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Syu > Vorvados > Reviews
Syu - Vorvados

A who's who of Japan's power metal scene - 85%

kluseba, February 14th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Warner Music Japan

Syu is the guitarist of Japanese power metal band Galneryus and was also involved in thrash metal trio Spinalchord and speed metal outfit Animetal. The skilled musician has released two solo records prior to this one which are a cover album released nine years ago and an instrumental album released less than three years ago. Vorvados is easily the most interesting thing Syu has done apart of his involvement in Galneryus.

This release is a creative neoclassical power metal record featuring seven different singers from different contemporary Japanese bands. This record is hold together by an epic and almost cinematic atmosphere and obviously Syu's energetic and fast melodic guitar play that fluidly meanders between thrash, speed, power and heavy metal. The song writing is diverse enough to keep the album intriguing from start to finish.

''Reason'' is a fast power metal song with unique high-pitched female vocals by Fuki of Doll$boxx, Light Bringer and Unlucky Morpherus fame. ''Chaotic Reality'' on the other side has an apocalyptic atmosphere with discordant guitar sounds and harsh vocals by Dougen of Afterzero, Thousand Eyes and Undead Corporation fame whose raw vocals are complemented by the calm and soulful performance by Swedish-Japanese singer Akane Liv of Liv Moon fame. ''Aishu'' offers a welcome break in form of an inspired piano ballad with dreamy vocals by regular Galneryus vocalist Ono Masatoshi. This isn't just an alibi ballad but a truly soulful song that works so much better in the context of an overall rather vivid and exciting record.

Not everything is perfect on this release. The two instrumental songs are solid technically speaking but can't compete with the other creative tunes where the different vocalists have put all their hearts and souls into to reach the highest level. The bass guitar play could be a little bit more present on the album to balance the ecstatic guitar play. The drum play was programmed and while it certainly sounds better than anything Angelo Sasso has ever performed, a real drummer would have made the listening experience even more vivid.

Syu's Vorvados manages to showcase the guitarist's exceptional skills and also offers a who's who of the contemporary Japanese metal scene. It's a great record to discover the Japanese metal scene and obviously also a perfect release for anyone who likes Japanese power metal that might be stronger than European power metal these days. Vorvados is an early highlight of the year and deserves your attention.

Syu Is Blessed By The Rising Sun - 93%

KanisMaximus, February 3rd, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Warner Music Japan

The Japanese seem to have a habit of taking things and making them even better. This is especially evident in the world of power metal, with bands like Unlucky Morpheus and Galneryus routinely releasing incredible albums.

Legendary guitarist Syu (the aforementioned Galneryus’ lead guitarist) began his solo career in 2010, beginning with a kickass cover album (including covers for Muse, Stratovarius, and Dream Theater), and then recording an instrumental album. Vorvados is Syu’s first record with all-original content, and features a whole troupe of guest vocalists.

Vorvados’ lineup includes Tenge Fuyuki (Unlucky Morpheus, Light Bringer), Sono (Matenrou Opera), Yoshikawa Haruka (Tears of Tragedy), and Yuuki Nakajima and Masatoshi Ono (two of Syu’s bandmates in Galneryus), and many more.

The sound has the same bat-shit insane pentatonic glory as Galneryus, but with even more of the facemelting guitar solos Syu is famous for. However, there’s not a moment when the album seems like a guitar feature; the entire band is mind-blowingly awesome and the songs have just as much to offer in the background as in the foreground.

The vocals are high, sharp, and strong. The songs are dynamic and energetic. And the drummer is, quite simply, fucking crazy. Aside from the world-class guitar solos, Syu’s riffs and intros are impressive all on their own.

You must be wondering: can these guys play slowly, too? Absofuckin’lutely they can. ‘Aishou’ has beautiful piano parts, soft and deliberate vocals (courtesy of Ono), and, you guessed it, an emotional and tasteful sky-worshipping guitar solo.

My favourite song is probably ‘Kokode Kugire to Tenshi Wa Utau’, though that is bound to change, as it has every time I’ve listened to the album. Aside from all of the epic intensity I’ve already mentioned, the keyboard solos, played by Nakajima, is something else. There are numerous solos in this song and I could listen to it a thousand times without getting sick of it.

It’s safe to say that this album is nothing short of phenomenal. Every instrument of every musician and guest artist couldn’t be improved. Furthermore, there’s a ton of variety between the songs. There’s enough fire burning in Vorvados to sear it right into your heart. Check out this album. You owe it to your soul.

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