Cyclamen
Ashura


4.5
superb

Review

by DrGonzo1937 USER (16 Reviews)
September 19th, 2013 | 25 replies | 3,238 views


Release Date: 09/17/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cyclamen knock it up a gear with Ashura.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

For those new to Cyclamen, they are a DIY band founded by Hayato Imanishi. Being the guy that writes, runs and manages everything that goes on in the band it can take its toll -which is why with Ashura, Cyclamen’s second full length LP, there is a stable band of very talented young musicians.

Cyclamen’s first LP ‘Senji’ was a very promising starting point, showing some jaw-dropping guitar shredding and some pretty tasty vocal work. But while it was impressive and enjoyable to listen to, it wasn’t a very consistent effort; blending a lot of different styles that didn’t always payoff, feeling more like an experiment.
The EP ‘Memories, Voices’ that was released in 2012 was another great experiment that concentrated more on vocals rather than instrumental muscle (although, there was still plenty in there to please fans) and turned out to be a solid and enjoyable EP. If it’s one thing Hayato knows it’s how to put a great vocal melody together.
Now that Hayato has, what seems to be permenant members in Cyclamen now, it’s on to making full LP number two.

Ashura is not only Cyclamen’s best album to date, but an impressive display of progression. In retrospect the demo, EP’s and LP seem like stepping stones to bring you this extremely solid album. Where Senji failed in holding a balance in sound, Ashura certainly succeeds in not only keeping it in the same style, but amalgamates the Memories, Voices sound without losing any of the heaviness the album holds; and this is a pretty damn heavy album. Even with the soft vocal melodies in songs like ‘Mugen-Houyou’ the music behind it is heavy.
A personnel favourite of mine is Hyakusetsu-Futou: kicking you right in the face from the moment it starts, then Hayato giving it his all with what I can only describe as ‘System Of A Down’ style vocals, that soon moves into a cool melodic chorus before ending.

It’s the SOAD vocal style that is the hidden weapon on this album and it works very well, because a lot of how the music is written, the vocals just melds together perfectly, creating this monstrous wall of sound. And songs like ‘Gashin-Shoutan’, which follows the same line as Hyakusetsu, where it goes in for that style of fast vocals ends up paying off when it comes to the chorus, which highlights the melodic vocal change.

The album isn’t perfect though, and can suffer from a little bit of repetition, mainly down to the vocals. Guitar work on this album is pretty amazing throughout and does help the vocals through tracks like ‘Mugen-Houyou’ and ‘Hika-Kougai’, but the songs do feel dragged out because of it.

The best song on the album, though, was placed right at the end of the album - and rightfully so. ‘Kusoku-Zeshiki’ starts off slow and soft, with the sound of a clock ticking in the background and Hayato singing softly. Anyone who knows a little about the band will know the Post-Rock band 'Envy' is one of the influences to the bands sound, and throughout the album you might be surprised by the lack of epic Envy build ups on the album, but get to this track and you realise they're throwing the kitchen sink at you with this track. The song builds and builds into this massive epic beast before finishing.

All-in-all, a great way to end the album.

Overall, this is a really, really great album. Minus a couple of little niggles this is an album to be proud of. Every song is at the very least solid and brings something exciting. If you’ve never heard Cyclamen before, look no further, this is the album to start with.



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user ratings (15)
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4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
September 19th 2013



5193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

First review in a while, so go easy on me guys.

I've been jamming this album hard the last two days. Such a great album.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2013



5906 Comments


First four songs are streaming at bandcamp:

http://cyclamen.bandcamp.com/album/ashura-pre-order

Digging: The Golden Grass - The Golden Grass

DrGonzo1937
September 19th 2013



5193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers Voivod.

For those that don't know, if you pre-order it you get the full album to download straight away.

Krow147
September 20th 2013



16 Comments


I just listened to Haja-Kenshou. The clean vocals need some improvement. Pretty impressive, otherwise.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 20th 2013



9025 Comments


Good review man.

Just make sure you know when to end your sentences. In your second paragraph some of the sentences could be separated but good stuff otherwise.

DrGonzo1937
September 20th 2013



5193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers Mongi. I've corrected it.

Have you heard the album? I'm actually taken away by how good it is.


Krow147, yeah, he's cleans aren't the best, but he has a pretty broad vocal range.


Krow147
September 20th 2013



16 Comments


Paragraph one: "everything that goes on in the band it can take its toll" Word 'it' is unnecessary.
Paragraph two: "consistant", should be consistent
Paragraph two: "blending a lot of different styles that didn’t always payoff, feeling more like an experiment." Run on sentence
Paragraph two: "what seems to be very permenant members" Word 'very' is unnecessary and permanent

I'm not really willing to go through the rest of it. Good review anyway, posd.

DrGonzo1937
September 20th 2013



5193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers man, I've corrected what was needed.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 20th 2013



9025 Comments


Nope never heard of them before

DrGonzo1937
September 20th 2013



5193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Check it out, man. Well worth a spin. Although, I'm not 100% sure it's your flavour lol.

Krow147
September 20th 2013



16 Comments


Whatever. I've got nothing else to do right now.

Paragraph two: "showing some very jaw-dropping guitar", using very to describe jaw-dropping seems redundant. Especially since it's the second time the word very is used in the sentence.

Paragraph two: "styles that didn’t always payoff, feeling more like an experiment." Still a run on sentence, and I think that payoff is a noun while pay off is an action. I believe pay off would be correct in this context.

Paragraph two: "The EP ‘Memories, Voices’ that was released in 2012 was another great experiment aiming more for the vocal side of things and was a very interesting listen." I would break up everything before the word 'and' into two sentences and make "It was a very interesting listen." its own sentence.

Paragraph two: "If it’s one thing Hayato knows it’s how to put a great vocal melody together." The wording of sentence seems a little awkward. I would change it to something like 'If Hayoto could do only one thing, it would be writing good vocal melodies.'

Paragraph two: "Now that Hayato has, what seems" Unnecessary comma

Paragraph three: "In retrospect the demo" Needs a comma after retrospect

Paragraph three: "Where Senji failed in holding a balance in sound" Another awkward sentence. Maybe try something like: 'While Senji couldn't maintain a consistent sound,'

Paragraph three: "And this is a pretty damn heavy album, even..." Even should start its own sentence.

Paragraph three: " in songs like ‘Mugen-Houyou’" This should have a comma after it since the sentence starts with a dependent clause.

And again, I become too distracted to finish the entire thing.

OwMySnauze
September 20th 2013



741 Comments


I only know of this band from that split they did with Haunted Shores. I'll have to check this out.

Digging: The Antikythera Mechanism - Pathos

DrGonzo1937
September 21st 2013



5193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, that Haunted Shores split was pretty cool!

thiscyclamen
September 24th 2013



1 Comments


Thank you so much for taking time writing this!
It's awesome to be reviewed by someone who knows the history of the band

Please keep up the good work and it's a great pleasure to be reviewed by your awesome site!

Hayato and Cyclamen

DrGonzo1937
September 24th 2013



5193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No worries, man. I'm a huge fan and this is an amazing album.

ShitsofRain
October 24th 2013



5533 Comments


bump

Digging: Ben Sims - Fabric 73

DrGonzo1937
October 25th 2013



5193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album. All about Kusoku-Zeshiki.

AnimalsAsSummit
January 6th 2014



619 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow. This moves far and beyond their older releases, which I found stagnant in terms of the stylistic choices. Idk if you'd even call this 'djent', but if so, this best djent

Digging: Downstate - Night Colour

DrGonzo1937
January 7th 2014



5193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely not as Djent as previous releases, which is a good thing. lol

PortalofPerfection
January 22nd 2014



332 Comments


Damn this is good.



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