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Terutsugu Hirayama - Castle of Noi (Noi no Shiro) CD (album) cover

CASTLE OF NOI (NOI NO SHIRO)

Terutsugu Hirayama

 

Symphonic Prog

3.45 | 14 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I first became aware of this album when Greg Walker from Synphonic Music sent me a list of his all- time favourite albums, and of course this was part of that list. I've had this for a couple of years and to be honest it just isn't my style of Prog. Very symphonic which is good but it's the orchestral moments that turn me off along with all the ELP-like bombast that makes me squint a lot. This is the project of Terutsugu Hirayama who is from Japan and is very talented at not only playing the guitar but at composing music as well.

This is a concept album by the way and it starts with "Opening And Main Title" a less than 2 minute orchestral intro to "Mystic World" which thankfully is more of a "rock" tune with some aggressive guitar. It changes before a minute with female vocals. Not a fan of her style but the contrasts will continue. The guitar is amazing but this is too bombastic for my tastes. "Nelfelti" has accordion and weird male and female vocals. The latter are operatic. Some strange vocal melodies as well. Not a fan. "A Boy And Soldier" is very orchestral with the guitar playing over top. "The Scene" opens with piano and reserved male vocals for about 2 1/2 minutes then it turns dark with sweeping synths. Nice. Back to the piano a minute later. At 4 1/2 minutes that dark mood with synths returns. It turns symphonic late. Good tune.

"Teles Pheres Maris" is divided into two parts. This sounds really good early on. Some heaviness here as the male vocals join in. Check out the guitar solo 2 1/2 minutes in. The keyboards are really good as well. This is my favourite song on here. "Castle Of Noi" is the almost 11 minute closer. It's divided into 4 parts. It's orchestral early on then female vocals arrive as drums, bass and synths help out. Not a fan really but I do appreciate how upfront the bass is on this release. The vocals stop as it becomes bombastic with guitar and some strange goings on. It settles back then picks back up. A calm with piano 8 minutes in then the orchestral keys(think SATELLITE) lead before the song ends.

Cetainly many consider this a classic but this just doesn't do a lot for me despite the obvious talent that went into this. If you love lots of keys and bombast this is worth checking out.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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