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View Poll Results: How would you rank the album?
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kōenji Hyakkei - Viva Koenji! (1997)

This thread is for discussing KōenjiHyakkei'ss album Viva Koenji! from 1997. It was homework in our Prog & Fusion Album Club in February 2011.

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Kōenji Hyakkei - Viva Koenji! (1997)



I'd very much like to nominate one of the albums I would probably consider one of my favorite of all time. One of the most dynamic, complex, abrasive works known to man. I don't know if it's popular opinion or not, but I believe when Magma created the Zeuhl genre they pretty much remained kings, and queens of it unconditionally for decades until finally picked up by the Japanese, most importantly through the bands Ruins, and Bondage Fruit. When combined, Magma had a very very serious contender to it's throne.

Now, with these two bands combined you have Tatsuya Yoshida's vision come to live in Koenji Hyakkei, and none more has this vision been thunderous, aggressive, or unique as in their second work "Viva Koenji". No matter how many times I listen to this album, it completely floors me every single time. Such a unique, and powerful experience that no other album I've listened to seems to get me. It's like if they took Magma at it's most grand and bizarre moments, and cranked it up ten notches.
So, what do you think about it?
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Although I'm a bigger fan of Magma and Ruins than these blokes, I've always considered this album as among their most solid (beyond their S/T and their magnum opus Angherr Shisspa).

Of particular note, the basswork throughout is rather amazing. It's probably just how things go, but zeuhl bands always end up with drummers and bassists of near superhuman quality IMO.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Personally one of my favorite albums ever. Probably one of the most technical I've heard. My only real gripe with the album is that I feel the second song on it "Graddinoba Revoss" is dull, repetitive, and has very cheesy sounding horns. Which to me kind of takes away the feeling produced by the opener the psychotic scream-gasm of "Grembo Zavia", and then the following 4 sequences of songs which is possibly my favorite 4 sequences of songs of any album ever. Not even it's that bad of a song, but it could have served well better near the end.

One that always stuck out to me for some reason was "Aramidda Horva" which has that insane 30 second organ buildup which gives me an erection every time I listen to it. As mentioned, obviously a Zuehl band. I actually like it quite a bit more than I like Ruins, and although I much prefer Magma to Koenji, I can't help to feel that there isn't really a single Magma album that tops this in my ears, even if Magma have done so much more with their main body of work.

Big favorite album of mine, perhaps not typically what one would think of with prog. Maybe not as subtle as other prog bands, but I find a certain overpowering nature to the operatic grandiosity of this album that nothing else seems to satisfy. Possibly just a heavier Magma... but Heavy + Magma = Orgasm .
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This album is too violently operatic for my tastes I'm loathe to rank it because my opinion is so subjective and I could in no way for example say that it's bad. But, it doesn't appeal to me much.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This album is too violently operatic for my tastes I'm loathe to rank it because my opinion is so subjective and I could in no way for example say that it's bad. But, it doesn't appeal to me much.
Eh, it's fine to rank it as poor if you like. Strange thing is, I'm guessing most the reasons I love this album are why most people can't get into it.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Of course it's often a matter of dedicating enough time to it. The basic way I approach music is that if it's someting people like, then there is some kind of appeal there. When you can tap into that appeal, that's when you start to appreciate the music .. and that requires a bit of listening and can take some time.

My practical approach is that I'm selective though. Like most others here I assume, I too have fallen in love with albums that I did not initially see much appeal in and I assume that would/could be the case with this one as well. But, since the pile of music I should listen to is rather large, I generally prioritize those which appeal the most and albums like this fall down on my mental to-do list.

So, in a sense I feel like I could give it a bad rating today and come back and give it a very good or brilliant rating later. Fact is I can hear the musicianship and so on is rather good and I like the very noticeable zeuhl heritage so I can hear that it's not a bad record.
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