Since ages untold, I’ve had a strange fascination with Japan. I’m taking Elementary Japanese to refresh my knowledge of the language, since I haven’t studied it since I travelled there five years ago. I like hearing about it, I like knowing everyone’s okay after the tsunami, I like anime, I like manga, I like J-Rock, I like Shigeru Miyamoto, and I like Hello Kitty.
Now my obsession with Japan reaches mainly in the musical arena. I’ve stopped being as big of a gaylord about it. Checking out a band and liking them JUST because they’re Japanese ain’t cool, ya dig? Though I still occasionally will look up a band because of their residence status in the Land Of The Rising Sun, I’ve gotten a bit more selective and have begun separating wheat from chaff. For instance, UnsraW, -OZ-, Concerto Moon, Loudness, Abigail, Medic Vomiting Pus, and several others aren’t the best in J-Music I’ve heard, and I’m better off not pursuing them, no matter how beautifully Asian they are. So here’s a bunch of bands that aren’t Dir en grey, Maximum The Hormone, Boris, L’arc~en~Ciel, Melt-Banana, Sigh, or…
Sounds like: Bipolar J-Rock that swerves from violent Metalcore to Alternative melodies.
Abingdon Boys School
Sounds like: Lofty J-Rock, at times Alternative Metal with that just-got-outta-class swagger
Sounds like: Japan’s answer to American boy bands spiced up with sharp Hard Rock hooks, laced with the occasional Hip-Hop influenced section and crunchy Power Pop.
Sounds Like: Japan improving upon the formula established by Stratovarius, adding in their own unique flair for the dramatic.
Sounds Like: Mid-paced Melodic Death Metal with gruffer than normal MeloDeath vocals.
Sounds Like: Melodic Death Metal with the surprisingly well done inclusion of standard J-Rock hooks.
Sounds Like: Asphyx, Unleashed, Winter, and large objects being bulldozed into a swamp.
Dio – Distraught Overlord
Sounds Like: Varies wildly on each song, but overall J-Rock that flirts with Metallic influences, boasting finely crafted choruses
Sounds Like: Skinless, Devourment but with even more butt-shakin’ grooves and fighting an urge to mimic Dying Fetus in technicality and brutality.
Church Of Misery
Sounds Like: Goatsnake with a bit more energy and willingness to rock the fuck out, any fun-loving Doom/Sludge Metal band.