Album Review: Cyclamen – Ashura


Challenging, heavy, unpredictable and fun. One of my favourite releases this year. 


Release Date: October 13, 2013 on their own label Realising Media

Tracks: 10

Length: 35 minutes

Genre: Not easy to describe. Experimental, prog/math metal, post-rock

Previous releases: Split EP 2009, debut album Senjyu 2010,  Memories, Voices EP 2012

Recommended for fans of:  Challenging, interesting, unpredictable music

Description: On Cyclamen’s Bandcamp page it says: DIY-To-The-Core and I get a sense that those words were written with a feeling of great pride and accomplishment. After hearing the new album and seeing Cyclamen live (and meeting them after the show, such great people!), I understand why. This is a fascinating and very different album, with influences from things and places I can only imagine in my mind.

The brain, the manager and the force behind everything that has to do with the band is Hayato Imanishi and in 2008 he cyclamenstarted creating music in his bedroom. He quickly made a good reputation of himself and worked together with musicians from Monuments, Chimp Spanner, TesseracT and SikTh. The band now has a solid line-up of talented musicians and have been all the way over in Europe to play live shows.

Ashura’ is a good bit heavier and darker than the debut album, with plenty of pounding bass rhythms, complicated and frenetic guitar shredding and aggressive, frustrated singing. All this is blended with surprisingly catchy melodies and choruses which makes the album quite accessible, if not on the first listen, at least after a couple of spins. I like the play with contrasts; the heavy parts are raw, honest and emotive and the melodic, post-rocky moments are sweet and instantly appealing. This description might sound like your average modern metal band, but like I’ve said, this is far from average music. It might take some time and effort to get into, but once you do, you’ll find that Cyclamen has a very eclectic and enjoyable sound with lots of details and interesting twists. Their albums are based on one long story that will be revealed in full after the third album is released.

Ashura’ is available in two versions on Bandcamp, one mastered by Hayato Imanishi himself, and the other one made by TesseracT’s Acle Kahney in his 4D Sounds studio.

Strong points: Great melodies, unusual music style, a bass that is very prominent. Unpredictable, fantastic songwriting. A groovy, bouncy sound with a large portion of sincerity. Cool vocals that really suits the music.

Recommended songs: Haja–Kenshou, Gashin-Shoutan, Hika-Kougai, Kusoku-Zeshiki

Conclusion: This is an album filled with timeless, genre-bending, progressive music that should appeal to fans of many different styles. Cyclamen makes music that is sincere and dynamic and very fun to listen to. ‘Ashura’ is definitely one of the highlights of this year.




Full Album Stream:


About Irmelinis

A friend told me that I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.

Posted on October 21, 2013, in Album Reviews, Tales From Bandcamp & Full Album Streams and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Nice 🙂 Love how these guys are so proggy and technical but dish it up in short, intense songs. Sometimes I find a whole CD length too much to take in, especially when there’s a lot of detail and brutality to process. Good balance between heaviness and melody.

  2. Since they are on Bandcamp I will check out their album. Also their is something in they way Asian singers are phrasing their vocal lines that really appeals to me for some reason. I just remembered a Dir En Grey record I often listened to in my teens:-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: