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The Surgery — Holy Umbrella
(Silver Elephant PROG-0153, 1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01

Holy Umbrella Cover art

The Surgery is a trio of guitars, bass and drums, with guitarist Toshi Horisawa providing the predominantly English lead vocals, as well as some synths and programming. The album opens with a blistering hot fusion instrumental that recalls some of Mastermind's finest smokers, with a cool mallet sound carrying the lead and funky slapping bass. One other instrumental, "Tenroku Boogie," has a more Satriani-like approach, a high speed boogie-romp with plenty of excitement. The balance of the album are mostly ballads and more accessible prog-rock tunes that might remind some of Eric Johnson's vocal material. The playing is excellent throughout, with plenty of changes and spirited solos spicing most every song. The vocals are good, but tend to be rather commercial sounding, and occasionally the material approaches Asia (cringe) territory, as on the anthemic closer "The Other Side of the World." Overall, a mixed bag with plenty of hooks and outstanding musicianship.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): The Surgery

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