Cosmos Factory - Black Hole+1 (1976, Jap, heavyprogpsych, Eastworld CDrip, single flac + cue, log, artwork)

*** Reviewed by great fellow Adamus67 ***

Cosmos Factory (named after the Creedence Clearwater Revival LP) were a fantastic Japanese heavy psych/prog crossover outfit; dated for the mid-'70s, but Japan were several years behind at this stage and probably sounded pretty contemporary to their audience. They were enormously energetic, with mad frenetic organ and guitar solos peppering their work, along with rather incomprehensible Japanese-language vocals.

Cosmos Factory – a progressive group formed in Nagoya, 1970. They moved to Tokyo the next year, acquired a manager [who was also a well-known rock critic] and got to work.
The group recorded a 4 LPs, which are among the first and most famous albums with classic prog from Japan:
"Cosmos Factory" (1973, also known as "An Old Castle of Transylvania" to see discography), "A Journey With The Cosmos Factory "(1975)," Black Hole "(1976) and" Metal Reflection "(1977). In addition, the group has released several EPs, which are now rare collectors' items. Late 70s, the band has disbanded.
The band are perhaps best known for their first album, ‘Cosmos Factory’ (a.k.a. ‘An Old Castle of Transylvania’) [Columbia, 1973], which has long been the easiest to obtain on CD. In the Ultima Thule shop catalogue it’s compared to Far East Family Band; I find this very misleading, as the only similarities I can hear are in their worst moments, ie. when they get into their cod-emotive sappy balladic crooning. Other than those bits, which take up a lot of space, it’s a pretty good to great album, with heavier bits as well as spacey and slightly ominous progressive rock reminiscent of a blend of The Nice, Arzachel and early Pulsar, with cool use of the Moog. Anyway, this album brought them a lot of recognition and they began playing support for big western bands of the era such as Humble Pie and The Moody Blues, both then well past their prime and probably overshadowed by their unique support act!

The next album, ‘A Journey With The Cosmos Factory’ [Toshiba EMI/Express, 1975], reputedly enters weirder realms and was well-received. ‘Black hole’ [Toshiba EMI/Express, 1976] is reputedly comparable to complex King Crimson in some ways. Around this time, the band also began making music for film soundtracks and TV themes. Their last album, ‘Metal Reflection’ [Toshiba EMI/Express, 1977], has a reputation for being more of a metal/hard rock thing, but it’s actually a lot more varied than that. It’s a pretty good album containing proggy hard rock, proggy metal, spacey prog, cosmic funk, a ballad, and almost omnipresent synthesisers. The production is excellent. They also released a number of rare EP’s - ‘Fantastic Mirror’ [1975], ‘The Infinite Universe Of Our Mind’ (a promo release) [1975] and ‘Days In The Past’ [1975]. The first album has been reissued on CD by Coca/Nippon Columbia; the next 3 by Toshiba EMI

The material on An Old Castle of Transylvania is pretty good, if not actually top-notch; plenty of excellent instrumental work, and some great Mellotron from Tsutomu Izumi on the opening two tracks and the bulk of side 2's title track..
However, A Journey With the Cosmos Factory takes a complete left-turn from its predecessor, with experimental tracks like The Infinite Universe Of Our Mind, all discordant avant-garde piano, with most of the material fitting more in the 'psych' than 'prog' categories. Excellent Moog work throughout, but next to no Mellotron (although loads of string synth), all I can hear being background choirs on beautiful opener Sunday's Happening. Black Hole (sensibly) returns to the style of their debut, though with a little more sophistication, and a little less Mellotron. I don't hear any other sounds than the ubiquitous strings, but they make nice use of them, so I should worry.

"Black Hole" third album, and in fact, the LP failed somewhat darker than the first two discs. At the same time the music is also a trail got tougher and earthier. This is reflected in the fact that determines the music with his electric guitar, while Izumi keyboards (organ and Mellotron) pushed somewhat into the background. In particular, the synthesizer can be heard not much - at least he is not so much the focus as never to "A Journey With The Cosmos Factory".

With the title track the album is doing very Crimson. Nestled in cutting Mellotron and swelling organ rock electric guitar and bass mixed-edged and complex. Mizutani here represents all kinds with a guitar, it sounds like Robert Fripp, times like David Gilmour and sometimes like. The play pushes heavyweight then enriched with the mysterious, sometimes screaming vocal interludes. Oddly, the piece breaks off abruptly after just 9 minutes. After the brief, organ-dominated conduction "The Vague Image" - with fripp guitar in the background - comes with "hard image", a progressive blues rockers, fitted in with grunzigem singing Japanese. "Crystal Solitaire" is then compulsory lard-ballad, but, determined by relaxing piano music, very discreet, is indeed almost beautifully turned out.

In the long "A Wandering Young Man", the group may be not quite decide between ballad and bluesy Symphoprog (Pink Floyd). The number pretty long and tough, then, provided with vocals, backing choirs huhuhu, sustained organ sounds and a long guitar solo a la Gilmour in the middle. "In Days Past" is then a slightly jazzy song with funky guitar and bass accompaniment keyboard soundscapes. Here, too, brought the exalted voice (my) European ears slightly. With "Mirror Freak" is again bleak. Mysteriously drives the music, "meditative-Asian" and a little spacey psychedelic then, supported by dense, sometimes wildly out-propelled and equipped with this time organ sounds very suitable, mysterious and imploring vocals. Sonically, the whole decorated with again reminiscent of Fripp guitar excursions, virtuoso acoustic guitar playing and monotone. Great! The final "Magic Window" is still an easy breezy Proginstrumental of the questions Mizutami Izumi and her skills on display.

This is some pretty heavy stuff and I am almost certian one of the most innovative things coming out of asia as far as music is concerned..even by todays standards...and this was nearly 30 years ago. The music is drenched in organ and hard rockin' guitars with nice bass anchoring the music and keyboards adding a moody...almost sinister overtone in some areas. Black hole is the best track, especially the ending.
Thank you so much Adam for that effort

01. Blackhole
02. The Vague Image (introduction)
03. The Hard Image
04. Crystal Solitaire
05. A Wandering Young Man
06. Days In The Past
07. Mirror Freak
Bonus track:
08. Magic Window

Cosmos Factory:

Kazuo Okamoto - Drums, Percussion
Toshikazu Taki - Vocals, Bass
Hisashi Mizutani - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion
Tsutomu Izumi - Vocals, Keyboards

Cosmos Factory - Black Hole

[Rip and Scans by gigic2255]

Link: 295 mb/file


  1. This is very very rare album> Can You re-upload this?

    1. Ok; enjoy the music!

  2. Com uma hora eu baixei essa obra prima que acabei de descobrir! Muito obrigado cara!!!


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