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Angel'in Heavy Syrup - Angel'in Heavy Syrup IV CD (album) cover


Angel'in Heavy Syrup


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.96 | 17 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars A kiss of sweet syrupy vocals over a lava flow of spacey guitars

Japanese psych prog is not an area I am accustomed to but this is a dynamic release from the foxy Japanese girls known as Angel'in Heavy Syrup. The first thing about this band that hits me between the eyes is the twin guitar work of Mine Nakao and Fusao Toda. These ladies can really play, and it is a ferociously original spacey atmosphere that they generate. A fusion of tripping freakout chaos and quiet meditative ambience. This is backed by accomplished bass from Mineko Itakura and a constant rhythmic section with Tomoko Takakura's percussion, who also excels on flute.

The tracks are very odd and extremely diverse beginning with 'First Love' featuring the vocals of Minekoma and a vibrant fuzzed guitar sound. The drumming is fast and frantic at times building tension that is then released with melancholy harmonious passages of gentle guitar work. There is a trance like psychedelic noise that grips the ear as this motorvates along. A great start. This track features on the 2002 compilation, "The Best of Angel'in Heavy Syrup", as does the last track, 'Fate'.

'A Series Of Water Mind ~ Rubens And The Cathedral' is a strong composition with huge splashes of phased guitars and frenetic basslines. There are very melodic lead riffs that are angular and encased in odd time sig patterns. The angelic harmonious vocalisations are pretty, ethereal and ghostly with haunting elegance. It builds to a darker tone at 2:40 with ascending and descending 'ahs' and 'ohs'. This is one of my favourites on the album and it really grows on you.

'Voyage' is a 7:39 exploration of fastidious guitar work and massive drum patterns. The bassline is wonderful, an incessant rhythm is maintained underneath wah wah pedal effects, very psychedelic. Cymbal crashes fracture the tranquillity, like waves of volcano lava over a lush, green meadow. The high pitched pulchritudinous angelic vocals are spine chilling; she sings with imperfect almost whispered intonation, a breathy sugar sweet sensuality oozes through and coats the dark psychscape with bright rays of light.

'Adios In Those Days' is a fast tempo spaced out work, with huge dollops of pitchy guitars and sonic staggered vibrations. Mine's Japanese vocals return as another instrument, augmenting the sound and raising it to a level of beauty. Her vocals echo in the distance with a high octave range and emotional depth. There is an effective lead break toward the end that has melodic energy and swells with string bends and picking. Great track and another highlight.

'Space Conquest' is a short burst of sound with screaming fuzzed guitars that fuse into a freakout of noise, with spacey effects and no time signature. The free form style is gripping and then it settles in to Hawkwind territory with guitar slices and cymbal crashdowns. The instrumental works as a pleasant transition point to the next excellent track. It builds to a crescendo and suddenly ends.

'Fate' wraps things up with a mini epic that clocks in at 11 minutes. The music soars along a stream of polyrhythmic jagged guitar chord structures. A rhythm guitar strums while lead psych melodies trill with remarkable organic fluency. The confidence of the music is stunning, the ladies just blast away without a care what others may or may not think, and the result is an original progressive work of art. The instrumental becomes repetitious for a time until at 3:40 the high octave vocals chime in, just in time to maintain interest. It is like Renaissance meets Hawkwind in a sense. Those space rock metrical shifts and soprano vocals make strange bedfellows. At 8:10 the guitars become aggressive and hypnotic motifs lock in with estranged singing that returns again. At 10 minutes the vocals are more angst ridden, crying out, and then the guitars take over with dominant trilling and speed picking. This is the best track on the album. I am just in awe that these ladies have produced such a sound and a consistent style that is purely their own. Taste and see for yourself; this is compelling space rock.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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