|Review: Area51 - Goddess|
Label: Black-Listed Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: September 5, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Goddess is the third full length from Japan's Area51. A tasteful blend of neo-classical elements with well executed Power Metal is what singer Kate and guitarist Yoichiro Ishino bring to the party. Just as on their prior album, Daemonicus, Goddess is full of huge hooks and happy choruses that will have you singing along, even if you don't speak Japanese.
I've been a fan of the Japanese take on metal ever since the English version of Disillusion, from Loudness, found its way on to my turntable back in 1984. Area51 continues a long standing trend of well written and flawlessly performed songs. Production is bright and clean and everything you're supposed to hear is clearly audible. With the obligatory instrumental intro ("Introduction Naissance") out of the way, Goddess opens with the killer "Nightmare," featuring a massive neo-classical riff that will have people like Luca Turilli drooling. "Regret Et Larme" keeps the ball rolling with the heaviest sound on the album. Goddess loses some steam in the middle with another quick instrumental and a couple of ho-hum ballads ("Miss You" and "Vanitas") before recommencing the Power Metal riffing and double kick drums on "Sincerity." No matter the song, Kate's beautiful voice and Ishino's stellar guitar make everything work seamlessly.
Besides being a bit uneven in the song department, I can see a couple of things that might be hurdles for the new listener. Kate's vocals, which I love, can sound a bit "whiny" on occasion, something that I've heard before on other Japanese language albums. Second, if you like your music a little "loose" or "raw" you need to look elsewhere. This band is so precise; they could perform laser eye surgery.
While not perfect, Goddess is a very enjoyable album from some very talented musicians. You'll be singing along even if, like me, you have no idea what it is you're singing. Quality Power Metal from Area51.
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