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Reviews » [Review] Blaze (Jpn) - Blaze (2007)
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  • One of the Funnest Bands in Japan - 88%

    Hailing from Osaka, Blaze formed in 1998, and it took nearly a decade to put out their first full-length album, the self titled Blaze. The album being produced in quite limited numbers initially didn't allow many people to actually hear the entire thing, only bits and pieces, until it was re-released in 2012 by High Roller Records, making the original print somewhat of a modern rarity. The re-release of this album allowed for Blaze's music to reach a much wider audience, which included me, and how happy I am that it was reprinted, because this album is really good.

    I can't say enough good things about Blaze, they're creative and talented, but even more so they're just a straight up fun band. What this album gives you is an aggressive heavy metal and hard rock blend with a distinct 70's metal vibe, something of a blend of the early works of Scorpions and Judas Priest topped with a certain lightheartedness to their music that the Japanese always seem to achieve. Though the sound Blaze aims for isn't original in the sense that they're a revival band, guitarist Hisashi Suzuki counters this flawlessly by creating ridiculously fun, hard rocking riffs, while still capturing that classic feeling, all with sleek modern recording resulting in clear drums and bass which compliments the rest of the music nicely.

    This band wears its influences with shameless glee, I mean honestly, you could remove the vocals on songs such as Wiseacre in the Land of Nod, or especially See the Light, and place the instrumentals in the middle of an old Scorpions album as well as Night Walker on a Priest album and they wouldn't sound out of place, it's that authentic to the era's sound, which isn't at all a negative, because while instrumentally they blend right in with the late 70's hard-rocking-metal sound, they're still their own band, and a major factor to that is vocalist Wataru Shiota. Shiota isn't a great vocalist by any stretch of the imagination, but he is a pretty decent as well as an effective one who suits the band quite well. He's a huge part of the band's identity, with his thick Japanese accent singing English lyrics, he makes Blaze who they are and prevents them from feeling like a tribute band, but instead more like a bunch of friends getting together and jamming, making energetic, fun music.

    Blaze are a time capsule that brings 70's metal glory to a modern audience, and they do it with an incredible efficiency. Genre revival bands are among my favorites, but so very few of them capture the desired classic sound the way Blaze does on this self-titled debut, and even fewer with the liveliness present in Blaze's music. Anyone looking for a modern album with an authentic classic metal sound will want to check this out. In my opinion Blaze is certainly one of the most enjoyable hard rock / heavy metal albums to come out of Japan in the 2000's, and one of my personal favorites from the land of the rising sun.

    Written by TadakatsuH0nda, re-posted from the Metal Archives.
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    I approve with your review - Blaze is a nice band

    Good thing they are signed by a german Label, so it's easy to purchase their stuff on Amazon.de
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    grze wrote:I approve with your review - Blaze is a nice band

    Good thing they are signed by a german Label, so it's easy to purchase their stuff on Amazon.de


    Yeah that helped the band out a whole lot too. Some people have actually heard of them now in comparison to how obscure they were before. (glad)
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    I really love the album and the newer Rock Dinosaur EP. They definitely bring that 70's metal feeling strongly, makes me nostalgic for growing up on Scorps/Priest/UFO etc in the 70's ...have a feeling they'd be a really fun band live...and the feeling I won't ever see them come stateside :-(

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    Hi Tachi, listen another japan group call BLAZE ( ex KAEN) from 1975 ,two record danger zone 2004 and dream chaser. Happy new year
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    I still remember when I downloaded an mp3 rip of the original CD:
    The music was really nice, it had that 80's feeling so much.
    I lost the first pressings of the vinyl in High Roller Records, but, a month ago, I bought the black & white splatter pressing.
    Hail to Japan!

    (YY)

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