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If you have found this blog, it probably means you were searching for something that isn’t in the public eye. My intention is to promote awareness of artists that you would otherwise likely never know existed. If you like what you hear, support the artist by purchasing their music so that they can continue to create, and enjoy the release in the quality they intended.

Over the years this has grown into my own personal project, reviewing the artists that I discover and interest me. If you wish to see more of my work, particularly my more metal-orientated material, you can find me as a regular contributor for the online magazine
Axis of Metal.

Masaki Project

Posted by T. Bawden Monday, 17 August 2009














Masaki Project – Universal Syndicate – 4.5/5
http://www.mediafire.com/?jzbfdnvqyym

Occasionally something will come my way completely out of the blue and astound me, as this instrumental album has. An experimentally inclined heavy metal band featuring most notably the bassist Masaki (Animetal), accompanied by fellow guitarist Syu (Animetal, Galneryus), this is perfect marriage between the two instruments, combining “Marco Sfogli’s” (Marco Sfogli, Magni Animi Viri) sense of melody with “Mark King’s” (Level 42) funk sensibilities. This is not a simple ‘shred’ album, this is an album filled with emotions and melody, with experimentation into more electronic (‘Technopolis), Jazz (Buzz Bullets) and ambient tones (Winter Rose), their core sound always retains that essential upbeat addictive quality.

It’s not uncommon to find artists with a virtuoso amongst their ranks, heavily relied on to perform neo-classical material which all too often becomes tiring. Add a second virtuoso to the mix and you could easily find yourself with an extremely monotonous affair, but this never occurs; both are clearly very talented musicians, capable of performing with blistering speed without ever feeling redundant; it never feels as though they are playing quickly for the sake of it. Meandering in between one another seamlessly, both guitarists perform their own lines, and whilst the guitarist often takes dominance the bassist can be heard at all times.

The guitar work fluctuates between slower melodic riffs and the more upbeat neo-classical, feeling fairly progressive in the manner it flows between the chorus lines and constantly varying riffs, often with a light Power-esque air to them but not incapable of working with the bass in providing a heavy metal groove. The bass often proves himself the match for this work, not only in speed but diversity too, lending delicate touches, funk-filled bass rhythms and hard hitting rock riffs to the proceedings.

Impressively, the drums always manage to keep up with the pace set by the leaders of the pack, and whilst left little room to breathe expertly maintain the beat. The occasional use of keyboards (often mimicking other instruments) feels well utilised to polish off an already impressive album. I was long since curious as to what the clearly capable musicians from Animetal – a band that almost exclusively performs metal covers of popular anime theme tunes – were capable of, and this album doesn’t disappoint.

Highlights: Chaos of Beauty, Down, Buzz Bullets, Sin of Envy, Swallowed



Masaki Project – Modern Day Crossover
http://www.mediafire.com/?03ijgjazymj

If that wasn’t enough, I also managed to obtain a copy of their debut album. Whilst the lines didn’t feel as gripping as in ‘Universal Syndicate,’ much of the tone remains similar; there is still that same experimental nature to them, still that careful marriage between the two instruments. Simply, neither feels as strong, but may nonetheless be a worthy addition for fans.

1 Responses to Masaki Project

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. I thank you deeply for providing these links, but I feel I should correct you on one thing: according to Encyclopaedia Metallum and to CD Japan, Syu actually plays on just one track, "Down" (one of the highlights for a reason! XD), while guitar work on the rest of the tracks is provided by many different and rotating guitar players, one of which is ex-Megadeth Marty Friedman on "Chaos of Beauty" (and, according to CD Japan only, another one is Paul Gilbert).

    Nice review, by the way, it multiplied by 10 the interest I already had in this bassist's project! ^^

     

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Guide to the Ratings
0/5 - This caused me physical pain
1/5 - This is really bloody awful
2/5 - This was below average
3/5 - This was above average
4/5 - This was pretty darn good.
5/5 - I cannot fault this epitome of perfection.

I cant guarantee all reviewers adhere to these guidelines, but work as a general guide.

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