|Review: Gonin-ish - Naishikyo-Sekai|
Label: Season of Mist
Year released: 2005
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: March 14, 2010
Reviewed by: Jason Cominetto
Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (3 Votes)
Japan has brought the world many weird things. They invented Pokemon for god sakes! That being said, it is no surprise that the second release from Gonin-Ish is strange as fuck. The band is more progressive and jazzy than Sigh, and even share the same drummer on this recording (Junichi Harashima), but where Sigh implement avant-garde elements into a pre-existing genre, Gonin-Ish throw everything including the kitchen sink at the listener to create a genre and sound all their own. Conventional songwriting? Who needs it. Traditional harmonies? Fuck it, we'll make our own. How about keeping the average song three to four minutes in length? That's a good one.
By ignoring all the expected ways of songwriting, Gonin-Ish have created music that can only be described as systematic chaos: completely off the walls sound and energy that somehow meet the definition of music. However, with a sound so unique and wild as this, there are bound to be some faults, and Gonin-Ish is no exception. Many of the harmonies try so hard to be unusual that they just sound bad with the tone of their song. There are points when the attempt at being dissonant pulls off, but the times when they the chords just sound ugly are almost equal in number. Vocalist Anoji Matsuoka is also a hit or miss, with her clean vocals being beautiful yet many of her different screaming vocals sounding forced and off-putting. On top of that, many of the songs sound far too similar and are way too long. I tried listening to this album in its entirety once and it just gave me a headache... this is definitely one you have digest in small doses.
These flaws don't completely ruin the album, they just hold it back from being a potentially amazing release. There are a lot of great riffs and moments in this album, but in order to find them one must sift through a lot of music that they may not find too keen. For example, the final track "Akai Kioku (The Crimson Memory)" is twenty minutes long and has many awesome moments in it, but due to its length it is extremely hard to swallow, especially since all of the segments of the song don't necessarily flow together as well as they could. The first track, "Tokoyami Kairou (Eternally Dark Corridor)," is easily the best track one at just over two minutes, and perfectly captures the band with the most energy at their chaotic best.
My advice is to definitely listen to the first track and give the others a quick check if you enjoyed it. Gonin-Ish is not a band for everyone, but they deserve to be heard
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