In Search Of The Soul Trees
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ASTURIAS is the name of a Japanese Progressive rock band, founded in the year 1987 and led by guitar player Yoh OHYAMA. The music belongs to a melodic and refined style, full of beautiful themes and delicate arrangements. It reminds of Mike OLDFIELD's imaginative themes or even of today's CAMEL, thanks to the polished and refined compositions. Other musicians include Yoko UENO (ZABADAK), Akira HANAMOTO and Haruhiko TSUDA (Both from SHINGETSU). The first album "Circle In The Forest" has been recorded in 1988, "Brilliant Streams" two years later and "Cryptogram Illusion" in 1993. ASTURIAS then disbanded, and reformed ten years later under Yoh OHYAMA's leadership, as ACOUSTIC ASTURIAS. The year 2008 marks the actual return of the original outfit, again named ASTURIAS. "In Search Of The Soul Trees" proves to be a hit album, just like its glorious predecessors. The ten tracks, divided in two separate parts, show a charming and sophisticated instrumental music, full of elegant and ethereal parts. Oldfieldian electric solos, sunny acoustic guitars, various keyboards, light percussions, delicate strings, enchanting flute, a touch of jazz-rock, a little folk, some beautiful classic music atmospheres... And a few noteworthy rises of tension ! Among guests, several members of renowned outfits such as SHINGETSU, LU7 and FLAT122, plus some musicians of ACOUSTIC ASTURIAS. Moreover, this Japanese band is now released through Musea/Poseidon. Essential !
Top customer reviews
I have few CDs of "Asturias". Compared with them,this one has many cheerful,folk musics.Beautiful melody and sounds of instrument are beyond the description.
All numbers are connecting each "end" from next one's "top". So I wondered if I heard a music which is very long.
Anyway,I like this CD very much.
Yoh Ohyama leads this Japanese chamber rock ensemble through a collection of elegant and scored pieces which come together well as two separate pieces on In Search of the Soul Trees. Earlier albums from Ohyama include 1988's Circle In the Forest, Brilliant Streams two years later and Cryptogram Illusion in 1993.
"Pilgrimage" has moments mimicking After Crying's grand pacing and harmonious blending of instruments. Another touchstone might be early Gandalf, but I never heard Gandalf as inventive or able to bring out the best in the whole band as Asturias. Most songs are a mix of acoustic and electric instruments, with Yoh Ohyama pulling out the Mike Oldfield setting on his electric and acoustic guitars quite often. Ohyama's acoustic guitar playing can also make his songs sound like a Michael Hedges piece.
Each piece is a study of a very disciplined and integrated band, with a very rounded sound like Camel. "Storm" brings out the full force of the ensemble, electrified like a rock band, and with a big percussion group. The tracks for the two Parts are not separated by quiet space, but merge into each other, which creates a very nice listening experience.
Very recommended for Mike Oldfield and Japanese offshoots like Shengetsu, Flat122 and LU7.