This album is an unabashedly prog affair, but it’s just as laden with evocative soundscapes as it is with Space Laser Pitch Bending. Prog might require a refined palate to fully enjoy, but the transitions and movements found in these songs work hard to make the experience a sum greater than its parts.
Jumping into this album with Prelude ~ Invitation From the Eclipse builds you up with a pretty standard fanfare. Brass soars over top of a tasteful vocal patch setting a traditionally heroic scene. While a playful bass jumps in and the brass transitions seamlessly into a violin, the drums find their rhythm, and just as you start to surrender yourself… the bottom drops out. A jazzy, syncopated keyboard and an anxious high hat start to lay the foundation for the whole experience.
Uninvited Guests and Festival of Evil Part 1 aren’t afraid to let you know what you came here for. Alternating time signatures accentuate the ridiculous bouncing melodies, full bodied sawtooth patches hum backdrops, and the bass pounds out syncopated counter-melodies. This is some of the finest Sakurock there is: a work that’s as earnest as it is ambitious.
Every song here has a feeling of conflict and a sense of resolution that really makes the journey feel worthwhile. While it may feel rough at times, there’s a real payoff here, and every bit of composition is backed up by remarkable sound engineering. The way these pieces come together is satisfying and organic, even if the individual parts are not.
That’s not to say the CD doesn’t sound great as a whole. The progressive rock is varied and meaningful, and peppered in are pieces like the ambient, melancholy Search Far and Deep and the thoroughly composed piano epic An Elegy for the Wanderer. It’s a little guilty of crawling across the finish line, and it probably won’t win over anybody with an existing aversion to prog rock, but the emotional impact of the tracks and the quality of the production makes this an easy recommendation for anybody on the fence.