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After the excellent start of X Japan, releasing a classic album called Vanishing Vision which influenced a lot of bands worldwide, from metal bands to pop groups and of course launching what is called Visual Kei style. Toshi and his crew continued to release memorable albums, the second one entitled Blue Blood is not weaker than the previous, and it even exceeded my expectations for another killer album. Blue Blood is another unique release by the Japanese metal masterminds, it contains 12 tracks that describe everything about the meaning of speed metal, heavy music, and powerful musicianship. Although unlike the first full length, Blue Blood is quite better when it comes to the production wise, It’s definitely not the best production you can have, but at least it’s completely listenable and the mixing is better than in the first album.
This album summarizes everything about how to play excellent heavy speed metal. Though, the mere difference between Blue Blood and Vanishing Vision is that the aforementioned has some progressive influences and much less thrash influence, however that’s doesn’t mean it's not hard and heavy as the first album. Everything in this album is definitely brilliant. The vocals in Blue Blood are less aggressive but more powerful and appealing, more peaceful and are akin to power metal range than anything else. In this album most of the lyrics are in Japanese with some few words thrown here and there in English. Kurenai is sung in Japanese and I like it much more than the version sung in English in the first album. I think Toshi finds himself more when he sings in Japanese, his natural tone, and thus I can see better performance and much beautiful chanting. Toshi’s performance reaches its peak in the tracks Kurenai, Blue Blood, Endless Rain and Rose of Pain, where the chorus of each of those will stick in your mind forever.
The other instruments keep the high level and create awesome diverse melodies and patterns. The guitars are fast still with hard riffs and complicated solos. The riffs in Kurenai and Blue Blood and Rose of Pain are outstanding and give the pleasure to bang your head for long. The same thing can be said about the great solos in almost all the tracks but notably in Kurenai, Endless Rain, Week-End and Blue Blood. Yoshiki in the other hand is still delivering awesome patterns and competent fast beats that raise this album to another high level. In each track you will hear awesome patterns, although the ones in Kurenai are unbelievable. Unlike Vanishing Vision, Blue Blood is more symphonic. Yoshiki adds awesome piano symphonies that amended this album, like in Kurenai, when he adds an awesome atmosphere in the last chorus. Also there are complete piano driven songs like in Endless Rain, very sad track with beautiful piano melodies.
Blue Blood is one of the best heavy metal albums, that’s for sure. I say Vanishing Vision is slightly better just because it’s the first effort of those masterminds, the album that created the current famous X Japan. However, for your pleasure don’t miss Blue Blood, every fan of music will love this record.The unique musicianship and the original sound make this masterpiece another classic in X Japan’s discography. Rest in Peace Hide (1964-1998).
Written for Encyclopaedia Metallum 31-03-2011