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Asturias - Cryptogam Illusion CD (album) cover





3.53 | 30 ratings

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3 stars On his third album album with Asturias composer Yoh Ohyama would make a slight stylistical turn.Akira Hanamoto was no longer a member of the band, instead Ohyama introduced two string instrumentalists, Udai Shika on cello and Tatsuya Murayamy on viola.The new album, titled ''Cryptogram illusion'', was released at the fall of 1993 on the King label.

The sound of the band remains fairly orchestral and continues to recall of the melodious and dreamy works of MIKE OLDFIELD, JEAN-PASCAL BOFFO and STEVE HACKETT, containing symphonic overtones and ethereal soundscapes.But this time the introduction of strings leads to some comparisons with compatriots OUTER LIMITS, although Asturias had a less virtuosic and dramatic approach, often flavored by some New Age-like arrangements.Moreover a few tracks are almost entirely based on strings, bassoon and piano, having a certain Chamber Music feel akin to AFTER CRYING.Other pieces, basically those containing a fair amount of electric guitars and synthesizer, come closer to instrumental Symphonic Rock with delicate breaks and interplays, their quality is often lowered by the choice Ohyama to use some programmed sounds and the somewhat average sound of keyboards, but the arrangements are fully elegant with lovely variations between electric-, keyboard- and string-based textures.The couple of synthetic moves, like on ''Glacier'' and ''Mistral island'', are not my cup of tea, very computer-based orchestrations with some MIKE OLDFIELD references, but the fake echoes of flute and the likes are certainly a turndown.Fortunately even the shortest guitar solo of Yoh Ohyama has something good to propose plus the trully interesting themes in here are much more than the questionable ones.

A pretty accurate work on the mellow, dreamy Prog Rock lines with a certain Mike Oldfield atmosphere.Not as good as the previous one, because programmed sounds are a bit too much on use, still very pleasant and entertaining.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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