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Gerard - Ring of Eternity CD (album) cover

RING OF ETERNITY

Gerard

 

Neo-Prog

3.57 | 30 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Vigor and stylization are two major assets of Gerard's contributions to the worldwide progressive rock scene since the 80s, and as one can feel in each listen of their 2010 release "Ring Of Eternity", they continue to be. For this new prog-pomp-rock venture, keyboardist maestro Toshio Egawa continues to have bassist Atsushi Hasegawa on his side, with newcomers Kenich Fujimoto (himself an experienced drummer in the areas of art-rock, hard rock and prog) and Yasuo Sasai (a tenor rocker). More than a quartet per se, Gerard behaves and sounds like a keyboard-centered power-trio with an extra vocalist, and that's how I feel that this album should be perceived. "Rong Of Eternity" kicks off with the namesake instrumental, which sound Emersonianly electrifying, somewhere between the "Brain Salad" days and the "Emerson, Lake & Powell" approach. 'Night Before The Revolution' is the next in line, the first sung track: it states a midway between classic saga and first-album Asia with a bit of "1984"-era Wakeman included in the mix. The same line of work is followed in 'Justice And Faith', with the added factor that the bassist's input is more intricate, which in turn helps the band to make a more grandiose statement about their own progressive vision. But again, Egawa's keyboards are the instruments that fill the leading role non-stop throughout the band's excursions. 'Dawn After The War' occupies the next 10 minutes in the album: the instrumental parts are vibrant and intrepidly full of muscle, while the sung parts are slower. The suite's coda brings an aura of typically progressive distinction to its motto perpetuo, pretty much like the Impressionistic school. This piece has just revealed itself as a highlight. In many ways, the next track 'Long, Long Way To Your Soul' keeps the previous one's dominant solemnity going on, although its melodic structure makes it stand near tracks 2 6 3. The other suite in the album, 'Land Of The Dead', fills a 12 minute space with full symphonic splendor: again, we find an alternation of splendidly ravaging instrumental passages and softer sung sections. The album's closer is 'Love Save The World', a symphonic-related ballad that starts with interesting cosmic synth layers and a brief bass guitar solo, and then focuses in a Toto- meets-Asia main body. All in all, "Ring Of Eternity" is a modern progressive catalogue that does not turn out to be Gerard's best work, nor it breaks new ground in the realm of symphonic prog, but it is a good album that can be easily enjoyed and appreciated.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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