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Gerard, Japan


Website
Fan site (more info than official site)
Samples

Gerard are a long running symphonic progressive rock band lead by keyboardist Toshio Egawa. I presume they are still a functioning unit, though the last activity I could find is 2015. Not sure if they have a Facebook page, but I couldn't find one if they do. My history with the band goes back to their very beginning, and I once owned their first two albums on LP. I sold them, though I'm not sure I'd do that today. In addition, I have heard Irony of Fate and Pandora's Box, but never owned them. I currently only possess The Ruins of a Glass Fortress and the album we're featuring today: Live in Marseille. No matter if I ever buy more Gerard, or not, for certain this album will be a keeper deep into my lifespan. I'll update this post when I revisit Ruins/Glass, or any others I decide to pick up along the way.

Gerard - s/t. 1984 Nexus (LP); 1988/92/99 Crime (CD); 2001 Spalax (France CD); 2011 Nexus (mini-LP)
Gerard - Empty Lie, Empty Dream. 1985 Nexus (LP); 1988/92/99 Crime (CD); 2006 Altavoz (mini-LP); 2011 Nexus (mini-LP)
Gerard - Dream of Dreaming (EP). 1985 Nexus (LP)
Gerard - Irony of Fate. 1991 Crime (CD); 1993 Spalax (France CD); 2013 Crime (mini-LP)
Gerard - Save Knight by the Night. 1994 Nexus (CD)
Gerard - The Pendulum. 1996 Musea (France CD); 1997 Trycle (CD); 2010 Sky Station (mini-LP)
Gerard - Pandora's Box. 1997 Trycle (CD); 1997 Musea (France CD)
Gerard - Evidence of True Love (EP). 1997 Trycle (CD)
Gerard - Meridian. 1998 Made in Japan (CD); 1998 Musea (France CD); 2000 Avalon (CD)
Gerard - Live in Marseille/Battle Triangle. 1998 Made in Japan (CD); 1999 Musea (France CD)
Ars Nova / Gerard - Keyboards Triangle. 1999 Avalon (CD); 1999 Musea (France CD)
Gerard - The Ruins of a Glass Fortress. 2000 Avalon (CD); 2000 Musea (France CD)
Gerard - Keyboard Triangle II. 2002 private (CD); 2013 Musea (France CD)
Gerard - Sighs of the Water. 2002 Avalon (CD); 2002 Musea (France CD)
Gerard - Power of Infinity. 2004 Avalon (CD); 2005 Musea (France CD)
Gerard - Ring of Eternity. 2010 Altavoz (CD); 2012 Musea (France CD)
Gerard - Visionary Dream. 2011 Ultimate (CD); 2012 Musea (France CD)
Gerard - Gap Moe (EP). 2012 Ultimate (CD)

Meridian is often considered a compilation album, but it's actually re-recorded versions of their first two albums, so it should be considered a unique release. Some of this discography info is likely to be incomplete, as details are sketchy at best on some of their releases.

---- Live in Marseille/Battle Triangle

Gerard had 7 studio albums prior to this, their first live album. All the tracks have been culled from their studio recordings, and there's an additional cover of a Banco del Mutuo Soccorso composition from Darwin. Generally live albums bore me, as they're nothing but a run-through of the studio material, but recorded in front of a live audience. That's not the case here. First of all, it's just the keyboard trio. As such, no vocals or guitars are present. Rather it's a non-stop blitzkrieg of Hammond fueled* instrumental workouts with fuzz bass and hyperactive drumming - and where each track has been turned up to "11". The album is just relentless in its intensity. Those looking for color or nuance will need to skip right over this one. Imagine the 1970 UK group Aardvark on a non-stop bender without vocals. Not for the fainthearted.

*This is absolutely the sound they obtain, but in reading the liner notes and the internet, it appears all the keyboards used were modern day Korg synthesizers run through Leslie pedals. If only other contemporary bands had adopted such a thick and meaty sound!

I own the Made in Japan CD (first scan - the second is the Musea release), and the only date copyrighted is 1998. The album is titled Live in Marseille, subtitled Battle Triangle, and further it says "Ltd. Edition for Fan Club", as the indigenous release features one short bonus piece called 'Revenge', which sounds just as great as everything else on the album.

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----La Coscienza di Zeno

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Kenso - s/t. 1980 Pam (LP); 1995 Arcangelo (CD)
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----Inversa Visual

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