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Asian Typhoon - Wings (CD)

Asian Typhoon
by Grigoris Chronis at 23 June 2008, 11:20 AM

Minoru Nihara is not a name to be forgotten by Metal fans addicted to the 80s Metal scene worldwide. The original vocalist of Japanese legends LOUDNESS (has now re-joined the band, I think), Nihara was there singing when brilliant albums like The Law Of Devil's Land (1983), Disillusion (1984), Thunder In The East (1985) and Shadows Of War (1986 - or Lightning Strikes, if you prefer) came out to feed our pure Metal hunger back then. And I was wondering what Nihara was up to these years, if he was still active and all this stuff; well, here's what he's up to; ASIAN TYPHOON.
Or should we say X.Y.Z.->A? It's not a mathematical equation; it's the band's real name for the Japanese market. They decided ASIAN TYPHOON would be a more suitable choice for a name for an American release; and I would not blame them, to be honest. I don't know if Nihara is the one 'guiding' ASIAN TYPHOON, but the band already exists since 2000, with four studio albums in prior (the first one came out in 1999 entitled as Asian Typhoon) plus half a dozen of single/EPs and a DVD release in 2003 with fellow Hard/Heavy warriors BOW WOW.
Nihara (a member of SLY during 1994-1996, also having released two solo albums in 1989 and 2002 with countless guest musicians of worldwide fame - see here), has joined forces in this band with Fumihiko Kitsutaka, a guitarist widely known in Japan for his unique technique and fast-thinking playing. An original member of AROUGE, a Tokyo-based classic Metal band having released the brilliant Arouge LP in 1984, Kitsutaka has also released the The Zenith Of Hard Rock Guitar instructional DVD in 2004, while he's also a member of KING-SHOW (don't ask me 'bout them…not a clue…), too.
So, on to the Wings CD: originally released in 2006 in Japan via X.Y.Z. Records, this release sees the band flirting with classic/melodic/semi-Prog Metal with some portion of modern Hard Rock music. The guitar work is notable, with endless riffs and licks, dozens of fills and - in general - lots of work has been done by Kitsutaka. It could have also been released as an instrumental CD, to give you an idea. The rhythm section is also noteworthy; lots of tempo changes to accompany the guitar work, a proper volume to step on and enough of a vivid performance. Nihara's voice, on the other hand, is still kicking ass; he's high-pitched but with this specific passionate blend, his throat remains harsh in the base, while the way he spits words out is still unique, even if I would not see that much in comparison with his LOUDNESS works. Of consideration, too, are the 'sing along loud' choir vocals in the choruses, giving a hardrockin' colour to most of the tracks.
I enjoyed I Love Rock And Roll Life most of all the tracks; maybe due to its straightforwardness. Else, Screamers - with some of a neoclassical 'touch' - will make you sing/bang along; this tune did remind me of LOUDNESS' stint. In addition, For Whom The Bell Tolls shall bring on some Speed melodic Metal breeze and Wings - Fire Bird should make you wanna listen and listen again to some 10-minute brilliant composition featuring classic Rock, classic Metal, epic Metal and don't-know-what-else.
Wings is an album worth winning your attention. It's not something groundbreaking, but it does not resemble at all to the majority of European/US bands making CDs these days. This and only would bring fresh air to your ears. Plus: it's Nihara singing (hail!), a familiar typhoon from the East.


3 Star Rating

Heavy Road
A Man Has Captured the Sun
I love Rock And Roll Life
I Am Addicted To You
Optimism Self Therapy
Absolutely Wonderful Night
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Wings/Fire Bird
Minoru Nihara - Vocals
Fumihiko Kitsutaka - Guitars
Tatsuhiko Wasada - Bass
Funky Sueyoshi - Drums
Record Label: Nightmare Records


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