Naikaku (shortened from Naikaku-No-Wa meaning Internal Nuclear Tide) just released there second album, Shell in 2006. I was first exposed to the bandís debut CD, Wheel of Fortune in 2003. Three years later they return with yet another chaotic aural roller coaster ride that captivates you from the first note until the last.
This bandís ability to take classic progressive rock then adding some modern touches wasnít a one off thing. They continue with this meshing of two worlds thus firmly securing their place as one of Japan's modern contribution to the progressive community. The music is made up of heavy guitars, beautiful flute and a tight rhythmic section. The guitar parts remind me of how King Crimson would sound if played by Dream Theaterís John Petrucci. The flute conjures up moments that easily bring classic Jethro Tull to mind.
Opening track, Crisis 051209 starts things off in epic mode and in between are songs clocking between 7-9 minutes. The grand daddy of epics is the 16+ minute title track. Ending off the disc is the shortest song on the disc, the almost 4 minute Tautrogy.
Thereís no bad tracks here, in fact this album might be ranked as one of the best instrumental releases of 2006. Each track has an equal part of symphonic, jazzy, spacey, psychedelic and dissonant passages thus making it, in my opinion, a true winner for all fans of modern progressive music. I canít recommend this enough!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on June 8th, 2006