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Anthem ‘Nucleus’ Review

Released by: Golden Robot Records

Release Date: 29th March 2019

Genre:  Heavy Metal

Links: 

http://www.heavymetalanthem.com/

Line-up:

Naoto Shibata (Bass)
Akio Shimizu (Guitars)
Yukio Morikawa (Vocals)
Isamu Tamaru (Drums)

Tracklist:

CD 1:

  1. Immortal Bind
  2. Black Empire
  3. Overload
  4. Stranger
  5. Linkage
  6. Eternal Warrior
  7. Ghost In The Flame
  8. Venom Strike
  9. Awake
  10. Omega Man
  11. Pain
  12. Echoes In The Dark
  13. Unbroken Sign

CD 2:

  1. Gypsy Ways (live)
  2. Love In Vain (live)
  3. Bad Habits Die Hard (live)
  4. Legal Killing (live)
  5. Cryin’ Heart (live)
  6. Silent Child (live)
  7. Midnight Sun (live)
  8. Shout It Out! (live)
  9. Final Risk (live)
  10. Night Stalker (live)

I have been a big fan of Japanese Metal since I first heard Loudness Thunder In The East shortly after it’s release in the U.S. It just connected with me for some reason. I think it was the fact they had this American sound yet it was exotic at the same time (and considering I was young at the time probably helped with the exotic part.) Of course it wasn’t until my first taste of earlier Loudness that they greatest appeal occurred at the truly different sound they had, not to mention that as a budding guitarist Akira Takasaki was a tremendous talent. I started checking out any and every band I could find in my Southern rural area (it wasn’t easy, that’s for sure) from the Land of the Rising Sun. Slowly I came to bands like EZO and Anthem, then later on got into stuff like Flatbacker, Lazy, and Flower Travelling Band (to name a few) that showed just how eclectic the Japanese Metal/Music scene truly was. I’ve kind of drifted away from checking out bands from this area as the cost of Imports is outrageous, but I still try to faithfully follow those bands I have been a fan of since back in the day.

It’s hard to fathom that a band like Anthem has been around almost 35 years (at least from a release standpoint,) yet they’re not a household name despite having a stunning catalog of material. They have consistently put out some top notch music from classic albums like Bound To Break and Hunting Time to more recent stuff like Burning Oath and Engraved. Since re-recording older songs/albums has become quite the thing these days, Anthem are delivering a re-recorded Greatest Hits called Nucleus, made even cooler by the fact that they’re doing these songs in English for the first time. Perhaps that was the drawback of them catching on as the majority of their material (to my knowledge) has been in Japanese. It doesn’t take away from the brilliance of the music though (or at least shouldn’t.) Only original member, bassist Naoto Shibata, remains in control while longtime members like guitarist Akio Shimizu sets the fretboard aflame with stunning Metal riffs and blazing leads and singer Yukio Morikawa sounds like a Heavy Metal Don Dokken. The appeal for me was always the fact that songs like “Stranger,” “Immortal Bind,” “Echoes In the Dark,” and “Eternal Warrior” meshed high octance Metal with 80’s Hard Rock melodicism. The reworked versions sound just as great, giving them new life along with a new lyrical perspective. Rounding out this wonderful compilation is a fantastic live performance demonstrating their skills on stage as well.

Anthem’s Nucleus would be a great starting point for new fans of the band, especially those who might not be brave enough to listen to music sung in a different language than what one is accustomed to. Anthem is still sounding amazing all these years later and will hopefully be able to once and for all conquer the U.S. They’re easily as important to the Hard Rock/Metal world as many of the bands you have grown up on.

Ratings: 9/10

Written by: Chris Martin

My Global Mind – Senior Staff Writer

Chris Martin is a US based writer for My Global Mind, with an interest in hard rock and heavy metal in all its forms. A heavy contributor to the site, his work largely covers album and gig reviews.

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