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Brandish Piano Collection :: Review by Simon

Brandish Piano Collection Album Title: Brandish Piano Collection
Record Label: King Records
Catalog No.: KICA-1153
Release Date: October 21, 1994
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Welcome to Brandish Piano Collection, the piano collection that is not solely for piano! Almost every arrangement is based on the piano with various synths and instruments layered over the top of it. This original outlook is surprisingly fresh. Let's take a closer look.


"Prologue - Bundevia" is a very solemn piece featuring the piano playing in the background. The forefront of the piece is a bizarre organ-sounding synth that plays out a dark and sorrowful melody. The arrangment is fantastic and will have you feeling glum and hopeless too. "Shop" continues this slow, glum feeling, but this time features string synth that fades in and out to fantastic effect. Keiichi Shibata's piano performance is great, and although there is no fast playing, the tune is complex. After a while the arrangements uplifts a little as other orchestral instrument samples are introduced given the feel of a concertino.

"Game Over" doesn't feature any piano for the first 10 seconds! The sparse beginning makes you feel isolated and desolate. After a minute, the tune starts, which is fantastically catchy but sorrowful too. The balance is a fine one but it is stricken perfectly. There is not much to say apart from this is a brilliant theme. "Brandish Tower" is a dramatic piece, with a beat pounded out on the lower keys with an almost Spanish feel to the main tune. The string waves are back again and work well. The chorus is majestically played with a trumpet synth thrown in for good measure. Organ synth then play out the tune for the second time round. The pitch is perfect and, although it may sound on paper chaotic, it sounds perfect to the ear.

"Cave" is the first piano solo piece, and it relies on a good melody to get through. It's a beautiful performance and the tune is infectious. In stark contrast, "Spilling Innocent Blood" is the least piano-based arrangement so far. Congas and synthesizers start the theme before the piano is introduced after 45 seconds. It doesn't feel jarring, but there is a big difference between the agile piano playing and emergency of the starting piece. The end is fantastic; as the last notes are played a hollow breeze begins... perfect! Moving on, "Stage Clear" starts off with a bang before introducing the tune. There is percussion in this great tune, which sounds like someone is playing the beat on a piano top. It's another unusual twist in the album that works fantastically.

"A Journey Without Rest" is a blues piece and the second piano piece. If you like blues pieces, you'll love this as it's beautifully played with all the frills included! "Ruins" is another piano solo, which will be a slightly less obvious highlight to those who love catchy songs. Nonetheless, the playing is excellent again, and after a few listens, you'll like this piece a whole lot more. "Solders Sorrow" is the closing track at an epic six and a half minutes. It is played ever so fragile and gracefully and is a poignant way to finish the album and sums it all up.


Brandish Piano Collection is a rare example of artistic beauty. It features perfectly played music complete with all the trimmings and all the unique twists and turns that make an epic album forever memorable. Arranger and pianist Keiichi Shibata did an awesome job. I highly recommend it.

Overall Score: 9/10