After their excellent 'The Lovebites EP', I was expecting Lovebites' debut album to be good, but not this ridiculously good. In short, 'Awakening From Abyss' is the only album that can rival Firewind's 'Immortals' as the best metal album from 2017. The record is chock-full of energetic riffs, blazing lead guitar work, pounding drums and passionate vocals. What more can you desire from a heavy metal album? Very little in deed. This Japanese quintet combines traditional heavy metal and contemporary power metal in an incredible manner and they seem hellbent on world domination. Song material this good certainly deserves to be heard worldwide. On their EP, Lovebites excelled in dynamic and catchy, yet surprisingly intricate power metal with a powerful, rather unpolished production. The guitars are thick and raw and the incredible voice of relative newcomer Asami is one of the main attractions of this band. For 'Awakening From Abyss', the band has continued and enhanced this approach. At times, they end up sounding surprisingly aggressive. Songs like 'Warning Shot' and 'Burden Of Time' have a distinct Motörhead-ish vibe in the riff department, while several tracks combine recognizable choruses with riffs that angrily pound through the speakers. No track combines those two extremes quite as deliciously as opening track 'The Hammer Of Wrath'. After a brooding, vaguely Middle-Eastern sounding guitar melody, the song is an ongoing assault of vicious riffs and memorable melodies, which is exactly what one could wish from a heavy metal track. It is hardly the only highlight of the record though. 'Shadowmaker' has everything it takes to be a modern day power metal classic - that dramatic chorus is incredible - and 'Don't Bite The Dust' is everything that classic metal bands aspire to be these days. On the lighter side - only slightly though - there are the epic semi-ballad 'Edge Of The World' and the gripping, haunting melodies of 'Liar'. It is impressive how the members of Lovebites combine their impressive skills and end up sounding significantly better than even the sum of their parts. Guitarists Midori and Mi-Ya are all over the album with high octane riffs and impressive solos, even throwing in a few awesome trade-offs like the one near the end of 'Scream For Me'. Haruna tackles simple beats with the same conviction as busy parts and fills and though bassist Miho is not on the foreground, her aggressive right hand attack gives the music the balls it needs. Then there is Asami's golden throat. Her range is lower and more powerful - and as a result, more pleasant to listen to - than that of most Japanese singers, though she occasionally proves to be just as forceful in the higher regions. Honestly, 'Awakening From Abyss' is one of those albums that leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. It's a boiling, dynamic and incredibly overwhelming stew of several eras of heavy and power metal. I haven't heard many contemporary metal albums this good in a while. And due to their deals with JPU Records in Europe and Sliptrick Records in North-America, the whole world has the chance to get acquainted with the music of these ladies. I suggest that you'll do so. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll just go and pick up my jaw from the floor. Recommended tracks: 'Awakening From Abyss', 'Shadowmaker', 'Burden Of Time' facebook.com/LovebitesTheBand/
Monday, February 5, 2018
The power metal of Lovebites (Japan) has been received well by fans of the genre. Awakening from Abyss is the most recent album. Below is an example of what Metal Archives has said about it.