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(48:47, Musea Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Red Moon Prolog 1:34 2. I Don't Need Anything Else 6:49 3. Anyone is Loved by Someone 6:14 4. Time Like an Arrow 4:53 5. Jennifer 4:58 6. Sharan 5:39 7. Icarus 4:38 8. Time Perplexes Time Oneself 5:55 9. Red Moon Epilog 8:07 LINEUP: Hisashi Furue - guitars; recorder; keyboards; vocals Shigeharu Toyooka - keyboards, piano Michanobu Matsuhashi - drums; b/v May - basses; b/v Kanako - lead vocals
Prolusion. Veterans of the Japanese scene ZETTAIMU (the group has existed since 1983) present their fourth CD "Miroque", following "What Can I Do" (2004), "In the Decadent Times" (1999) and "My Grandma Says" (1989).
Analysis. Compared to its predecessor, this new release by Zettaimu is definitely a step forward in terms of both composition and style. The Pink Floyd influence is out, the flavor of the group's native tunes is in, and although the music is still instantly accessible and is for the most part pastoral in character, the number of proto-progressive pieces this time around exceeds that of prog-tinged ones, only one of the disc's nine tracks, Jennifer, having a pronounced pop feeling. This is also the only song with English lyrics here, and I must say the band's turn to their native language is greatly to the benefit of their overall sound. Well, the two instrumental cuts, Red Moon Prolog and Red Moon Epilog, are not very strong compositionally either, each drawing atmospheric Ambient, but both are surprisingly effective: situated at beginning and end, they finely frame the album's core material. The highlights would be the last two songs, Icarus and Time Perplexes Time Oneself, both of which stand out for some frenetic, sophisticated, genuinely progressive maneuvers, at times with a good King Crimson vibe.
Conclusion. While still hardly a person:-) of exalted rank (meaning from a classic progressive standpoint), Zettaimu is a group whose progress from release to release is obvious and is much appreciated.
VM: November 12, 2007
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