|Release Date||23 Jan 2019|
|Record Label||Warner Music Japan|
The Japanese seem to have a habit of taking things and making them even better. This is especially evident in the world of power metal, with bands like Unlucky Morpheus and Galneryus routinely releasing incredible albums.
Legendary guitarist Syu (the aforementioned Galneryus’ lead guitarist) began his solo career in 2010, beginning with a kickass cover album (including covers for Muse, Stratovarius, and Dream Theater), and then recording an instrumental album. Vorvados is Syu’s first record with all-original content, and features a whole troupe of guest vocalists.
Vorvados’ lineup includes Tenge Fuyuki (Unlucky Morpheus, Light Bringer), Sono (Matenrou Opera), Yoshikawa Haruka (Tears of Tragedy), and Yuuki Nakajima and Masatoshi Ono (two of Syu’s bandmates in Galneryus), and many more.
The sound has the same bat-shit insane pentatonic glory as Galneryus, but with even more of the facemelting guitar solos Syu is famous for. However, there’s not a moment when the album seems like a guitar feature; the entire band is mind-blowingly awesome and the songs have just as much to offer in the background as in the foreground.
The vocals are high, sharp, and strong. The songs are dynamic and energetic. And the drummer is, quite simply, fucking crazy. Aside from the world-class guitar solos, Syu’s riffs and intros are impressive all on their own.
You must be wondering: can these guys play slowly, too? Absofuckin’lutely they can. ‘Aishou’ has beautiful piano parts, soft and deliberate vocals (courtesy of Ono), and, you guessed it, an emotional and tasteful sky-worshipping guitar solo.
My favourite song is probably ‘Kokode Kugire to Tenshi Wa Utau’, though that is bound to change, as it has every time I’ve listened to the album. Aside from all of the epic intensity I’ve already mentioned, the keyboard solos, played by Nakajima, is something else. There are numerous solos in this song and I could listen to it a thousand times without getting sick of it.
It’s safe to say that this album is nothing short of phenomenal. Every instrument of every musician and guest artist couldn’t be improved. Furthermore, there’s a ton of variety between the songs. There’s enough fire burning in Vorvados to sear it right into your heart. Check out this album. You owe it to your soul.