All girl Japanese J-Metal group, Lovebites release their debut album Awakening From Abyss in October with the US Edition available through Sliptrick Records on the 25th. The album comes packed with 12 fantastic numbers from the 5 pronged attack courtesy of Asami (Lead Vocals), Midori (Guitar), Miho (Bass), Haruna (Drums) and Mi-ya (Guitar, Keyboards). The 4 tracks from The Lovebites EP are also present in re-worked and re-arranged versions that blend perfectly within Awakening From Abyss. Here’s our track by track run down:
01. The Awakening
A very dramatic intro starting off with an intricate and unsettling orchestral arrangement: the build up instantly catapults the listener to exotic lands. The track culminates in a ferocious, skull-crushing mini suite packed with duelling guitar melodies and double bass-drum triplets.
02. The Hammer of Wrath
The song kicks off with a riff reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s Powerslave era (but on steroids), and continues with a mean, up-tempo riffing that would make James Hetfield proud. Love how well the rhythm and strings section go together – which is particularly noticeable in the instrumental breaks. The guitar work is also impressive, proving that Midori and Mi-ya have fully mastered their tapping and alternate picking.
03. Warning Shot
Double-pedal galore! Can definitely hear those Judas Priest influences. A rather playful track, with melodic choruses and a tasteful Malmsteen-esque solo section.
Up until now, the songs have had a more aggressive, old-school metal riffing approach. However, this is not the case of Shadowmaker: it boasts a more melody heavy approach, almost hinting at the 90’s power metal classics we all love (think about Stratovarius, Helloween and Sonata Arctica). Scandinavia meets the Far East: fans of the genre will be pleasantly surprised.
05. Scream for Me [Awakened Version]
A haunting bass riff is soon joined by the rest of the instruments, thus cooking up a verse reminiscent of the Los Angeles 80’s metal scene. Once again, the song’s chorus (embellished by a remarkable string arrangement) fails to disappoint, majestically counterpointing the much “naughtier” verses.
Perhaps my favourite track on the album. Don’t be deceived by the intro: this is neither a ballad nor a RPG videogame soundtrack! Maiden-style gallops, twin-guitar harmonies and melodic solos will testify. Gotta love the key change on the outro.
07. Burden of Time
For some reason, the bluesy opening riff reminds me of Motorhead… Which proves to be deceiving as soon as the symphonic chorus comes in. In case you were wondering which of the songs is the perfect motorcycle-ride-in-the-middle-of-a-stormy-desert tune, this is the one.
08. The Apocalypse [Awakened Version]
The Apocalypse is nothing short of its name. The song mixes a lot different styles of metal: elements of thrash, speed, power and heavy metal perfectly intertwine. The songs outro is a guitar masterpiece… It wouldn’t surprise me if someone mistook Midori and Mi-ya for Herman Li and Sam Totman of Dragonforce.
Inspire is probably the most progressive song on the record, proving that the band’s outstanding creativity is only second to their musicianship. I can’t wait to hear a live version of it – not a single dull moment and a cool bass solo to boot.
10. Don’t Bite the Dust [Awakened Version]
This song was bound to become a single. The catchy intro will get stuck in your head like a playful tick: you can either hate it or adore it. I assume the majority, like me, will agree on the latter.
11. Edge of the World
A heart-felt ballad filled with romantic piano parts and ear-gasmic guitar melodies. The breath-taking bridge almost explores the full spectrum of human emotions, reaching a climax with a wonderfully symphonic outro.
12. Bravehearted [Awakened Version]
Is there a better way to close the record than with Bravehearted? As the title rightfully suggests, this is yet another (albeit brilliant) power metal number. A triumphant chorus, jaw-dropping solo and sexy breakdown compiling the perfect closing track.
Awakening From Abyss | US Edition | Released October 25th, 2017 on Sliptrick Records
The highly renowned European engineering team of Mikko Karmila and Mika Jussila, who worked on The Lovebites EP, returned for Awakening From Abyss and once again, the album was mixed and mastered at the legendary Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland.
Asami – Lead Vocals | Midori – Guitar | Miho – Bass | Haruna – Drums | Mi-ya – Guitar, Keyboards