Poll: Which Anthem album should I buy next?
You do not have permission to vote in this poll.
Anthem (1985)
20.00%
2 20.00%
Tightrope (1986)
20.00%
2 20.00%
Bound to Break (1987)
30.00%
3 30.00%
Gypsy Ways (1988)
0%
0 0%
Hunting Time (1989)
10.00%
1 10.00%
No Smoke Without Fire (1990)
0%
0 0%
Domestic Booty (1992)
0%
0 0%
Heavy Metal Anthem (2000)
0%
0 0%
Seven Hills (2001)
0%
0 0%
Overload (2002)
0%
0 0%
Eternal Warrior (2004)
10.00%
1 10.00%
Immortal (2006)
10.00%
1 10.00%
Black Empire (2008)
0%
0 0%
Heraldic Device (2011)
0%
0 0%
Burning Oath (2012)
0%
0 0%
Absolute World (2014)
0%
0 0%
Engraved (2017)
0%
0 0%
Total 10 vote(s) 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

Which Anthem album should I buy next?
#1
Help me out, long-time Anthem fans. After being blown away by Nucleus, I am in a quandary about where to go from here. Should I go in reverse chronological order? Start back at the beginning? Somewhere in between? Let me know your top two albums, and the one with the most votes will be my next Anthem purchase.

I left out live albums and compilations intentionally. I'll focus on them later. First, I need the main discography.
For those who are interested in that sort of thing, my collection on Discogs.com.
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#2
You can't go wrong with any Anthem album, but if you want to show your wallet mercy, I'd go with the first seven albums for now, as those are the definitive classics (especially Tightrope and Bound to Break) before their reunion. Check out the songs "Victim in Your Eyes", "Soldiers", "Tightrope Dancer", "Night After Night", "Machine Made Dog", and "Headstrong" off those albums. After Bound to Break, there was a singer change to Yukio Morikawa, who's more of a hard rock guy, but the difference isn't that major to me. His better albums in my humble opinion are Gypsy Ways and Domestic Booty (I luckily paid peanuts for the original pressing).

If you want the cheapest post-reunion albums, you should be fine getting Seven Hills (I love "Grieve of Heart"!) and Overload (seriously, "Onslaught" is serious Painkiller worship here). Eizo Sakamoto is my most preferred singer, by the way, and he's been the singer for the longest time. He was on the first three albums, and then he was on every album released from 2001 to 2012. His solo albums are also pretty cool, and I'm sure you know Animetal by name.

Heavy Metal Anthem is just Graham Bonnet singing English versions of old Anthem songs. That one is kinda filler, so skip that for now.

The live albums to get for now are The Show Carries On! (there's a later release that is the full 1987 live album) and Last Anthem (kinda rare, but it's doable, since this was the band's "last live" in 1992).
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#3
I voted for their debut. To me they're a band with two excellent points to begin with and go through chronologically, both their beginning, as well as starting from their first fully new album when they reunited. Both excellent eras with great albums in each. Can't really go wrong with pretty much any point though.

Another interesting way it could be done is going chronologically through the Eizo Sakamoto albums, and then going chronologically through the Yukio Morikawa albums or vice versa.
Japan's Earliest Metal Bands | 80s All-Female and Female Fronted Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Bands

Looking to add to your collection? Read up on a few sellers to trust or avoid. I'd also be happy to help you out with Obscure Band Research/Questions.
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#4
Very cool info from you both. Much appreciated. I did just discover that it looks like all of their albums were included in that recent Nexus Blu-spec reissue series, so that's nice. I can get them at decent prices *and* get the band some royalty payments at the same time.
For those who are interested in that sort of thing, my collection on Discogs.com.
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#5
I have the 2005 reissues. They've been reissued countless times. You'll be fine. Laugh
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#6
Oh yeah, Anthem are one of the handful of Japanese metal bands whose stuff you'll absolutely never have to worry about getting rare. Unless you're one of the collectors after really specific prints of course. Tongue
Japan's Earliest Metal Bands | 80s All-Female and Female Fronted Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Bands

Looking to add to your collection? Read up on a few sellers to trust or avoid. I'd also be happy to help you out with Obscure Band Research/Questions.
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#7
(04-05-2019, 08:12 PM)bhg70 Wrote: Very cool info from you both. Much appreciated. I did just discover that it looks like all of their albums were included in that recent Nexus Blu-spec reissue series, so that's nice. I can get them at decent prices *and* get the band some royalty payments at the same time.

As I told you before, nearly all albums before 92 are available for cheap but they're "western" releases not the japanese versions.

But the music is the same. Tongue
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#8
I'm also starting to sound like a broken record at this point. Actions speak louder than words. Just go out there and place your orders. Work with what you've got. Tongue
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#9
To make it more worse.

Some of the old albums got reissues with different bonus tracks. Tongue

For example, Tightrope got an reissue with an unreleased song, but it's just the 2005 version. Wink

The debut has versions with the Ready to Ride ep as bonus, other version don't have it but english version as bonus etc.....
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#10
'Immortal' is bar none my favorite Anthem album, but it's quite difficult to get by cheaply, as it's from the lone era that is more or less out of print. Fortunately, you got 'Immortal Bind' and 'Echoes in the Dark' on 'Nucleus', so you have two of the best songs. I guess you'll just have to wait on 'Soul Motor', 'Mob Groove' and all the other masterpieces if you stumble upon it for a decent price somewhere Wink Eizo Sakamoto is in the shape of his life on that record, by the way.

Out of the classic albums, 'Bound to Break' is probably considered their pinnacle. There are hardly any songs that are less than good on that one, with the title track and 'Soldiers' even moving into incredible territory. I don't think Sakamoto is as good as he would be on that record, but he is functional enough to enhance the songs.

As for the Yukio Morikawa albums... Taking your tastes into account, I think 'Absolute World' would be a wise acquisition. Like the Sakamoto-lead albums before it, it's a little more modern power metal oriented than classic Anthem, though undeniably the same band. It's probably still in print and not too expensive. 'Domestic Booty', the last one before their split, is one I like a lot as well. It's not as consistent as some of the ones that preceded it, but the highlights are incredible. 'Renegade' is probably the most insane performance by Morikawa thus far. The ones before that are very geared towards midtempo to moderately fast heavy metal, but there are hardly any bands that do that style better than Anthem. Not just in Japan, but worldwide.

P.S.: 'Black Empire' is often mentioned as one of their best post-reunion albums, but I personally find it a little plain and by the numbers.
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.
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