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TRACK LIST: 1. 5th Drive 5:11 2. Techno Dream 4:36 3. Echo Wind 6:47 4. Dancing Magma 8:03 5. 423 7:05 6. Swing & Square 9:47 7. Asian Illusion 6:36 8. This Way 8:51 All tracks: composed, produced, & engineered by Cherno. LINE-UP: Shin Sugawara - wind synthesizer Junichi Kishimoto - guitar; guitar-synth; programming
Prolusion. This is the reissue of CHERNO's second effort "Missing Illusion" (2000). The other albums by this remarkable Japanese duo are: "Trigonometric Reactor" (1997) and "Slight Trick All Around" (2003). The review of the latter is also available on Progressor, and can be read by clicking >here.
Synopsis. Unlike the band's latest output, "Missing Illusion" isn't rich with sounds of wind instruments, to say the least, and these play a more or less prominent role only on Echo Wind (flute) and This Way (saxophone). Asian Illusion is another and the last track here that features somewhat atypical solos - those of vibraphone. In other words, a wind synthesizer was mostly used as a traditional synthesizer on "Missing Illusion". Nevertheless, the album missed nothing because of that, at least nothing essential. The music is extremely innovative and is just stunningly impressive. It seems to me that "Gun the engine!" was the principal motto of the duo when they worked on the album, and it sounds indeed so stunning that "killer" would probably be the only and the most appropriate brief definition of it. A union of diverse, yet, always maniacally heavy guitar riffs and excellently programmed (and sounding) drums form the basis of most of the tracks here, while the direct and overdubbed solos of guitar and synthesizer, the latter of which are usually low-toned, weave an amazingly intricate web around them. The music has an absolutely full-fledged band sound, but it is notable not only for that. Among its essential features are polyphony and complexity, density and intensity, diversity and eclecticism, contrast and eccentricity, to name a few. Painted mostly with dark, yet, beautiful colors and possessing an unbelievably strong hypnotism, first, the music charms the listener and then just casts its spell. All of this, above all, concerns the following five compositions: 5th Drive, Techno Dream, Dancing Magma, Swing & Square, and This Way (1, 2, 4, 6, & 8), all of which are about a marvelously wonderful fusion of either Doom or Cathedral Metal, RIO, and Symphonic Progressive, though the latter constituent may often seem to be obscured by the first two. Each of the remaining three compositions represents just a unique Symphonic Art-Rock with only some RIO-like tendencies, and, surprisingly, Echo Wind (and not Asian Illusion) turned out to be filled with flavors of Japanese music.
Conclusion. Cherno is one of the brightest gems in the crown of contemporary Japanese Progressive and is one of the most uniquely sounding bands in general. In my honest opinion, "Missed Illusion" is able to please any kind of Prog-lovers save, maybe, those exclusively to Jazz-Fusion. If you still aren't acquainted with the creation of this brilliant duo, don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today:-) Highly recommended!
VM: May 27, 2004
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