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Midas - Third Operation CD (album) cover

THIRD OPERATION

Midas

 

Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 9 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Midas approached their third musical operation with real vengeance: "Third Operation" finds the band at thier strongest regarding both sonic power and composition. The presence of stick and bass synthesizer in the melodic half of the rhythm section serves as an introducer of new cadences in each track's tempo. Of course, violinist Eigo Utoh, as the main conductor of the ensemble, uses his instrument as a proper vehicle for the development of each piece under the empowered frame created by the band; the electric violin feels really loud, as do the keyboards, very reminiscent of Jobson during his glory days at UK's helmet. 'T.V. Illusion' kicks off the album with rich melodies and full sound, delivering a sense of optimistic vibes to the fore: Tohji's synthesizers' input at times makes the band's sound like a keyboard-based power trio with an added violin, but this superficial imrpession vanishes instantly everytime Utoh delivers his usual prescise solos and phrases. The opener's rocking energy is moderately sesoned with some jazz- rock timbers provided by the rhythm section. The catchy instrumental 'Flying Denture II', one of the album's highlights, goes a bit deeper into the jazz thing under a funky scheme for its opning section: things don't take too long before turning on the symphonic prog side of things, naturally featuring Utoh's violin. This track's main body can be described as some sort of Curved Air-meets-post- Bardens Camel. Really, its 4'20" span feels a bit short - personally, I wouldn't have minded if it had been more expanded across some of its motifs, especially the opening one, which still linger's in the listener's mind during the whole track despite not being reprised anywhere. 'Angelic Lights' is a very melodic soft rock piece with progressive arrangements: its overall mood may remind us of Vienna's early era, only with a leading violin and less guitar. The nice chord progressions that build up toward the track's coda bear a captivating lyrical vibe, which makes the final bravato quite weird. 'Common Factor' bears a psychedelic density, an elements that feels very helpful when it comes to creating interestin variation among the album's recurrent atmosphere, based on stylish symphonic rock with a modern attitude. Once again, the UK influence feels close to home, but Midas recycles this influence via the use of sonorities more akin to a harder edged symphonic style. You won't find complex tempo shifts on this one, but you will certainly enjoy the fluid passage from various different ambiences that go on succeeding each other without losing an ounce of integral cohesion as a whole. In a similar way to track 3, Midas knows how to come up with melodic hooks and then adorn them with inventive resources - for this one, the band chooses to explore a chain of partial climaxes and anti-climaxes all the way toward the closing crescendo, which fades out among the noise of firing shotguns and people running everywhere. The 12-minute opus 'A Winter Breath - The Lovers' sets the only moment of sheer calm of the album. The dual acoustic guitars (courtesy of Utoh and stickist Matsuura) display a clean, bucolic mood a-la Anthony Phillips, upon which the violin lines evoke silent memories full of nostalgia. A few seconds before minute 3, a set of keyboard textures emerges as a brief splendid momentum, before the dual acoustic guitars return, this time to focus the intro theme to 'The Lovers', a soft ballad with a strong contemplative mood. Although the use of delicate background synth and acoustic guitar is prominent, the track finds a pertinent closure with the moderately bombastic full- band coda: to put it simply, the violin lines are astonishingly beautiful. 'Strings Conversation' is the other instrumental, bringing a mood similar to that of track 2, albeit with some Arabic tones in a couple of motifs. Its 8 minute span gives room to expansions where the violin and the synth indulge themselves in creating effective solos. The closer 'On the Earth' fulfills the picture in its compact summarization of the ambiences comprised in tracks 1-3, with a special emphasis on the lyrical tendencies. "Third Operation" is, all things considered, an excellent prog item - the leagcy of Midas should be more appreciated among symphonic prog lovers, to say the least.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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