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Loudness: Rise To Glory

Alongside Earthshaker and then in later years Vow Wow, Loudness are one of the very few Japanese metal outfits to make any sort of impact outside of their own country. Which, given the excellent music made there by countless bands, has to be seen as something of a disappointment. With three of their albums gaining traction in the Billboard charts back in the 80s, Loudness looked to be the act set to make the all important breakthrough, before they teamed up with singer Mike Vescera in the misplaced hope that having an American frontman at the helm would further aid their cause. From there, while Loudness have never given up the fight, the band's line-up slowly disintegrated, until in 2001 their only ever present, guitarist Akira Takasaki, reformed the band's original recording cast vocalist Minoru Niihara, bassist Masayoshi Yamashita and drummer Munetaka Higuchi for 2001's Spiritual Canoe. Overwhelmed by the positive response they received, the band have again gone from strength to strength, this latest album their 12th since coming back together and 27th in total although in the meantime drummer Masayuki Suzuki has taken the spot behind the kit.

Tying up with Ear Music, Rise To Glory sees Loudness once again ready to take their fight across the shores, this latest album also coming with an indispensable re-recording of their finest moments from years gone by. However, Rise... stands on its own merits, the era the band have always relied on for their sound still strongly in evidence on what is, in essence, an 80s metal album. That said, things have been toughened up in the intervening years, an attack that's more akin to Accept than, as it used to be, Dokken, now in evidence. It suits them extremely well, Takasaki in immense six-string form as he riffs the hell out of the album's title track and "I'm Still Alive" although they both rather oddly fade out of existence seemingly mid-song as though the band forgot they were playing them. The snarling "Why And For Whom" and the excellently aggressive "Soul On Fire" aren't far behind, with special mention also deserved for Suzuki, his drumming a real driving force and attention grabber throughout.

Considering that it's over 35 years ago that Loudness started this journey, the chances of them suddenly becoming household names outside of Japan is slim at best, but if Rise To Glory could at least alert the metal faithful that there is some real talent to be found on Oriental shores, that in itself would be a real achievement. As it is, Loudness really are back, they really do mean business and Rise To Glory really is far too good to ignore.

Track Listing
1. Soul On Fire
2. I'm Still Alive
3. Go For Broke
4. Until I See The Light
5. The Voice
6. Massive Tornado
7. Kama Sutra (instrumental)
8. No Limits
9. Bad Loser
10. Rise To Glory
11. Rain
12. Who And For Whom

Added: January 15th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Loudness online
Hits: 3902
Language: english

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