|Concerto Moon - The End Of The Beginning [Live]
01. Time To Die
02. Fight To The Death
03. King Of The Judas
04. Lonely Last Journey
05. Victim Of Desire
06. Alone In Paradise
07. From Father To Son
08. Take You To The Moon
10. Unstill Night
11. When The Moon Cries [bonus]
12. Norman Island [bonus]
13. When The Moon Cries [off-vocal version, bonus]
The first live album for any band is always an important step. While Tokyo is a very well-know place for this kind of experience, it's logical that Concerto Moon chooses Tokyo as they are Japanese. So, you could expect something great. Have a glance at the track list and - if you know the band - you could expect something even better. Most of the standards are here: 'Alone In Paradise', 'Time To Die', 'Unstill Night', 'Take You To The Moon',...
If the beginning of the album [the first 30 seconds...] sound promising, the dream is quickly broken by the awful recording sound that would last for the whole album! Despite the great work of Norifuma Shima on guitars, the lack of skills of the singer is obvious on stage and the poor Toshiyuki Koike [keyboards] could have been somewhere else, the album would sound exactly the same [it's tough to hear a single note of the keys!!]. Hence the rating [and God and Satan know that I love that band]. Sorry guys!
I won't describe all the tracks because they are potentially all excellent. Instead, I just want to underline the good choice of the songs: 'Time To Die', 'Fight To The Death', 'Lonely Last Journey', 'Victim Of Desire' and 'Unstill Night' from the album Rain Forest [which deserves to have so much songs on the live because it's their best album!], 'Alone In Paradise' and 'Take You To The Moon' from the album Fragments Of The Moon [both necessary to a Concerto Moon live album...], 'From Father To Son' and 'Surrender' from the album From Father To Son and finally 'King Of The Judas' from the Time To Die EP [which is also one of their best composition ever]. If I have to choose my own track list for a Concerto Moon live album, well, it would basically be the same [albeit 'Run To The Sky' instead of one of the bonus tracks].
Among the highlights, let's evoke the last song 'Unstill Night' and its terrific guitar solo, which is honestly the fastest solo I've ever heard and, of course, 'Alone In Paradise' [THE song of Concerto Moon!]. Now, the worst thing on the album is when Takao Ozaki fails to sing on 'Surrender' and on 'Lonely Last Journey'. Apart from that, the artwork sucks! That's really surprising seeing the wonderful cover of their previous albums Fragments Of The Moon and Rain Forest.
In addition to the live tracks, you can find two brand new songs: 'When The Moon Cries' [also in off-vocal version], kind of a heavy power ballad [not really good] and the instrumental 'Norman Island', which has its own atmosphere. A nice piece of guitar class.
Despite an excellent track list, The End Of The Beginning suffers too much from the lame performance of the singer and the lack of reaction from the audience of Tokyo. So far, it's the only official live from Concerto Moon and I hope that they will correct that mistake by recording a new live album soon! This album could have been the beginning of the end for the band [lol] but hopefully Concerto Moon is still alive, but with a different singer!