album "Disadvantage" and opted to add a new vocalist Hirata Shiro who would lend her clear vocals to a more refined Symphonic sound, and allow Majima to focus on lead guitar. A live album was released in 1991 with some recorded material from 1985 and 1986 "Negasphere 1985-1986", with different band members to fill in for retired members, such as Bassist Keiichi Tezuka, drummer Toshihiro Domen, guitarist Osamu Watanabe, and Pianist Toru Yata. 5 songs were recorded on 6th May 1985 and 3 were recorded on 5 October 1986 at Silver Elephant, Kichijoji.

The band's sound may appeal to those who enjoy music from early Genesis, UK, T-Rat or Eloy.

~ Added by AtomicCrimsonRush ~

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Negasphere 1985-1986Negasphere 1985-1986
Made In Japan Records
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NEGASPHERE discography

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

3.30 | 5 ratings
Castle in the Air
2.23 | 4 ratings

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Negasphere 1985-1986

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Disadvantage by NEGASPHERE album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.23 | 4 ratings

Negasphere Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

2 stars "Disadvantage" , second album of Japanese band NEGASPHERE is not so good like the first, in real ( with some few exceptions) is far away from the other. These exceptions be in Track 2 "Change your Fate" , although some vocalizations are of "doubt taste".. the overture and main theme with Keyboard in "bells" timbre , a vigorous guitar accompaniment and varied rhythm section make at least a good track. Other exception is track 4 "However Hard May I Try" with a certain "orchestral" main theme, the track mix a bit of hard-rock and reminds in some moments KANSAS . In compensation the album reserves some moments of high displeasure, as for instance track 3 "Castle in the Air" where in spite a very good overture the music "falls" in a insipid and boring rhythm . In the track 6 "Through The White Darkness" is equal track 3 but, at this time not even the overture escape ! In resume with the exception of track 2 and 4 in relation to the first album , this one is a deception ! my rate is 2 stars !!!
 Castle in the Air by NEGASPHERE album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.30 | 5 ratings

Castle in the Air
Negasphere Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars NEGASPHERE "Castle in the air", taking in consideration the only review posted in P A and 4 ratings in total, the simple conclusion is : This Japanese Band is unknown for the most of P A community on the contrary of similar bands of the same country, as for instance NOVELA, TERU'S SYMPHONY ( lead by ex-Novela guitar player Terutsugu Hirayama ) and PALE ACUTE MOON, all of them with an superior average of ratings and reviews. In fact this band also is that have less releases (only 2 albums ) and probably is the reason of the lower number of reviews. However, I think which this first album if is not at the same level to the albums from the other bands, at least not is so inferior. The music of NEGASPHERE in this first album is more close of the symphonic prog as for example the majority Teru's Symphony albuns ( which shows a certain heavy-prog " flavoring". In real the heavy moments exists, like in overture of track 2 "Beyond Love" and in some moments with the electric guitar prominence, another peculiarity of this track is keyboard brief solo (starting 3 min 50 sec which remind Tony Banks style, in "Cinema Show" a epic track from GENESIS . In track 3 "Another Dawn is Breaking/" some parts of keyboards arrangements assumes something of electronic music, because the scale seems make by a programing sequence. The track 4 "Holy Ground Ceremony" is best theme of whole album; divided in several parts some of a "dose" of swing ! The last track " At Last Moment" is composed by CAMEL inspiration . In resume the album don't show no "weak" moment , the musicians are very good and if this album isn't a masterpiece, deserves a decent quotation . So, my rate is 4 stars !!!
 Castle in the Air by NEGASPHERE album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.30 | 5 ratings

Castle in the Air
Negasphere Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Among the lesser known names of the Japanese prog scene, Negasphere started in 1977 under the guidance of bassist/keyboardist Kawasaki Kaoru.In 1981 they were joined by Majima Hiroyoshi and Kaoru devoted himself only to the keyboard parts.Reputedly the band had a self- titled live cassette out around the time.Problems with the line-up prevented the band from recording an official LP and the problem was solved with the addition of ex-Mahojin Sugano Shiro on drums, Yata Toru on keys and Tokutake Hiroshi on bass.Finally a LP entitled ''Castle in the Air'' saw the light in 1984 on L.L.E. Records.

The sound of Negasphere was exactly in the middle of GENESIS-inspired mellow Symphonic Rock and the more fiery Symph/Fusion style of U.K. with good arrangements, extended instrumental parts but also a very mediocre recording quality.The band keeps a nice balance between vocal moments and long professional instrumental sections and there is always a mood for changing themes throughout.So a calm, mostly symphonic section with dreamy keyboard work and sensitive guitar parts is often followed by sharp and often double synth attacks, dynamic interplays and powerful grooves with an evident HOLDSWORTH edge on the guitar solos and a sound close to WAPPA GAPPA or MONGOL.Vocals were never the strong point of Japanse bands and Negasphere make no exception.Still the lyrics are sung in English with a bearable performance by Hiroyoshi.The biggest flaws come from the below average production and the plastic sound of electric drumming.

A very rare record by Negasphere yet a recommended release for fans of 80's Japanese Prog and all those who love the combination of 70's Classic Prog with Fusion.

Thanks to atomiccrimsonrush for the artist addition.

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