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TRACK LIST: 1. Intro 1:28 2. Reallusion 4:16 3. Parade 2:21 4. Lucifer's Child 5:45 5. Network Broken 2:57 6. Ominous Footsteps 6:43 7. Ran 3:48 8. Asels 1 2:06 9. Asels 2 4:24 10. Asels 3 0:58 11. Asels 4 4:54 12. Asels 5 3:46 13. Move Up 4:50 14. Time & Space 2:25 15. Fu-ga 5:24 All music: composed by Nishio & arranged by Show-Yen. LINE-UP: Yasuhiro Nishio - guitars Hiroaki Fujii - basses Masanobu Tonomura - drums Produced by Nishio & Fujii. Engineered by S. Miura at "Rag", Kyoto.
Prolusion. The eponymous Show-Yen album is certainly the debut output of this Japanese trio.
Synopsis. "Show-Yen" is an all-instrumental album, which is stylistically diverse and has quite a rich sound despite the fact that there are little overdubs on it. The music on six out of the fifteen tracks here: Reallusion, Ominous Footsteps, Asels 2 & 4, Move Up, and Time & Space (2, 6, 9, 11, 13, & 14) represents an amalgam of Classic Progressive Hard Rock and Cathedral Metal with elements of guitar-based Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion. The alternation of arrangements consisting of harsh and mild structures and frequent changes of tempo and tone are typical for each of the said pieces. While diverse and quite heavy as most of the other compositions on the album, Reallusion and Move Up are mostly based on a classic Rock & Roll. Lucifer's Child, Network Broken, and Ran (4, 5, & 7) are the heaviest compositions here and the stylistics that these three are done in is the triple union of Cathedral Metal, Prog-Metal, and Classic Hard Rock. Apart from varied interplay between solos of electric and bass guitar and those of drums, each of them contains passages of semi-acoustic guitar, some of which, by the way, resemble those of piano. Parade, Asels 5, and Fu-ga (3, 12, & 15) consist of mostly soft, yet, always intricate arrangements and are about a blend of guitar-based Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion with elements of Prog-Metal. Finally, all three of the shortest pieces here: Intro and Asels 1 & 3 (1, 8, & 10) feature only passages and solos of semi-acoustic guitar.
Conclusion. While there is hardly something outstandingly innovative in the music of Show-Yen, a peculiar sense of progressiveness and taste that these musicians have and which is quite typical for Japanese performers in general, makes this album sounding fresh and interesting. The absence of any obvious influences on "Show-Yen" is another trump that the guys have up their sleeves. Recommended.
VM: June 2, 2003
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