FROSTBYTE – Out Now
There are certain songs that will forever stay in my memory as they have been instrumental in helping shape my personality and musical tastes as a young teenager. One such song was “Heavy Chains” – a four minute and eighteen second mid tempo Heavy Metal ‘monster’ created by the cult 80s Japanese Metal quartet Loudness and featured in their 1985 release “Thunder In The East” – a song that was included in the programme of every decent Metal DJ back in the day.
Times have, of course, changed, and the music industry with them but somehow Loudness managed to keep themselves busy and are now ready to release their (believe it or not!) twenty-fifth studio album entitled “Eve To Dawn”.
Last time I checked on Loudness they were still a Hard Rock band with a Metal sound, a band that liked to keep their ideas simple but add the heaviness. What the eleven compositions featured in “Eve To Dawn” clearly suggest is that the balance between Metal and Hard Rock elements have somewhat changed, favouring the former, resulting in Loudness sounding more aggressive and urgent than they have ever been before!
Furthermore, while Akira Takasaki’s guitar work is as prominent as ever, a lot more room has been provided to bassist Masayoshi Yamashita to indulge in his funky grooves, adding much needed flair and energy to the music.
Following the short atmospheric oriental-sounding intro “A Light In The Dark”, I was completely blown away by the raw energy of “The Power Of Truth”, a mid-tempo head banger whose riffs are so powerful that they could potentially tear down the walls of your room if played loud enough. “Come Alive Again” is a simple & catchy hard-rocker, while the Dio-sounding “Survivor” could have easily been the stand-out track of the album had it not suffered from an unjust production which, at times, makes it sound somewhat bogged down.
Both “Keep You Burning” and “Gonna Do It My Way” are based on catchy sing-along tunes that make them potential crowd pleasers, while “Hang Tough” is a ballsy anthem that brilliantly combines fast and melodic elements with futuristic supporting key tunes. In the instrumental “Emotions” Akira Takasaki is allowed to flex his guitar muscles to the extreme while the gothy “Comes The Dawn” and the duet “Pandora”/”Crazy!Crazy!Crazy!” find bassist Masayoshi Yamashita in fine form, offering up his funk-infused bass frequencies with unnerving ease!
When I started listening to “Eve To Dawn” I did so in the hope that it would turn out to be a decent Metal album worthy of the band’s name and cult status. What I discovered instead was what is possibly one of the best albums ever released by these noisy Metal samurai – and possibly the Hard Rock/Metal highlight of the year! I am very happy I received the finished product for review as I simply could not imagine an album of such vision, quality and passion missing from my record/CD collection! Bow your heads in respect and purchase your copy without fear!
Rating: ****1/2 (4.5/5.0)
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Each week David Randall presents ‘New to GRTR!’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, with the emphasis on independent artists and labels. During December he replays favourite tracks including power plays featured during the year. This show covers the period January-March and was first broadcast on 1 December 2019.
Power Plays w/c 25 November (Mon-Fri)
Throughout December we are featuring Best of 2019 selections from the GRTR! Reviewers.
Featured Albums w/c 25 November (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 Melodic Rock Featured Albums of 2019
12:00-13:00 Melodic Hard Rock Featured Albums of 2019
14:00-16:00 Singer Songwriter Featured Albums of 2019
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
A selection of albums featured in 2019
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