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Accept - 2014 - "Perpetual Flow"

(59:11, Prime Number Label')


1.  Perpetual Dance 6:28
2.  Bridge 4:33
3.  To the Self 6:03
4.  Hold on to Your Love 5:32
5.  Flashback 3:33
6.  Don't Cry Anymore 5:46
7.  When the Night Comes 5:56
8.  As Time Goes By 9:28
9.  Snowflake 4:35
10. Beyond That Hill 7:17 


Hisa  vocals; keyboards; sax
Daik  drums, programming 
Issey  guitars, bass
Taiki  concept 

Prolusion. The Japanese band ACCEPT is first and foremost the creative vehicle for composer and musician Hisao, and has been a recording unit for almost ten years, starting with the "Silver Moon" album from 2007. "Perpetual Flow" is the most recent of the four albums credited to this Japanese project, and was released in 2014 through the obscure Prime Number Label.

Analysis. It is stated that the main man behind this project has a strong affection for classic symphonic progressive rock, and then first and foremost in the manner it was explored by the big English bands back in the 70s. An affection that does show itself in the compositions at hand on this production too, but then mainly as a secondary feature. You can hear the roots and foundations in many of the compositions, ones that can be traced and tracked back to those origins, but the stylistic expression present is one that is much closer to the early 80s neo progressive bands. It's probably not all that incidental that many of those bands would also reference similar points of influence. Accept is a rather more versatile creative unit though, so while we do get a fair share of elegant, atmospheric excursions with elegant keyboard arrangements and careful supplemental guitars or electric piano that, in sum, wouldn't be out of place on any compilation aimed towards the tastes of a neo progressive-oriented audience, we're also provided with a few creations of a more cinematic and atmospheric nature, primarily instrumental at that, with references to artists such as Vangelis and at least to some extent Kitaro as well, although in the case of a piece such as Flashback it should be pointed out that the mood and atmosphere explored is one rather darker and more ominous than any of the aforementioned synthesizer wizards would ever explore. And on the subject of darker moods, we're also treated to a couple of excursions into landscapes with much of of a late 70s Pink Floyd sound to them, with To the Self the one that explores this most profoundly. The creations of Accept are all fairly well made excursions in most departments, but I would really have loved to hear this material given a much better production. The artist states that this album "is recorded mainly by analog-tape recorder and vintage-like digital process", which probably does explain the smooth but closed in sound a bit, but as I've heard many vintage albums with a much better sound and mix over the years something is a bit lacking in that department. If it is the mix and production, the quality of the recording equipment or both I can't tell, but the end result is a bit underwhelming in terms of how the material does sound. Those who are charmed by the sound of the cassette era probably won't mind, but for me, this was a detrimental aspect of the recording.

Conclusion. "Perpetual Flow" comes across as a pleasant and charming excursion into mainly neo-progressive-oriented landscapes, with a few detours into more atmospheric, gentle, cinematic landscapes on one hand and the more brooding late 70s Pink Floydian territories on the other, with a mix and production that add a distinct cassette era sound to the entire album. Especially due to the latter aspect, I estimate that this production will have a limited general appeal, but at least those who remember the cassette era in the early 80s neo progressive scene with fondness should consider to give this album a listen.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: November 16, 2015
The Rating Room

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