Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Albion, Newcomers to Female-Fronted Power Metal

As a fan of female-fronted power metal from Japan--like Aldious and Light Bringer--I couldn't help but be intrigued by Albion when I stumbled across their music a few days ago. The production and placement of instruments in the mix could use work, no doubt, but the spirit and musicianship is clearly there.

Interestingly enough, the guitar player chose a guitar with single-coil pickups, which is not usually considered a very "metal" choice. The alternative, the humbucker, typically offers a chunkier tone and can properly handle the absurd amounts of distortion metal often calls for--this is a decidedly Yngwie Malmsteen approach to guitar playing, because his Stratocaster is equipped with single coils, even though he plays heavy music.

It's really too bad Albion wasn't around when I wrote my article about women and heavy metal last year. Nevertheless, I'm loving their music and hope to get to their debut as soon as possible. See what you think.

-TMA

EDIT: Since watching Albion's video again, I noticed there is indeed a humbucker in the guitar's bridge position. Feel free to ignore the bit I wrote above. Enjoy the music!

2 comments:

  1. Kewl! You've piqued my interest about this band.

    Going random here, since you don't seem to mind female-fronted Japanese metal, I'd be interested to know what you think of Onmyo-za. They're not power metal, but you might find them interesting. Their lead vocalist is female, though they also have a male vocalist who sings almost as much. I think their guitar-work is great and drumming is solid, though not spectacularly fast. Both vocalists have large, slow vibrato, putting that out there just in case you're not much of a vibrato person. I'll leave you with a couple of video links from their latest album Kishibojin, which I consider to be their best.... or I would if I could find any lol. Well, here's some random songs of theirs then.
    Some of their normal-sounding songs:
    http://www.jpopsuki.tv/video/Onmyo-Za---Aoki-Dokugan/1e0a733e5e78ae49f19480dcbfe4a2f3
    http://www.jpopsuki.tv/video/Onmyouza---Kokui-no-Tennyo-
    /8ef13b089f8d5841fbc2b5a09b854ff8

    Or you can listen to Kishibojin here. http://nhacso.net/nghe-album/kishi-bojin.XFtSUEFX.html Probably "Kishibojin", "Oni Kosae no Uta" (which is a metal/enka blend), and "Michi" are my favourites, but I like most of the tracks.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Alex, and thanks for reminding me of Onmyo-Za. I actually have their full-length from 2009 (Kongoukyuubi or something like that), which I enjoy from time to time. It's really too bad more people don't know about them, because I think they offer a unique twist on traditional heavy metal by incorporating Japanese cultural music.

      "Kuraiau" is a killer song, but it sounds like they have even better with the videos you linked.

      I'm also glad to have discovered your blog--I'm a big fan of Japanese music, regardless of genre. It's not all metal for me!

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