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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Bohemian Symphony CD (album) cover

BOHEMIAN SYMPHONY

Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

 

Various Genres

3.00 | 1 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
3 stars Queen was a highly acclaimed band in Japan, with even The Beatles-like scenes on airports and around hotels. So it ain't no surprise that after Freddy Mercury his tragical death (on November 24th, 1991) the two known Japanese progrock musicians Terutsugu Hirayama (Novela, Scheherazade, Teru's Symphonia) and Toshio Egawa (Earthshaker, Novela, Gerard, Scheherazade) founded a band in order to pay tribute to the legendary Queen singer. They named the band the Bohemian Symphony Project and the album Bohemian Symphony.

As a huge fan of the Japanese progrock since the early Nineties and a huge fan of Queen since the early Seventies I had expected an album that was loaded with sumptuous music. Simply because many known Japanese progrock bands (like Gerard, Vienna, Social Tension, Deja Vu, Novela and Ars Nova) deliver bombastic progrock and Queen is (in)famous for its bombastic and theatrical outbursts in many compositions. But no, in contrary, most of the renditions of the Queens songs on Bohemian Symphony contain a subdued classical sound, I could hardly recognize songs like Radio Gaga, Bicycle Race and We AreThe Champions (it lacks power). In general the songs on this CD sound very beautiful and pure but I miss the fiery Brian May guitar work and the expressive, often theatrical Freddie Mercury vocals.

The best tracks are the more powerful or expressive renditions like Love Of My Life (wonderful, very moving electric guitar play), You Take My Breath Away (lush strings and piano work) and You're My Best Friend (great interplay between classical guitar and violins).

My highlights are Somebody To Love (the violin replaces the vocals very impressive and we can enjoy a strong guitar solo), the legendary Bohemian Rhapsody (great classical orchestrations) and Save Me (exciting bombastic atmosphere).

So on one hand I am a bit disappointed because in many songs I miss the typcial Queen elements. On the other hand, Japanese progrock feature many bands with classical undertones (Mugen, Outer Limits, Bellaphon, Ieraishan, Fromage, Midas), because many Japanese progrock musicians are classically trained. From that point of view this is a wonderful and honest tribute to Freddy Mercury.

My rating: 3,5 star

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |

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