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Bellaphon - Firefly CD (album) cover

FIREFLY

Bellaphon

 

Neo-Prog

3.74 | 39 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars BELLAPHON is a quartet from Kyoto, Japan, founded in 1981. Those who enjoy fresh, melodic instrumental prog will most likely be delighted by this album. The music contains soaring melodicism of symphonic rock and a tight jazz-rock flavour. Bassist Masahiro Torigaki had played in the Canterbury inspired band Ain Soph, which -- as well as Kenso -- is a good Japanese reference. From the Western world, it is sovereignly CAMEL that comes to the listener's mind. Many of the tracks could come from albums such as Rain Dances or Nude. Toshiro Tanaka's guitar sings very much in the Andy Latimer style, and Mitsutaka Kaki's synths have that airiness reminiscent of Peter Bardens or Kit Watkins.

The tracks of under six minutes such as 'Jade' and 'Mistral' are full of lively details and also the longer pieces flow nicely all the way. Unfortunately the album never reaches the same emotional power as Camel in their prime. Although the compositions are fairly well done and the musicians are skilled, on the long run I get a feeling that the true "soul" or "spirit" of the music is missing, to some degree. My rating is 3 stars, rounded up.

The band's active era came to an end the following year. Delphi (1995) contains some previously unreleased pieces and live performances, and it's notably less interesting than Firefly. In this millenium Mitsutaka Kaki has occasionally reassembled Bellaphon for live dates, seemingly without the steam for a full creative comeback.

Matti | 4/5 |

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