April 21, 2020 LOVEBITES – Electric Pentagram (Album Review)
Japan is a place that does not worry about trends, instead they set them. Always known to appreciate music, regardless if en vogue at the present time or not, it makes sense The Land of the Rising Sun produce plenty of original bands that draw influence from past styles.
That is where the five Japanese women – Asami (vocals), Miho (bass), Haruna (drums), Mi-Ya and Midori (guitars) – come in under the name LOVEBITES. Emerging out of the city of Tokyo, LOVEBITES’ style is keen to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and would fit lovely right alongside legends such as Iron Maiden, or their countrymates Loudness.
Intrigued yet? Well you should be because after forming just four years ago, in 2018 they named “Best New Band” at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. They have also performed at some of the biggest Metal festivals and have attained millions of streams. Now, after the release of five highly charted released in Japan – two albums, two EPs, one live album – they are back with Electric Pentagram.
Their third overall studio album, Electric Pentagram was initially released in Japan back on January 29th, but finds its way to American shores on Friday, April 24th thanks to Red River Entertainment/BFD, in partnership with JVCKENWOOD Victor Entertainment Group and distribution by The Orchard. A band that has fully formed with five multi-talented members, many of which have extensive music background, the new album is complete with twelve blistering tracks.
Starting with “Thunder Vengeance,” it begins with an angelic chorus harmonizing over thunder and drums. The guitars tear away in a shredding attack before Asami’s powerhouse singing enters before building intensity with an intense chorus. The follow up is “Holy War,” an explosive masterpiece of poignant lyrical expression. In enough words, the track awakens with symphonic string accents, soaring vocal vibrato, and a striking guitar solo fit for the gods themselves.
Next up, “Raise Some Hell” is easily as brutal as it is rebellious. Here the guitars ricochet in a wicked rhythm as the catchy hook of the chorus ‘make some noise, raise some hell.’ Then “Today Is The Day” takes a different approach, and instead of using a chug, there is build-up of guitars. This is while “A Frozen Serenade” is slow burn of Asami’s intoxicating voice and Herculean high notes. Matched with an awe-inspiring classical guitar solo played over the top of a rapid piano melody, the song makes for an astounding, multi-layered experience of grandeur.
For those seeking a dramatic show-stopper, look no further than “Dancing With The Devil.” Complete with grinding riffs that interplay with slick melodic bits and quick orchestral strings, topping it all, the singing is monumental as sonorous wordless harmonizing in the chorus. This is while other tracks such “Set The World On Fire” sets the record ablaze with sinister guitars and monstrously powerful drums, making this album impossible not to love.
Overall, Electric Pentagram is badass, rambunctious, and represents what a truly refreshing innovative Power Metal album can be. The vocals are always stunning, something only accentuated by Asami’s ability to shatter any note with insane power. Furthermore, every guitar solo is electrifying and seems to carry with it a voice of its own. The riffs are diabolical as well as fluid, vary on every track, but when combined with the bass and drums, are unstoppable. An album with no dull moments, Cryptic Rock gives Electric Pentagram 5 out of 5 stars.