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Youthful spirit that has aged very well - 80%

kluseba, October 8th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, King Records (remaster, new artwork)

Japanese bands alwyas had a knack of choosing unusual band names and heavy metal quartet Jesus from Osaka certainly isn't an exception. Despite the name, the band can't be classified as Christian metal band or even white metal group and is a very energetic traditional heavy metal band instead. Inspired by groups like Anthem and Loudness, the band released its first demo tape Subsonic Violence one year earlier but got some more attention with the release of this inexplicably titled Le Dernier Slow. This demo tape got remastered and rereleased with one new studio recording and four live tunes earlier this year. Fans of Japanese heavy metal should try to get their hands on this overlooked gem.

The main reason why people still remember this group today is because several of its members were involved in other important genre groups. Bassist Utsunomiya Kiyoshi for instance is still involved in doom metal outfit Cloud Forest. Singer Doi Koji was also the vocalist of Cloud Forest for seven years. Guitarist Adachi Yuji achieved fame with hard rock band Dead End and is still occasionally involved with female-fronted heavy metal band Terra Rosa. The song ''The Shine of Forever'' on this release was actually transformed into Terra Rosa's hit ''The Endless Basis''.

Le Dernier Slow is a surprisingly skillful release for a demo tape. The sound is a little bit simplistic, raw and muddy in the original version but the musicianship is very good and sounds even better in the newly remastered version. The versatile technical guitar play is certainly the most outstanding part but the melodic vocals also offer everything you can expect from a talented lead singer. The songs are obviously a product of the golden heavy metal years in Japan but they have stood the test of time and still sound vibrant, fresh and creative nowadays.

Several songs manage to stand out. ''こわれた時が...'' is a potential hit single with memorable guitar melodies and an energetic vocal performance. ''Farewell'' is an instrumental track that isn't a filler but rather a highlight since the three musicians can show off their excellent chemistry and technical skills to create one of the greatest hevay metal instrumental songs ever witnessed. Heavy closer ''The Dark Quarters'' is the record's climax because it combines a catchy chorus with dynamic musicianship and creative song writing that never gets boring in six and a half minutes.

It's a shame that this band has never achieved fame but the fact that this overlooked tape now got released again with bonus material is your chance to discover some excellent Japanese heavy metal. Le Dernier Slow has aged very well and will still make you bang your head, raise your fist and sing along. Its youthful spirit is still irresistible.