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Loudness – Rise To Glory Review

Released by: earMUSIC 

Release Date: January 26th, 2018

Genre: Metal

Links: http://loudnessjp.com/

 

Line Up:

Akira Takasaki – Guitar
Minoru Niihara – Vocals
Masayoshi Yamashita – Bass
Masayuki Suzuki – Drums

 

Tracklist:

01. Soul On Fire
02. I’m Still Alive 
03. Go For Broke 
04. Until I See The Light
05. The Voice 
06. Massive Tornado 
07. Kama Sutra (instrumental) 
08. No Limits 
09. Bad Loser 
10. Rise To Glory 
11. Rain 
12. Who And For Whom

 

Loudness has managed to do it again. Perhaps it’s because I don’t follow social media much these days and I’ve never been one to frequent band sites, even if I am a huge fan. I’m sure some meathead out there will decide that means I’m not a true fan, but I don’t care. I have more important things to worry about. But I digress: the surprise Loudness has laid upon me is a brand new album. I found out recently whilst I was perusing some of my favorite online album stores looking for bargains and saw it as a pre-order. As with essentially every new Loudness album, I got pretty amped up in eagerness to check it out. After 27 albums and nearly 40 years of existence, even the albums I might not love as much as my absolute favorites I still derive joy from them. Of course, Loudness has evolved several times stylistically over the years, and especially during the last 17 years since the return of Minoru Niihara, they’ve kept fans on their toes. Their latest effort, however, will please fans of the early days as much as the modern day.

Rise To Glory is a triumphant return to a more melodic sound for Loudness while at the same time maintaining the level of heaviness the band has demonstrated since the 90’s. The first thing that struck me upon hearing this album for the first time was the fact that guitar guru Akira Takasaki is writing some of the most catchy riffs he’s composed since the 80’s. Almost veering away from his turbocharged and experimental stuff, Takasaki seems to be returning to a more meat and potatoes guitar style. Also gone seems to be the use of effects on Niihara’s voice. For the last few albums that have seemed to be the biggest distraction for me, the fact that it sounded like his voice was so distorted. Clearly, he still has the chops just hearing songs like “Go For Broke,” “Soul On Fire,” and “No Limits.” The ever-dependable Masayoshi Yamashita on the bass and drummer Masayuki Suzuki who has amply filled the shoes of the late, great Munetaka Higuchi lay down a powerful backbeat.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Rise To Glory is one of the best Loudness albums to come out in a long time. It is the perfect melding of all eras for this incredible band. They sound better than ever, and after focusing on the heaviness factor for the last couple albums, it’s nice to hear more nuanced playing and more melodic songwriting, while still remaining pretty damn hard hitting. I’d like to believe that we live in a day and age where it is fine for an American audience to embrace these heavy metal giants from the land of the rising sun, but that remains to be seen. All I’m hoping is to be able to see them live, as this is one of the biggest bands on my bucket list I’ve yet to mark off. Fingers crossed!

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 9/10

 

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