The Japanese black thrash duo Abigail have been churning out dark, evil albeit fun records for over 20 years now. So when I noticed that frontman Yasuyuki Suzuki is putting out a new record under his side project Barbatos this year, I couldn’t help but get excited. Unfortunately ‘Straight Metal War’ isn’t quite what I expected it to be. Losing the blackened toned for a straight forward old school heavy metal approach, Barbatos tries to celebrate everything old school. But between the sloppy guitar work and the ridiculous vocals, this record comes off as a total mess.
Prior to my first listen, the info I found about Legion of Andromeda had me quite intrigued. A Tokyo based band described as noise, industrial, drone, doom metal definitely sounds like something I´d like. The album was recorded by sonic mastermind Steve Albini at his legendary Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago. Considering his resume through working with bands like Neurosis and High on Fire this should be sonically pleasing.
I had always pictured Japan as a land of technology, anime and bubbly J-pop music. But on listening to Coffins for the first time, surprise hit me hard like a massive sledgehammer. This band was nothing like the other stuff, that I’ve heard coming out of Japan. It appears that I’ve been missing out on a big metal scene from the island country.