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Flied Egg / Strawberry Path - When The Raven Has Come To The Earth CD (album) cover


Flied Egg / Strawberry Path


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3.48 | 12 ratings

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4 stars Strawberry Path was the first band created together by Shigeru Narumo & Hiro Tsunoda. Under this moniker they recorded only one but highly entertaining album called "When the Raven Has Come to the Earth". How to describe music included on this disk? The easiest way could be to say: mix of Jimi Hendrix and Procol Harum plus a spoon of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Doesn't sound very "progressive" for you? OK, I admit that it's far away from being typical symphonic/progressive album but I can assure you that this raw, hard, psychedelic but in the same time still very "artsy" staff will stuck in your brain for a long time after you listen to it!

And now the tracks:

1. "I Gotta See My Gypsy Woman" - LP kicks off with very Hendrix-like song full of fuzzed electric guitar & heavy Hammond floods (keep in mind that Shigeru Narumo's playing both instruments!). It it based upon rather slow, bluesy tempo which can crash you like a tank! Hiro's voice is really similar to Hendrix's and I can say that his accent is even better than Jimi's, very British! Guitar solo in the middle is truly spaced out, full of strange "once loud-once calm" effects. Fantastic heavy psych.

2. "Woman Called Yellow 'Z'" - slightly repetitive boogie hard rock but I truly love it. Such mix of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, this time without any keyboards but "only" with great guitar lines. In fact all the time you can hear 2 completely different guitar lines here: one plays riffs and solos, while the other usually creates psych noises and background rhythms. Bass work (also Shigeru Narumo) is truly spectacular too.

3. "The Second Fate" - it's instrumental track completely different then 2 preceding tracks. "The Second Fate" has nothing to do with hard rock, it's a very melodic piece of music dominated by lush Hammond organ sound with additional rhythmic piano and electric guitar fills. Sounds like lost "Procol Harum" composition from their early, classic period.

4. "Five More Pennies" - the longest song of this album begins as a bouncy hard rock tune full of extremely engaging guitar and organ riffs. After that drums stop and Shigeru Narumo proceeds to slightly tiresome guitar soloing clearly influences by the most self-indulgent moments of Ritchie Blackmore. But after a while guitar is jointed by powerful drum beat again and Narumo's solos became much more interesting. Brilliant, flashy performance! And all of these noisy organ slides in the background, really great!

5. "Maximum Speed Of Muji Bird (45 Seconds Of Schizophrenic Sabbath)" - just splendid 45 seconds of beautifully played organ melody. Hammond sounds almost like real pipe-organ here and the whole piece resemblance similarity to some church music composed by J.S.Bach.

6. "Leave Me Woman" - definitely my favorite song of Strawberry Path and maybe even my favorite track in Narumo's career at all! Highly energetic track in the tradition of Deep Purple led by totally amazing, over-driven organ chops! Hammond B-3 solo in "Leave Me Woman" is also long enough to show all breathtaking tricks & ultra speedy melodies. Jon Lord would be proud to play such solo! Definition of heavy prog for me.

7. "Mary Jane On My Mind" - ultimately atmospheric ballad with very pleasant melody and female choirs in the background. Hiro Tsunoda's voice sounds enough passionate too. Strings arrangements and lush organ sound is another highlight here. And this catharsis, tear-jerking guitar solo... Good job! When I listen to this piece I can hear clear "Procol Harum" & "Brian Auger & The Trinity" influences

8. "Spherical Illusion" - it's definitely the least interesting piece on this LP. Main guitar riff sounds like directly stolen from one of Hendrix's albums but it's not the biggest problem here. The worst thing is that 3/4 of this track is occupied by long, tiresome drum solo. Huge misstep guys!

9. "When The Raven Has Come To The Earth" - beautiful instrumental with melody very similar to song "Mocking Bird" recorded by Barclay James Harvest. Melancholic flute, delicate piano, tears inducting weeps of the guitar and lush Hammond waves. Highly recommended autumn music :-).

In general "When the Raven Has Come to the Earth" maybe isn't as compelling piece of art as LP "Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine" recorded by these guys (+Masayoshi Takanaka) under Flied Egg moniker, but it's still definitely this kind of recording which you just have to check if you're fan of 70s prog/psych/art rock. Especially if you're fan of Jimi Hendrix, Procol Harum and Deep Purple, Strawberry Path can be "your thing". If you're a fan of Strawberry Path's style of rock, I can also recommend you to check other early 70s Japanese artists like: Speed, Glue & Shinki, Shinki Chen & Friends, Kuni Kawachi, The Happenings Four and - more experimental one - Food Brain.

I've always remembered that this album was more like 3,5 worth one, but after I listened to it recently once again, I'm sure that it's full 4 stars album for me.

ozzy_tom | 4/5 |


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