LOUDNESS – Sunburst [2-CD] (2022)

LOUDNESS - Sunburst [2-CD] (2022) full

earMUSIC is releasing in Europe “Sunburst“, the new studio album from Japanese pioneer metallers LOUDNESS, originally only made available in Japan last December.
“Sunburst” is the first official double studio album in LOUDNESS’s impressive career, making it particularly special as it can be considered a celebration of the band’s rich musical history, celebrating their 40th anniversary as a band.
Written mostly by original member and guitarist Akira Takasaki, the 2-CD includes songs sung in English as well some in Japanese, representing their appreciation of their origin and roots. The 16 songs represent the classic LOUDNESS sound and style highly acclaimed by fans and critics alike, spanning all their eras.
One track is titled ‘The Shining ’80s’, so you know what to expect; heavy but also melodic riffs.

Opener ”Rising Sun” is some kind of an intro, relying on Eighties riffs and a drum beat that sounds like a marching band. Next is the anthem ”OEOEO”, an up-tempo, fun 80s metal song that brings back the nostalgia without feeling like a gimmick. It’s nice to hear a band that have stuck to their sound over all this time.
Like the old days, the Japanese language “Yamato Damashii” (meaning values of Japanese culture, it’s soul) shows more aggression, both in terms of structure and vocalist Minoru Niihara’s approach, feeling more comfortable in his own tongue.

There’s the latest entry in the so-called “crazy” Loudness repertoire (‘Crazy Doctor’, ‘Crazy Nights’, ‘Crazy Samurai’, etc), aka the speedy crunch of “Crazy World”, which despite the western title, does not appear to be sung in English. It temporarily descends into s slow, skanking poppy bluesy hard rock section that ultimately fades out to Takasaki burning up the fretboard.
In contrast, “Stand Or Fall” begins acoustically, augmented by music box chimes, before lumbering into a Dio-era Black Sabbath riff, although with a string accompaniment.
Meandering, bluesy ballad “The Sanzu River” gradual builds to a plodding stomp, with Niihara opting for a new/sinister tonality that sounds remarkably like the snarling shriek of Udo Dirkschneider (U.D.O./ex-Accept). The initial outing closes with another fast rocking number, “Japanese Heart”.

Disc 2 begins with “Shining 80s”. Initially a drum/cymbal workout, Takasaki turns the knob on his guitar in an Eddie Van Halen style. Gang vocals, practically throughout, this is their throwback homage to the MTV era albums.
Syncopated electronic effect starts the otherwise commercial pop metal of “Door To Heaven”. Get sort of a Mr. Big vibe, which isn’t that surprising since they were, ahem, big, in Japan. Back to the subdued pacing for “All Will Be Fine With You”, with just the titular chorus departing from the native language delivery.
A staccato riffing rocker, “Fire In The Sky” is gritty, especially Niihara’s emphasis. Then there’s the fiery fingering mid-section, courtesy of Akira.

Drum happy “Hunger For More” sees the guitarist laying down sweeps and spirited runs aplenty, while “The Nakigara” moves to a lilting gallop, apart from a chaotic cacophonous middle. Ends with sustained Niihara a cappella note.
Closer ”Wonderland” opens with gloomy bell sounds before menacing, nervous and plodding musicianship enhances this atmosphere and takes the listeners on a adventurous voyage with inspired progressive and psychedelic rock passages, a flashback to mid-to-late ‘90s Loudness.

Loudness is still going strong forty years into its career on this new studio album that offers sixteen vibrant new songs and eighty-five minutes of passionate entertainment. The album doesn’t include any fillers, gets you hooked from start to finish and offers much replay value.
Fans will love “Sunburst”, while occasional listeners might as well start their discovery of these legends with this solid effort that presents the band’s different soundscapes very well.
Highly Recommended


Disc 1
01. Rising Sun
03. Yamato Damashii (Japanese Spirit)
04. Kaso Genjitsu (Virtual Reality)
05. Crazy World
06. Stand Or Fall
07. The Sanzu River
08. Nihon No Kokoro (The Heart Of Japan)

Disc 2
01 – Kagayakeru 80’s (The Shining 80’s)
02 – Emerald No Umi (Emerald Ocean)
03 – Tengoku No Tobira (Heaven’s Door)
04 – All Will Be Fine With You
05 – Fire In The Sky
06 – Hunger For More
07 – The Nakigara
08 – Wonderland

Akira Takasaki – guitars
Minoru Niihara – vocals
Masayoshi Yamashita – bass
Masayuki Suzuki – drums



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1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cool! Thnkas for tis

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