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TRACK LIST: 1. Honet's Nest 5:54 2. The Day of Nautilus 5:11 3. Easy Going 5:36 4. Escapade 4:25 5. Doomsday Train 5:19 6. Sagent Staine 5:25 7. The Alchemist 5:02 8. Aerostation 5:50 All music: by Inoue, except 3 & 9: Hatsusaka. Produced & engineered by Inoue & Hatsusaka. LINE-UP: Noboru Inoue - guitars; keyboards; percussion Emi Hatsutaka - piano & synthesizers With: Takashi Morita - bass Takeshi Ishimaru - drums Satoshi Izutani - drums
Prolusion. After Igzit-Nine's eponymous debut album was recorded Morita, Ishimaru, and Izutani (see line-up above) quit the band and were replaced with bassist Hideyuki Shima and drummer Hiroshi Matsuda (both of >Six North).
Synopsis. It is always easier to write negative and 'mixed' (with some criticism) reviews than positive, and especially highly positive and praising ones, which I recently did very often with regard to the works of contemporary Japanese bands. In the latter case, repetitions are inevitable, and such reviews can in many ways resemble each other. Sorry if so. After all, Progressor is a one-man team. Well, the hero of this review is another album of Japanese Prog that I liked very, very much, which is certainly because, Igzit-nine (as well as many other contemporary Japanese bands) and I have a propensity to complex forms of music. It's clear, why such already well-known musicians as both of the aforementioned members of Six-North joined this young outfit. The band plays truly unique music (just incomparable - by all means), which, moreover, is of such a high compositional and performance level that many veterans of the contemporary Prog Rock movement would only dream of. "Igzit-Nine" is an album of quite a uniform stylistics representing an incredibly fresh sounding blend of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion This is a major achievement, taking into account that a confluence of these genres lies in the basis of music of literally thousands of the other groups. In pure form, it is available on The Day of Nautilus, Easy Going Doomsday Train, and Sagent Staine (2, 3, 5, & 6), and with the addition of elements of Prog-Metal on the other four tracks: Honet's Nest, Escapade, The Alchemist, and Aerostation (1, 4, 7, & 8). The parts of electric guitar, piano and synthesizer are at the helm of arrangements throughout the album, and those (both passages and solos) of acoustic guitar join them on Sagent Staine and Aerostation. All the music on the album is thoroughly composed, and with the exception of the opening track: Hornet's Nest, there are not that many even improvisation-like solos, not to mention real improvisations.
Conclusion. I am giving "Igzit-Nine" the status of The Album of Update (if it's possible; though, why not?), and of course, it should be obvious that I regard it as one of the best efforts of the year. Highly recommended to all the Classic Progressive Rock lovers, except those into Prog-Metal.
VM: December 13, 2003
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