Gerard - Live In Marseille

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4268.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:42:00

This CD by Japanese power trio Gerard was taped live in front of what sounds to be a very small audience.

I could be wrong now, but despite less than triumphant applause, they turn in a furious performance of their best material to that date. Eight songs are captured on this CD of a 1998 appearance.

I will say right now that I am not the biggest fan Gerard has, though I have a few of their CDs (and a few by their female counterparts, Ars Nova). The great Keyboards Triangle series featuring both Japanese keyboard led trios is one of my guilty pleasures, and I indulge in it far too often. This collection of songs is an endless blur of instrumental virtuosity by all members of the band. Everyone takes part in the melee, and I can't tell one song from the next. That's not always a bad thing, I admit. This music brings to mind an old familiar line, "I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it." Well, you'll know it when you hear it. This is a nonstop, gut twisting, full out assault on the listener.

The Gerard that played on this night in Marseille has matured to an extent, as shown on Ruins Of A Glass Fortress and Sighs Of The Water. They have now learned to play in two speeds: very, very fast and a little less fast. This night, however they stuck mostly to very, very fast.

I'm sorry, I'm really, very, very sorry. They are such a tempting target. I couldn't stop myself. They ARE the Yngwie Malmsteens of progressive rock, though, aren't they? You've got to admit it.

Toshio Egawa is an enormously good player, and they are all masters of their craft. The bass solo, played by Atsushi Hasegawa, in "Freedom," (or is it "The Act Of The Apostles"?), is very tasty, and Masuhiro Goto plays like Mike Portnoy, only faster, and louder. Wait, is that even possible?

This stuff rocks out good and hard, and some days, that's exactly what you want. I bought this to hear what their cover of "La Conquista Della Pozizione Eretta" sounded like live, and was not too surprised to find that any trace of subtley and dynamics had been successfully removed. That pretty much sums up the nature of all the material here. But it's fun to listen to this kind of music. Egawa constantly plays two keyboards at once, filling any available space with crushing organ or synth, soloing at regular intervals, and generally laying waste to anything around him. To back him up, Hasegawa and Goto play like their hands were on fire. And, musically speaking, they are. The three members of Gerard are, each individually, some of the hottest players you would ever want to hear. A recovering metal head myself, I compare this CD to one of those Shrapnel label, guitar whiz-kid releases from the 1980s. I would listen to one of them, knowing I was going to get a bunch of technically amazing licks, but no real memorable music to go with it. When you are in the mood to have your jaw drop, put on a Gerard CD.

And if you're looking for a real strong dose of it, Live In Marseille will fix you up real quick.

Chaos (5:35) / La Conquista Della Posizione Eratta (5:25) / Orpheus Part 2 (3:39) / Into The Dark (4:55) / Meridian (3:22) / Freedom (2:39) / The Act Of The Apostles (4:52) / Pandora's Box (12:09)

Toshio Egawa - keyboards
Atsushi Hasegawa - bass
Masuhiro Goto - drums

Gerard (1984)
Empty Lie, Empty Dream (1985)
Irony Of Fate (1990)
Save Knight By The Night (1990)
The Pendulum (1996)
Evidence of True Love (MCD) (1997)
Pandora's Box (1997)
Meridian (1998)
Live In Marseille (1999)
The Ruins Of A Glass Fortress (2001)
Sighs Of The Water (2002)
Power Of Infinity (2004)

also appearances on:
Keyboard Triangle (2000)
Keyboard Triangle 2/Live (2002)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin JP

Added: March 22nd 2004
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Artist website:
Hits: 1178
Language: english


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