“Elysion -Rakuen Gensō Monogatari Kumikyoku- (Elysion -Paradise Fantasy Story Suite-)” is the second major-label album by Sound Horizon, a Japanese musical group with musician/music producer/sound creator Revo (songwriting, arrangement) as the leader and only permanent member.
Sound Horizon started working as a Doujin (independent production) music circle at the end of 2001. They became known for their “narrative music” with storytelling lyrics and musical forms like suites, which were released as concept albums called “Story CDs”. They debuted on major label Bellwood Records in 2004.
“Elysion -Rakuen Gensō Monogatari Kumikyoku-” was released as “the 4th Story CD” by Bellwood Records in 2005, and reached number 29 on the Oricon Weekly Chart.
The album is a masterpiece as sort of the culmination of the group’s first period when voice actress/narrator/singer Aramary (vocals, chorus, narration, voice) was an official member.
It is a concept album that depicts a fantasy story in a world like medieval Europe with music, narration and sound effects. Set in the world where “Paradise” and “Abyss” are inextricably associated with each other, it tells the tragedies of the people who are fascinated by decadent and immoral love.
It is a theatrical musical work like a mixture of J-pop, symphonic metal, progressive rock, and neoclassical dark wave. It is characterized by its melodic and catchy songs including Japanese-style melancholy melodies, Aramary’s clear and transparent high-tone vocals, varied musical style including the elements of classical music, heavy metal and folk music, and gorgeous orchestration with acoustic instruments such as winds and strings.
It can be appreciated as a pure musical work without understanding the contents of the lyrics and story because the songs by Revo are catchy and high quality.
“Ark” and “Yield” are rerecordings of the songs included in the previous album “Elysion -Rakuen e no Zensōkyoku- (Elysion -Prelude to Paradise-)” (2004).
“El no Ehon [Majo to Lafrenze] (El’s Picture Book [The Witch and Lafrenze])” is another arrangement version of the song from the indie CD “Pico Magic” (2003).
The remastered edition of the album, “Elysion -Rakuen Gensō Monogatari Kumikyoku- Re:Master Production” was released on UHQCD (Ultimate High Quality CD) in 2020.