After months of anticipation, one of my favorite bands has released a new album. Midas are a symphonic rock band based in Japan who started their career in 1992 with their debut album “Beyond the Clear Air” released in 1988. Their first album is something i have talked about in an embarrassing video review on the internet *wink wink* .
Their newest release was a surprise to me. They originally had a website i would visit frequently to try and see whats happening with them, even though the articles are in Japanese you do get a sense and understanding of what happened from accompanying photos. Unfortunately the website seems to have been down for the past few months. However a week or so ago i did a search on them to see if there was any news on them or a new website, and sure enough i found something great!
Their new album “Eternal voyage”
The albums opens with the intense instrumental “Air brewer”. an exciting, dramatic and all round musically talented piece that introduces a new style for Midas. Friends i have played the track to make reference to metal and rock bands for the playing style mixed with folk, the reasoning can be heard around 3 minutes in where the section is started by a driven bass guitar, really cool. The continues with a synth solo and ends with a classic Midas violin solo from Eigo Utoh.
After this we spring into “a Trip for Five Seasons” which opens with a chippy cheerful synth riff, this opening highly reminds me of two tracks from their second album “Midas II”. The pieces in question are “La Festa” and “The Night Sky Lies Without a Word”, the latter of which was re recorded and released on their previous album “Eternal Voyage”. The second section of this song contains English lyrics which is good, i unfortunately can’t speak or read Japanese haha. The lyrics seem to cover themes of just carrying on and not worrying about the past, continue on and follow the seasons. a good message there. For those of you who may be confused about why it is “Five seasons” and not for (which was totally not me haha), in Japan they have an extra season between Spring and Summer called the Rainy Season. I think you can guess what it’s like from the name…
“a View of Sierra De Cobre” opens with a cool 80’s sounding synth bass line and merges with another one of Eigo Utohs classic quite mysterious sounding Violin solos. Listening just now i was thinking. I’ve listened to Midas for a while and they are one band that made me go into making music myself, i never really realized how much of an influence they have been really. Meanwhile back to the review. The song is actually one i have heard from a you tube video which upon a search or two i cannot seem to find. although the introductory violin solo was not there, it was a live video of them playing a year or two back and it was this song, or at least an early version. When i watched the video i knew they’d be releasing a new album. This is probably actually my favorite track because of it, i dunno. But it this song specifically just does stand.
From this we lead to my second favorite track “Long Lonesome Road”, an epic instrumental piece that builds up from the ground, like a cowboy walking off into the sunset, something like that. It grows from a duel violin/synth leading and then trails into an organ solo by Eisho Lynn. Eigo Utoh and drummer Masaru Henmi get their own awesome solos. The Piece is finished up with another violin solo then re emerges to the duet with synth and Violin.
are Penultimate track is “Blood on the Sands” which is dedicated to composer Ennio Morricone who composed for films such as “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and “a Fistful of Dollars”, Both Clint Eastwood westerns which runs with the cowboy analogy. Reading the lyrics in the CD booklet just now i noticed a typo i think. The lyrics read “Feelig High” which i imagine is supposed to be “Feeling High”. I can only imagine this song now to be like a showdown between three cowboys or something .
The album itself apparently has a concept, as on the credits of the CD it is listed on there. If it does then i’d imagine it to based around westerns and cowboys as that is certainly the vibe i’m getting.
Time Robber is a sad sounding piece, almost like it’s about a failed love. Although i feel i like “Destiny Warriors” from their previous album better, it’s still a nice closer, and has almost a sing along chorus because half the lyrics for the chorus are in English which is nice, the ones in question and i quote from the CD booklet “Time Robber she said, Time Loser He said”. You can probably get from these lyrics why i get the impression of a love song from this one. It also contains one last beautiful and dramatic violin solos before the song it’self concludes almost cinematically and bringing the “Eternal Voyage” to a close.
All in all my view may be biased but i have to give this album a 4/5. It’s got some really great instrumental work, interesting concepts and does a brilliant job at doing something i feel you should always do with your music and that is blend the old with the new. If you change your style completely you risk alienating older fans where as having the blend allows you to keep your old fans whilst still progressing and being fresh.