[Heavy Metal/Hard Rock] Starless
#1
Probably my favorite band from the 80s prog boom and one of my favorite bands period. They play a blend of female-fronted progressive hard rock with some pop sensibilities. Pretty good musicianship with some very technical moments but in concise arrangements. I like their album "Silver Wings" enough to use it as my avatar. Tongue









They've had a few vocalist changes (still sucks their lost their first one because she was really good), so here's a few lives with their current one (she used to sing in Siegfried).







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#2
A friend introduced me to Starless sometime in 2014 or 15. I jokingly called them "mecha-metal", though I meant it in a positive way. Very good band, and I don't even listen to a lot of progressive metal.

"Silver Wings" is my favorite song for sure... Hell, the brief synth intro alone was enough to totally disarm me when I first heard it. I was instantly a fan. Heart
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#3
As I listen to more 80s J-prog, there's other bands with some similarities (eg, Teru's Symphonia, Novela), but overall they're really quite unique. It sucks that their vocalist Julla withdraw - she was really good and added a lot to the band. If they did a 2nd album in the 80s, I think it would've been a lot poppier.

Here's a couple live clips of unrecorded songs from 1986:


Alternate was never recorded or released outside of some obscure DVD (which some guy kindly uploaded a couple songs to youtube. Glass Dust was on that Unpublished Live Selection CD. I think if they did a second album, it would've been a really good atmospheric art pop/rock album.

Songs of Silence - which is a good album - doesn't really sound like Starless. Retaining only two members from Silver Wings. It does sound very representative of the prog scene over there, and that alone makes it a worthwhile album.

I really like their comeback album. Not quite as much as Silver Wings, but its still really good. Apparently some songs on it have existed for a long time (like Stage was played back in the 80s).
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#4
Really like Starless, Silver Wings is such a good album. Good to see they're around again.
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#5
Yeah, at the moment, its like my favorite Japanese album.

Some of the musicians still seem active (namely their vocalist, bassist and drummer). Now if they did do lives, I may not even know. They re-recorded some older tracks with their current vocalist, but I have no where/how it was released. Probably live-venue releases in small quantities.

They actually have quite a few songs that are played live and never got studio recordings. I wonder how common of a practice this is over there?
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#6
It happened with several 80s bands I can think of, ones that were staples of the performing circuit that only ever had say a single or a demo out, yet always had enough material to perform regularly alongside more prominent bands, and you'd watch an old video of them and hear all sorts of songs that never showed up on releases.

I thought of a J-prog rock band that I think you'd really get into, I personally like them about as much as Starless, they're female fronted too. They're called Pageant, and I really love their album La Mosaique de la Reverie, I've never taken the time to see much of the other stuff they've done, but they have at least one other album that's also quite good.
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#7
Pageant is great, but I like Abysmal Masquerade and The Pay For Dreamer's Sin better than the debut (the redone version of Vexation is so much better imo). Mr. Sirius is still my personal favourite female-front 80s J-prog though.
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#8
Yeah, I own a few Pageant CDs and they're pretty good. I'm still partial towards their debut though.

Pale Acute Moon was another one that was pretty neat.
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#9
I really dig this band. Really happy that I got the original pressing of Silver Wings. My three favorite songs of the album are the title track, "I Look in Your Eyes", and "In the End".
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#10
Yoshiko Miyamoto's voice is just amazing. It's too bad that they lost her after Silver Wings. I get a bit of a Show-Ya vibe out of her vocals.
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