Exposé Online banner

Electric Asturias — Elementals
((Not on label) AS-0005, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-05-18

Elementals Cover artThe band that started out sounding more like Mike Oldfield than the man himself has, over the course of almost thirty years developed their own style that sounds nothing like where they began, thanks to bandleader, composer and bassist Yoh Ohyama, who has carefully guided this ensemble through its long journey, over a long hiatus, and back to life into the dual configuration (Acoustic Asturias / Electric Asturias) instrumental versions that coexist together, featuring slightly different membership. Like almost all Japanese progressive bands, there is a strong emphasis on perfection, with evident long months of rehearsing until every note and melody, every drum beat, and every shift in mood is in the right place for maximum dramatic effect. The group this time is the same as their 2011 album Fractals, rounded out by violinist Tei Sena and keyboardist Toshohiro Kawagoe (both of whom also play in the acoustic version of the band along with a woodwind player), drummer Kiyotaka Tanabe, and guitarist Satoshi Hirata. There is a lot of flashy playing here, but make no mistake, every piece is fully composed and meticulously arranged, right down to the solos. The album’s centerpiece is the four part 28-minute “Suite of Elemental” that closes out the album with a fiery flash of melody and majestic power, but the four long cuts leading up to it are each equally impressive in their own right. Most Exposé readers should be familiar with Asturias, and Elementals is as powerful and intense as any they have done previously, but for those who may not have heard the band before, this latest release is as good a place as any to start.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Asturias

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Martin Gordon - The Joy of More Hogwash – Bassist Martin Gordon has spent the better half of his career backing a wide array of established pop stars from the lesser known Mael brothers (in Sparks) to Robert Palmer and Kylie Minogue. The Joy...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover

Heatwarmer new album out



Print issues