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Review: Concerto Moon - Gate of Triumph
Concerto Moon
www.vap.co.jp/concerto/
Gate of Triumph

Label: VAP
Year released: 2001
Tracks: 11
Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 25, 2006
Reviewed by: Ulysses
Readers Rating
for:
Gate of Triumph

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (8 Votes)
Review


I haven't heard too much Neo-Classical music in my years as a reviewer, or even as a fan. This is the first encounter I've had with Neo-Classical Metal from Japan, and it's pretty damn pleasing. Sure, there's the typical Progressive Metal production job, keyboard wankery and fretboard masturbation, not to mention the "I-try-to-sound-like-James-LaBrie" vocals, but the overall package of Concerto Moon's Gate of Triumph is very enjoyable.

I don't know what's with the Japanese, but they really know how to fuckin' shred their guitar. Nearly every Japanese guitarist I've heard is a fretboard wizard, shooting bolts of awesome riffs at unwary fools. With Neo-Classical music the hyperspeed melodies are utterly mandatory, not that anyone would expect anything else anyways. The riffs may be the highlight on this album, but everything else is solidly delivered too. All the instruments can follow whatever twists and turns Norifumi Shima throws at them, so thankfully there's no confusion or imbalance in the music.

One of the things that did bother me with this album is that the production may be very crisp and clear and the guitar tone is just remarkably killer, but the drums are pushed way back and they're barely noticeable in some songs. This isn't TOO bad, seeing how the drums are regularly there to keep a stable beat in the music as the extravagant keyboard compositions follow hand-in-hand with the insanely swift or technical riffs. The vocals are not half-bad either, but they're rarely present in the album so I thought that was a bit of an indignity for this album.

This album is pretty cool, and I can say that I'll be looking for more of Concerto Moon, recommended release.

Other related information on the site
Review: Gate of Triumph (reviewed by Steel Warrior)
Review: Rain Forest (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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