We have released our new album “Nabeshima” in July.
The news and press release was posted on music media and websites.
And now reviews are coming.
And let me tell you, the reviews are varied. (Should I say “mixed”?)
Most of the reviews are positive, but they are still varied.
This is something we had expected since the beginning.
“Nabeshima” is a difficult album to review.
Firstly it’s a double album.
Obscure indie band like us releasing a double album? (Not a 4 song EP)
First thing they say is “Why on earth are you releasing a double album?”.
Secondly, it’s a mixed language album. Half Japanese and half English. (And we somewhat put more emphasis on Japanese side.)
Thirdly, the musical styles are diverse. We are a heavy metal / hard rock band. But this album has so much variety in musical style. This surely confuses some people.
Finally, there is a religious factor. Because we are a Christian band. Some people don’t like this. The fact we are from Japan makes things even more difficult to understand.
So this album has so many elements to alienate casual listeners.
Probably it’s hard to see what we are doing here on this album, without knowing the context: What kind of band we are and what we have done in the past.
Also, just like “Jesus Wind”, this album is based on Japanese spiritual history. You have to know the cultural/spiritual background to understand this album.
We are sure our fans will understand.
But maybe it’s difficult for “critics” and “reviewers”.
Yes it’s a difficult album to understand.
You have to understand both Japanese and English language, you have to understand Japanese culture, and also you have to understand Christian faith.
Maybe we created an album which is very hard to understand.
However, it’s true this is our ultimate style.
This is “Japanese Traditional Christian Metal”.
This is the ultimate Christian music we have ever made.
All our messages – spiritual and cultural messages – are there.
You might think it’s a big volume and hard understand.
But I think it’s much smaller and easier than the Bible itself.
On the other hand, we have received so many good responses and messages from our fans.
So we are happy and confident about the result.
One thing we have noticed is that each review mentions different songs as “highlights” or “standout songs”.
Some person says “Passion” is good, while other person says “Atomic Jam” is great.
Some person says 80’s style rock “Sonic Soldiers” is good, while other person likes a ballad song “Sakura Day”.
Some person says straightforward hard rock “123,4&5” is good, while other person likes an instrumental tune “Tsukuru”.
Some person says energetic “Extravaganza” is good, while other person says Japanese style rock “Sengoku Christians” is great.
This means “Nabeshima” is an album that has something for everyone.
This is an album with different musical styles.
This is an album with a multi-culture, multi-language background.
However this album touches every person in one way or another, no matter what kind of music he/she likes.
And we are happy if just one song touches someone.
Also we have noticed that, the review someone writes is more about what he/she sees in “Nabeshima” rather than “Nabeshima” itself.
So it speaks more about the person, rather than the album.
Because it’s a multi genre, multi culture album, every person sees/hears different things in this album.
So here we can say this:
“Please find your own answer in Nabeshima”
(Probably that’s what defines your life and faith.)
However if you believe in something,
if you believe in love,
or if you believe in a miracle,
something like, even in a difficult situation, truth and love will eventually prevail,
If you have that kind of faith, probably you can understand this album and our message in it.
Because Christianity in Japan,
that is just like “the furthest place for faith”.
Just like future of Christianity.
About the musical style and its variety, we can say this.
The definition of “heavy metal” changes in time.
For some people, in modern day standards, we don’t necessarily sound like heavy metal.
(We are pretty sure Led Zeppelin was called heavy metal in 1970’s.)
We sometimes sound like alternative rock, indie rock, garage rock or progressive rock. (And J-pop / J-rock)
But to us, they are all “Hard Rock” or “Heavy Metal” in a traditional sense.
Because that’s the music we always wanted to play.
Also about the sound production, we want to tell you this.
This is a history album.
It’s old Samurai music.
It’s a message from ancient Japan.
We wanted this album to sound like it has been buried for hundreds of years.
As a result, this album sounds very different from modern day commercial sounds.
Originally we wanted to make it much more “Lo-Fi”.
But in the actual recording work, we decided to make it “raw” rather than “Lo-Fi”.
Very little sound process.
It sounds raw. It sounds rough. Not polished. Very honest sound.
But that’s the sound we wanted on this album.
Because we put our focus on the spiritual message in the music.
We didn’t want to cover up those messages with the polished sound of current modern world.
We really hope you can feel those messages and feelings.
One thing I can say is, probably we can remaster the album in the future, if there is an opportunity in the right time.
But what we want you know is that we are very happy with the sound we have achieved on this album.
Okay here is some of the reviews for Nabeshima album.
Oh did he just say “one of the best guitarists in the world”?
Thank you for writing comments for every song.
A magazine for Christian rock. Very kind review. Very glad.
Guitar sounds raw, is that a compliment? Also it’s not the first time Tak’s vocal was compared to Geddy Lee from Rush.
Thank you for the decent review. Also thank you for remembering our “Jesus Wind” album.
1980’s underground metal, I think that is a compliment. Thank you.
Okay, so they say we are an “alternative rock band”. And they like our “quirky alternative side”.
They say it’s not metal. They say they are confused. That’s actually cool.
More reviews coming.
Thank you very much!!