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Reaching Perfection - 95%

kimiwind, March 31st, 2011
Written based on this version: 1989, CD, Ki/oon Records (Korea, South)

After the excellent start of X Japan, launching to the market a classic glorious album entitled Vanishing Vision. The debut that inspired many bands, and set the theatre to a new musical style which is Visual Kei. Toshi and company continued to release memorable quality albums, this time we are dealing with Blue Blood. The full length that follows the glory of its antecedent, and might even exceed the expectations of the fans. Blue Blood is simply another unique release by talented gifted musicians. This time around the album is lengthier, it contains 12 tracks that portray speed, heavy, and powerful music. Blue Blood comes in stronger in terms of production, but remains in the average scale. That’s if we compare it to what is coming later, especially the 90’s era.

This album showcase the beauty of heavy speed metal. The mere difference between Vanishing Vision and Blue Blood is that the later show progressive elements and less thrash influence. The vocals here are less aggressive but more powerful and appealing, more emotional and are akin to the power metal tone range. The lyrics are in Japanese language filled occasionally with few words thrown here and there in English language. Kurenai for example, was sung in Japanese and it sounds much better than the original English version that appeared in the first album. I think Toshi sounds better when he sings in native natural tongue, resulting in a better performance. Toshi’s show reaches its peak in the tracks Kurenai, Blue Blood, Endless Rain and Rose of Pain, where the chorus of each of those will stick to your mind for long.

The other instruments hover in the same league and create awesome diverse melodies and interesting patterns. The guitars are fast with hard riffs and complicated solos. The riffs in Kurenai, Blue Blood and Rose of Pain are outstanding and trigger the pleasure to bang your head. The same story applies to the solos, they appear in most of the track but notably in Kurenai, Endless Rain, Week-End and Blue Blood. Yoshiki, the drummer, delivers fast pounding beats that raise the speed of the album to a higher level. In every track you will enjoy awesome patterns, especially in Kurenai. Unlike Vanishing Vision, Blue Blood is more symphonic. Yoshiki adds awesome piano symphonies that enhanced the quality of the musicianship. The atmospheric touch in Kurenai might sound minor but in reality it makes a difference. There is also nice ballad here where the piano played a big part, in the track Endless Rain.

Blue Blood is a great album and will stay one of the best in the ever-growing discography of X Japan. I still think Vanishing Vision is slightly better though, just because it’s the first effort and the foundation of what follows it. Anyway, try to get Blue Blood, it will fulfill your expectation if you are a fan of heavy metal music. The unique musicianship and the original sound of this release make this masterpiece another classic in X Japan’s discography. Rest in Peace Hide (1964-1998).

Standouts: Kurenai, Week End, Endless Rain, Blue Blood.

Written for Encyclopaedia Metallum 31-03-2011
© Kimiwind