Kenso - Kenso II. 1982 Japan

Kenso II sees the band absorbing from their debut the most European instrumental progressive rock side of their sound. Flute is more dominant, keyboards are confident, and the guitar tones are stronger. The songwriting and melody quotient are off the charts in terms of successful execution. The Asia Minor, Camel, and Rousseau influences that penetrated some of the debut is given more focus, but taken to the next level of intricacy and complexity. And tracks like 'Hyoto' demonstrate that Kenso have not abandoned their Japanese roots and recall the wondrous 'Umi' from the debut. 'Brand Shiko' forecasts their future with its blazing fusion sound. One can see where Kenso may have as well influenced the up and coming talented Hungarian group Solaris. Already by their sophomore work, Kenso were creating beautiful tapestries of sound. This is the definition of instrumental symphonic rock. A magical album.

Personal collection
LP: 1982 Pam
CD: 2002 Pathograph

The 3 bonus tracks on the first CD (1993) are all from the debut album. The 2002 CD, which is housed in a mini-LP sleeve, features as a bonus two cover tracks performed live: 'Power of the Glory', a unique instrumental based on Gentle Giant's works, and PFM's 'Four Holes in the Ground'.

Last listen: October 14, 2016

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