There has been a recent trend in Japanese prog these last few years to create strong ELP inspired, keyboard-led bombastic rock. As with fellow bands Ars Nova and Gerard, Pochakaite Malko have gone that same route, and with a two keyboard attack and furious rhythm section have created a stellar debit.
The stars of the show here are Kazuo Ogino and Tomohiro Ueno, who lay down molten torrents of Hammond, piano, and synthesizer blasts while bassist Shigekazu Kuwahara and drummer Junzo Tateiwa keep up the complex beat. This CD has two flavors to it, one being the ominous, dark feeling as on tracks like "Funeral" and "Holy Mountain", both of which remind me of the classic Italian band Goblin. Then there are the more upbeat and symphonic sounds of "Trinity" and "5th Element." The latter features the albums only vocal section, whispered quite nicely by female singer Keiku. While sometimes keyboard dominated albums can get a bit monotonous, the use of varied instruments like Mellotron, piano, synth, and Hammond, along with memorable tunes kept this one very listenable.
Along with the some of the other standouts in the Japanese prog scene like Kenso, Ars Nova, Gerard and Side Steps, Pochakaite Malko has made it to contender status with this fine release. ELP fans especially will dig this big time!