Fan Review: Overseas and Japanese fans review Kari Band's CD "Kari Ongen - Demo"

Fans from Japan and overseas gathered on Newswire to share their impressions on Kami Band's side project "Kari Band" debut Album "Kari Ongen - Demo". The first effort of Kami Band members BOH, Mikio Fujioka and Yuya Maeta is reviewed by fans! Read the review below.


Fan Review: Kari Band's "Kari Ongen - Demo" CD

Maik Gianino, Newswire's Editor from Montevideo, Uruguay.

I'm not specialist in Jazz Fusion but I use to listen some playlists on Spotify once in a while. But what I actually like from "Kari Ongen - Demo" is that the full album is instrumental, no vocals at all which is for me very important since I really enjoy instrumental music of different genres. 


The Album starts with "Common Time's Logic", a beautiful song which features air instruments from the very beginning. Some parts of the song for me are sublime for example the last part and ending and how fades out slowly to the end until Chuku starts. This song is very relaxed, I really like it because of it. It's the kind of song I like to be the first track of an Album. 


The second song is "Chuku". Somehow I feel like this song describes the idea behind Kari Band. This is possible the most Jazz Fusion song of the album that's why I think is the most "Kari Band" song of the record. Bassist BOH shows his complete charm in a very nice way, not the aggressive 6 Strings God Of Bass we usually know. Then trumpets, Keyboard and Yuya's drumming bring you to a beautiful bridge to the end of the song lead by Mikio Fujioka's guitar solo which is as always incredible. 


After Chuku, starts "Ninja Groove". This title is interesting I think they tried to give a Japanese sense not also in the cover of the album also in some of the song titles but there is more than that. Ninja Groove is more aggressive than the previous songs. Mikio's guitar leads the song the whole time. The chorus of the song makes me headbang for a little not because of aggressiveness because of its own rhythm. Around 02:50 the song shows its hidden charm, makes you feel in a temple, reminds me "Tenchu" the Ninja Stealth Assassin video game.  


The song is probably the heaviest song of the record, "Djentleman" features the talents of Kari Band members all together but also solo. The song starts with a heart beating to go into a slow and quiet Yuya's drumming and then is followed by guitar and the super powerful bass of BOH. Yuya Maeta's drumming is very aggressive and his solo part is incredible, BOH's bass as I said powerful somehow I can imagine his face playing this song, doing his classic gestures. Mikio Fujioka's solo is wonderful, starts being nice and shy and then is transformed in a aggressive and very fast guitar solo to fade into the last part of the song. This is probably one of the most favorite songs among BABYMETAL fans since its sound is more related with BABYMETAL's sound. 


Jazz Fusion returns in "Jamrika". Love Ai Kuwabara's Keyboard. She owns this song, since the body of the song is focused on her followed by the Kari Band members the Keyboard sound is completely in front this time. The last half of the song all instruments melt into one to create a complete wall of noise, totally incredible and enjoyable. I recommend a good set of headphones to listen this song in particular. 


The last song of the Album is from my point of view the best song of the record. BOH said in an interview with DiskUnion that he created the beginning of this song in rehearsals and then let Mikio to create the rest of the song with Yuya Maeta. This is a complete and beautiful journey from the snowny Asahikawa from BOH belongs to the rest of the world reaching each fan hearts in Japan and overseas. This song makes me feel peace and very emotional inside, I completely love this song. 


All in all, this Album is awesome even if you are not related with this genre you are going to enjoy some or all songs without any problems. If you didn't give a chance to "Kari Ongen - Demo" please take 25 minutes of your life to listen this wonderful effort by the Kami Band members. 



Hitoshi Sugioka, Newswire's translator from Tokyo, Japan.: 

I'm fan of Metal and not very related with other different genres in music. I tend to listen some rock bands once in a while but besides that nothing different, I think Metal has enough different styles to keep my mind busy listening. Well, I like Sakura Gakuin but that's a different story. Why I'm listening Kari Band new album? Because they are part of BABYMETAL, I don't think I would go to Tower Records Shinjuku to get their Album if there were not related with BABYMETAL. I mean, not because of them, because of the genre, I'm not related with it. 


Now, after listening the album several times I must say that their creation overpassed my expectations. I wasn't expecting a bad album of course not because I know they are amazing musicians but I was expecting a clash between my concepts about Metal music and a new sound called Jazz Fusion. But that never happend, accepted them playing Jazz from the very beginning. After listening the first time I though "Ok I like Djentleman only", because is the most powerful, but then realized after so many listens that the Album is a beautiful piece of music. I still think "Djentleman" is the best song or perhaps my favorite song. The rest of the songs are awesome and beatiful specially "Ninja Groove". I like Ninja in general so I feel related with this song too. 


I'm very interested to know how they sound live and how many songs they play aside the songs included in their Album. I was told they play covers too so I'm looking forward to see Kari Band live someday soon!


BOH san, Mikio san and Yuya san my congratulations on your effort and success with Kari Band!



Miguel Herrera from Bogota, Colombia. 

Okay, first off, my name is Miguel Herrera (tho you can call me Mike), i’m from Colombia, and i’m a mucisian. Not so long ago i was a quite good Babymetal (and therefore the Kami Band) fan, and although i haven’t been following the band as much lately as i once did, i am pretty familiar with their job and of course with the awesome stuff Maeta, Boh and Mikio can deliver. So with that said, why don’t we start with my personal review of this EP.


1. Common Time’s Logic: Like i said, i was pretty familiar with the job of this trio as Babymetal musicians, and because of that, boy was i surprised with the way they open this EP.  Common Time’s logic starts preciously with a name that calls out my attention straight away, and if you think that’s the only good thing abut this song you’re so wrong. To begin with, i was not expecting the presence of other instruments in this record and this song is a great example of the awesome stuff you can do without the need of high amounts of electronical help.


The song itself has a glorious beat and Mikio really shines throughout the song with some tasty guitar licks that drives you from start to finish, and speaking of endings this son is algo a great expample of a simple yet glorious ending that leaves you thinking if something huge is about to happen. And guess what? It is.


2. Chuku: Again Mikio takes the lead at the very beggining of this song, he’s pretty much letting you know who you’re dealing with, and Boh and Maeta do an amazing job following his lead with a bass that follows the guitar lines just to add some spicy flavour here and there and later get in the front line with a beautiful solo followed by some jazz action and a drum beat that makes my musician panties to drop so hard. This song is mesmerizing from its very beginning and the guitar solo at the end is just that glorious end you would want for a song that has so many changes. Something you would expect from the talent of this incredible musicians. 


3. Ninja Groove: Well the name pretty much summarizes what this song is all about, its got one of those grooves that are just that amazing and you can’t really tell who’s taking the lead at the very beginning, tho Mikio strikes again with some insanely solos between the main Groove part. But we don’t wanna talk only about Mikio, do we? Maeta shines right here with the amazing job he does following the guitar with the exquisite drumming he’s known for. As a drummer, i cannot stress enough how great and impressive his job is during this song, he gives it that groovey sensation and pretty much tells you why they chose the name of Ninja Groove for this amazing track, overall, this is one of my favorites from the record, and if you’re into that jazzy/bluesy style of music with amazing changes, you’ll probably love it just as well, but don’t worry metal fans, if heavy was the Word you were looking for in this record, Kari Band has your back and trust me, we have a LOT to talk about for the next song.


4. Djentleman: “You want heavy? Kari Band gives you heavy baby!” Was literally the first thing i thought when this song started, and holy shit! Is this song amazing. If you were looking to headbang with this record here’s your chance my friend. This song starts kicking you right in the throat with an insane riff by Mikio, then Maeta comes in later to let you know what a blast beat sounds like and let me tell you i’m not a huge death metal fan, but his drumming is so insanely fast he might just changed my point of view about that subgenre, followed by the one and only Boh making those bass players trickle and wonder if they will ever be capable of playing like this (Spoiler: they won’t). Now let me be clear, Mikio does an amazing job in this song as well, but at this point i think we all know what he’s capable of, and Boh and Maeta are just so good and are the ones that make this song so absolutely brutal, visceral and headbang worthy, this is the kind of song you blast in your car with no remorse of killing someone on your way to job. Metal fans rejoice, this song was made for you!.


5. Jamrika: What can i say? At this point i was pretty much impressed with the entire record, and this song just didn’t have something amazing as the previous ones when i listened to it the first time. But just like many great things in life, you just need to take some time to appreciate them to their fullest.


After the beast of a song Djentleman, this song drives you home with a chill beginning that makes you think of some clear jazz influences, and then they flip the table and really start doing some work at the very end with guitar solos and amazing drumming, so clearly i was gladly surprised with this track, the simple fact that you don’t know what’s going to happen is good enough to force you to listen to the whole damn thing trying to predict the next change and fail miserably to the amazing talent of this trio. You don’t get a lead or a clear frontman in this one, what you get is complete awesomeness and the purest state of the art music, people that clearly know what they’re doing and how to deliver a message, dear god these guys are amazing. 


6. Snowflaks: When you’re this deep into the record, you clearly are not expecting this kind of change of pace, at least i wasn’t, but it was brilliant! That slow start is so beautiful, so beautiful and peaceful is hard to think two songs ago you were headbanging your neck off and now you’re contemplating the meaning of life at the rhythm of this gorgeous masterpiece. If you know me (Which you don’t) you’d know that slow songs win my heart, and this one did it big time. It also made me think how good these guys and John Mayer would sound making some stuff together, but that’s another story.


What i can tell you about this song is that i could NOT have imagined a better end for this EP, mainly Boh’s line at the very end, so peaceful, so graceful. Listening to this record was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions, and this track is like the peace after the storm, it just brings you home man. By far! The greatest of the record in my opinion, but hey that’s just me.


Overall, when you write a review you shouldn’t say only good stuff about whatever subject you’re writing about, but this record is just that good, and the only bad thing i can think about is that it only has 6 song. Musically speaking it’s brilliant, and what else could you expect from these guys!? They’re just that good, and i can tell you i will be waiting for a full record release from this amazing trio. As a musician i look for moments, experiences that help me write songs, and listening to this is like reading someone’s diary, it just feels natural, human, poetic and yet visceral, angry, brutal and complex at the same time, just like life is.


I honestly hope you enjoy this EP as much as i did, and please let me know your thoughts, which was your favorite song? You already know which was mine. This was Miguel Herrera for Babymetal Newswire, i’ll be reading your comments!.





Listen Kari Band's Album "Kari Ongen - Demo" on SPOTIFY click here.

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