This is a soundtrack for a Japanese Anime film. Since I don't read Japanese, I can't tell you much about the film, but the songs are sung in English. I have no idea how much the songs relate to the film (if at all) since I will more than likely never see it unless the Sci-fi channel has it in their Anime film line-up.
The band, ATP* (adenosine tri-phosphate), were formed in Tokyo in 1993, and are named after the energy-carrying molecule present in all life-forms. They recorded two albums in 1995, but didn't get much commercial success. An album recorded in 1996 got them more recognition, but an illness had the band take a break until 1998. An appearance with gothic artist Akira Hosoyama led them to more CDS as well as having the number 1 MP3 in Asia for 3 months straight. Other reviewers have compared them to bands found on 4AD rather than J-Pop. There are 4 members of the band: Taata, Mug, Kohei and Kazz. Taata, a female vocalist, reminds me at times of Bjork. The band varies in sound from ballads to rock to jazzy stylings to punk. I didn't know what to expect and liked a lot of it.
Dreams Within starts off quietly, rocks in the chorus and has a bit in the middle which is the only lyrics sung in Japanese on the whole album. I liked the synth sound in the middle-very deep and mysterious. And He Laughs is an instrumental with swooping guitars and moaning vocals soaring over the music. If You Ever flows and ebbs with harder edges. Zen in Motion has a chugging riff-the vocals are very Bjork here.
Killing Time grinds as it flows with a punkier edge to it. An industrial feel drives Deranged Angel, and the vocals are a bit Gwen Stefani. This Shining Hour is another rock styled song, and quite a good one. I'm not sure if the charm of the lyrics is due to the translation or not-words like: "How many more, can I get a beautiful shock?" and "We're so small if you look from the outside" made me smile.
A quiet ballad, Falling follows with jangly guitars and simple vocals. Another instrumental, Far End of Altered World, sounds a pensive mood with keyboards and violins. Sorrow is a somber song and it reminded me of Sunshine Blind for some reason. Another instrumental is the fast-moving Freeks, They Dance. Life is a Process of Dying reprises the main theme song. The only song that isn't done by ATP is the final one: Bio Blood Society (by Nicotine) and it's a heavy metal in the style of Judas Priest/Iron Maiden. Very speed metal tempo!
I had no idea what this would be like, and quite liked it a lot. They have other releases and if anything like this soundtrack, I would be happy to own and listen to them. Highly recommended!
* ATP's Deranged Angel was reviewed in Legends #109.
Web: http://www.atpmania.com & http://home.att.net/~taata/ATPhome.htm