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Galneryus - Angel of Salvation - 95%

IndividualThought, January 28th, 2013

Galneryus is a band that originates from Osaka, one of Japan's largest cities, with an extensive discography and an even more extensive range of influences. This album is no different. This is Galneryus at their best. With Angel of Salvation they've bought everything they have to the table; full neoclassical metal compositions, beautiful guitar work, powerful vocals, insane drums, inspiring keyboards, and orchestrations that can compete with Mozart if he played heavy metal, which would be fascinating.

The first thing that attracted me to the album, like I'm sure many people will agree with me, is the awesome artwork. The logo's pretty awesome, too. When was the last time the artwork reflected what was to come? It's rare. Well, that's exactly how I feel listening to this album, like an angel has descended upon my ears with a (seemingly awkward) rainbow spear. Sho is a magnificent singer and I'd be inclined to say he is in some ways better than Yama-B. That's a huge compliment to the vocalist as Yama-B was the benchmark for eastern Asian power metal vocalists in my book. He has a very powerful and catchy voice, hitting highs like he's a pro.

Syu here is fantastic. He's been one of my favorite guitar players for awhile now. He can make a guitar "speak," much like in "Longing". Instrumental music of any type is usually hit or miss with me, but that song nails it. Syu uses a wide variety of techniques which all compliment each other, like the aforementioned guitar work "speaking", melodic parts, and heavy parts, and almost thrashing, speed-like interludes. His solos are outrageous to say the least, like his solo in "Angel of Salvation", which is probably the highlight of the entire album at an epic standard of 15 minutes. "Hunting for Your Dream" is another highlight where Sho shines and Syu destroys. It has a catchy chorus and an awesome riff with near perfect drumming and a solo that'll pound your face to oblivion. What more could you ask for?

Next are Yuhki's keyboards and orchestrations (I'm assuming he wrote the orchestrations since that usually is the work of the keyboardist in any symphonic outfit), they make the album what it is. He uses a variety of nice compositions, especially within the intro track "Reach to the Sky" which really is an amazing opener. Taka's bass here is nothing amazing; he keeps up with the guitar, but it really works.

The drums are rather awesome and bombastic. Junichi does an amazing job here with straightforward, no bullshit drumming. All in all, during this album you find Galneryus at their finest; bombastic, catchy, downright hypnotic with energetic singing where you'll be catching yourself mouthing the words (this applies to the non-Japanese-speaking metal world, too), awesome leads, powerful symphonies, and brazen guitar solos. It's amazing that they can still write such awesome music after one of the most extensive careers in the Japanese metal scene.