1/11/2013 - Review by: Eric Compton
Six albums in six years. Even considering Munetaka's death in the mix these Jap vets have not slowed down a bit. "18.104.22.168" checks in with another solid slab of ample wattage from the boys in Loudness. Geez, talk about the band's mammoth volumes of bruised and uncompromised music and how it all seems to stay so consistent and steady. This band never seems to disappoint and we get more of the same here. You could look at a band like Grave Digger and immediately come to the conclusion that the scope of their catalogue is borrowing from about a dozen or so riffs (mostly all ripped from Accept). When you throw a virtuoso in the mix like Akira Takasaki, his mad shred skills just take the band over the top in terms of innovation and technical prowess. Here the band captivate with much of the same theatrics that made the last five albums so illustrious. Check out the "Voice Of Metal" as an easy choice for "Best Of Loudness" material, doped up on Sabbath bottom heavy but still spinning the traditionalism behind Nihara's insane screams. We get some speed metal on charging opener "The Stronger" (similar to "King Of Pain" stuff) as well as the more thrashy opus in "Behind The Scene" (like Megadeth meets a truck). Those looking for the retro Loudness cut look no further than "Break New Ground", a bit of a throwback while cautiously skirting the same theme that made "The Everlasting" such an addictive addition. Overall this is another monumental effort and surely doesn't disappoint. Loudness are God-like.
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