The Best Japanese Rock/Metal Band From Each of the Last Five Decades, Chosen by Ryujin’s Ryoji Shinomoto
Here is the best Japanese rock/metal band from each of the last five decades, as chosen by Ryujin's Ryoji Shinomoto.
There are so many incredible acts under the nebulous heavy music umbrella that have emerged from Japan, some finding international success while others are regaled as underground heroes and cult favorites.
What You Should Know About Ryujin
First Album: Fascinating Violence (as Gyze)
New Album: Ryujin
The melodic death metal band with folk influences operated under the name Gyze until last year, releasing a total of four albums under that moniker.
Now, as Ryujin, the band has their sights locked on the 2020s, continuing Japan's decades-long history of churning out top-shelf metal with a blistering 12-track album dropping Jan. 12. It's their first on Napalm Records, too, so it's a nice way to kick off a brand new era for the foursome.
Ryujin, "Raijin & Fujin"
So, while they look toward their future, Loudwire has asked them to look toward Japan's past, tacking stock of the best band to hail from "The Land of the Rising Sun" in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.
See frontman Ryoji Shinomoto's picks below!
The Best Japanese Rock/Metal Band From Each of the Last Five Decades
Chosen by Ryujin's Ryoji Shinomoto
I don't think there was much rock music in Japan back in the '70s, and Tulip were often called the Japanese Beatles. But the lyrics were in Japanese and they were making music that was still considered very Japanese, even now. I still really like it and listen to them from time to time!
In Japan, when the economy was booming, a lot of bands suddenly appeared that were clearly imitating Western music. Rock, metal, punk… you name it. In a sense, I think Boøwy were the first to establish actual Japanese rock. The dynamic eight beat is really good. Many Japanese bands copy Western music, but Boøwy really showcased their own unique sound.
1990s: X Japan
Japan's economy was still booming in the '90s, and VRock was about to begin!
X Japan are total legends. They are Japan's first speed metal band, but at the same time, they also exhibited notable elements of classical music. Metal songs are great and all, but ballads are also beautiful!
I don't like VK (visual kei), but they are different!
The 2000s were a time when a lot of CDs were being sold and TV was very lively.
Glay are the most popular band in Japan and coincidentally are also from my hometown of Hokkaido!They were always a million-seller.
The members of X discovered them through their standout music, which is an evolution of the aforementioned Boøwy. Above all, the singing is so good!
With the internet becoming mainstream in the 2010s it became possible for any artist to approach the entertainment market overseas.
They may not be a traditional band because they don't directly compose or play their own music, but they truly represent modern Japan.
This is an artist that Japan is proud of and I can absolutely see how people from outside Japan enjoy what Babymetal is doing!
The Best Metal Bands From 30 Countries
Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita