Vermilion Sands - Water Blue

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4293
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:04:00

When the album Water Blue was released on the Japanese Marquee label in 1989, it didn't take long before the band Vermilion Sands was known throughout the entire world as one of the most outstanding symphonic rock bands ever to emerge from the land of the rising sun. That album, which for a long time has been unavailable, has now been re-released through the Musea label and even boasts no less than four bonus tracks.

The very melodic music can be named in the same breath as that of Camel and Renaissance, the latter, of course, mainly due to the crystal-clear voice of Yoko Rouyama. The building of a song like "Ashes Of The Time" is very similar to Renaissance's "Ashes Are Burning!" Contrary to a lot of similar Japanese releases, the lyrics here are divided between Japanese and English, which makes the end result more accessible. To me Water Blue has been THE Japanese album for a long time, and even today I keep treasuring this album as one of the absolute highlights from faraway Japan, mainly due to the fragile instrumental passages. Listen to the heavenly "In Your Mind" where they keys of Masahiro Yamada perfectly blend with the guitar of Masumi Sekaue. As bonus tracks you are treated to "The Love In The Cage," a track which the band wrote especially for the deleted Musea compilation Seven Days Of A Life. "In The Dead Of Ancient Tombs" is a so far unreleased studio track from 1988, whilst "The Love In The Cage" and "In Your Mind" are presented here in a live rendition, recorded in December 1996 and complemented by the flute of Yoko and the violin from "guest" Akihisa Tsuboi.

If you only want to buy one release out of the huge number of Japanese releases, then this surely has to be THE one!

[Water Blue was originally released in 1987 by Made In Japan Records in LP form, released again by MIJ in 1989 on CD with new versions of "My Lagan Love" and "Ashes Of The Time," and then, of course, in 1999 by Musea. Vocalist/keyboardist Yoko Royama passed away in August 2004 -ed.]

My Lagan Love (3:10) / Ashes Of The Time (12:12) / In Your Mind (7:36) / Coral D - The Cloud Sculptors (5:51) / Kitamoto (4:41) / Living In The Shiny Days (4:16) / The Poet (8:43) / The Love In The Cage (7:03) / In The Night Of Ancient Tombs (6:15) / The Love In The Cage (Live Version) (6:20) / In Your Mind (Live Version) (7:17)

Yoko Royama - keyboards, vocals
Masahiro Yamada - keyboards
Hisashi Matoba - drums
Masumi Sekaue - guitars
Ryouji Ogasawara - bass
Hiromi Nishida - violin

Water Blue (1987/1989/1999)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin JP

Added: February 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 810
Language: english


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