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Anthem - 2014 Absolute World

ARTIST: Anthem
ALBUM: Absolute World
LABEL: Thunderball 667
YEAR: 2014


LINEUP: Yukio Morikawa - vocals * Akio Shimazu - guitars * Naoto Shibata - bass * Isamu Tamaru - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shine On * 02 Stranger * 03 Pain * 04 Destroy The Boredom * 05 Love Of Hell * 06 Don't Let It Die * 07 Absolute Figure * 08 Sailing * 09 Edge Of Time * 10 In The Chaos * 11 Run With The Flash



These Japanese metallers just keep on 'keeping on'. Out of all the established bands from Japan, Anthem have proved to be the most consistent and reliable. No deviating music styles (a la Loudness), this quartet are at the top of their game, and release albums on a regular basis, along with live sets and videos. This is one band I would love to see live, and maybe a trip to Japan to see these blokes in action could well make it to my bucketlist. With their latest 'Absolute World', it's a case of back to the future, as original vocalist Yukio Morikawa rejoins the band, after 22 years away. Morikawa was present on arguably Anthem's best album: 1990's 'No Smoke Without Fire', and he sounds wickedly good after all this time. In fact, the band are literally on fire, as this set of songs is full of spitfire and brimstone; polished and heavy as horses.. which is just the way I like it!

The Songs
Anthem enter the arena with a speed metal bullet called 'Shine On', the metronome is set to 'quick' on this fast and furious opener. There's no let-up on the second track 'Stranger' either. It's full-on stuff, but incredibly, Anthem do it with melody ever present. 'Pain' sounds like standard American or Euro metal, while 'Destroy The Boredom' is a quickfire 2 minute metal blast, no mucking about here. 'Love Of Hell' is pretty interesting. At 6 minutes and with a sinister song-title, this one is actually quite commercial sounding. The heavy metal attitude is dropped for a stab at melodic rock instead, and works well. However, it's followed by perhaps the album's heaviest moment in 'Don't Let It Die', and this is where Anthem truly sound in their element. The band chuck in an instrumental; the neo classical influenced 'Absolute Figure', which has traces to European styled origins, but Anthem take it in an entirely local direction. It's pretty damn good. 'Sailing' gives us a slight breather, chugging in on a restrained tempo, but we're off again with the intense pairing of 'Edge Of Time' and 'In The Chaos'. The finale 'Run With The Flash' is one of the best tracks left to last. The drum work from Isamu Tamaru is OTT; mind you, everyone is on overload here, making for a satisfying metal shout-out.

In Summary
While this band are still in operation, we'll endeavour to keep pace with their progress. They release so much material these days, which is fantastic for fans of Jap HM. Their gigs are legendary and if you've ever seen some of their live footage, it really is worth a sit-down with a 6 pack of beer and a tennis racket for an air guitar! ANTHEM! Knock it down..

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#1 | gdazegod on December 26 2014 23:59:02
Anthem - 2014 Shine On
YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on December 27 2014 00:03:42
Anthem - 2014 Absolute World Trailer
YouTube Video:

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