"International spirit of youth goes Japanese": A review of Akuma Taigun's "Akuma Josho"
Ladies and gentlemen,
Here is another interesting discovery. Akuma Taigun is a young international quartet of musicians from Brazil, Canada and Japan that got together in late 2013 to worship J-Rock and Visual Kei music. The promising underground band is influenced by bands such as Versailles, X Japan and ザ☆メンテナンス among others. The band's first EP "Rise of the Devil" sounds quite promising and a first conceptual full length release will probably follow in October 2015. Due to its international members, this group has the potential to charm both Japanese and foreign rock and metal music fans. Let's support this brave, globalized and multi-cultural project. Make sure to check out the band's Bandcamp presence. If you are looking for similar projects, you could also check out the Canadian-Japanese project ゼ[Ze]. ありがとうございます。
Akuma Taigun means Demon Horde and is the name of an international quartet of musicians from Brazil, Canada and Japan that are clearly influenced by Japanese culture and music. The band’s first EP can be roughly translated as "Rise of the Devil". The record is available in five different physical versions with different amazing cover artworks and a different sixth and last song on each version. This style follows the exaggerated, expensive and not very fan-friendly publication tactics of many popular Japanese bands. At least, it’s also possible to purchase a regular digital copy for a really fair price and I would suggest you to check this option out.
Musically, this band is as diversified and open-minded as their idols Sex Machineguns, Jupiter, Iudakebancho, Ino Head Park and D. Some tracks like the long opener “攻撃“ and the rather short “嵐戦“ are influenced by groove and thrash metal and feature raw death metal vocals. Other songs like “あゆか“ are much more melodic and can be described as heavy or power metal tracks with catchy clean vocals even though they sound a little bit nasal and out of tone. This track comes probably closest to the Japanese Visual Kei sound and is a definite highlight on the debut. The final “あなたと。。。“ is maybe even more interesting as it features traditional Japanese folk influences that aren’t overused and end the record on an epic, melodic and memorable note.
In the end, Akuma Taigun’s first effort is diversified, energizing and entertaining. Especially the more melodic tracks towards the end of the record show the band’s capacity to write melodic riffs and catchy vocal lines, showcases the quartet’s solid musicianship and exposes its large variety of influences. On the other side, this release sometimes lacks direction, stability and structure as good moments and rather average ideas go hand in hand on this record. Musical diversity has always been an important element for Japanese bands or groups that try to imitate that sound but Akuma Taigun sometimes tries to explore too many styles at the same time. Another obvious flaw is the production. The guitar sound is a little bit too low and dirty for this genre and the vocals sound sometimes limited, nasal and out of breath despite their unique potential.
J-Rock and Visual Kei fans should keep an eye on this promising young band. Akuma Taigun still has a long way to go but their debut already sounds promising enough for future endeavors. If you have a couple of bucks left over, this international quartet definitely deserves some sincere encouragement.
Final rating: VII out of X points
Please support the band and check out the following links:
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