The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

LOUDNESS

2.0.1.2.

Tokuma Japan

2012

 

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 


Loudness were the first Japanese heavy metal act signed to a major label in the United States and have released twenty-five studio albums with 2 reaching the Billboard Top 100 in the mid 80’s.

 

 

WHAT WE SAY

 


Hot on the heels of last years 30th Anniversary album ‘Eve To Dawn’ (just officially released in the U.S.) Loudness have wasted no time in getting back in the studio to belt out another album of their trademark Japanese metal. The new opus 2.0.1.2 being their 25th studio release since the band begun in late 1981.

 

 

2.0.1.2 follows in the same vein as the vast majority of their albums since the original line-up reformed back in 2000, which is to say that the songs are fast and furious and quite a long way removed from the 80’s period the band are most known for. If you’re looking for songs like Let It Go and Crazy Nights you really won’t find them in the modern day Loudness repertoire. The good news is that guitarist Akira Takasaki still shreds like a man possessed while the rest of the band Masayoshi Yamashita (bass) and Masayuki Suzuki (drums) pound away with skill, speed and no lack of dexterity.

 

 

‘The Stronger’ opens the album impressively a song bordering on speed metal at times while vocalist Minoru Niihara growls out his positive lyrics. Akira’s solo on this track is breathtaking and really takes the song to another level. The following track ‘2012~The End Of Age` a song about human corruption and greed mixes old style Sabbath chords with more speed metal riffage to great effect.

 

 

‘Break New Ground’ eases off throttle a little and takes a slightly more commercial approach Minoru’s singing sounding best here against Akira’s more restrained approach. Bassist Yamashita gets to shine on ‘Driving Force’ as well as ‘Memento Mori’ both bringing his brilliant playing to the fore.

 

 

‘The Voice Of Metal’ is a tribute to the late great Ronnie James Dio (one of the bands major influences) which comes off better than expected considering that more often than not these types of homages can becheesy and misguided.

 

 

Other highlights are the riff-tastic ‘Behind The Scene’ and the bonus track ‘Deep-Six The Law’. All in all another great album from Japan’s finest metal export. If you’ve been keeping up with the bands output you should know roughly what to expect on 2.0.1.2 if not then take a chance and discover some of the greatest metal to emerge not only from the land of the rising sun but world-wide.

 

 

 

 

Glenn Odin