Japanese Metal & Hard Rock Bands A to Z

Август 30, 2016

FSB / FEEL SO BAD
Japanese Female Metal / Thrash Metal / Groove Metal
Early / Mid 1990s
Recommended:
Affect On Your Brain CD 1994
Funky Side Business CD 1994
Endorphine CD 1995
In Trance CD 1996
Tokyo Power CD 1997
Trick Or Treat CD 1999
Virtual Vacation CD 2000
Complete Of Daria Kawashima and Feel So Bad CD 2003

Vocalist Daria Kawashima (see entry earlier in this article) started our her solo career in the late 80s/early 90s as a well known (and truly fantastic) AOR singer.  But, things got quite heavy once she joined Feel So Bad in 1993.  The band delivered a groove-laden punch that could be described as a cross between Pantera (early 90s) and Faith No More, Acid Drinkers (Poland), and Varga (Canada).  Check out the sample video track to hear one of the more unique (and highly popular at the time) Japanese female metal groups of the mid 90s.


FUKI COMMUNE
Japanese Female Melodic Metal
2016
Recommended: Welcome! CD 2016

Without doubt, one of the most in-demand female singers in Japanese metal today, Fuki spits out more metal these days than Detroit’s assembly lines back in the city’s heyday.  Fuki has fronted several well known Japanese metal groups over the last few years, among them Doll$Boxx, Unlucky Morpheus, Carbonic Acid, Dragon Gaurdian and of course the mighty Light Bringer.


FUMIHIKO KITSUTAKA
Japanese Indie Hard Rock / AOR / Metal
1980s ~ 2000s
Recommended:
Euphoria CD 1994
Never Ending Story CD 2005
Fumihiko Kitsutaka 25th Anniversary LIVE Dream Castle DVD 2011
地獄のアロハLIVE 2015 at 渋谷公会堂 Blu-Ray DVD 2016
橘高文彦デビュー30周年記念LIVE DVD Fumihiko Kitsutaka’s Euphoria 2016

One of Japan’s best known guitarists, who started his major career with AROUGE in 1984.  His solo albums featured an array of well known guests, not the least of which was Minoru Niihara of Loudness / Ded Chaplin fame, guesting with vocals on his 2005 album, Never Ending Story.


FUMINA HISAMATSU
Japanese Female AOR
Late 1980s / Early 1990s
Recommended:
Friends CD 1991
Cherry Bomb CD 1991
Auction CD 1992
Birth CD 1993
Pleasure CD 1993
Bed Of Roses CD 1994
Princess CD 1996
Re-Mix In London CD 1996
I Doll CD 1999
Egg On Toast CD 2005
Mushroom CD 2006
Furnish CD 2007
Penny Rose CD 2008
Entrance CD 2010
Library CD 2015

Superbly produced female solo AOR artist.  Check out the sample to hear one of her bigger hits of the early 90s.  Female AOR from Japan that’s as authentic as it gets.


G.D. FLICKERS
Japanese Glam / Sleaze
Late 1980’s ~
Recommended:
G.D. Flickers Debut CD 1988
Rebellious Heroes CD 1990
Traveling Band CD 1990
Standard CD 1990
Shake! CD 1991
Rock n’ roll Suicide CD 1993
悪魔 CD 2015

Successful sleaze/glam group.


GAIA
Japanese Female Hard Rock / Metal
1994
Recommended:
Kick Up Ass CD 1994
All female indie group who released only one CD in ’94 before disbanding.  Pretty tough to find today even in Japan.


GAIA PRELUDE
Japanese Neo-Classical Speed MetaL
2000s
Recommended:
To Beyond of the Infinity CD 2006
Promised Land CD 2008
Another CD 2010


GALACTICA PHANTOM
Japanese Hard Rock / Neo Classical Metal
2000s
Recommended:
From the new galaxy CD 2009

Early 90s Yngwie Malmsteen style- with a vocalist very similar to Minoru Niihara (Loudness).


GALLHAMMER
Japanese Female Doom / Black Metal
2000s
Recommended:
Discography


GALMET (G∀LMET)
Japanese Female Death Metal
2008 ~
Recommended:
Unlimited World CD 2016
End To The Next CD Single 2015
Dawn Of The Rebellion CD 2012
G∀LMET 戦闘記録 2015 DVD
G∀LMET戦闘記録2012 DVD
Rebirth With you CD Single 2011
G∀LMET 戦闘記録 DVD
Hellmet CD 2010

One of the leading Japanese death metal bands today.  Started out (like many bands) sounding quite amateurish (see their debut CD or early videos) but today are delivering a pretty solid standard of melodic death metal- clearly highly influenced by Arch Enemy.


GALNERYUS
Japanese Power / Melodic Metal
2000s
Recommended:
THE SENSE OF OUR LIVES [Blu-ray] DVD 2016
UNDER THE FORCE OF COURAGE CD 2015
RESURRECTION CD 2010
VETELGYUS CD + DVD (Blu Ray) 2014
ANGEL OF SALVATION CD 2012
PHOENIX RISING CD 2011
THE IRONHEARTED FLAG Vol.1 : REGENERATION SIDE CD + DVD 2013
The Flag Of Punishment CD 2013
Advance To The Fall CD 2005
Beyond the end to despair… CD 2006
絆 Fist Of The Blue Sky 6 track EP CD 2012
ONE FOR ALL-ALL FOR ONE 2007 CD
EVERLASTING CD + DVD 2007
REINCARNATION CD 2008
3rd LIVE DVD LIVE IN THE MOMENT OF THE RESURRECTION 2010

Arguably, Japan’s leading melodic metal group over the last ten years or so- known quite well both in and outside of Japan.  Led by one of Japan’s best known and respected singers, Masa Ono (Masatoshi Ono).  Masa’s career started with Fort Bragg, a fantastic indie hard rock outfit (influenced by late 80s Yngwie).  After Fort Bragg disbanded, he launched a very successful solo career (AOR), before returning to his metal roots by joining Galneryus.



GANTLET MISSION
Japanese Indie Sleaze
Early 1990s
Recommended:
Good Luck or Fight Fuck CD 1994

 


GASTUNK / GASTANK
Japanese Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
Late 1980s ~
Recommended:
Heartful Melody CD 1999
Mother CD 2004
MIDNIGHT RAIN CD 1988
Dead Song CD 1987

Very underrated band, who delivered a unique/fresh sound, often compared to Dead End, with clear influences of Queensryche, Crimson Glory, and an array of other styles/bands.


GAUNTLET
Japanese Symphonic Metal
2000s
Recommended:
Birthplace Of Emperor CD 2014

Melodic Symphonic Metal ala Dragonforce / Galneryus.


GENOA
Japanese Thrash Metal
Late 1980s / early 90s
Recommended:
Black Tape CD 1991
WHAT A WONDERFUL LIFE! HA!! CD 1991
We got a bomb CD 1992

Early 90s thrash metal outfit who had a pretty strong cult following in Japan at the time.


GERARD
Japanese Progressive Metal
1990s ~
Recommended:
Gerard CD 1999
Irony of Fate CD 2001
ギャップ萌え CD 2012
Meridian CD 2000
Sighs of the water CD 2002
Empty Lie Empty Dream CD 1999
Visionary dream CD 2011
Pandora’s Box CD 1997

Fantastic progressing hard rock/metal from Japan.  Very talented band, with a solid following outside of Japan (their CDs have been issued on European labels in addition to heavy distribution in Japan).


GIRL TIQUE
Japanese Indie Sleaze / Glam
Late 1980’s
Recommended: う・そ・つ・き CD 1990


GLASS EYE
Japanese Indie Hard Rock
Late 1980’s
Excellent band who released only one CD (circa 1990/1991 or so)- impossible to find today (in fact so rare- I couldn’t even find a single image/article about them online- but I have had the cd in my possession once, many years ago).  Worth looking for.


GOLDBRICK
Japanese Hard Rock
2000s
Recommended:
Goldbrick CD 2003
Debut Release from Akira Kajiyama (Of Joe Lynn Tuner Band, and Precious), and Yukio Morikawa (Powernude, Anthem).


GOTSU TOTSU KOTSU
Japanese Death Metal
2000s
Recommended:
因果応報 — Retributive Justice CD 2015
影ノ伝説 CD 2013
魍魎 CD 2009

Fans of early Monstrosity, Suffocation, and similar old school death will enjoy these guys.


GRAND PRIX
Japanese Hard Rock / AOR
Late 1980’s
Recommended:
Tears & Soul CD 1988
Treasure Hunting CD 1989
Long Way Home CD 1990
Rock CD 1991


Absolute top class.  One of the finest AOR/hard rock groups out of Japan.  Delivering a keyboard/AOR influenced platter of superb hard rock/metal in the style of late 80s Pretty Maids, Vow Wow, and (more recently) Palace (Sweden).  Very highly recommended.  Lead singer Nobuo (aka 山田信夫, NoB, also mentioned in this article), sang for Make-Up earlier, and P.A.F. later on.


GRAND SLAM
Japanese Hard Rock / Glam
Late 1980s ~
Recommended:
Without Dreams CD Single 1991
Can’t Stop Believin’ CD single 1993
Rhytmic Noise CD 1990
Infinity CD 1991
Free CD 1992
Inside Or Outside CD 1993
Easy Action CD 1993
Grand Slam CD 1996

Excellent hard rock outfit, clearly aiming for the American hard rock sound on their early albums.  Very solid.


GRIMM THE CAPSULE
Japanese Indie Sleaze
1994
Recommended:
Grimm The Capsule CD 1994


GROOVE MASTER
Japanese Indie Glam
1990s
Recommended:
And the day will begin CD 1997


GROOVY HEELS
Japanese Indie Sleaze
1980s
Recommended:
Groovy Heels LP 1988


GUILTY VICE
Japanese Sleaze / Glam
1990s
Recommended:
Leave Here CD 1997

Ultra sleazy / sex-charged sleaze/rock/glam. Continuing in the tradition of bands like Ladies Room.


GUILTY’S LAW
Japanese Heavy Metal
1990s
Recommended:
Total Insanity CD 2009
Rise Again CD 2014


GUNBRIDGE
Japanese Melodic Heavy Metal
2000s
Recommended:
Dispel the devil CD 2013

 


GYZE
Japanese Melodic Death Metal
2000s
Recommended:
Fascinating Violence CD 2014
Black Bride CD 2015
Without Hesitation (debut EP) CD 2011
Suicide Heaven (pre Gyze) – Future Ages CD 2014

Top class melodic death metal for fans of Norther, and early Children of Bodom.  Superb new band out of Japan.