~ ASIA & Australia ~
INTERPOSE+ - Interpose+
In 2005 I was very pleasantly surprised by this new Japanese band and their eponymous debut album, what an incredible high level of musicianship and what a compelling atmospheres in the five compositions (between 7 and 11 minutes): lots of dynamic shiftings moods, pleasant female vocals and great soli on electric guitar, synthesizer and violin (Akihisa Tsuboy from KBB) in the jazzrock inspired Aircon, awesome violin-Mellotron flights, a great build-up featuring moving, often howling electric guitar runs and a spectacular synthesizer soli and a final part with classical guitar in Dayflower, dynamic and powerful interplay (guitar, piano, rhythm-section) and many fiery and howling electric guitar soli (including wah-wah) in Zitensia, a great build-up featuring warm female vocals and tender piano runs, then gradually more lush featuring a sensitive electric guitar solo and a final part with beautiful classical guitar and just another splendid, very sensitive electric guitar solo in Koibumi and from dreamy with slow and sensitive jazzy guitar runs, soaring keyboards and strong drums to dynamic with sensational synthesizer flights, fiery electric guitar runs, a propulsive rhythm-section, swirling Hammond organ solo and harder-edged electric guitar in Last Signs. To me this album sounds as one of the best Japanese progrock albums ever made, I am sure it will please both the symphonic rock fans as the more jazzrock inspired aficionados (who love Mahavishnu Orchestra or fellow Japanese band Providence.
DPRP have also reviewed their Indifferent release in 2007.
KBB – Live 2004
Here is another great discovery, the new and very promising four piece band KBB. On this Live 2004 CD you will find two tracks from their first album entitled Lost And Found (2000) and four tracks from their second one entitled Four Corner’s Sky (2003) along the new song Inner Flames. I knew KBB from the second CD and was very impressed about the high level and splendid violin work. Well, on this live CD I was even more impressed, what a dynamic sound, what an excellent musicians and what an exciting soli on violin and keyboards! The seven compositions sound pleasant and flowing, the focus is on the amazing interplay and the frequent soli. And these soli are often mindblowing: the violin alternates from warm and sensitive to flashy and very distorted (a kind of Ritchie Blackmore on violin!) and the keyboards from spectacular pitchbend driven on the synthesizer to swirling on the Hammond organ and swinging on the piano. The support by the rhtyhm-section is very dynamic and propulsive. KBB their melodic sound is close to fusion (like Mahavishnu Orchestra) but also worth to explore for symphonic prog fans, especially the Eddie Jobson aficionados although the violinist plays more in the vein of monsieur Jean Luc Ponty. Highly recommended!
DPRP have also reviewed their Proof Of Concept release in 2007.
GAVIN O’LOGHLEN - The Poet And The Priest
No doubt Gavin is a very versatile and creative mind, he’s actor, author, composer, musician and responsible for many album releases, theater productions, plays for movies, he has a grade in ‘drama’ and lots of experience in music, theater music, drama and as a session-musician he joined on many records. Quite an impressive curriculum vitae that started to shape when Gavin began learning bagpipe at the age of eleven. He took part in Highland competitions in several groups and then he focussed on learning guitar, keyboards and flute. Influenced by the progrock by early Genesis, King Crimson, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel started to integrate the keyboard sound in his theater productions that became more and more bombastic and complex. If you visit his website, you will discover how prolific Gavin is!
On the CD The Poet And The Priest the concept story is about two young friends and the development of their friendship and life. The music sounds like melodic symphonic prog featuring lush vintage keyboards, sensitive electric guitar work and pleasant vocals that reminds me of fellow Australian Les Dougan (from legendary Australian neo-progrock band Aragon) and Fish because of the tonation. Although the sound is often laidback, this is not an album to get asleep because of some varied and dynamic tracks like the alternating Lovers (heavy church-organ sound, a delicate strings-sound and fluent synthesizer runs), The Open Road (great build-up with howling guitar and sumptuous keyboards), The Pit (wonderful keyboard sound delivering The Mighty Tron, church-organ and spectacular synthesizer flights), the Marillion-like The Open Road Revisited (mid-tempo with inspired vocals and moving guitar), the very symphonic Bird Of Life (beautiful work on the Mellotron and a lush Hammond organ sound) and the strong final song The Dance (very compelling with fine vocals and keyboards). Don’t expect groundbreaking or complex prog, just enjoy this honest tribute to symphonic prog featuring tasteful arranged tracks and wonderful vintage keyboards!
LINKS: Website | MySpace
(THE) THIRD ENDING – The Third Ending
This Australian four piece band was founded in 2002 by a group of friends who started to make music along with the drinking of some beer (according to their biography)! It lasted until 2006 (perhaps because the poor quality of Australian beer?) until they finally succeeded to make their debut album, it was released by USA label ProgRock Records. The Third Ending sounds modern and alternating, often from dreamy with acoustic rhythm guitar, piano and warm vocals to compelling with lush keyboards (frequent violin-Mellotron sound) to prog-metal-like atmospheres featuring propulsive drums and varied, powerful guitar work (from slide-guitar to heavy riffs and sensitive soli). Listening to The Third Ending often Dream Theater comes to my mind but also Rush due to the dynamic, clear and modern sound. My highlights are Can You Hear Me? (alternating with wonderful acoustic guitar solo and a howling guitar solo, supported by violin-Mellotron waves), Falling (also very alternating with great tension between heavy guitar riffs and ominous sounding choir-Mellotron, this is Progheaven!) and Coming Around (a sensitive guitar solo with pleasant organ waves and an exciting break delivering propulsive guitar riffs and sumptuous keyboards). To me this debut-CD sounds very promising, I hope this wil not be just another one-shot-band!
LINKS: Website | MySpace