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(59:21, Vital Music)
TRACK LIST: 1. Unacceptable-3 6:57 2. The Contact 6:13 3. Spring 3:52 4. Silver Moon 7:01 5. Between Reality & Fantasy 8:50 6. Beginning 2:46 7. Swallowed 0:51 8. Kaleidoscope 2:06 9. Tell Me How 5:24 10. Silver Water 4:59 11. Look Up 1:11 12. Puer Aeturnus 9:12 SOLO PILOT: Hisa – guitar, bass; vocals; programming With: Izu – vocals (1, 2)
Prolusion. ACCEPT, not to be confused with the legendary German heavy metal band of the same name, is a Japanese outfit. The information of the homepage indicates that this is mostly a solo work by Hisa, and that “Silver Moon” is the debut release by this project. The work on this album started in 1990, and in 2007 it was released on Vital Records, a sub-label of Japanese Poseidon Records. As stated at the homepage of Poseidon: "The music is primitive, but has a lot of possibility".
Analysis. “Silver Moon” is a segmented release, starting with five standalone compositions exploring slightly different musical landscapes, followed by a conceptual piece divided into seven parts. The musical style explored in these compositions is of a symphonic nature, the soundscapes being lush, melodic and dreamy. Opening tune Unacceptable-3 is characterized by layers of keyboards conveying a highly melodic and symphonic sound, jazz-influenced bass guitar, some folk music inspired segments and Japanese vocals by female guest vocalist Izu. The Contact continues the symphonic tendencies, but this time with more funk-influenced segments in addition to the jazz-inspired bass, and a pop-oriented chorus that would not have been out of place on a Pet Shop Boys or Frankie Goes to Hollywood album. The folk element returns on Spring, in this particular case with influences from Japanese folk music mixed with symphonic keyboards as an instrumental piece. On Silver Moon a more traditional folk music is mixed with lush symphonic keyboards and jazz-tinged bass, with a nice addition of atmospheric electric guitar soloing at the end of the tune. Between Reality & Fantasy is the last of the standalone tracks, opening with fragile melodic keyboard textures evolving into a dreamy, heavily jazz-influenced melodic tune transforming into a melodic, symphonic rock theme before returning to a jazzier style again at the end. Beginning starts the concept creation, a piece dominated by acoustic guitar, piano and keyboard layers, evolving from a mellow melancholy mood to one more harsh and aggressive. Swallowed is a short cut with dark, rhythmic synth sounds conveying a highly sinister atmosphere; Kaleidoscope is a weird tune, sounding much like a melody played backwards with keyboard layers and violin-like sounds added to create a melody of sorts. Tell Me How explores a fragile and mellow setting with careful use of keyboards and rhythms getting slightly more intense towards the end, while Silver Water goes back to a symphonic rock setting with lots of slight changes in style throughout the song. Folk influenced segments, jazz-inspired bass licks and a multitude of keyboard layers are characteristic traits in this part of the concept piece, and there's even a segment with guitar shredding inserted way back in the soundscape to add tension and dynamics. Look Up is another brief cut combining bird like sounds with sinister melodic fragments, before Puer Aeternus ends the album with another symphonic workout, starting out mixing symphonic segments with calmer segments dominated by vocals and piano only, evolving into a lush symphonic landscape with extensive use of keyboard layers and atmospheric guitar soloing. All songs here are slow-paced; most of them symphonic in nature, with mellow, dreamy atmospheres and moods explored. Some jazz-influences and folk influenced segments add variation along with a few brief tracks that for the most part can be said to be mood pieces rather than songs as such. Still, most of this release can be said to be lush, melodic and atmospheric, indeed slightly too much so. At least to my ears, there are too few elements creating tension and nerve, the longer songs and segments in particular getting too repetitive and slightly too long.
Conclusion. If slow-paced, dreamy and atmospheric symphonic rock sounds like a good thing to you, then this is a release that should be high on your list of music to check out. People fascinated by extensive use of keyboard layers to create symphonic atmospheres might also find this release worth checking out. Other categories of listeners should look elsewhere.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: March 15, 2008
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