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Ars Nova (JAP) - The Book Of The Dead [Aka: Reu Nu Pert Em Hru] CD (album) cover


Ars Nova (JAP)


Symphonic Prog

3.46 | 55 ratings

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3 stars For the first time Ars Nova visited Europe to promote the release of ''The goddess of darkness''.I guess Musea Records had something to do with this, as it was the label that decided to take the risk and promote the next album of the band in Europe.However in October 1997 Kyoko Kanazawa left Ars Nova and his replacement was ex-Deja-Vu Ken Ishita, who played alongside Motoi Sakuraba at the time.The fourth album ''The book of the dead'' was released in 1998 on Musea and Made in Japan with a surprising vinyl issue the following year by Black Widow Records.

Structurally ''The book of the dead'' is a mix of extended Symphonic Rock pieces with some odd, Ethnic-styled interruptions inbetween (propably to come close to the Egyptian roots of the concept as displayed in the cover) and the style was nothing else than monster, keyboard-based music with E.L.P. and RICK WAKEMAN overtones, owning the already familiar pompous keyboard stylings of Japanese bands.To my ears it lacks the composing quality of the previous album, although much of its bombastic sonority and dark atmosphere is present on the album.It appears that Keiko Kumagai has thrown a ton of orchestral moments in the album to produce an unmet grandieur, somewhat trying to avoid too many keyboard cliches and KEITH EMERSON-like organ and synth orgasms.On the other hand her ability on keyboards is what makes the Ars Nova sound so familiar to the prog listener and she won't dissapoint any fan of the band despite the heavy display of powerful orchestrations: Impressive piano isolations, virtuosic organ solos and full-blown symphonic synthesizers all the way with series of dramatic executions and evident Classical orientations.Great instrumental work, which still holds some more romantic moments and melodic hooks among the sea of organ/synth flashes and solos.The album is fairly consistent with impressive twists between moods and climates and a typical Japanese pomposity.

You know what you get with each and every Ars Nova release: Keyboard-dominated Symphonic Rock with references to the vintage trio's of classic Prog Rock.Another nice and strongly recommended work by the Japanese team...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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