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Remarkable J-rock Albums That Turned 10 This Year!!!

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6 hours ago, Bear said:

Can I add some metal releases here? 2007 saw the release of a lot of fantastic metal albums, some even on the brink of being classics as far as Japanese metal goes.

Of course dude. Feel free! I just used the term "J-rock" loosely as a sort of buzzword, a term that I think resonates with all of us in some sense. 

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Cool. I'll throw in a few amazing metal releases from that year then.

 

 

 

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Sigh - Hangman's Hymn - Musikalische Exequien

 

After years and years of different types of experimentation Sigh  toned it down quite a lot for 2007's Hangman's Hymn, making it their most accessible and easy-listening album since their debut, Scorn Defeat. That however doesn't mean it's not original, because it truly is and you will not find a single album out there that sounds anything like this. The closest you'll come is Sigh's own Scenes from Hell from 2010, the follow-up to this. But even that is very different sounding. Anyway, I mentioned Scorn Defeat and they bear even more similarities than just being their most straight-forward albums. They are also the two albums in the discography in which Mirai and his men showcase their influence a lot more than they've done inbetween the two mentioned albums and after Hangman's Hymn. The tracks are short and furious, but they remain grand symphonic and epic throughout. Riff-vise it's full-on violent, furious and chaotic thrash metal inspired by German thrash like early Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Exumer and more, undearneath symphonic arrangements and choirs inspired by Mozart, Verdi, tivolis and more.

 

A very interesting detail about this album is how Mirai (band's main composer) re-uses certain themes throughout the album, sometime even in several different tracks. It works really well and is a sweet detail.

I am a bit of a fanboy so you should probably take this with a grain of salt, but it's a perfect album and an absolute masterpiece. The clear winner of 2007 no matter country, genre or anything.

 

Sigh - Me-Devil

 

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Arkha Sva - Gloria Satanae

Arkha Sva formed in 1996 but didn't get their first demo out until 2005 and their debut album in 2007, which to this date remains their only full-lenght. Arkha Sva plays black metal inspired by the early french scene (Les Légions Noires), the early norwegian scene and probably the finnish scene. The riffs and melodies sounds melancholic and tragic, topped with both grim vocals as well as a shitload of singing in the form of falsettos, which really helps set this band apart from others. The music is more than good enough by itself, but the clean singing just sends it to a whole other level. Makes it stand out from a over-crowded scene where the majority are mediocre clones and rip-offs. 

 A very cool detail is the use of the classic Les Légions Noires calligraphy with permission given by L.N.N. member M.T. Vordb Dréagvor Uèzréèvb (Belkètre, Moëvöt, Torgeist). For those unaware, L.L.N. was a french black metal collective formed in the early 90's by a bunch of black metal/dark ambient fans/musicians who created about a million bands either alone or together. It's about 11 different guys and 20+ bands. Vlad Tepes, Belkètre and Mutiilation are probably the best and most known acts. All three considered cult bands because of their early releases.

 

Arkha Sva - 49 Evil Spirits

 

Edited by Bear

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Gallhammer - Ill Innocence

 

Back in 2004 when this band released their debut album there was a lot of hype surrounding them. Main reason was the fact that their debut was a black/doom/crust album that was clearly inspired by Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Amebix, Darkthrone and Burzum made by three Japanese girls who looked as stunning as they looked awesome. But they also did have more to offer, and that more was great music. Dark, gloomy and sludgy doom/crust black metal. This second album contains much of the same, but it is less crusty and black. But it's filled with great vocals, cool riffs, a sweet production and lots of character. It sounds like Gallhammer and no-one else. And it's very varied. From the doomy At the Onset of the Age of Despair to the punky Ripper in the Gloom to the blackened Speed of Blood to the droney Slog. It offers a lot of diversity.

 

It's a step down from their debut, but a sweet album nonetheless.

 

Blind My Eyes

 

 

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Endless Dismal Moan - Ruin

 

Ruin was Endless Dismal Moan's last album before sole member Chaos 9 committed suicide. An album was released 2 years after his death tho, but it was supposed to have been released before this but was delayed because of some label issues. Anyway, Endless Dismal Moan plays black metal that is pretty hard to get into. We're talking black metal of the weird and semi-original kind, almost touching the industrial at times. The atmosphere is dark, grim, and really fucked up and it's topped off by some really tortured vocals. It's very different for sure.

 

JYUSO

 

 

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Fastkill - Nuclear Thrashing Attack

 

Fastkill's second album just continues down the road they began walking with the first one. Fast and brutal thrash metal in the vein of Morbid Saint, old Kreator, Sadus, Dark Angel and so on. The album is more of the same as the first topped with those wicked screams by Toshio Komori. It's not superbly written or performed, but it's a total badass thrash metal assault that is exactly that: a fun, thrashing album fill with fast, brutal and heavy thrash metal tracks. A step down from their excellent debut, but a fun album nonetheless.

 

Bloodbath

 

 

That's all I had.

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On 2018-01-09 at 9:00 AM, Bear said:

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Heidi - Kasou

 

Heidi's two first albums will forever and ever be among my favourite "jrock/visual kei" albums, and while I do not consider Kasou their best release, it's still a fantastic album full of great, superbly produced songs with a band who, without really doing anything new or original, found their own identity and managed to really sounds different in a scene where most bands and artists seems to be allergic of treading their own paths for the last decade+. Don't expect anything unusual or original, but Nao's way of riffing, Heidi's way of putting fantastic tracks together and the whole chemestry between the members really makes them stand out from the crowd. Another thing I will give Heidi, which I always felt the majority of "jrock/visual kei" artists failed at was to make an album where all songs seems to fit into the same album, and they all seem to have been written with a purpose of making a full album and keep a red thread going through all the tracks for an entire album. That is something I feel like too many bands fail to do in these scenes.

 

They would get even better and reach their full potential with their next album tho.

 

 

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Absolutely, heidi. cannot be ignored for their output and offering something original at these time (Even if Kasou and Innocence came out in 06 and 08') They were just as genre-defining as girugamesh and D'espairsRay were in their own right ; )

Seeing RES, D'espa, giru and BIS on this list makes me feel old, cranky and sad. I'm so stuck in nostalgia it's unforgivable.

 

It's good to know at least 1/3 of these bands are still kicking though. I don't think Pura will ever die at this rate (and that's a god thing)

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