Hm… This is quite an unusual release! Gonin-Ish is a Japanese band (as it’s easy to guess seeing the weird cover artwork) that exists from 1997. After the self-titled debut in 2000, “Naishikyo Sekai” is their second full-length album that was released in 2005 in Japan, but wasn’t distributed worldwide, until 2008 that “Season of Mist” decided to re-release it! Let’s see why…
When the first song “Tokoyami Kairou” began, I thought I was listening to an old unreleased Dream Theater song! After this 2-minute intro ended and the “real” album begun, the band convinced me it has its own personality! Their general sound in the orchestrations is progressive metal, but with very bizarre vocals and some Japanese folk touches. Their female singer and front-woman Anoji uses both clean vocals and extreme death-black metal screams and she kicks ass in both of them! Her clean vocals are really unusual with this characteristic traditional Japanese style, and they fit perfectly with the band’s sound. All lyrics are in Japanese (with some words from ancient dialects) but there are also translations in the booklet. Their themes come from local traditions, ancient history, as well as manga and anime.
Their sound and production are crystal clear and they are definitely very talented musicians. All of the songs demand great composing skills, in order to combine progressive metal, fusion, jazz, death metal outbursts, tranquil ballad-like passages and traditional music in a really solid result. Guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, used in innovative ways, will please your ears for more than 55 minutes. I believe this album will satisfy all open-minded listeners and especially progressive metal fans, since the word progressive takes its real meaning in “Naishikyo Sekai”. Of course you can get a taste of their music on the links below.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos