Label: ATCO Records - P-13540 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: Japan • Genre: Rock • Style: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. Loudness, despite being one of many bands to come out of the Land of the Rising Sun, was only one of two bands from Japan that ever gained a following in the U.
S, the other band being EZO. Loudness was also one of those bands pressured by their American record label to make their music more appealing to the public ear. Despite that, they still managed to crank out quite a few songs that stayed true to not only their own style, but also to metal itself. In fact, this record, "Hurricane Eyes" has a lot more high-powered energy than the previous release, "Lightning Strikes". Sure, there are some songs on here that qualify as "sellout" material, but those can be ignored in favor of the good stuff Keep Breathing - Ingrid Michaelson - Be OK here.
On "Hurricane Eyes" we get kind of a mixed bag of songs. But what we I Was Born In The Dark - Fireworks - Gospel for the good songs on here are songs such as "S.
The latter, in particular, has a very interesting chord pattern, and gives the song a more different vibe than other aggressive songs that Loudness and other bands have done in the past. Both of these songs are quite an improvement from the last album, "Lightning Strikes", which barely features anything fast, let alone anything that resembles complexity in parts of songs other than the solos.
The songs on "Lightning Strikes" were good, but they weren't excellent, cos they certainly don't have the sheer power that "S. It's like they wanted to improve their sound more than ever before, and they did. Since they were on a major record label, Atco, you could also expect some wimpy and pathetic songs.
It's a glossy, over-polished mess that contains a cheesy, synthesizer hook that you'd expect to come out of Phil Collins-era Genesis. The fact that it has the lyrics,"I'll make you feel good" in its catchy, sing-along chorus doesn't help much, either. The song is the complete polar opposite of the sheer aggression we get with "S.
It kind of makes you wonder if you're listening to Loudness or the Americanized 80's version of Baby Metal. That's how far the label pushed them into making music fit for the radio and the bedrooms of teenage girls with posters of their poodle-haired prince charming on their wall.
Oh, did I mention the ballads? Yep, we've got two of them on here, "In My Dreams", and "So Lonely", cos clearly the kids in America want something sweet. It's not really wimpy and weepy "power ballad" so much as it is kind of mysterious and eerie-sounding.
The backing vocals that come after each chorus in the song add to that creepy-sounding effect. The reason being is that the backing vocals are singing "oh no, no, no, no, no, no" over and over Rock This Way - Loudness - Hurricane Eyes , as if it were trying to get the Rock This Way - Loudness - Hurricane Eyes to sing along until it fades out.
Minoru Niihara's vocal performance in the song, and especially in the chorus, isn't bad, but still, when In The Promised Land - James Last - Caribbean Nights to it, you can't seem to ignore the synthesizers. If you want my opinion, I think "In My Dreams" is a better song, cos it's not so laced with sugar and it defeats the notion of a weak love song due to its eerie vibe.
It's a good, out-of-the-ordinary ballad, yes, but since it is a ballad, it's also evidence of the label getting in the way of the music. As much as there's some cheese that sneaked into the album just to make sure that Loudness becomes easier to relate to an American audience, there's still Mothers Opinion - Men Without Hats - Folk Of The 80s (Part III) aggressive power that some people in that American audience would enjoy.
Of course it's more polished than anything Loudness had released previously, but you can still enjoy it for what it is. This is an album I would recommend, but I would also say that if you want songs that borderline speed metal, then stay away from "Rock and Roll Gypsy". The opener "SDI" is undeniably one of the band's classic vintage songs and still played at nearly every live show they do today.
This song is immediately better than anything from the predecessor. One gets to hear a couple of dynamical guitar Rock This Way - Loudness - Hurricane Eyes vocal effects that keep the track intriguing through many subtle changes.
The epic background vocals as well as the angry main vocals carry this song but the instruments also do a more than solid job. The riffs are crunching, the guitar solos melodic and emotional, the bass guitar pumping and dominant and the drumming is tight and at some points even positively chaotic and fast as hell. This opener is by far the best song on the entire record and one of my favourite classic heavy metal tracks ever. This doesn't mean that the rest of the record isn't great. In fact, we get a lot of catchy stuff on this album.
Especially the mixture of melodic and chaotic moments is a strong factor on the record. One can observe this mixture in the mid tempo banger "This Lonely Heart" that is also crowned by a very versatile vocal performance once again and this element comes also back in the energizing "Strike Of the Sword" where the drum performance is among the best ever done by this band.
The band also delivers a couple of hard rock orientated tracks that are less aggressive. They have a rather commercial attempt and focus on catchy hooks. The lyrics often threat topics such as freedom, lust for life or rebellion. This might sound a little bit stereotypical but the tracks are performed with enough naive charm and musical talent to work out well.
Loudness have also put two ballads on their record but they don't come close to the emotionally driven tracks they have done in the past. The most original track on the album comes along with "In This World Beyond". It delivers us a solid dose of heavy metal featuring an intriguing dark and even slightly apocalyptic vibe that creates a gripping atmosphere from the beginning to the end.
The band should have tried out more small experiments of that atmospheric kind instead of putting a few exchangeable metal tracks on this release such as "Take Me Home" or "Hungry Hunter". In the end, this record is a big step forward for the Japanese heavy metal legend after a weaker album.
Especially the vocals are performed with more versatility than ever before and give a very emotional touch to the release. Instrumentally, the drums sound better and more diversified than before. Bass and guitar vary more between the extremes of commercial, melodic and soft parts on one Rock This Way - Loudness - Hurricane Eyes and aggressive, chaotic and fast passages on the other side. This record is not the band's best release Rock This Way - Loudness - Hurricane Eyes still among the better stuff they've recorded and contains a couple of classics such as "SDI" that still happen to be relevant nowadays.
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