Ark Storm - The Beginning Of A New Legend

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Nothing To Say
Catalog Number: ARK-S 01
Format: CD
Total Time: 54:12:00

Japan is not only the land of the rising sun and of keyboard virtuoso Keiko Kumagi (Ars Nova), but also the land of Katsu Ohta. Who?? Katsu Ohta, the Japanese Malmsteen! And in case you didn't know, there is quite a metal scene in Japan, as this Mr. Ohta already played in a metal band in the 1990s: Astonishment. After having played in several bands, guested on albums and even released a solo album at the end of 2000 (The Right Brain Revolution), he formed Ark Storm in 2001. They released their debut album, No Boundaries, in 2002 and are now back with the follow up: The Beginning Of A New Legend.

Well, I have to say, the opening track, "Ark Storm" left a devastating impression on me: bombast, organ and arpeggios are flying all around you, based on a pounding rhythm section: Ichoro Nagai (ex-Concerto Moon) on drums and Isamu Takita on bass. Although the sound is very Malmsteen, it is heavy, fast and the guitar parts are heavenly! Malmsteen is not the only influence I found, as the basic melody of "Message In DNA" sounded a lot like Rainbow's "Spotlight Kid." "The Burning Flame" surprised me as this has a very American sound (think Bon Jovi and such), with a relative simple arrangement, but still a nice song. One song stands out on the album, "Evolution" as this is a short song or rather a two minute bass solo, but a nice, mellow one and no freaking.

If you think I am talking about an instrumental album here, now is the moment to correct that. With the exception of "Evolution" and one other track, none of the songs are instrumentals, but former Sabel Tiger lead man Yasuo Sasai is the vocalist of Ark Storm, and although technically he sings quite good, I am not too fond of his voice. I find it a bit too much over the top. But that is a personal taste. The star of the album is none other than Katsu Ohta, again demonstrated in "Rood," the second instrumental on the album and one to play loud with your eyes closed. Before you know it, you pick up your air-guitar and try to follow his fingers, which you won't be able to do, as Ohta is damn fast!

Despite the various influences on the album, The Beginning Of A New Legend is a very impressive album that never gets boring, but knows to keep your attention. The guitar parts are simply awesome and that alone should justify the purchase of the album. But as a whole the songs are very good and will blow your mind. Yngie Malmsteen, watch out ... here is Katsu Ohta and his fiery guitar!

Similar Bands: Yngwie Malmsteen

Also released by KICS (KICS-1025)

[This review originally appeared December 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Ark Storm / Message In DNA / Only Time Will Last / The Burning Flame / Brainless Traitor / Evolution (Bass Solo) (Instrumental) / Sudden Madness / Soldier's Drift / Rood (Instrumental) / War Game / Voyage Of The New Legend

Katsu Ohta - guitar
Yasuo Sasai - vocals
Isamu Takita - bass
Ichiro Nagai - drums
Yuhki - keyboards

No Boundaries(2002)
Beginning Of A New Legend (2003)
The Everlasting Wheel (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin JP

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1242
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]