Blazing Bronze - Dominion Of The East

Year of Release: 2001
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:03:00

For the life of me, I would have never imagined that music so evil sounding could come out of faraway Japan. I must admit to utter ignorance of the Japanese progressive rock movement first, of course, but when I listened to female trio Arsnova, I thought that the band was just an exception of wicked musical output. Now, upon having listened to Blazing Bronze's debut Dominion Of The East, I'm convinced that there is something inherently dark in the soul of many a Japanese musician who chooses to convey one's expressional abilities through the delicate art of progressive rock, and that there is something inherently innovative in there as well.

Blazing Bronze's debut album is a paean to a sort of modern darkness that is influenced by classical music, jazz, progressive rock, and Lord knows what hidden stories embedded in the walls of old musty churches with secrets unheard of. Featuring almost ubiquitous keyboards, great bass work that conjures some of the catchiest lines ever created on the face of the planet, and sudden appearances of all other sounds and instruments, the record is indeed a worthy testimony of the awesome potential of this Japanese band. Volumes are modified as the band goes from a somber moodiness to an all-out sonic attack based on dissonant backing chords and a volatile violin, an ominous presence is always lurking about in the abrupt changes that the group chooses, and keyboards go from classical grandeur to inconspicuous backing as their owners see fit.

And those owners have come up with a style that seems hard to describe clearly, something that is certainly accentuated by the varying nature of the album's instrumentals, despite their common thread of darkness. Not only that, but Dominion Of The East requires many a listen before the combination begins to sink in and one notices the mysterious subtleties that are spread across the album, so that a first impression has practically no possibility of being a correct assessment. Standard instrumental turns don't exactly apply here, as everything will go silent at unexpected moments and then explode into semi-chaotic pulses of keyboards or well-arranged epic guitar attitudes, making for an unorthodox approach that hits the mark at times and misses at others, but always remains unique.

As already mentioned though, the approach doesn't work at times, as it does wander a bit too far in a structuring method in which it is rather easy to lose focus. Thus "Goetia" will have interesting segments appearing here and there but will ultimately lack an essential sense of coherence; something that also affects other parts of the record as well. On the other hand, when the band hits the jackpot, as with the excellently threatening "Black Puppetter" or the mysterious glow of "Eastern Air," the formula works to a level that even the album's deficient production fails at hindering, and the bass lines particularly become instantly engaging and draw the listener's attention irremediably.

All in all, Dominion Of The East is bound to be of special interest for people who are on the constant lookout for unique bands with a penchant for moving into the avant-garde. True, the production on the album is less than satisfactory more often than not, and focus is indeed lost at times, but the jewels are there for anyone who is willing to make the effort and find them. What this record seems more like, however, is a prelude of great things to come. In the meantime, it's bound to give my former webmaster [at] more nightmares than the exams he's currently taking. Cool, huh?

Similar Artists: Arsnova, Goblin, weird horror soundtracks

Overture-Chasers (5:19) / Black Puppetter (6:31) / Eastern Air (6:46) / Time Scamper (10:36) / Trap Celler (8:07) / Goetia (14:26)

Hiroshi Aoki - electric guitar, electric sitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboards, synthesizer programming, effects, v-drums
EI - keyboards, synthesizer programming
XII - bass, organ, keyboards
Rio - drums, percussion, keyboards
Akko - piano, keyboards, synthesizer programming


Shouko Kobayashi - violin

Dominion Of The East (2001)
Death Collection (2001)
Unscientific (2002?)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin JP

Added: May 18th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 1338
Language: english


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