The Everlasting is the 22nd full-length studio album from Japanese legends Loudness. Add to that a plethora of EP's, compilations, and live albums and they've got to have one of if not the most extensive metal catalogs by any band on the planet. I can't think of any other metal band with such an abundance of original recordings. It should also be noted that no two Loudness releases sound exactly the same. While other long lasting bands find their comfort zone – Iron Maiden for one example has never strayed too far from the sound that made them famous - Loudness has never shied away from experimentation in their music. With such a large quantity of songs and such an excess of styles and influences within those songs, it only makes sense that even the loyalist of Loudness fans can find something in there that turns them off. For my money, there have only been two complete busts in Loudness's first 21 tries. 1990's 'On The Prowl,' and 'Metal Mad' which was released last year. The good news is that the band followed up 'On The Prowl' with what some argue as Loudness's best effort, the 1992 self-titled album. So the question is… can they do it again?
I don't think there will be a lot of fans out there claiming that The Everlasting is the best Loudness album ever, but it is quite good. Akira Takasaki seems to have the metalcore bug out of his system and the band has put forth some of the best material since the original lineup reformed. Like all of the 'reformation” albums this disc has a slightly distorted sound to it, but not nearly to the point of the aforementioned 'Metal Mad.' It is similar to 'Breaking The Taboo' released in 2006, which was somewhat of a return to their roots and one of the best of the 'reformation” albums. The overall sound on The Everlasting is very comparable to present American power metal/thrash bands such as Enertia and Imagika (maybe modern Flotsam and Jetsam if you're not familiar with those two) with more distortion. For some reason this album reminds me a lot of 'Dreams Of Dust' which was released by the band Sly in 1995 and featured original Loudness members Minoru Niihara and Munetaka Higuchi.
Highlights 'Flame Of Rock' and 'Desperate Religion' to name a few, would fit right in on a set of Loudness classics and there isn't anything here that will have you racing for the controls of your player to skip over. If you're a fan of any of Loudness's stuff you'll be into this disc instantaneously. If you've never heard them before you have a ton of great stuff to sample from, and The Everlasting is almost as good as any to get you started.
I'd like to send along my sincerest condolences to everyone in the Loudness family that is dealing with the loss of drummer Munetaka Higuchi who passed away in November 2008 after a tough battle with liver cancer. He was an awesome drummer that will be missed by all Loudness fans. I'd also like to take this opportunity to let all Dangerdog.com readers know that they can learn from his unfortunate passing. Cancer affects everyone. If you're lucky enough not to get some form of cancer at some point in your life, the odds are that someone that you care a lot about won't be so lucky. Early detection is the key to beating any type of cancer. Get yourself and your loved ones checked whenever you have the opportunity.
If you're a fan of any of Loudness's stuff you'll be into this disc instantaneously. If you've never heard them before you have a ton of great stuff to sample from, and The Everlasting is almost as good as any to get you started.
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