[Review] Accept (JAP) – Apogee (White Moon And Black Sun)

Accept is a former name of Lua Azure that changed the name in October 2021 and is a project by Japanese artist Hisao Tanaka, multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer who started releasing albums in 2007. In September 2021 his seventh album is released under the name Apogee/Accept entitled “White Moon and Black Sun.” 10 concept-style tracks, which continue the musical discourse undertaken in previous productions, tracing the British-style Symphonic Prog sounds. The album opens with “A Rose in the Sand” which begins with an elaborate sound mainly on keyboards that intertwine with vocals and an intricate rhythmic session. The European Symphonic Prog sounds are the main influence, even if the artist manages to express them with personal traits and with a good technique to all instruments and to the voice. Full of tempo changes, the song flows pleasantly and immediately plunges us into the atmosphere of the album, with good solo cues in the instrumental section. “High Fort” begins with atmospheric sounds and an electronic touch synth, the atmospheres are darker before increasing intensity and becoming more intricate with the entry of all instruments. Here the keyboards are the protagonists with solos with virtuous traits that alternate with those of the guitar. The bass creates hypnotic and deep lines, while the rhythmic session is elaborate, a concentrate of power, intense and pompous. Effective percussion sounds and a choral vocal introduces us to “Bread and Water,” which features intricate textures and sonorities also here halfway between traditional and electronic. At the end of the first part the track is transformed with a more linear structure even if enriched by tempo changes and sharp guitar riffs. but only for a few moments because shortly after he returns to intricate themes, showing the good ideas and technique of Hisao, who also offers a good vocal range. “Ambiguous Loss” opens with melancholic keyboard melodies and distant sound effects, and then a very warm and expressive vocal enters. Soft and dreamy, this song lightens the atmosphere after the more elaborate previous songs with the intensity increasing with the passage of the song. Pleasant mixes between acoustic guitar and piano in the finish, a delicate and emotional passage. The following “Requiem 2019” is a short passage with orchestral sounds, as the title says, a requiem focused on orchestrations. The atmospheric sounds are back in the intro of “Winding Through the Desert” to which is immediately added an intricate drum and synth inserts. We return to the more sophisticated Prog with mainly modern sounds, except for the guitars and synths, while the rhythm session is more electronic in the sounds. An entirely instrumental piece with good ideas, it must be understood but it is well developed and performed. “Blue” begins with an atmospheric carpet and sweet piano melodies, while the track is later developed with a nonetheless soft theme. The sounds are more dilated and symphonic, with the guitar offering a good solo lead in the first part, a good artist even in the slowest but always very technical tracks. Guitar that guides us throughout the piece, always at the center of the scene with this long solo that occupies the entire duration of the track and can be listened to with pleasure. Here we come to one of the longest track of the album “A Droplet of a Great River” of over 8 minutes, starting with the guest on the snare drum and orchestral sounds that intertwine with guitar and vocals. Here too the atmospheres are mainly symphonic and the tempo changes more delicate and less frenetic, with more dilated sounds and a very expressive vocal. The singing occupies almost the entire track, however, leaving little space for the instrumental sections but the track flows pleasantly. “Solemnity” is instead the shortest of the album, a short passage made of keyboard and piano sounds with a pompous and atmospheric touch at the same time. We have reached the final which also gives title to the album “White Moon and Black Sun” also long lasting, which after a keyboard start proposes a solid Prog with the synth and the guitar at the center of the scene. The vocal and structure are British in style, with a look at the past and one at the present of the genre, alternating more delicate passages with more intense ones. well developed and with a crescendo that also brings the sound to elaborate becoming at times intricate in the second part, a good ending for a good album. An overall smooth and pleasant listening, with more delicate passages and others more powerful, where the artist shows mastery of all the instruments. The compositions are well structured and performed, as well as the vocal parts that alternate well with the instrumental sections. An album recommended for lovers of modern progressive sounds, where the more European and British Neo Prog in particular blend with the artist’s personal traits.

Tracklist

1. A Rose in the Sand (5:07)
2. High Fort (3:02)
3. Bread and Water (5:38)
4. Ambiguous Loss (5:21)
5. Requiem 2019 (2:14)
6. Winding Through the Desert (3:12)
7. Blue (5:21)
8. A Droplet of a Great River (8:18)
9. Solemnity (1:43)
10. White Moon and Black Sun (8:23)

Lineup

Hisao Tanaka / Vocals, All Instruments

With:
Akihiro Fujii / Snare Drum (Track 8)

Accept (JAP)/Lua Azure |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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