Exposé Online banner

Shingetsu — Live
(Musea FGBG-4571, 1979/2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

Live Cover art

I haven’t heard Shingetsu’s studio album, so this concert recording is my introduction to their music, and it’s quite a surprise. And like many surprises, it has both good and bad aspects. The good is the music itself – this is very tasty stuff, firmly in the footsteps of the English masters of prog, especially Genesis, but with enough originality and personality to lift it above mere emulation. The bad is the recording quality – I’ve heard audience boots better than this. But through the distorted drum sounds and the overloaded bass, you can tell this band was really cooking. They have a lot going for them. Vocalist Makoto Kitayama has a strong, somewhat androgynous sound nothing like any other singer I can think of. Haruhito Tsuda is a very versatile guitarist, able to handle delicate passages as well as scream out a solo. Keyboards are quite prominent, with band member Akira Hanamoto joined by guest Takashi Kokubo for walls of organ, piano, Mellotron, and synthesizers. The rhythm section (Shizuo Suzuki on bass and Naoya Takahashi on drums) provide muscular backing for the tunes – no wimpy artsiness here. They even have a few surprises up their sleeves, like the aggressive rock tune “She Can’t Return Home,” with its driving beat, tricky unison breaks, and a middle section with a strange synthetic voice. There are also occasional flashes of Japanese flavor, further distinguishing Shingetsu from the English bands. From the tiny pictures included, this must have been quite a spectacular show.

[Note: This release is from the same concert as the Belle Antique CD Akai Me No Kagami, with bonus tracks added.]


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 32, 2004 releases, 1979 recordings

Related artist(s): Shingetsu

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Yes - Talk – Here's yet another album with the Yes name on it that bears almost no resemblance to the band's classic period, essentially a Trevor Rabin solo album with Jon Anderson singing. First, I've...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues