[List] A Newcomer's Guide to Essential Japanese Heavy Albums
#1
Dudemanguy's edit: We're making a list now. I'm dumping it on top of the original OP.

The Newcomer's Guide to Japanese Heavy Music Essentials
compiled by members of JapaneseMetalForum.com

Draft 2.1 2019.07.20.1

The Early Years (to circa 1982)
  1. Carmen Maki & Blues Creation -- Carmen Maki Blues Creation (1971)
  2. Flower Travellin’ Band -- Satori (1971) (also see Doom category)
  3. Yonin Bayashi (四人囃子) -- 一触即発 (1974)
  4. Bow Wow -- Signal Fire (1977)
  5. Nokemono -- From the Black World (1979)
  6. Lazy -- Uchusen Chikyugo (1980)
  7. Heavy Metal Army -- Heavy Metal Army 1 (1981)
  8. Silver Stars -- Rape Noise (1981)
  9. Loudness -- The Birthday Eve (1981)
  10. 5X -- Human Target (1982)
  11. Bow Wow -- Warning from Stardust (1982)

Classic HR/HM
  1. Loudness -- Thunder in the East (1985) or Law of Devil's Land (1983), or both?
  2. 44Magnum -- Danger (1983)?
  3. Mari Hamada -- Romantic Night (1983)
  4. Sabbrabells -- Sabbrabells (1983)
  5. Earthshaker -- Fugitive (1984)
  6. Seikima-II (聖飢魔II) -- The End of the Century (1986)
  7. Anthem -- Bound to Break (1987)
  8. Terra Rosa -- The Endless Basis (1987)
  9. Genocide -- Black Sanctuary (1988)
  10. Show-Ya -- Outerlimits (1989)
  11. Saber Tiger -- Timystery (1995)

Classic Power/Symphonic/Neoclassical
  1. Hellen -- Talon of King (1985)
  2. Stingray -- Legend (1986)
  3. Precious -- To Glory We Steer (1990)
  4. Concerto Moon -- From Father to Son (1998)
  5. Wolf -- (something)?
  6. Aphasia -- Mirage on the Ice (1999)
  7. Sex Machineguns -- Made in Japan (1999)

Classic Progressive Rock
  1. Novela -- 魅惑劇 (Sanctuary) (1980)
  2. Bi Kyou Ran (美狂乱) -- Bi Kyou Ran (1982)
  3. Gerard -- 虚実の城 (Empty Lie, Empty Dream) (1985)
  4. Starless -- Silver Wings (1985)
  5. Vienna -- Step Into... (1988)
  6. Teru's Symphonia -- Something (maybe Egg the Universe (1988) ?)
  7. Kenso -- Sparta (1989)
  8. Providence -- 伝説を語りて (And I’ll Recite an Old Myth From…) (1989)
  9. Mr. Sirius -- Dirge (1990)

Visual Kei Metal (various metal subgenres) (1980s-1990s)
  1. Dead End -- Ghost of Romance (1987)
  2. X Japan -- Vanishing Vision (1988)
  3. Girl Tique -- Shijuu Kinkaku (1988)
  4. X Japan -- Blue Blood (1989)
  5. Aion -- Aionism (1991)
  6. Tokyo Yankees -- Overdoing (1992)
  7. Amphibian -- Doppelganger (1993)
  8. After image -- Kuroi Kessho (1994)
  9. Kuroageha -- Teiousekkai (1995)
  10. Vasalla -- 爪 ~Nail~ (1996)

Glam/Sleaze Rock & Heavy Metal
  1. Action -- Action! Kit EP (1984)
  2. Make-Up -- Born To Be Hard (1985)
  3. Vow Wow -- Beat of Metal Motion (1984) and/or Cyclone (1985)
  4. Tilt -- The Beast In Your Bed (1987)
  5. Presence -- Presence (1987)
  6. E-Z-O -- EZO (1987) and/or Fire Fire (1989)
  7. Reaction -- Twist and Shout (1988)
  8. Grand Slam -- Rhythmic Noise (1990)

Thrash and Speed Metal
  1. Doom -- Complicated Mind (1988)
  2. Outrage -- Black Clouds (1988)
  3. Gargoyle -- 禊 ~Misogi~ (1989)
  4. Shellshock -- Protest and Resistance (1991)
  5. Jurassic Jade -- 誰かが殺した日々 (Never Forget Those Days) (1991)
  6. Raging Fury -- Raging Fury (1992)
  7. Voidd -- Desperate Truth (1993) (?)
  8. Narcotic Greed -- Fatal (1994)
  9. Terror Squad -- The Wild Stream of Eternal Sin (1999)
  10. Volcano -- Violent (2000)
  11. Mephistopheles / Eraserhead -- Metal on Metal (2001)

Doom
  1. Flower Travellin’ Band -- Satori (1971) (also see Early Years)
  2. Ningen Isu -- 黄金の夜明け “Golden Dawn” (1992)
  3. Anatomia -- Something
  4. Bellzlleb -- Something
  5. Church of Misery -- Something
  6. Corrupted -- Anciano EP (1995)
  7. Coffins -- Something
  8. Boris ?? (maybe?)
  9. Cloud Forest -- Rebirth (2012)
  10. Nepenthes -- Scent (2015)

Melodeath
  1. Sorrow of Tranquility -- Empire from Darkness (2001)
  2. MergingMoon -- Kamikakushi (2013) (too experimental?)
  3. Serenity in Murder -- The Eclipse (2017)
  4. Veiled in Scarlet -- Atonement (2018)
  5. Shadow -- (something)
  6. Serpent -- (something)
  7. Blood Stain Child -- (something)
  8. Galmet -- (something)

Crust
  1. Framtid -- Defeat Of Civilization (2013)
  2. Disclose -- Yesterday's Fairytale, Tomorrow's Nightmare (2004)
  3. SDS -- Scum system kill (EP) (1996)
  4. Effigy -- Evil Fragments (1999)
  5. Abraham Cross -- Peace Can't Combine (EP) (2002)
  6. Gloom -- Speed Noise Hardcore Rags (EP) (1994)
  7. Zyanose -- Loveless (EP) (2008)
  8. LIFE -- The World Lies Across Them (1999)
  9. Reality Crisis -- Discharge Your Frustration (2008)
  10. D-clone -- Creation and Destroy (2012)
  11. Battle of Disarm -- Sons of War! Old Resistance Days (1997) Note: compilation

Death Metal
  1. Gotsu Kotsu Tetsu -- (something)
  2. Intestine Baalism -- (something; does this belong in melodeath?)
  3. Transgressor -- Ether for Scapegoat (1992)
  4. Hellchild -- Where the Conflict Reaches (1993)
  5. Defiled -- (not sure what album)
  6. Desecravity -- (not sure what album)
  7. Youthquake -- Apocalypse (2001)
  8. Vomit Remnants -- Supreme Entity (1999)
  9. Vortex -- Colours Out from the Emptiness (2001)
  10. Infected Malignity -- The Malignity Born from Despair (2006)

Black Metal
  1. Sigh -- Scorn Defeat (1993)
  2. Abigail -- Intercourse & Lust (1996)
  3. Sabbat -- Karisma (1999)
  4. Kadenzza -- (something)
  5. Sex Messiah -- (something)?

Progressive/Experimental Metal
  1. Marge Litch -- Fantasien 1998 (1998)
  2. Vigilante -- Chaos-Pilgrimage (1998)
  3. Musashi (六三四) -- Far East Groove (1998)
  4. Gonin-ish (五人一首) -- Gonin-ish (五人一首) (2000)
  5. Sigh -- Imaginary Sonicscape (2001)
  6. Alhambra -- Fadista (2007)
  7. Dir en grey -- Uroboros (2008) (Not metal enough?)
  8. 夢中夢 -- イリヤ - il y a - (2008) (Not metal enough?)
  9. sukekiyo -- IMMORTALIS (2014) (Not metal enough?)
  10. Mysterious Priestess -- 夢国ノ義士 (2015)

Contemporary Heavy Metal
  1. Doubler Dealer -- Double Dealer (2000)
  2. Rachel Mother Goose (?)
  3. Blindman (?)
  4. Metalucifer -- Heavy Metal Chainsaw (2001)
  5. Onmyo-za (陰陽座) -- 煌神羅刹 Koujin Rasetsu (2002)
  6. Hellhound -- Tokyo Flying V Massacre (2006)
  7. Bellfast -- Insula Sacra (2010) (NOTE: Folk Metal)

Modern Power/Symphonic/Neoclassical
  1. VRAIN -- Rendez Blue (2007)
  2. MinstreliX -- Reflections (2009) or Tales of Historia (2012)?
  3. Aldious -- Deep Exceed (2010)
  4. Liv Moon -- Golden Moon (2011)
  5. Galneryus -- Angel of Salvation (2012)
  6. Light Bringer -- Scenes of Infinity (2013)
  7. Destrose -- Destrose (2013)
  8. Mary’s Blood -- Bloody Palace (2015)
  9. Cross Vein -- Royal Eternity (2015)

Visual Kei Metal (various metal subgenres) (2000-Present)
  1. D -- Neo Culture ~Beyond the World~ (2007)
  2. Jikuu Kaizoku Seven Seas -- Parallel World (2007)
  3. Aikaryu -- Aikaryu Chokki Album ~ Oretachi Best Janaku Chokki-ha ~ (2007) Note: compilation
  4. Art Cube -- Luxurious Cube (2009)
  5. Megaromania -- Prophetic Faction -The Universe- (2009)
  6. Versailles -- Noble (2008) or Jubilee (2010)
  7. 摩天楼オペラ (Matenrou Opera) -- Avalon (2014)
  8. Kamijo -- Symphony Of The Vampire (2014)
  9. Jupiter -- The History of Genesis (2015)
  10. Asagi -- Madara (2018)

(Contemporary) Hard Rock
  1. Azrael -- Run for the Night (1997)
  2. Blaze -- ?
  3. Galactica Phantom -- (actually power metal)?
  4. Diablo Grande -- ?
  5. BAND-MAID -- World Domination (2018)

Old OP:
When I first encountered this forum, I lurked for a while, feeling by turns intimidated and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of groups and albums dating over the past several decades that I was encountering among the threads. I had barely started on my own journey into J-Metal, just a bit past the point where I'd learned that the vocalist I liked so much from the Destrose album was in another band. I've made a lot of progress since then, but I'm still overwhelmed by the sheer encyclopedic knowledge and formidable spending budgets of some of the mainstays here. I'm willing to bet that there are a lot of people who come to the forum because they watched, say, an MV on YouTube and were curious about more, but simply don't know where to begin. It's hard even to get a handle on the scene from the last decade, let alone stretching back to the Dawn of Metal. And it's even harder for newcomers to join the discussion here when they barely know who Aldious is but see people debating the minutiae of whether, say, Flatbacker or Ezo were better (there's most definitely nothing wrong with such a debate; I'm simply saying that the dizzying levels of knowledge can be intimidating to some people).

I've been mulling over the idea that a newcomer-friendly guide to 20 or 30 "recommended heavy albums" might provide a good starting point for some of these people. If there isn't already such a thing, I thought a good approach would be for anyone who wants to participate to list any number of albums they thought would help a newcomer to the scene, and then I could tabulate the results to end up with a solid consensus of recommended starter heavy Japanese albums for the curious newcomer, a jumping-off point for those hoping for guidance from the collective wisdom of the members of this forum. Hopefully this approach would offer a broad spectrum of suggestions culled from the wide variety of tastes and opinions of the various members on this forum.

There are no criteria to adhere to. I'm intentionally using the word "heavy" to encompass the broadest possible definition of rock/metal, and you needn't limit yourself to the most successful or most-famous bands, or the best-selling records of a given band. Use as loose a definition of "heavy" as you like. Hell, stick Wagakki Band or Glim Spanky in there if you feel like it. Include extreme stuff if you fancy it. Mini-albums and EPs are fine too. It can be as recent as something released last week or as old as the discovery of electricity, and it can be as obscure or as mainstream as you wish. No constraints.

Would that we can then provide legal streaming links to every record that showed up, but sadly that would be impossible. However, we could at least provide whatever links we could to discogs.com, metal archives, official band sites, youtube channels, spotify pages, whatever would be available.

Unless this has already been done, I hope people will toss in their lists, if only for selfish reasons -- I'd like to see what I should be listening to but haven't discovered yet. Add records as they occur to you as well.
Reply
#2
There are plenty of guides and other articles floating around the Internet, albeit quite scattered. As you were curious a few days ago, this concept is rather unusual in the world of music, let alone metal or rock. Fans of Japanese music are a lot more divided into different factions than the usual metalhead subcultures (e.g. black metal fans, death metal fans, power metal fans, thrash metal fans, melodeath fans). There are people who literally don't follow any music released after 1992, while there are people caught up on a lot of modern Japanese metal, yet know next to nothing about bands such as Loudness, Anthem, Seikima II, X Japan, or even Show-Ya (the all-female band thing that came from the likes of Babymetal and Aldious is a huge part of the reason why people are investigating Japanese metal more than ever before). You also have the major fanatics who listen to Sabbat, Abigail, Barbatos, and Metalucifer religiously (or "irreligiously"?), but know very little Japanese bands outside of that scope, despite their affiliation with labels such as Nuclear War Now! Productions.

You can ask away all you want, and people will try their best to fill you in on their possessed knowledge of bands, styles, and eras. Everyone likes different kinds of bands, so responses may vary. I, for instance, mainly listen to bands that don't deviate that far off from the likes of Terra Rosa or Concerto Moon, but I'm always open to some minor connections along the way. Math rock and the like aren't my cup of tea, so it really depends on what we're discussing here for there to be any input.

As well, I can recommend a few HubPages and Spinditty articles written by TadakatsuH0nda himself: On top of the aforementioned articles, look into this thread for officially recognized YouTube channels and other streaming platforms for obscure Japanese music. Most of it is from the 1970s through the early 2000s, but you're guaranteed to come across something that floats your boat.
Buying & Selling List | Collection | Forum Rules | Embedding Media in Posts | Can't Access?

Things That Will Be Deleted Without Notice:
  1. Political and religious posts.
  2. Band spammers.
  3. Kupiku shills.
  4. Leechers.
Reply
#3
Yeah, those articles from TadakatsuH0nda is quite conclusive. Especially because they are as objective as such lists gan get, in the sense that he did try to cover albums that there's a certain sense of consensus on for bands that aren't too obscure.
If you can't get enough of me giving my opinions without having asked for it, you can read more of it on my Kevy Metal weblog.
Reply
#4
(07-06-2019, 09:24 AM)Painkiller Wrote: You can ask away all you want, and people will try their best to fill you in on their possessed knowledge of bands, styles, and eras. Everyone likes different kinds of bands, so responses may vary. I, for instance, mainly listen to bands that don't deviate that far off from the likes of Terra Rosa or Concerto Moon, but I'm always open to some minor connections along the way. Math rock and the like aren't my cup of tea, so it really depends on what we're discussing here for there to be any input.

It may all be too varied, but it was this very breadth of eras and styles that I was hoping would receive some kind of representation by getting the various opinions of various people, and thus various tastes. I'm aware of some of the lists on the Net that you refer to. There are so many strongly-worded opinions on the Net. But JMF has a certain credibility in my opinion that sets it above random lists floating around in the ether. Something like "The JMF members' list of recommended Japanese heavy albums that any newcomer ought to try". If that list represented a broad cross-section of eras and tastes, that's even better. It could be impossible or not even appealing to people here; I don't know.

I actually had the 50 Greatest Bands list by TadakatsuH0nda in mind when I came up with this list. It's an enormously helpful list and I've pored over it, but consider the sheer volume of records it represents. Imagine someone who only knows BAND-MAID was curious to try out vintage Saber Tiger, or even Onmyo-Za? Looking at those back catalogues can be intimidating, especially with the Deep Purple-esque bands who have clearly delineated Marks or Periods. In a sense, what I was thinking of was a list of specific albums cherry-picked from several of the great bands on Greatest Bands list, representing a good cross-section of the scene.

I was thinking of my own point-of-view when I first came to this forum. I had fallen in love with some of the recent female acts like Mary's Blood, but knew very little of the classic 80's stuff beyond a Loudness album or two (although I'm a lifelong fan of Western 80's metal). You can imagine how delighted I was when I accidentally blundered onto the existence of Terra Rosa. I would argue that a Terra Rosa record ought to be on any list of recommended records. Everyone is likely to wind up with their specific tastes, but I would personally have benefited from a curated list of recommended titles that represents a broad spectrum of the Japanese scene covering a good range of periods and styles, so that I could have a manageable starting point from which to formulate my own tastes.

I'm getting terribly long-winded and intricate. Perhaps it's simplest just to say that, to you personally, if a stranger came to you and said "I'm curious about this whole Japanese metal business. What are some albums of past and present you might suggest for me to try?" What might your answer be?
Reply
#5
There's this old chart that used to float around. Overall not bad. There's some things here I would personally swap out, but you would get a feel for certain genres.

Image
Occasionally, I write Western and Japanese music reviews.
Reply
#6
Who the hell picked Seikima-II's worst eighties album for that list?
If you can't get enough of me giving my opinions without having asked for it, you can read more of it on my Kevy Metal weblog.
Reply
#7
Everyone can find at least one thing about that chart to complain about. Laugh
Occasionally, I write Western and Japanese music reviews.
Reply
#8
(07-06-2019, 11:28 AM)Dudemanguy Wrote: There's this old chart that used to float around. Overall not bad. There's some things here I would personally swap out, but you would get a feel for certain genres.

Okay, well, I can see the concept of picking a few albums for each style, although in my opinion you wind up with a preponderance of extreme acts -- at least 25 discs or so at a glance -- while very broad categories like "heavy metal" with long-lived bands with enormous catalogues are little blips in the ocean. Is this list from around 2000 or so?

I also can't help but feel a little skeptical of a list that completely leaves out Show-Ya, Terra Rosa, Saber Tiger, Onmyo-za (possibly too new for that list), or Mari Hamada, but this may be the fault of the constrictive format and somewhat arbitrary choice of style distinctions.

In any case, I appreciate you showing it. There are a couple acts there that I don't know and would like to try.

Consider this for the list I'm talking about: Painkiller really likes Concerto Moon and Terra Rosa, so those would go in. Agonymph hates that Seikima-II album so his personal choice might make a better contender for a composite list (End of the Century? Maybe I should ask Saki). In your case, whatever Japanese bands progged your shit up the most would certainly be worth putting there. That way, you build up a great list representing the varied (contentious, aggressive) opinions of the collective wisdom of the metal minds at JMF. It would leave a list like this in the dust, and make a great starting point for people who've heard a little, and want to hear more, especially those who don't necessarily self-identity as sticking to a particular sub-genre.
Reply
#9
(07-06-2019, 12:28 PM)ReplicantDeckard Wrote: Agonymph hates that Seikima-II album so his personal choice might make a better contender for a composite list (End of the Century? Maybe I should ask Saki)

If I'm completely honest, it's slightly better than 'Big Time Changes' but there's a great deal of consensus on Seikima-II's first three albums ('Akuma ga Kitarite Heavy Metal', 'End of the Century' and 'From Hell with Love' being their classic albums). I think 'Kyofu no Restaurant' is pretty appreciated on these forums too. I don't personally agree, but it's quite heavy.
If you can't get enough of me giving my opinions without having asked for it, you can read more of it on my Kevy Metal weblog.
Reply
#10
(07-06-2019, 12:28 PM)ReplicantDeckard Wrote: Okay, well, I can see the concept of picking a few albums for each style, although in my opinion you wind up with a preponderance of extreme acts -- at least 25 discs or so at a glance -- while very broad categories like "heavy metal" with long-lived bands with enormous catalogues are little blips in the ocean. Is this list from around 2000 or so?

I also can't help but feel a little skeptical of a list that completely leaves out Show-Ya, Terra Rosa, Saber Tiger, Onmyo-za (possibly too new for that list), or Mari Hamada, but this may be the fault of the constrictive format and somewhat arbitrary choice of style distinctions.

In any case, I appreciate you showing it. There are a couple acts there that I don't know and would like to try.

Consider this for the list I'm talking about: Painkiller really likes Concerto Moon and Terra Rosa, so those would go in. Agonymph hates that Seikima-II album so his personal choice might make a better contender for a composite list (End of the Century? Maybe I should ask Saki). In your case, whatever Japanese bands progged your shit up the most would certainly be worth putting there. That way, you build up a great list representing the varied (contentious, aggressive) opinions of the collective wisdom of the metal minds at JMF. It would leave a list like this in the dust, and make a great starting point for people who've heard a little, and want to hear more, especially those who don't necessarily self-identity as sticking to a particular sub-genre.

It can't be from 2000 if there's multiple albums from 2010+ listed there. Wink The heavy metal section is all 80s bands minus Metalucifier (which is 80s metal worship by the guys in sabbat).

The progressive metal section has some really incredible albums on there. At least, the 4 I've heard on there I think are all great. Never listened to the Kadennza one and Sound Horizon supposedly having a progressive metal album seems suspicious to me but I never really listened to them so who knows.
Occasionally, I write Western and Japanese music reviews.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  [Poll] Your Two Favorite Japanese Neoclassical Heavy/Power Metal Bands? Painkiller 23 883 11-13-2018, 02:55 PM
Last Post: ForestRaven35465

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)