Masheen Messiah 2016
Looking through pop lens, Japanese proggers rise and shine.
Inspired by YES as their name suggests but sonically modern, and featuring BRAND X associate Mark Murdock on drums, this band may harbor grand ideas yet, as epic as those are, there’s always a song to hide a quirky passage behind a sweet facade. With “Learning To Fly” and “Sail Against The Wind” conveying the ensemble’s intrepid spirit with the eye-of-the-storm kind of cool, their intricate interplay doesn’t get in the way of melody, and when intense electric charge boils down to acoustic strains which carry Mutsumi Tanamura’s voice upstream, towards celestial choruses, one can only embrace MM’s method.
Heavier riffs of “Divine Insanity” displaying the group’s ability to rock hard are offset in the pleasure stakes by “Awake For You” whose lush vocal harmonies and memorable immediacy must make it a crowd favorite, and once this anthem breaks into a ballad, wonders happen and shed a different light on what’s played out before, No surprise, then, that the album’s finale is “Tomorrow” where a triumphant arrangement is permeated with a piano-propelled optimism. Their prog might be rather traditional, yet it’s highly infectious, joyous and so great to bask in.