Loudness - Thunder in the East
And this time "Thunder in the East" by "Loudness", released on January 21, 1985.
"Loudness" is a Heavy Metal Japanese band that we really like. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarist Akira Takasaki and drummer Munetaka Higuchi. In the mid-1980s the band enjoyed great success outside of Japan as well and was in fact the first Japanese metal band to sign a recording contract with a major label in the United States. To date, the band has released 27 studio albums, 3 mini-albums and a variety of live albums and compilations. The original line-up (with the exception of drummer Munetaka Higuchi who died of liver cancer in 2008), continues to release albums even today (the last in 2018).
"Thunder in the East" is the fifth studio album by "Loudness" and the first to be released on a major label in the US. It is also the band's first album to be released with the singing entirely in English. For example, the band's previous and excellent album "Disillusion", released in 1984, was originally released with lyrics and vocals in Japanese and only later was also released in English speaking version as well.
The band had been looking for the opportunity to break through Japan's borders since 1981. They finally succeed in 1985, when "Twisted Sister" manager- Joe Gerber, got them a recording contract with "Atco Records", which was a subsidiary of "Atlantic Records" in the US. A first and amazing achievement for a Japanese Metal band .
The album was recorded in the United States and became a worldwide success, thanks in part to the "Crazy" single "Crazy Nights", whose video clip won reruns on MTV. This is the first album by a Japanese band to enter the top 100 charts in the US, and not only did it enter the chart, but it also stayed there for 23 weeks.
The album opens with the band's most famous song in America, "Crazy Nights", an anthem with a classic, catchy and sweeping riff. The melodic vocals and harmonic background vocals in the chorus, just force you to swing your fist in the air and scream with the band M-Z-A! M-Z-A !. This song introduces us to the virtuosity of Akira Takasaki and his intelligent playing. These little guitar leaks the melodic scales and the amazing solo just blows our minds.
Immediately after the openning track, we get two of the finest and most beautiful songs that "Loudness" ever created. "Like Hell" is a very energetic metal track, with an excellent intro riff, that sets the tone for the whole song. It's a pretty fast track that represents just about everything that's Heavy Metal of the '80s is supposed to sound like. Strong, Heavy, In your face Rock!
From there we continue to a slightly different track - "Heavy Chains". A beautiful song that starts as a semi-slow ballad with nice arpeggios and a sad melodic solo, then the song explodes into a heavy, galloping metal beat - "Manowar" style, with strong and sweeping Minoru Niihara singing . The song continues to gradually develop, up to Akira Takasaki's amazing guitar solo, which also ends the song with another short solo, that accompanies the chorus.
The album continues with excellent songs maintaining a high level throughout its length. The fast and rhythmic "Get Away" just makes you bang your head, "We Could Be Together" with a riff reminiscent of Vivian Campbell's "Dio" early days blending nicely with the Munetaka Higuchi drumming and the very slow and heavy "Run For Your Life", with a unique opening riff and a melodic and catchy chorus.
Then we come to a fast and furious sequence that starts with the amazing "Clockwork Toy" and it's psychic solo, giving a serious fight to Yngwie Malmsteen and without a doubt one of the most beautiful songs on the album. From there we once again step up the tempo with “The Lines Are Down” featuring excellent bass work from Masayoshi Yamashita.
The album comes to Peace and Tranquility, with the ballad "Never Change Your Mind" that seals it, where the band proves that they also know how to write an excellent "Power Ballad" and level up with glam bands like "Cinderella" and "Poison".
In conclusion, "Thunder in the East" is a recommended album for lovers of classic Heavy Metal. It has catchy metal anthems, amazing guitar arrangements, strong riffs and fast and melodic solos that make it a special, original and beautiful Metal piece.
And now you must listen to this special album: Youtube