Archive for Thunder in the East

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Loudness- Hurricane Eyes

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2021 by 80smetalman

While I was enjoying the sounds of Vow Wow in the UK during 1987, over in America, Loudness had put out another album titled “Hurricane Eyes.” It still amazes me how two bands from the same country got more appreciation in one country or another. Anyway, news of Loudness’s new album did reach me in the UK.

My initial reaction to “Hurricane Eyes” was that Loudness had come back harder and heavier than their charting previous albums “Thunder in the East” and “Lightning Strikes.” While “Thunder in the East” leaned towards melodic metal and “Lighting Strikes” did have song songs bordering on thrash, “Hurricane Eyes,” while not thrash, goes more in that direction. The first two tracks send that message loud and clear. Both tracks are quite heavy and I love how Munetaka Higuchi’s drum solo ushers in the album. It lets you know that Loudness are serious. Furthermore, Akira Takasaki rips a blinding guitar solo on the second track.

Track three, “Rock and Roll Gypsy” is a little more melodic proving that the band hasn’t abandoned what they had done on “Thunder in the East.” However, it is complemented by some hard pounding rhythm and full marks must go to Masayoshi Yamashita for his bass work on this track. Then on the track, “In My Dreams,” I ask myself, “How could have this cool power ballad escaped my detection?” This is a belter of a power ballad with the soft guitars followed by power chords on the chorus and a great guitar solo. However, while Minoru Nihara proves he is the great singer I always thought he was on the entire album, he particularly shines on this track as does the rest of the band.

Naturally, after a great power ballad, they must go back to more furious metal, which the band does on “Take Me Home” and continues it on “Strike of the Sword.” These are two tracks to get the blood coursing through your veins. I can almost envision a mosh pit forming on “Strike of the Sword.” Though things might seem to slow down on the next three tracks, it is only slightly. Besides, Akira’s guitar solo intro on “Rock This Way” definitely grabs your attention. What the song lacks in speed, it makes up in power chords. I want to rock their way. Then we get the mid tempo “In This World Beyond,” which gives me memories of their colossal “Crazy Nights.” Munetaka plays some heavy drums on this one. More melodic metal is the penultimate track, “Hungry Hunter” but closing the album out is the ballad “So Lonely.” While not as brilliant as “In My Dreams” in the power ballad stakes, it does take things out in the right mind.

Track Listing:

  1. S.D.I.
  2. This Lonely Heart
  3. Rock and Roll Gypsy
  4. In My Dreams
  5. Take Me Home
  6. Strike of the Sword
  7. Rock This Way
  8. In This World Beyond
  9. Hungry Hunter
  10. So Lonely
Loudness

Minoru Nihara- vocals

Akira Takasaki- guitar

Masayoshi Yamashita- bass

Munetaka Higuchi- drums

Refamiliarizing myself with “Hurricane Eyes” after so many years, I can say that the album has grown on me. While I don’t think it quite comes up to the dizzy heights of their previous two albums, I like the direction the album was taking the band at the time. This turned out to be a real power rocker.

Next post: Desmond Child

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Loudness- Lightning Strikes

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 8, 2020 by 80smetalman

Supporting Saxon on the night of the first ever concert I attended at the Hammersmith Odeon was Japanese metal greats, Loudness. While it was my first time seeing Saxon, unfortunately, I have to admit it was my only time, I had seen Loudness a year earlier with Motley Crue and in my opinion, Loudness blew the Crue away. And while they didn’t blow Saxon away, they were as good as they had been a year earlier.

My anticipation on their next album, “Lightning Strikes,” was just as intense as my anticipation of seeing them live again. After the phenomenal “Thunder in the East,” I couldn’t wait to hear how Loudness would follow it up. Was it as good as its predecessor? To be honest, it was always a difficult task to follow up that album but I must say that “Lightning Strikes” comes pretty close.

They kept the format the same, using the single as the opening track. Finding hard not to compare and contrast, “Crazy Nights” is my all time favourite Loudness song but “Let It Go” is very good. The difference is that Loudness go for more a melodic hard rock sound on the new single, which caught me momentarily off guard but after a good listen, I can say “Let It Go” is definitely a good song.

What the band attempts to do and does it quite well is to create the feeling of the previous album on the new one. “Dark Desire” is a power jam while “1000 Eyes” has an introduction which reminds me a little of the track “Heavy Chains” off “TITE.” It’s still a great track and then comes the hidden gem, “Face to Face.” There is no attempt for melodic hard rock here, it’s almost thrash but Loudness pulls it off. Each member of the band contribute something here. Minoru Nihara shows he can sing at that speed and Akira Takasaki rips a blinder of a solo but it’s the rhythm section which impresses me here. Solid bass chords from Massayoshi Yamashita and frantic drumming from Muneteka Higuchi combine to make it the gem.

After “Who Knows” closes the first side in a way that makes you can’t wait to hear the second side, which opens with a very experimental sounding “Ashes in the Sky.” It is a very interesting track to say the least and I applaud Loudness for not being afraid to explore new territory. Akira does shine on the song with an acoustic intro backed with some power chords and a great guitar solo. It too is a hidden gem but not as big as “Face to Face.”

A second thrash type tune is found on “Black Star Oblivion.” The tempo races but it is here and the following song, “Street Life Dream,” where Akira plays his two best guitar solos. While “Street Life Dream” isn’t thrash, there are good power metal chords to be had. This brings me to the closer, “Complication.” I think it closes the album really well but I have since discovered that “Who Knows” closes the Japanese edition of the album. I can’t see how that would work.

Track Listing:

  1. Let It Go
  2. Dark Desire
  3. 1000 Eyes
  4. Face to Face
  5. Who Knows
  6. Ashes in the Sky
  7. Black Star Oblivion
  8. Street Life Dream
  9. Complication
Loudness

Minoru Nihara- lead vocals

Akira Takasaki- guitar

Massayoshi Yamashita- bass

Maneteka Higuchi- drums

Like I said earlier, Loudness’s 1985 album, “Thunder in the East” was a tough act to follow. However, I think that “Lightning Strikes” does a good job of coming very close.

Next post: Waysted- Save Your Prayers

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com