If there’s one japanese band that is healthy, talented and full of experience that is Kenso. One of the bands that has impressed me more in these last years and without any doubt the best group coming from the land of raising sun. And why?, because they are a band that has known how to dose their great talent and distribute it so well that it has let the musicians to survive many years without much problems.
A band that has an excellent record collection including some big and important ones such as, “Sparta” (1989), “Yume No Oka” (1991) or “Esoptron” (1999) and a lot of great live albums.
The thinking head of the band is Yoshihisa Shimizu a guitar maestro and a brilliant genius in terns of composition and mixing different styles and create a great progressive music.
The music of Kenso is a bunch of elements coming from the most important influences of Mr. Shimizu, so what we can find in their music is a seventies hard-rock element (Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Led Zeppelin), all together with jazz elements and typical oriental-folk sound coming from some of the acoustic instruments that they use. One of their best ingredients are the keys, soft and delicate a la Wakeman and rough and aggressive a la Emerson all together, and that is something very exiting about their music.
A great show that leads us to their last album, recorded after their spectacular performance at the Progfest, where the band made the audience held their breath during the gig.
Apart from Yoshihisa Shimizu that takes over all the guitars and some synths, the band is formed by Kenichi Oguchi (organ & synths), Kenichi Mitsuda (piano, accordion and synths), Shunji Saegusa (bass) and Masayuki Muraishi (drums & V-drum).
The record itself is like all the pieces or elements that i’m telling you above have their own space. The main instrument is the guitar opening wild pieces like the first one “Fist of fury” very much in a hard-rock bane. Although the record also dedicates their time to introduce the fusion between the jazz and sweet and smooth folk passages using instruments like the accordion or even the Flamenco chanting. A CD that looks for, like in all Kenso’s works, the perfect combination between the easter elements and the western ones, and that makes the sound of this japanese group so unique.
Following with their last work , after the first song “Fist of fury” we find a collection of pearls like “The Cunning madrigal” or the spectacular fusion of progressive and jazz in “Wooden horse pathos”. Then we can hear a group of short songs that fills the central part of the CD and where we can notice the how detailed and well done is their work. “A way of living as Taro” is one of the best ones with an impressive work at the keys, “A grim diary” or “Amalgamation of self and others” can only be created by someone that knows very well what he is doing and with many years of experience. All of them are unmistakably 15 fantastic songs.
If you have the opportunity to get this record don’t miss it. With this last work Kenso has gone a little bit further and they have improved their previous record and they have proved to everybody how good they are.