BLASDEAD – Ground Flare

BLASDEAD - Ground Flare
  • 7/10
    BLASDEAD - Ground Flare - 7/10


Majestic Rock Records
Release date: April 10, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Ask any non-native of Japan to name a Japanese Heavy Metal band and most certainly their first response will be Loudness, perhaps even Saber Tiger. With a country so smitten on such a musical form, why hasn’t anyone outside of Japan heard of a slew of emerging Japanese Heavy Metal bands? Perhaps it’s too self-indulgent to assume it’s due to an English language barrier issue. So it’s with good reason that Metal Express Radio is somewhat overjoyed when such a CD arrives and it’s not from Loudness!

The Japanese band currently causing a stir, and deemed worthy enough to get a Majestic Rock Records deal, is the Melodic Speed Metal band named Blasdead. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, their official Web site is still mostly written in Japanese. The new, English sung album, Ground Flare, appears to be the band’s second full-length album being released 10 years after their full-length debut Another Dimension. Ground Flare appears to have been initially released in Japan in 2006 on another label.

Part of the appeal with Blasdead is that often times they exude just enough melody that it keeps each song’s riff from sounding redundant, giving way to each track, sounding slightly different than the preceding ones. There is a common thread to several of these Japanese Heavy Metal bands in that the guitars usually rip with a buzz saw sound and entertaining lead solos are abound. Thankfully, Shoji Yasuno continues that tradition, albeit he won’t dethrone Loudness’ Akira Takasaki for Japanese Guitar Hero just yet. Another, more unfortunate, upheld tradition is in the vocal department. Eiji Yokoyama, like his brethren before him, is not the best in annunciating the English language in song, but the good news is he is better than others that have preceded him.

The album is only ten tracks, but there really isn’t a “snoozer” or bad track amongst them. One of the sure favorites is perhaps not even a Speed Metal track. “Keep Heavy … Stay Metal” actually takes on an enjoyable Power/Traditional Metal sound, with an Accept-like chorus, to mix things up slightly.

Bottom line, these guys are akin to a Japanese version of Helloween, perhaps not entirely in the lyrical writing department, but more in contrast to how they approach the musicianship itself … Power combined with Speed. Ground Flare comes across as a strong release amidst rumors of a surge of Metal bands in Japan. If that is indeed the case, then Blasdead is positioned to be at the head of that pack.


Eiji Yokoyama -Vocals
Shoji Yasuno – Guitar
Yoshio Enari – Bass
Takashi Yano – Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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