Exposé Online banner

Ie Rai Shan — Ie Rai Shan
(Made in Japan MJC 1005, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01

Ie Rai Shan  Cover artRemember Pageant, Providence, Mr. Sirius, and the better days of Japanese symphonic rock? Well, don't say they don't make music like that anymore — because Ie Rai Shan is proof true that they do. Take a big, lush, symphonic sound a-la Novella era Renaissance, mix in some harder rock elements, add an outstanding vocalist to match, and blend it with some unique Japanese cultural elements, and you're getting very close to the light. I am frequently reminded of Pageant's La Mosäique de la Rêverie or Providence's ...And I'll Recite an Old Myth. Ie Rai Shan ranks among the best of them. At the forefront is vocalist Naomi, exceptional in every way — powerful, intense and compelling, she makes me understand Japanese! Singing solo and harmonizing with herself she brings an uncompromising energy to each of the album's seven tracks. Also in the lineup are veterans Ikkou Nakajima (ex-Pageant) on guitars, and Katsuhiko Hayashi (ex-Mugen) on Hammond XB-2, Prophet 5, Mini-Moog, Poly-6, ARP Pro- Soloist and a whole battery of other keyboards and devices giving their sound a wide array of voices and colors. Katsunori Hamada (ex-Pale Acute Moon) plays electric bass, and Shinjiro Inoue — the only name here besides Naomi that I'm not already familiar with, handles the drum kit. In addition, Junko Minobe (of Cinderella Search) adds violin on a few tracks. Musically, the band covers plenty of ground within the symphonic sphere, and only on a couple tracks with simple boom-bash/neo-prog style drumming do I find any reason to doubt my enthusiasm for this album. Overall, though, this is classic symphonic prog, the way it was meant to be. Fans of any of the aforementioned bands should find much to enjoy in this.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 6, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Ie Rai Shan

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Secret Oyster - Vidunderlige Kælling – While listening to this album, I find myself often comparing it to Camel’s Snow Goose. For one thing, there is a certain stylistic similarity, as they are both keyboard-centric instrumental rock...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues