Math Rock, Progressive, Post rock
Pelican, Yes, Don Caballero
LITE is a four piece math-post rock instrumental band from Japan and Phantasia was their second release. The album is full of vibrant tempos and interwoven sound that does not tire. We tend to gravitate towards math rock albums that avoid repetitious off tempo beats, its the repetitious nature of the genre we are not very high on. Phantasia is an impressively tight and diverse album. The three guitars and drum section all have distinct arrangements with shared time at the forefront, providing a nice balance. While quite balanced as a whole, we did find the bass work to be the highlight of LITE. Very unique bass style that harkens the quality and ingenuity of Yes's Chris Squire.
Track four "Shinkai" is a very powerful arrangement which blends shoegaze along with some jaw dropping bass work, providing a unique headphone experience, very atmospheric and powerful. "Black and White" alternates tempos from near chaos to slow and melodic bliss, an example of how the band can blend two extremes so well. One of our favorite tracks is "Solitude" which builds tremendously providing a burst of amazing technical prowess.
The title track, "Phantasia", features has some licks that totally bring you back to the classic Yes years. These guys must be huge fans as the influence is very blatant throughout many of the cuts, such so that we had to check the titles to a few obscure Yes songs to make sure there were not a few covers thrown in. The last track, "Sequel to the Letter" leaves us a little bit flat with an abrupt ending and straining guitar work sounding an awful lot like a cut from Yes's "Roundabout".
Overall, we found that LITE prefers not to take risks and keeps within their tight technical world. While not many bands stand up to the caliber of Yes or Pelican, LITE does possess some of the chops and ingenuity. While Phantasia provides a nice listening experience and hearing there later albums, we see this as an important step in the musical journey for LITE.
Standout Tracks: Shinkai, Solitude