Gerard Reviews

Also see: NEARfest 2002 ~ Keyboard Triangle

Bookmarks: The Ruins of a Glass Fortress

From: Mark Fonda <>
If you like Ars Nova you'll probably like Gerard... in fact you may already have some of their music.  I only have their most recent CD 'Pandora's Box' (1997), but they've been around since 1984, pre-dating Ars Nova by about 8 years. They are the same three-piece Japanese keyboard-dominated powerhouse formula.  They have a male lead singer (in English). They have five previous releases. Anyone know much about them?

From: "E-Man" <>
(Gerard is) one of the hardest-driving, non-industrial, keyboard-led, guitar-free groups around! Gerard hail from Japan, and Toshio Egawa is one bad-ass mo'fo' on da keys!

From: Mark Fonda <>
I just received my copy of 'Meridian', the new special edition release by Gerard. Here's the track listing:
1. Meridian (Special Version); 2. Orpheus - Part 1-3 1998 (New Version)*; 3. The act of the apostles; 4. Prelude (Instrumental Version); 5. Empty lie, empty dream*; 6. Revenge; 7. Melting time (Special Version); * originally on 'The Pendulum'
All the tracks except two are new as far as I know. Gerard does not stray from their power trio formula yet there is plenty of variety. I especially like "Prelude" since it has some fantastic orchestral passages with strings, horns and bass drums along with a fabulous synth lead line over the top. This is a studio album recorded from Dec.'97 to March '98 in Tokyo. The lineup is unchanged with Toshio Egawa on keyboards, Atsushi Hasegawa on bass and Mashuhiro Goto on drums. Guests Robin Suchy and Tomoki Ueno provide the vocals on tracks 5 and 2, respectively.
The CD comes in a special cardboard box with a baroque image on the front and a color photo of the band inside along with a b&w paper insert giving the track and recording details. I'd say that this is an indispensable item for any true Gerard fan and also a great place to start for anyone not already familiar. With only 300 copies being printed these will go fast... and they may be worth something in the future. My only complaint is that the copies are not numbered or autographed.

From: "E-Man" <>
Gerard, the Japanese trio (actually, an on/off quartet, whenever they involve a vocalist) led by virtuoso keyboardist Toshio Egawa, has a "new" release out, called MERIDIAN, as Mark had let us know. I just received it. If this is their idea of a 300-copy "limited edition," than I'd rather have the regular edition (provided it has the same tracks, and not the same gimmick).
Here is that gimmick: take a regular, brown cardboard box about the thickness of a 250-page novel, and the width and height of an eight-track cartridge, and make it open and close with a "secret diary"-style lid. Next, stamp the Gerard logo in black ink at the top, and hand-glue a color photocopy of a gorgeous Renaissance oil painting beneath it. Now, open the box. It's a Kodak, no, sorry, it's a Fuji moment, as a snapshot of Gerard hails you in. Beneath that is a folded, b&w one-sided photocopy with the track titles, credits, acknowledgements, and lyrics. Really. Beneath that is the CD, in a transparent case. The CD is only about forty minutes long, too. All this for $25. Really. *sigh*
On to the music: I'll admit that this is a must for Gerard fans, IF, once these 300 copies are gone, then that's it. The opening track, "Meridian," is a stunner! Such interaction and wound-tight time changes effected between Toshio, Atsushi Hasegawa (bass), and Masuhiro Goto (drums) isn't very common. These guys make one helluva trio. The next track, "Orpheus (Pts. 1-3) 1998" is better left alone. It's more lively than the version on THE PENDULUM, but Tomoki Ueno's newly-recorded vocals are terrible, as if he's trying to have a bowel movement. Really. Track 3, "The Act of the Apostles," is another up-tempo, testosterone-laden piece. Toshio says he wants no guitarist in this band, and I really don't think they need one! "Prelude (Instrumental Version)" is a lovely, orchestral piece. "Empty Lie, Empty Dream" is the same version from THE PENDULUM. I would have rather seen another new track. Track 6, "Revenge," is an organ-laden, hot-blooded, Goblin-style piece. These guys amaze me. They should remain an instrumental outfit. The closer, "Melting Time (Special Version)" is another ripper. Toshio adorns this one with plenty of guitar-mimicking solos, played with a gritty sound from one of his Korg keyboards. Like Vince Di Cola, Jens Johansson and Claudio Simonetti, what can't this guy play? :-)

From: "Andrew J. Rozsa" <>
Gerard's 'Meridian'... is breathtakingly beautiful. At least according to my tastes. Some tracks make your blood surge, others bring tears to your eyes. One of my all time favorites.

From: "Mark Fonda" <>
Just got this fantastic new release: Gerard - Live in Marseille; Made in Japan Records, 1998; Recorded June 7, 1998 at L'Affanchi, Marseille, France; Mixed in Nov. 1998 at Studio Triade, Tokyo, Japan; Artists: Toshio Egawa (Keyboards, used Korg Synthesizers), Atushi Hasegawa (Bass) and Mashuhiro Goto (Drums)... all men. Tracks:  (total time - 46:23)
1. Chaos  (originally on 'Pandora's Box'); 2. La Conquista della Posizione Eretta; 3. Orpheus part 2 (originally on 'The Pendulum' and 'Meridian'); 4. Into The Dark; 5. Meridian (originally on 'Meridian'); 6. Freedom (originally on 'Pandora's Box'); 7. The Acts of Apostles (originally on 'Meridian'); 8. Pandora's Box (originally on 'Pandora's Box'); 9. (bonus track) Revenge (new track?)
This album is everything you would expect from Gerard... searing over-the-top, take-no-prisoners, keyboard-driven power-prog!!  This being a live performance I did not detect any noticeable flaws or bad notes... very good renditions of their previous studio productions.  The audience is sparse since you can hear individual people yelling.  The lineup is the same as 'Meridian' (1998), 'Pandora's Box' (1997) and 'The Pendulum' (1996)... only Egawa is still from the original lineup from 'Irony of Fate' (1990)... although I don't know about their two previous releases: 'Gerard' (1984) and 'Empty Lie, Empty Dream' (198?) or 'Save Knight by the Night' (1994).  There are no guest performers such as Robin Suchy who did vocals on 'Meridian'. So if you like roller coaster-type excitement in your music, this turbo-charged live performance is just for you... just make sure you fasten your seat belts!!

From: "upnsm0ke" <>
> From: "Richard Stockwell" <>
> Just listening to a promo tape of Gerard "Live In Marseille". Wicked! How come this group isn't talked about as much (if not more) than artists like the Flowerkings, Par Lindh, Cairo etc etc ??????? Never see any mention of this band on rec.music.progressive or elsewhere. This band has to be any prog (keyboard) fans target for buying.
Who knows why they're not making waves like Spock's Beard or Flower Kings. My guess is that they're 1) not exactly a vocal band, excepting those songs with Robin Suchy; and 2) those who don't identify with serious keyboard shredding won't be able to digest the compositions, and will dismiss Gerard as more ELP-inspired keyboard-wankering. Their loss. Gerard are in my Top 10, currently (they edged out BareNaked Ladies, hahahaha).

From: Jeff Marx <>                     (back to top)
Some interesting news from Ghostland (http://www.ghostland.com/)
Ars Nova has finished recording for a progressive rock tribute album with Gerard. Ars Nova covered ELP's "Tarkus", Trace's "King Bird", "Buree" and an Il Balletto di Bronzo song. Gerard covered ELP, Rick Wakeman, Banco and PFM songs. This will be released from Avalon/Marquee in Japan on July 21st. Musea will also release it with a different album cover. Ars Nova was unsuccessful in finding a female bass player in Japan, so they have decided to remain as a double keyboard trio.

From: Jeff Marx <>
Cross-posting from the ELP list: Hallo fans. I just received a CD called Keyboards Triangle. It is a new but expensive Japanese CD. Two bands are playing on it, Gerard and Ars Nova. Gerard plays: La Conquista Della Posizione Erata from BANCO, Catharine Parr from Rick Wakeman, Four Holes In The Ground from PFM, Toccata from ELP.  Ars Nova: Birds Medley from TRACE, Epilogo from Il Balletto Di Bronzo, Tarkus from ELP.  I think it is one of the best CDs of this year and you all must listen to this CD and the real ELP fans will buy it.  I hope that Keith Emerson will listen to his tracks and maybe he will get new inspiration. Label= AVALON.

From: "Carlos Lima" <>
The album KEYBOARD TRIANGLE "Same" was scheduled to be released by Musea on last October, under the number "FGBG 4307.AR". I don't know if it was! However, if you'll like to save some money on it, I think you should wait for the Musea's release :-)

From: Jeff Marx <>
Just in case any of you haven't ordered this lovely keyboard trio tribute album from Arsnova and Gerard, but would like to check out some of the music, I've put up three RealAudio samples on my website.  Here's the direct URL; http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Frontrow/7806/plp.html

From: "all4rains" <>
<>>
Whaddaya' think, Jeff? Just got mine from Mr. Walker the other day too...this one's a smoker, IMO! Great high-octane stuff....

From: "upnsm0ke" <>
I'm not Jeff, but I agree (and he knows it!). "Fall Into A Doze" & "RoaGF, Pt. 2" are the two I like the best. Gone is Robin Suchy, perhaps for the better. Did you order any Kenso, too?

From: Jeff Marx <>
Yeah...a very satisfying trip from Toshio and company! I haven't heard it enought times to be sure, but I'm thinking this could be the best Gerard studio album yet. What do you think? Hopefully Musea will roll out the new Arsnova album sometime in the next month or two.

From: "all4rains" <>
Hey Eli...I'm partial to "The Edge Of Darkness" & "RoaGF,Pt.2" myself. Toshio Egawa is stretching out a little more these days, but I'd have to agree with you & wish he'd get some more varied synth tones. Still one friggin' killer album, though! The bass player especially impresses me on this one.... No Kenso yet; my cup runneth over a little much with Greg this month. Next month...:)

From: "upnsm0ke" <>
Funny, in ever Gerard album reads the line, "Toshio Egawa uses KORG synthesizers," but as Jeff pointed out, in the Keyboards Triangle release, besides no less than six separate Korg synths, Toshio also employs a MiniMoog (his, or on loan from Keiko?) and a Roland XP-60, which must be the source of his Mellotron sample. Still, everything aside from the 'Tron seems to have "Korg" written all over it (wait, a Hammond XB5 with Leslie Speakers!).
> The bass player especially impresses me on this one....
Ah totally agree with ya: Atsushi is a bad-ass mo'fo' on the big-bottom generator.

From: "nearfest" <> Subject: Japanese heavyweights GERARD to perform at NEARfest 2002
NEARfest is pleased to announce that the excellent Japanese symphonic progressive power trio Gerard has enthusiastically agreed to perform at this year's festival.  This will be Gerard's first ever appearance on the main bill of a North American progressive rock festival, and first ever show on the East Coast of the United States. With this choice, we looked for a powerful, aggressive symphonic prog group. There is no finer band currently active in this realm than Gerard. The band features the vigorous playing and memorable melodic compositions of multi-keyboard virtuoso Toshio Egawa, with the spectacularly dynamic rhythm section of Masuhiro Goto and Atsushi Hasegawa, comfortable in all kinds of odd time signatures. Gerard is poised to blow the roof off of Patriots Theater on the Sunday afternoon portion of the festival with their athletic instrumental fireworks.  For those of you unfamiliar with Gerard, we urge you to pick up "Live in Marseilles" or "Ruins of a Glass Fortress". Both of these albums are on Musea Records and are available from the usual on-line prog dealers.  Aggressive keyboard power trio prog rock gets no better than Gerard.  They are somewhat of an underrated band right now, but their profile will be tremendously enhanced by their performance on the NEARfest stage.
With Gerard's addition there has been some schedule reshuffling. Gerard will perform second on the Sunday portion of the festival and have a 75 minute set.  Isildurs Bane will move to third on Sunday, extending their set time to 90 minutes.  Enchant will then slot in third on Saturday, with an 80 minute set.  Peace, Rob LaDuca, President, NEARfest

From: "jet22p" <>
Date: Wed Jul 10, 2002 7:18 am
Subject: Gerard at NF???
I'm really disappointed at the lack of reviews (let alone raves) for Gerard at Nearfest. C'mon, isn't there anyone who was blown away by these guys? Please give us some info (I'm sure E-man is dying for some too!) How was the sound? Lighting? What were they wearing? What tunes did they do? Did they interact with the crowd? Did the drummer do any singing or was their set all instrumental? Was anyone hearing them for the first time and did you buy any CDs afterwards? Were there any "Japan-prog moments" such as the famous Ars Nova line: "I not with band. I have penis." ? thanks, Jet

From: pfm@mse.biglobe.ne.jp
Date: Wed Jun 26, 2002 12:37 pm
Subject: Japanese Musicians at NEARfest
Hello progers! As you know a Japanese band Gerard will play at NEARfest. I know many other very good music in Japan. POSEIDON Productions will promote 18 Japanese musicians at NEARfest. We deal color flyers and provide following their CDs. Please come to our table.
-Bellaphone - Firefly.......Symphonic rock, close to Camel
-Bikyoran - Anthology vol.1.........'70s King Crimson style.
-Bondage Fruit - Skin..........Heavy minimal groove.
-Cinderella Search - same, Stories of Luminous Garden.....Theatrical rock.
-Djamra - same.........R.I.O style.
-Elephant Talk............Ambient progressive rock with clear female vocals.
-KBB - Lost and Found........Violin oriented symphonic jazz rock.
-Kenso - II, Ken Son Gu Su, Fabulis Mirabilibus de Bombycosi Scriptis....Master peaces.
-L'evolzione - antibiOtic RHYTHM.......Dream Theater style.
-Lucifer - Marginia........Progressive folk rock.
-Pochakaite Malko - same.........Heavy Zeuhl with Hammond organ.
-Quaser - same...........Symphonic rock with heavy rhythm section.
-Round House - Jin-Zo-Ningen, Live@2001 in Osaka, Wings to Rest...Symphonic jazz rock.
-Six North - I'm here in my heart................Technical jazz rock.
-Theta - seeds of the Dream..............Symphonic rock with violin and female voice.
You can see more detail on our web site. http://www.musicterm.jp/nearfest/FLYER.HTML
POSEIDON Productions has provided management service for Japan tour of foremost progressive musicians including Kevin Ayers, Richard Sinclair and the East, Banco, Lars Hollmer's Sola, Anekdoten, Blast, Pekka Pohjola, Mastermind, Pest, among others, and will be hosting Il Balletto di Bronzo later this year. -Hiroshi

From: all4rains
Date: Sunday, July 21, 2002 11:35 PM  Subject: Re: [e-Prog] New Gerard? (Sighs Of The Water)
<<I was visiting Musea website and noted that new Gerard CD is being sold. Anyone already listened to it?
Yes. I just did a marathon road trip to Orlando & back with the new Gerard (& a few other newies) in the Jeep, & can highly recommend it. Some very nice textures this time around, with Toshio Egawa experimenting a little more. The high-energy thing is still there, but there's some more relaxed moments, with more of a symphonic feel. As E-Man pointed out recently, there's even a Gerard first--a little dash of fusion thrown in. I'm really impressed with the way these guys have been growing from album to album. I'd pick it up, Ricardo!

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