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Gerard: Power Of Infinity

Tokyo's heaviest power-prog trio-plus-one is back with a new burner of a disc! This time, Toshio, Atsushi and Masuhiro snagged ex-Leviathan (the '80s Italian group) frontman Alex Brunori to add his voice to a few numbers. Sadly, Power Of Infinity also marks drummer Masuhiro Goto's last recording with Gerard — he defected to Arsnova in time for Biogenesis Project (both bands share the same manager in Shingo "Numero" Ueno).

On the plus side, this is probably the most diverse-sounding set of comps to come from Toshio's hands; could Mr. Egawa have been delving into the works of some of his counterparts in his spare time? Either way, a little healthy competition never hurts anyone, and the final versions have the T-man utilizing more analog emulations and adding more nonrandom elements to the mix for additional colorings to further distance the band from the Gerard of old. Power Of Infinity begins its cycle in uniformly grand fashion with a roofburning instrumental (one of the band's best ever) titled "Caravan On The Moon." The compositions are Egawa's, but Goto and bassist Atsushi Hasegawa instantly make their presence known. The first five minutes or so serves as the overture, with the trio as usual resurrecting a ferocity that outdoes vintage ELP — understandable, considering the players' Herculean chops and origins in Japan's metal scene. The gargantuan synthetic brass stabs and strings give way to a mellower section that rebuilds the intensity with an excellent 'Tron melody. The final ninety-second coda is the best: a square wave lead with pitch bends galore and astral grooving by the rhythm section.

For the Tell Me Something I Don't Already Know File: while Gerard's strength lies in the instrumentals (Live At Marseilles proves this), Toshio still likes to have songs on his albums; this carries over from Gerard's first several '80s albums as a quintet with a fulltime vocalist and guitarist. Whether Toshio or Alex penned the lyrics (which are better than usual) to "Only The Light," "Infinity," and the vocal portion of the "Blue World" suite is not specified. What is certain is that Alex's vocals would've been better executed in his native Italian than in English. Still, this isn't the major detractor it could have been, though the initial verses of "Only The Light" offer no real surprises and would fit comfortably on the last two albums. The tune picks up in the second half with Toshio cutting between softer and harsher analog/digital leads for back-to-back solos. "Infinity" sounds alternately robotic and Zeuhl-ish — even a few wordless vocal passages (chants) are included. Atsushi's bass notes fly forth with the power and speed of razor-sharp flechettes. Around the three-minute mark, Brunori enters, singing a melody not dissimilar to one of Robin Suchy's on The Pendulum. This is brief, and the second round of acrobatics begins, Masuhiro doing his best Vander impression. This could easily have been another superb instrumental with some minor editing.

"Warning! Warning!" is the Grade-A, stamped Guaranteed kind of heavy symph stuff that this group has been doing for years. Oh, sans vocals, this one is. Finally, we experience the beauty of the "Blue World" in three continuous parts (Brunori sings only in the second, shortest part). "Blue World" is more akin to a movement than anything previously heard by Gerard; the first eight minutes and final four minute outro are respectively grandiose and sublime, the latter's final murky moments painting a wonderful contrast to the ballsy hi-octane music Egawa & Co. are generally known for.

The short version: after the flawed Ruins Of A Glass Fortress in 2000, the trio bounced back in '02 with Sighs Of The Water, and this latest outing continues that upswing. Third time's the charm, guys! The band's discography is extensive, and a new website has been erected — just click below.


1. Caravan On The Moon (11:13)
2. Only The Light (5:09)
3. Infinity (7:35)
4. Warning! Warning! (3:59)
5. Blue World Part I–III (13:58)

Total time – 42:11

Added: January 11th 2005
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Related Link: GERARD—The New Website
Hits: 4231
Language: english

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Gerard: Power Of Infinity
Posted by Greg Cummins, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-01-11 06:51:02
My Score:

Having watched Japanese band, Gerard evolve over the last few years, I was very keen to try their latest album released earlier this year. As with all of their previous efforts, the emphasis is clearly based upon some insanely pyrotechnic keyboard work from Toshio Egawa who is capably accompanied by Atsushi Hasegawa on bass, Masuhiro Goto on drums and vocals together with Alex Burnorni providing vocals on a few tracks.

The band wastes no time in getting things under way for the opening track, "Caravan In The Moon" which I found immediately compelling with its lush and grandiose themes being underpinned by some stellar drumming and bass lines while maintaining a very accessible sound for the entirety of the song. "Only The Light" features a few vocal lines and moves through a series of themes including some anthemic organ and tubular sounding bells backed with some vocal chanting but segued into the 3rd track which unfortunately seemed to get started nicely but was all over before it had really sunk in.

"Warning, Warning" is a very chaotic piece with many time changes and again, some brilliantly executed synthesizer from Toshio who is certainly one of the better exponents of this instrument from Japan these days. The final epic piece, being broken into 3 smaller sections, covers a lot of territory and demonstrates very clearly just how well this band composes and constructs their songs. Whether through the heavier, frenetic sections or the gentler pieces when Alex and Masuhiro begin to sing, you can't help but get caught up in the spirit of the writing.

As different as this album is from their earlier efforts, I still find I really enjoy just about everything this band releases. Whether it's because you know you're in for a great ride, right from the get go with none of the musicians giving you any chance to breathe for more than a moment before things get hectic again or whether they just know how to mix things up sufficiently to maintain ones interest, is a moot point. All I can say is that since discovering Gerard a number of years ago and deciding I really liked their sound, the release of this new album will certainly not change my opinion. Although this release is pretty short by today's standards, it is still highly recommended!

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