1. Hellrider 2. Biosphere 3. Savior 4. My Precious 5. Wind From Tibet 6. System Crush 7. The Night Is Still Young 8. Shame On You 9. Break My Mind 10. So Beautiful 11. For You
Well it looks like Japanís finest metal band has returned again. I saved up my normal $30 Japanese import price and picked this up one week after the release date. You gotta pay for the goods folks, and this one isnít coming out domestically.
The original lineup is in place here once again, consisting of Akira Takasaki, Masayoshi Yamashita, Minoru Niihara, and Munetaka Higuchi (Donít ask me how in the hell to say their names right). Biosphere combines alot of different metal stylings, and may not catch the average metal listener. You have influences ranging from classic metal ala Maiden and Priest, mixed with the early sounds of "Thunder In The East" era Loudness swamped in the heaviness of "Burn My Eyes" style Machine Head.
The band proves that they are still interested in changing their sound to a degree, adding a modern flavor to the sound at times. Youíll find heavy doses of Sabbath downtuning, Nu-Metal, and even a little bit of Zeppelin thrown in to add a pyschadelic touch. The album starts out with a ripping opener, Hellrider, that brings to mind a stylish Judas Priest type Painkiller.
Niihara shows after 20+ years in the business he can still wail with the best of Ďem. Wind From Tibet and System Crush could have been taken right off of early albums like "Lightning Stikes" or "Hurricane Eyes". Twin guitar melody and soaring leads boost both tracks to the top of the albumís playlist. The title track has a 70s hard rock vibe leading into a crushing chorus highlighted by Higuchiís bombastic drumming. My Precious has heavy bass line rumbling courtesy of Yamashita, reminding me of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at times.
They still show the hard rocking sound of Japan on The Night Is Still Young and Savior. This is one of my favorite albums of 2002 and Loundess continues to be my favorite band from Japan, topping Anthem, EZO, and Earthshaker in overall quality. If you liked all of the albums that Niihara has sang for this band (Yamada turned them into a blues band), youíll love this one. Basically another "Thunder In The East" with modern overtones. The best $30 Iíve ever spent. --EC 1.21.03