ALBUM REVIEW: Sunburst – Loudness

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LOUDNESS were the first Japanese heavy metal band signed to a major label in the United States of America. They have been a band since 1981, and have released 27 albums to date. Their 28th album is called Sunburst. However, after multiple line-up changes over the past 41 years, and a multitude of albums over that time, can SUNBURST still stand out from the crowd? Or will it simply be another album in their long discography?

Sunburst has 16 songs on the tracklist. The first is an instrumental intro called Rising Sun. The song itself is fairly tame, relying on the standard 80s riffs and a drum beat that sounds like a marching band, to the point that it may prompt some to ask if it is really necessary. Instrumental songs as introductions to an album can be polarizing; is it just taking up space on an album? Is it simply a filler song? Or does it serve a purpose by instantly leading into the next song? Unfortunately, the song does not lead into anything, rendering it meaningless in terms of the album. It is a disappointing start to the album.

Thankfully, things pick up when the second song comes around. OEOEO is an up-tempo, fun 80s metal song that brings back the nostalgia without feeling like a gimmick. Of course, it is only natural to LOUDNESS because they formed in the 80s. It’s nice to hear a band that have stuck to their sound over all this time. The nostalgia for the 80s that has swept across the media over the past few years will mean that fans who are looking for something a little different will adore this album.

Furthermore, having a defining sound helps keep consistency. Despite veering into different subgenres of heavy metal, such as thrash metal (Crazy World) or epic metal (All Will Be Fine With You), LOUDNESS prove that they know what they are doing. Of course, as they’ve been making music for over 40 years, it would be a little bit awkward if they were not so confident in their sound. On the other hand, the band prove that music is a universal language. They sing in Japanese, but anyone can still enjoy the fresh take on heavy metal.

The pacing of the album is not affected by the songs, despite there being a lot of them (and quite a few past the six-minute mark). The production on the album helps keep the album listenable and consistent. Heavy metal is a complicated genre to cover because there are a lot of sub-genres. LOUDNESS expertly cover all the subgenres of heavy metal, therefore leaving no stone unturned.

In conclusion, Sunburst is a fantastic album that showcases LOUDNESS‘ talent. Furthermore, it shows that – even 28 albums in – they still know how to keep things fresh. They don’t change up their sound, and the album is consistent. Despite all these great things about the album, the band do falter at the start with that intro song that does not really contribute to the rest of the album. On the other hand, the rest of the album is fun and engaging enough to ignore this slight flaw. It should go down well with anyone who is into heavy metal and looking for something fresh and new.

Rating: 7/10

Sunburst - Loudness

Sunburst is set for release on July 29th via earMUSIC.

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The post ALBUM REVIEW: Sunburst – Loudness appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

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