It's somewhat a pity that if people talk about Japanese Metal they mostly end up with LOUDNESS, SABBAT and maybe E-Z-O. But a band like ANTHEM is with them since the early Eighties and still releases good to great albums (contrary to LOUDNESS, who only live off their old fame).
Here I have the 2001 album of the four samurais and it (again) convinces in all categories. As usual the band gets lots of plusses with their melodic steel. A song like the very rocking "Grieve Of Heart", with its great chorus, which would please Rob Rock, the great stomper "Raging Twister" with its grandiose guitar solo, the up-tempo grenade "XTC", the hammer "March To The Madness", which would very nicely fit on Ozzy's "Bark At The Moon" or the super hymn "Running Blood" that drives forward and excels in a great chorus, are worth the high import price. I never regretted the 29 bucks!
And fans of bands like Axel Rudi Pell, Rob Rock, old PINK CREAM 69 on the one side and PRIMAL FEAR, Ozzy Osbourne and GRIM REAPER on the other should think again, if they should get two solid Euro Metal albums or rather a great Japan-CD, even though the boys sing in their native tongue and only in the chorus switch to English. (Online December 30, 2002)