Social Tension - Macbethia. 1989 Japan

Macbethia arrived during the boom years of the Japanese progressive rock scene of the late 1980s. Their sound is somewhat typical of the time, with brassy digital keyboards and bouncy rhythms. It takes some time for the ears to adjust to their sound and at first listen it can be underwhelming. The ELP worship is a bit obvious, and the sparse vocals aren't helping. However, there are signs that there's more here than the usual copycat prog band. Nobuo Endoh also plays a mean Hammond organ, and there's some analog Moog synthesizers as well to digest. So by the time one gets to 'Inner Vision', it's no longer Japanese happy land, but rather we've entered the mysterious world of SFF's Symphonic Pictures as well as an embryonic version of Anglagard! The title track, coming in at a whopping 19:37, is what one would call a "prog extravaganza". It's a blitzkrieg of keyboard driven (mostly) instrumental progressive rock. So if names such as Motoi Sakuraba, Ars Nova, and Gerard (especially late 90s and beyond version) get you excited, then be sure to look for Macbethia.

Personal collection
LP: 1989 Made in Japan

Like Vermilion Sands, I'm fairly certain this album was not released with an obi nor insert. I've never seen them and I bought my copy new not long after release. There is a CD from the same year, but it's quite difficult to source at a decent price. Musea also reissued the album in 1999 with 2 tracks from their second album, but it's no easier to find. Given the beautiful artwork, I think I'll just stick with the vinyl unless the CD comes about cheap.

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