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CINEMA

Symphonic Prog • Japan


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Cinema biography
CINEMA can be classified as either an offshoot or a reformation of the long-running Japanese symphonic project FROMAGE, who disbanded in1991 after more than a dozen years and numerous lineups. Guitarist Tohru Ohta, drummer Yuichi Taniguchi and keyboardist Yoshihiro Kitamura, who were all part of the final FROMAGE lineup came together to form CINEMA in 1994 (only Taniguchi was an original member of FROMAGE).

While CINEMA retain a symphonic string presence in the band, their orchestral arrangements are more sparse than their predecessor, and much of the non-traditional sound comes from synthesized keyboards which are played by no less than three of the band's members. Their delicate arrangements can be compared to other chamber-leaning symphonic groups such as VERDUN or VIRGINIA ASTLEY, although the occasional guitar riff is closer to the melding of symphonic and neo-prog found in bands like KAYO DOT, including the use of native Asian percussion.

Like their forbearers FROMAGE, CINEMA tour mostly in Asia and release material sporadically, with only three studio albums to their credit in the past twelve years.

CINEMA deserve recognition in the Archives due to the symphonic nature of their music, complex arrangements and diverse instrumentation, and their pedigree as a second-generation progressive band.

Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

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CINEMA discography


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CINEMA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.14 | 7 ratings
The Seven Stories
1995
3.22 | 17 ratings
Into the State of Flux
2000
4.00 | 12 ratings
Mindscape
2004

CINEMA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CINEMA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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CINEMA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Into the State of Flux  by CINEMA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.22 | 17 ratings

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Into the State of Flux
Cinema Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars 3-4 stars, I hope I'll decide till the end of album which probably wouldn't be to hard because I have a lot of time. Oh, how I've end up stuck in listening "A Trick of the Waves" and "A Dayfly and Sunflower" over and over again ? And it's not because of voice.

I found voice somehow irritating, I'm not keen on opera thing, but it's listenable. "Dayfly" has perfect piano (or synth) tones right before drums and guitars came out. And in "Trick" it's few seconds part at 1:18 which is repeated variously thru the track. First two track I found just ... annoying. I didn't ever believed that I could say this so easily. It's not my style. "Flux" is too much electronic, or at least it sound synthetised (synth piano) and hollow inside, not real, without melody and too much agressive. And "Amber" without any catchpoint, nothing to hook on, or even enjoy. Then nice instrumental "Breeze", sharp contrast to first track. The rest of them is good. "Evening" with really calm mood inside. Three stars, but it's good one.

 Into the State of Flux  by CINEMA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.22 | 17 ratings

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Into the State of Flux
Cinema Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Cinema is one of the unnoticed japanese prog bands from the '90's and early this dacade, with 3 albums in their pochets.The band was formed by the ashes of another famous band from Japan Fromage, 3 members from that band made the final Cinema line-up in 1992. Into the state of flux is the second album of Cinema from 2000. The music of this album is very symhonic, but not in the way, for ex: Teru's Symphonia plays, is more towards classical side of symphonic prog, sometimes sounds like a truly full symhonic orchestra. Now the compositions are very smooth, sometimes very mellow, elegant and with a lot of emotions. Hiromi Fjimoto - the female voice is very smooth and very elegant in approaching the prog music, ex is:Memories of Amber. This symhonic prog is very well combined with some guitar interplays made by Tohru Ohta. The violin did a great contribution on this album made to sound very good and elegant ex is :A Dayfly and a Sunflower (this is one of the most beautiful, smooth and elegant piece I ever heared from a band from Japan) simply amazing piece, the album worth to have only for this single piece alone. The cherry on the cake here is their magnum opus - Color of Soul - a piece of nearly 20 minute of real treat for every prog listner, excellent. As a whole this album worth some spins, this is not that symphonic prog you listen every day, sometimes is hard to get in this kinda approach of prog, but when you do , leave you knock out. I will give 3 stars for this album, a good one in every way and enjoyble, but not quite a masterpice of prog music, I know better albums from Japan. The album is available on Musea records, so enjoy the symphonic side of Japan.
 Into the State of Flux  by CINEMA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.22 | 17 ratings

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Into the State of Flux
Cinema Symphonic Prog

Review by barp

4 stars Very much leaning toward the classical side of progressive symphonic music, 'Into the state of flux' is an album of fine elegant compositions and particularly cultured playing. Violinist Tokiko Nakaishi is particulaly impressive. It's probably fair to say this is more music for, and from, the head rather than the heart - but that's not always a bad thing. Well worth investigating for anyone who enjoys their prog on the classical side.
 Into the State of Flux  by CINEMA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.22 | 17 ratings

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Into the State of Flux
Cinema Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Cinema is founded on the ashes of Fromage, a fine Japanese progrock band that acted in the shadow of Outer Limits, Gerard and Ars Nova. This album has strong classical overtones featuring beautiful violinplay, sparkling piano, orchestral keyboards and opera- like vocals. The music evokes Pageant (lush symphonic atmosphere and sensitive electric guitar) and Outer Limits (classical instruments). The main part of this album contains the long track "Color of soul" (almost 20 minutes) featuring all the above mentioned elements and a wonderful Japanese undertone with a koto-like sound. If you like classical music and symphonic rock THIS IS ONE TO DISCOVER!


 Mindscape by CINEMA album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.00 | 12 ratings

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Mindscape
Cinema Symphonic Prog

Review by geezer

4 stars This Japanese group was founded from the ashes of Fromage that was an 80's Japanese progressive group. In this album the music is symphonic progressive with heavy classical influences. Actually, the music is more like classical progressive. They have a violin/viola player and there are guest musicians in violin and cello as well. These instruments are also very prominent in their music creating a very classical feel. The guitarist provides some really tasty solos. Keyboards are in the background and used to create a serene atmosphere. Cinema has also a female vocalist who sings in soprano style in Japanese language. She plays the piano as well. Another interesting thing is that they use two exotic instruments bouzouki and ocarina. Now, I have to admit that these instruments don't ring a bell to me. I suspect that these are traditional Japanese instruments. The other one sounds quite much like a recorder (don't know which one of the two) and it is really nice.

My version of this album is the Belle Antique one and the song titles are in Japanese. My favourite tracks from this album are the 1st, 4th and 6th track. Apparently these tracks are called "The Corridor of the Time", "The Tropic" and "The Sea without a Shore". This album in a whole is really laid back symphonic progressive with beautiful melodies.

Conclusion: Excellent classical symphonic progressive.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Ivan_Melgar_M for the last updates

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