Yuhkinen - Far beyond the seven seas 3.5/5

Reviewed: 10-1-11





Tracklist:

1. Yuhkinen
2. Far beyond the seven seas
3. Kraken
4. Mourning star
5. XXX
6. Ivory
7. Impulse
8. The spirits of dark and lonely water
9. Bump and grind
10. Triumph & glory
11. Believe


Yuhkinen is a side-project of Yuhki, keyboardist of the long-running and consistently excellent Japanese neo-classical power metal band Galneryus, and 'Far beyond the seven seas' is the band's debut. There's no doubt that it emanates a lot of experience, as not only has Yuhki established himself as an outstanding musician, there are also a lot of guest musicians from bands like Alhambra, Ark Storm, Light Bringer and some others. So there are different vocalists - all solid, and the songs are sung in English, which isn't always the case with Japanese bands.

Musically, the CD contains a nice balance of tempo, and while mostly power metal, there are many progressive parts and overall the styles are blended quite well. Obviously there are a lot of keys, but there is plenty of great guitar work too. Actually, 6 of the 11 songs are instrumentals, and I'm not talking short interludes, but instead regular song-length instrumentals with fantastic solos - both keyboard and guitar. In addition, a good portion of the CD has amazing neo-classical segments, which is normal from a Japanese band like this.

For general band comparisons, Yuhkinen sits somewhere in the group containing Concerto Moon, Galneryus, Black Masquerade, Double Dealer, Rekion and Ark Storm. Since I'm a regular listener of Japanese power metal, I'm liking this a lot, and it matches the quality of most of the CDs from these mentioned bands, though it doesn't quite reach the best Galneryus CDs. Still, if you're a fan of Japanese neo-classical progressive/power metal, this is more than just a worthwhile purchase.



CLINT




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