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Loudness: Thunder in the East (reissue)

The year was 1985, and four youngsters from Japan took the metal world by storm with their first English language release, Thunder in the East. Filled with thunderous riffs, blazing and acrobatic guitar solos, jackhammer rhythms, and loads of melodies, this album broke Loudness in America as one of the bright new metal stars, and introduced guitarist Akira Takasaki as a player who was a force to be reckoned with. Wounded Bird Records has rescued this solid 80's metal album from the "out of print" pile for all of us now grown up former headbangers to enjoy once again.

Producer Max Norman certainly took these Japanese upstarts to new heights with this recording. Full of thick heavy guitar riffs from Takasaki, Thunder in the East is just bristling with energy from start to finish. Who can forget the classic opening guitar onslaught of "Crazy Nights", the song that got the band radio and MTV exposure, or the driving rhythms of "Heavy Chains?" For proof of Takasaki's guitar prowess, check out the chunky rhythm opening & wild fills of "We Could be Together". complete with catchy vocals from Minoru Nihara, or the Ritchie Blackmore inspired leads of "Get Away" and "Run For Your Life." Takasaki was most often compared to Eddie Van Halen, but in reality his style was more akin to Blackmore, only much more technical, muscular, and precise, without the blues and jazz tendencies that the former Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist executed.

While musically this album might have been considered a metal classic, it drops down a few notches due to the infantile and sometimes confusing lyrics, and the hard to understand vocals of Nihara, who barely spoke any English when this album was recorded. Sadly, this band never really fulfilled the promise that this album showed, and numerous line-up changes and slow sales eventually led to the break-up of the band for a few years. They have however recently reunited with the original line-up, and are looking to once again make an impact on the metal world. For an above average slice of quality Japanese metal, 80's style, featuring 40 minutes of kick ass guitar work from Akira Takasaka, your money will be well spent on this reissue.

Track Listing
1) Crazy Nights
2) Like Hell
3) Heavy Chains
4) Get Away
5) We Could Be Together
6) Run for Your LIfe
7) Clockwork Toy
8) No Way Out
9) The Lines Are Down
10) Never Change Your Mind

Added: February 18th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Loudness Website
Hits: 2860
Language: english

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