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OUTSTANDING J-Metal!!! - 100%

corviderrant, April 7th, 2005

Wowzers...this is one helluva shot of J-metal, all in nearly one track, it feels like, which gives you an idea of how tight and skilled these guys are. And I mean tight--most of the songs here are, as per usual, anime & tokusatsu themes, meaning that they are very short (averaging less than a minute most of the time). And they seamlessly weld them together with only rare breaks between songs into one vigorous barrage of tuneful yet crunchy melodic metal.

They cover a wide range of styles from straight up hard rock, power metal, thrash/speed metal in spots, all delivered with impeccable musicianship from all involved. Of course, it's all in Japanese, but since I'm a diehard otaku (fan) anyway, that doesn't faze me. These guys are all top notch; vocalist Eizo Sakamoto puts his heart into every song, guitarist Syu shreds with surgical precision (and I mean that this boy pulls off some of the most ridiculous shredding you'll hear), bassist Masaki really shines on this album in particular with his impeccably tight yet frenzied lines (this guy is a MONSTER!!!), and drummer Katsuji anchors it all with ease no matter what the tempo--and NO TRIGGERS. It's hard to pick standout tracks as they all fly by so fast, it all seems to be one incredible song. But I'd suggest the following as particularly good songs:

"Pegasus Fantasy" ("Saint Seiya" theme), "Choujin Sentai Baradakku" (one of several songs featuring a children's choir to amusing yet effective ends), "Honoo no Kinnukuman" with its catchy chant of "M-US-C-L-E MUSCLE!!!", "Battle Fever J" (one of the more popular sentai shows of the mid-1970s), "Chou Denshi Bio-Man", the "Kamen Rider Super-1", Kamen RIder Black", and "Kamen Rider Black RX" themes (but I'm a big KR fan, so no surprise there, eh), the brief and outstanding bass instrumental "Otokono Misao Seishun" that sounds like something Stu Hamm would do, "Ganbalon" with its Rush-sounding middle part, "Ryuusei Ningen Zone" (AKA "Zone Fighter"), "Zankoku na Tenshi no Teze" ("Thesis of a Cruel Angel", from the series "Neon Genesis Evangelion"), and ending theme "Tomorrow Never Dies". And they get their requisite number of classic metal riffs in there as well--I distinctly heard "Livin' After Midnight", "Breakin' The Law", and "Battery" among others sprinkled in there.

I cannot emphasize how great this band is! If you can hang with anime and tokusatsu (live action SF like "Ultraman" and "Kamen Rider" among others), this is a really nice and different take on the themes from these classic shows. At least in Japan and to a rabid cult following here in the States they are, anyway. If you appreciate good melodic metal with heart and passion, also, download or special order this CD for a real treat. These guys are no joke, flashy image aside, rest assured.