Yasu - Magica review

Band: Yasu
Album: Magica
Release date: 2002

01. Prelude
02. Concerto For Electric Guitar no.2
03. Concerto For Electric Guitar no.8
04. Baroque Dance 1
05. Eisenach Rondo
06. Guitar Sonata no.1
07. Guitar Sonata no.2
08. Guitar Sonata no.3
09. Counter Point 1

Japan has always been a nation where the influence of electric guitar is dominant and where guitar heroes such as Yngwie J. Malmsteen and Michael Romeo are seen as semi-gods. With such influences, fantastic guitar players emerged from Japan, such as Norifumi Shima from Concerto Moon [also in Double Dealer] and Yasu. But unlike his aforementioned compatriot, Yasu is playing in a very peculiar musical style: classical metal, or more exactly "electric guitar and orchestra" as the subtitle of this album defines his music.

Let's face it, "Magica" is more a classical album than a metal album. Nevertheless, the technical skills of master Yasu bring a metal sound to these perfect compositions. As for the orchestra, the production is good enough to enjoy the duality guitars-orchestra at its best level. Some compositions are reminiscent of great compositors such as Johannes Brahms . The whole album is more oriented toward fully symphonic classical music rather than Mozart like, which is perfect considering than Yasu guitar skills can be exposed more brilliantly! And believe me, this guy is a great performer. The 25 seconds of the intro ["Prelude"] already prove me right.

In my opinion, the best tracks are 'Concerto for Electric Guitar no.8', which is a real concerto [Yasu has apparently learned and mastered the art of creating complex symphonies] and the best of the two concertos on "Magica" and 'Guitar Sonata no.3', which features the heaviest guitar work from Yasu and my favorite sonata among the three different ones.

This album is only 18:54 minutes long but it's a "in your face" album nonetheless and if you are a guitar player or if you simply enjoy classical metal in its purest form, "Magica" is calling for you. Otherwise, this album might still appeal to anybody with an once of appreciation for classical music.


Written on 12.12.2003 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.

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