Anthem 4 tha Devil(man)

[funny caption]There’s some kind of honest work ethic that sometimes comes across in badass Japanese music. Take Anthem, for instance. This stuff is such high quality — it not only inspires me to write more music, but it makes me want to work hard, show up early for my appointments, schedule my life on an eye-damaging electronic organizer, etc. It just makes me wanna get stuff done in general! All this merely from listening to their brand of tightly composed, epic metal.

I don’t know how I’d categorize Anthem, though. They’re not quite shred, hair or power metal, though they flirt with those genres, but they also definitely have some kind of J-Pop sound going on too. But the J-Pop influence just means the production is really crisp, the playing is tight, and the songwriting is full of hooks and succinct chorus melodies.

I am so glad I came across this band. It’s a shame it took me so long, because they have quite a following and discography! I found them through browsing the Youtube user channels of various folks who post ’80s anime music and videogame music. Apparently some Anthem songs were used on the Devilman OVA in the mid-late ’80s, and one of them possesses some fabulous songwriting; song’s called “Light it Up”. I am so serious, listen to this jam if you remotely like guitars, metal, rocking, catchy music, life, being happy, or Japanese music. Also: listen to it if you hate those things.

But they’re still releasing music and just recently released a great best-of CD/DVD called Core. You can watch a bunch of the videos on Youtube (as per usual: does any creative entity actually make money off of producing tangible, physical goods anymore?), where they play a bunch of the tracks live in a studio. That’s pretty hot, and I wonder how much fricking moolah it cost these guys to record/play in there like that. I mean, that ain’t a shabby setup, ya dig? Check out this track, “Immortal Bind”. Nice drum kit, too! Also, special bonus for the Japanese vocalist — his vocals are sick, sick, sick! Totally off the hook! Bury those screamo/emo/metalcore vocals for me, will ya, Eizo-kun? Nail in the coffin!

Essential listening for any fans of Racer X or Judas Priest (particularly their Painkiller stuff!) or classic Helloween (let’s say Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. II or Time of the Oath). Every musician in this band is a real cool daddy, every song is epic and worth its weight in gold bouillon (what?).

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~ by chaosrexmachinae on February 23, 2009.

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