Japanese Metal

Kruelty – Untopia [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

Kruelty – Untopia [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

“Trawling through a stack of overlooked gems from 2023, I stumbled across the impressive sophomore album from Japan’s Kruelty. In another bumper year for death metal enthusiasts, Kruelty channel classic Swedeath vibes from yesteryear, done Japanese style, armed with a healthy hardcore and doom kick. The Tokyo quartet formed in 2017, recording a lengthy string of short-form releases before arriving at their 2019 debut LP, A Dying Truth. Now with a solid number of years under their belt as a unit, Kruelty unleashed a power-packed second LP way back in March 2023. And if you happened to miss it initially, as I did, I am here to rectify the oversight and introduce you to the formidable slab of solid school death, entitled Untopia.” Plunder in the East.

Coven Japan – Earthlings Review

Coven Japan – Earthlings Review

“The past still lives around us—a phone booth dilapidated with its tethered telecommunications device extracted, an eerie, abandoned Sears parking lot, Def Leppard jammin’ for the 6:00 pm crowd at the grocery store. Even for new members of the heavy metal clan, the sounds of royalty—Maiden, Priest, Saxon—often line the path to whatever extreme they may later fall into. It’s no surprise, then, to read that new Japanese export Coven Japan declares themselves as a young band influenced by 70s bands like Angel Witch and 80s bands like Satan” Past as prolog.

Church of Misery – Born Under a Mad Sign Review

Church of Misery – Born Under a Mad Sign Review

“It has been a tumultuous decade for Church of Misery. The line-up has had a habit of falling to pieces entirely, only for bassist and lynchpin Tatsu Mikami to rake replacements into a pile and keep on trucking. Given the constant state of flux in the line-up, it’s a miracle the sound has remained more or less the same. Few bands worship at the altar of the almighty riff like the Church: huge, crunchy, filthy, straight out of the desert and dripping with distortion.” Altars of radness.

Risingfall – Rise or Fall Review

Risingfall – Rise or Fall Review

Losing a friend sucks. Whether human or animal, sudden or expected, chronic or acute, death comes as part of life and rarely does it arrive when we most need it. Unfortunately, shortly before the release of Risingfallߵs debut album, Rise or Fall, one of their founding members, Yoshiki, gave way to a chronic illness. However, Risingfall knew they couldn’t let this hold them down—this throwback act hailing from Japan knows there’s only one way to celebrate death: heavy metal.” Metal never dies.

AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö: Asu no Jokei – Island

AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö: Asu no Jokei – Island

“Back in the primordial days of this here blog, we attempted something called “AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö.” The basic idea was to select a bunch of unsigned bands and give them the collective review treatment to find the most worthy buried gems. It was our humble effort to remind folks that the metal underground is still an important part of the world of metal.” Unsigned in the East.

Imperial Circus Dead Decadence – 殯――死へ耽る想いは戮辱すら喰らい、彼方の生を愛する為に命を讃える――。 Review

Imperial Circus Dead Decadence – 殯――死へ耽る想いは戮辱すら喰らい、彼方の生を愛する為に命を讃える――。 Review

“I have irregularly listened to Imperial Circus Dead Decadence for a decade, and while I can instantly identify their sound, it’s not one I can concisely describe. Think of the blackened melodeath hybrid of Chthonic spliced with Fleshgod Apocalypse’s brutal symphonics and Cradle of Filth’s gothic drama, and you have a ballpark estimate. That is, at least, before tossing in a heaping helping of neoclassical power metal in the vein of Versailles.” The Circus is in town, and it is crazy!

Bloody Cumshot – Nymphomania [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Bloody Cumshot – Nymphomania [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“In a year of awful band names, Bloody Cumshot —a project by Junya of Zemeth— may be the only one that has moved several AMG staff members to boycott the band on principle. And who can blame them? It is stupidly, ridiculously over the top. I’d assume anyone with such a band name to be edgelords among edgelords, and the song titles don’t help. But you can safely ignore all of that. Here’s bloodshot in your eye.

Rachel Mother Goose – Synra Basho Review

Rachel Mother Goose – Synra Basho Review

“Yes, Rachel Mother Goose is an odd name and no, I don’t know why they chose to call themselves that. Given that RMG is a Japanese band and given many of the curious lyric choices (all in English), I imagine something was lost in translation. I had never heard of this band before Steel Druhm handed it off, but the mention of Rainbow and Yngwie Malmsteen as primary influences had me intrigued. How would a band of young Japanese shredders update the bloated neoclassical metal genre? Would it be full “Speed King” ahead with epic Blackmorean riffs? Or a neoclassical wank fest of Rising Forced arpeggios?” Duck, duck, Yngwie!

Anatomia – Corporeal Torment Review

Anatomia – Corporeal Torment Review

“I’ll spare you the history blurb masquerading as an intro paragraph: Anatomia is a Japanese death-doom band that’s been around for almost twenty years, you’ve probably heard them on a split with a band you like, and Corporeal Torment is their fourth full-length. Now that you’re all caught up, let’s admire the title’s accuracy for a moment. Corporeal Torment implies something physically oppressive, and that’s precisely what Anatomia seems to be going for here. That it can also be described as rancid and crushing would probably make these two Japanese dudes smile ear-to-ear, although smiling is not something their sound is whatsoever evocative of.” Pain is life.