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Loudness - Eve to dawn | FESTIVALPHOTO

Loudness - Eve to dawn



Japanese heavy metal band Loudness have just released their latest album - their first album to be recorded since the death of founding member Mumetetaka Higuchi from liver cancer in 2008 (their 2009 album "Everlasting" was recorded before his death).
Loudness were formed in Japan in May 1981 and have been a prolific band releasing around 30 albums since then including live albums and English versions of their Japanese language albums. In 1983 they did their first US and European tours and signed a record deal with Atlantic records, in the process becoming the first Japanese band to sign an international record deal. In 1988 their vocalist (Minoru Niihara) left the band- the first of several lineup changes, and it wasnt until May 2000 that the band reformed the original lineup.

I first listened to Loudness back in 1986 (their Thunder in the East album to be precise), and liked what I heard, but to see them play live on their home turf in Tokyo in 1986 was better than good - it was amazing and they lived up to their name (I was half deaf for hours after the show). I must admit to losing track of their later releases though - in fact I hadnt listened to anything since their change of vocalist in 1988. After such a long gap I was really looking forward to hearing this new album to hear how things have changed.

Opening track "A light in the dark" is a slow gentle introduction with the guitars fairly muted and almost lurking in the background waiting to be unleashed.
As soon as "The power of truth" starts, those guitars are unleashed with full power - this is guitar driven metal like they used to make.

Vocally things have certainly changed - Minoru Niihara seems to struggle with the high notes and as a result the vocals generally stay away from the high notes that characterised the early Loudness albums. His voice is still good but it's definitely changed in the last 25 years, which is perfectly understandable, and to be honest the fact he's avoiding the high notes isn't a criticism - his voice is different but that doesnt mean its worse. He still has a very good vocal range, it's just those very high notes that have been scaled back. In fact the vocals work well in my opinion.

Overall then how does it compare to their earlier peak? I don't think it's as good as say "Thunder in the East", but since Slayer have never released anything that compares to their "Reign in Blood" album there's no shame in a band releasing a great album that isn't quite as good as the band's best album.

A great album that Loudness fans are bound to enjoy.

"Eve to dawn" is out now.

Loudness are:

Masayoshi Yamashita - Bass
Akira Takasaki - Guitars
Minoru Niihara - Vocals
Masayuki Suzuki - Drums

Track listing:

1. A light in the dark
2. The power of truth
3. Come alive again
4. Survivor
5. Keep you burning
6. Gonna do it my way
7. Hang tough
8. Emotions
9. Comes the dawn
10. Pandora
11. Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!

Writer: Anthony May
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