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The thing with shredders is, they try to put as many notes as possible within a minuscule time-frame, and they may have accomplished something very vastly difficult to achieve, but they leave the listeners out in the rain. The rule of the game has been to sacrifice melody for increasing technicality. Ohmura, Takayoshi knows this all very well, but chooses to ignore it, and it is this decision, which has made this album what it is. Solid riffing, with very catchy melodies, and a very good overall song-structure. This is one fine album.
Catchy, is the word here. Starting from the riffs, to the lead lines, to the chorus, everything sticks in your mind for a while, and like I mentioned before, Takayoshi-san has not tried to be a one-man shred show, and has done his utmost to put himself at the service of expressing the song. But, do not misunderstand me, he has crafted this album in such a way, that he can showcase his considerable guitar skills, even without being over-the-top. The lead lines are quite complex and very melodious, a simple combination which many of the world's greatest shredders has failed to achieve. Glam influences are very prominent, and so is the use of a distinctly oriental sound. He has merged both of them quite well. The guest vocalists have all been fantastic, never too loud or brash, just doing as much as needed, nothing more, nothing less.
This album had a lot of commercial potential if it had been released during the 80s. But unfortunately it is quite a few years late. In the year of 2007, lot of people have moved on from this sort of music, and that is why it is not a surprise that Takayoshi-san is rather unheard of. Two highlights of the album would have to be 'When I Close My Eyes' and the ending track 'Every Time'. The former has a very striking chorus, and the latter has a memorable riff. What both songs have in common though, is a very melodic, yet complex lead guitar solo.
Production values are not as good as you'd like them to be, but that is a minor glitch which you should not give too much weightage to. It is far from a lyrical masterpiece, but at least it does not make you cringe. To conclude, I'll say I see no reason for any metal lover to dislike this album. This guy deserves more popularity, more respect. He has proved himself, he is not just Marty Friedman's second guitarist, he is Takayoshi Ohmura, who can really play his instrument and craft a full song at the same time.
'Takayoshi Ohmura' is a nice fellow from Japan giving us this quite unknown yet solid album. He sure got some guitar skills to show and he doesn't miss any chance to do so. There are some highly complex guitar leads here that are being executed fairly well and accurate. Despite this, I can't say I liked the guitar tone in this album. It sounds kinda dry and the middle frequencies are a bit loud for me. With a better equalization and maybe a different mix it could have sounded more proper. The drums tone is horrible. The volume get clips sometimes due to the loudness of the cymbals, kinda amateurish mastering process in my opinion.
I don't know who the vocalist is in track 3 ('When I Close My Eyes'), but he has a powerful timbre and reminds me of the hair gods from the 80's. This track is in my opinion the best here: it has a catchy opening riff and exciting chorus in the vein of all these old forgotten American AOR bands plus quite amazing guitar solo that proves that 'Takayoshi Ohmura' got not only an amazing technique but also quite good melodic sense.
Unlike many shred guitarists, Ohmura doesn't tries to steal the show. All the songs here are vocal oriented and sounds like a band effort with a blazing lead guitar player. Songs like 'Stay Away' or 'Tell Me Why' could have been great hits in the 80's with these fancy video clips in VH1, but they came out in 2007 instead.
Anyway, this is an easy listening album with good melodic material and nice guitar skills. With a better production and maybe more massive touring, I'm sure that 'Takayoshi Ohmura' can be a household name even outside of Japan.
I'd like to start off by saying I didn't really want to give this album a numerical rating, because I think rating an album based on numbers or grades is just nonsense. Albums are either, great, good, mediocre, etc.
This album definitely shows Ohmura's more melodic sense of playing, and I definitely appreciate it. This can be illustrated through his song "Every Time". Right from the intro riff, I was hooked in. Why? That one riff showed so much emotion that I had to continue listening until the end of the song, and he didn't disappoint, especially with the solo near the end of the song. "Every Time" was definitely my favorite song on that album. However, it wasn't his only good one. All of the songs were great and deserve to be praised.
Takayoshi Ohmura is a virtuoso who deserves more fame, but doesn't get it. I'm sure in Japan, he's considered a God, but here in America; he's most likely a nobody with all the people I know.
Bottom-line, this album shows technical prowess, great melody, and that it's just plain kickass. I recommend it to any metal lover out there.