Japanese Metal & Hard Rock Bands A to Z

Август 30, 2016


WANDS
Japanese AOR
1990s
Recommended:
Discography

One of the top selling AOR groups in Japan in the early/mid 90s.  They spawned several massive AOR anthems that to this day are still known by most people in Japan.  First 3 CDs are highly recommended.


WILD CATS (with Minako Honda)
Japanese Female Hard Rock
1990s
Recommended:
Discography

Female fronted hard rock featuring Japanese idol legend, the late Minako Honda.


WILD FLAG
Japanese Hard Rock
Early 1990s
Recommended:
Discography
 


WIRED
Japanese Indie Hard Rock
Early 1990s
Recommended:
Discharge CD 1993
Rhythm & Roll CD 1995
Catch! CD 2001

Their debut is easily one of the most sought after hard rock/glam indie CDs out there today, and has been (deservedly so) for many years.  Fluent English lead vocals, solid production (with just that right ‘indie’ feel), solid riffs (recalling Japan’s Bodyaux)) all make for a solid debut (their two followups were also great, but many collectors are attracted to the debut for a number of reasons).  Consider yourself very lucky if you can find their debut for under $200, although, with our Yahoo Auction in English bidding system (launching in Nov/Dec, 2016), the odds of getting lucky are quite high.


WITH
Japanese Indie Sleaze
Late 1980s
Recommended:
Dancin’ With Me CD 1991


WIZARD’S HYMN
Japanese Female Power Metal
2000s
Recommended:
Hymnal CD 2006
Transience CD 2008


WOLF
Japanese Heavy Metal
1980s
Recommended:
Wolf EP 1987
Some Aspects of the Moment CD 1990
Roll Over CD 1991

Legends of the Japanese metal scene.


X JAPAN
Japanese Thrash / Speed Metal
Late 1980s ~
Recommended:
Discography

Without doubt, Japan’s most successful rock/metal group in the nation’s history.  No other band from Japan has ever come even close, to the level of success this band achieved by the early/mid 90s.  An iconic band, who to this day retains cult status in Japan and throughout Asia.  Love’em or hate’em, X Japan was to the Japanese rock/metal scene, what bands like Led Leppelin and Black Sabbath were to rock/metal music in the rest of the world.  To this, legions of new bands in Japan have their sound, fashion, and attitude deeply rooted and attributed to X Japan.  While I, personally, have never been a fan- there’s absolutely no denying that X Japan were and continue to be (by a very long shot) Japan’s metal gods.


X-RAY
Japanese Hard Rock
Early / Mid 1980s
Recommended:
Discography

High quality hard rock, with massive AOR overtones, that’ll appeal to fans of early Icon (debut), White Sister, Vow Wow, King Kobra, etc (of course… with Japanese vocals).  Excellent early 80s melodic hard rock.  Great keys (but not overdone) and very solid song writing.  One of the better Japanese bands of the 80s.



XANADU
Japanese Female Hard Rock
2000s
Recommended:
Forever Ties CD 2001


X.Y.Z.→A
Japanese Hard Rock
1990s
Recommended:
Discography
Featuring Fumihiko Kitsutaka (well known shredder) and M. Niihara on vocals (ex Ded Chaplin, Loudness).


YOUSEI TEIKOKU
Japanese Female Symphonic Speed Metal
2000s
Recommended:
Discography

 


Youthquake
Japanese Thrash
1990
Recommended:
Quake Dope CD 1994


YUHKINEN
Japanese Hard Rock / Metal (Narnia style)
2000s
Recommended:
FAR BEYOND THE SEVEN SEAS CD 2011

 


YUKI KATSURAGI
Japanese Female Hard Rock / AOR
1980s
Recommended:
Discography

Late 80s Movie Soundtrack style AOR. Very well written, feel-good anthemic AOR.


Yukihisa Kanatani
Japanese Neo Classical Metal (Yngwie style)
2013
Recommended:
Cry for the moon CD 2015


YUMIKO KOSAKA (YUMICO)
Japanese Female Hard Rock
1980s
Recommended:
Discography

Top class AOR, lots of power, great production. Sang on a lot of anime soundtracks as well.


YUMIKO MORISHITA / 森下由実子
Japanese Female Hard Rock
1980s
Recommended:
Discography

Female top class AOR, lots of power, great production.


ZARD
Japanese Female Pop / Rock / AOR
1990s
Recommended:
Discography

By far the most successful Japanese female rock/AOR singer in the early/mid 90s, before her untimely passing.


Zi:Kill
Japanese Thrash
1980s
Recommended:
Discography
 


ZIGGY
Japanese Sleaze
1980s / 90s
Recommended:
Discography

One of the most successful sleaze/glam bands in Japan during the late 80s/early 90s.


ZNX
Japanese Hard Rock
Early 1990s
Recommended:
Discography
Out of the ashes of Ziggy (and a number of other well known Japanese bands) was formed ZNX.


かまいたち (Kamaitachi)
Japanese Thrash / Speed
Late 1980s / early 90s
Recommended:
Discography
 


筋肉少女帯
Japanese Hard Rock
1990s ~
Recommended:
Discography

Fumihiko Kitsutaka’s band in the 90s.



 
If you feel we missed any bands, or have any corrections/suggestions, please leave a message in the comments section below and we’ll be happy to make an improvement to this article based on your input.