Kadenzza - _Into the Oriental Phantasma_
(Holy Records, 2003)
by: Brian Meloon (
Kadenzza is the brainchild of Japan's You Oshima, and is one of
the better one-man projects I've heard. The music is an interesting
blend of black metal and progrock/metal, with some classical and guitar
spankoff influences. It is in some ways comparable to Nokturnal Mortum's
excellent _Goat Horns_ [CoC #31], especially in the general tone and
level of heaviness, but also in the heavy use of keyboards. However,
Kadenzza's keyboards aren't typically layered as heavily, and they are
more experimental with song structures. Moreover, there is a definite
guitar spankoff influence (a la Yngwie et al.) that Nokturnal Mortum
never displayed.The songs are varying lengths and varying styles,
with the longer songs more classically influenced, slower, and more
experimental, and the shorter ones heavier and more straightforward --
but both types of songs work well and provide a nice contrast so that
the album doesn't get repetitive. The vocals are a typical black metal
raspy style, with some slight distortion. The guitars are slightly
over-distorted, and have a somewhat hollow sound. The keyboards
are varied, and although they do have a tendency to sound cheesy,
they're generally done pretty well. The drums are programmed, but they
generally sound quite realistic; you won't find inhumanly-fast blast
beats or repetitive patterns here.If I have a complaint with this
album, it's that the music is a little loosely played in some parts,
whereas I think a tighter delivery would be more effective. Granted,
the looseness in the playing is consistent with the black metal sound,
but it clashes with the guitar hero stylings. Overall, even though
this album doesn't completely satisfy, I hope this project continues,
since it's a unique perspective on progressive black metal.
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