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Classic Review: Loudness - Live-Loud-Alive

Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1984
Duration: 81:00
Tracks: 15
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: March 18, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 4.13/5 (82.5%) (8 Votes)

Back in 1984, the world of metal, as seen through my eyes, consisted of the United States and the United Kingdom. Loudness gave me my first view of the larger world of metal. And while they weren't the best band out there, they opened the western musical frontier for any number of bands that would come after them. And they sang in Japanese!

Live-Loud-Alive captures the band just as they were ready to break out of Japan and into the world at large. At the time they were the most popular rock band in Japan and regularly played to sold out audiences across the country. Live-Loud-Alive is filled with tracks from their first three Japanese releases The Birthday Eve, Devil Soldier and Law of the Devil's Land. For a live album, the sound is excellent.

The style is early 80s metal with plenty of metallic riffs, pounding bass and thundering drums. Guitarist Akira Takasaki is a true technician and his solos are things of beauty. His work on "Exploder-Heavenward" is a clinic for would-be guitar heroes. Singer Minoru Niihara has a powerful, if a bit high-pitched, voice. The songs range from hard rock/metal ("I Was the Sun," "Burning Love") to speedier metal anthems ("Road Racer," "Speed," "In The Mirror.") Oh, and don't forget the 80s cheese. Just listen to the corny chorus from the track "Loudness," "We are the Loudness guy, feel in the sky." Maybe it sounds cooler in Japanese.

After Live-Loud-Alive, Loudness would release their first English language album, Disillusion. They then signed to Atlantic Records, leaned away from the metal and more toward the hard rock and toured the world. Eventually replacing Minoru Niihara with Mike "I've been in every band since the beginning of time" Vescera, they faded away from the world stage in the early 90s. Loudness have since reformed with the original lineup and released several albums in Japan. Live-Loud-Alive was the peak of their career and is a worthy slice of pure 80s metal, if you can find it.

More about Loudness...
Review: Disillusion (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Sun Will Rise Again (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist Minoru Niihara on August 22, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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