Next review: » Fe26 - A Worldly Story
Released: 2002, World Chaos (Originally released in 1997)
There is an incredibly rich, diverse and complex metal world in Japan that is so much more than worship of Malmsteen, Dokken, Harem Scarem and Mr. Big! There are hundreds of quality heavy bands active in the underground in Japan and we are going to have a quick look at one of the bigger, but still independent, Japanese metal labels.
World Chaos is a record label that is starting to make waves in the global underground metal community. Formed in late 1999 (I believe) this small Japanese label has producing high caliber Japanese true metal and thrash for a couple of years. Now in North America and Europe some smaller labels like Spinefarm (Fin) and Brazen (US) are starting to discover some of the great artists on this label and ask to license and release this material. We felt it was time to give an overview of the first five releases that World Chaos released. These bands are Terror Squad, (KDM 001) Manipulated Slaves, (KDM 002) Grim Force (KDM 003) Fatima Hill (KDM 004) and Narcotic Greed (KDM 005). Please note: Some of these releases have been licensed from even smaller Japanese labels! I will make a note of it where possible.
For other World Chaos bands reviews you can read Luxi’’s June 2002 review of the King’’s Evil CD, DELETION OF HUMANOISE or Cid’’s June 2002 review of the second Fatima Hill CD, AION.
As with many regional metal labels and bands originating from nations where English is not the dominant language, there are a few elements in each of these bands that may not be as attractive to a metal fan in the Western hemisphere. The prime example is lyrics and translation. I would strongly encourage fans of quality thrash and metal NOT to let your decisions to check out these bands be influenced by cultural differences in terminology and/or general language barriers. Be open-minded and you will be able to discover a whole new world of killer heavy metal!
Fatima Hill was my first introduction to the World Chaos label last year when I saw and heard a copy of their second CD, AION. I was interested to learn that they had a debut called VALHALLA and that itself was a digitally remastered, reissue of their 1997, debut. They even added a new, unreleased bonus track called “Aeon”, not “Aion”. Confused yet?
Fatima Hill, named after a sacred site in Portugal, has been around since 1994 and put out four high quality demos with various members. The demo’ Introduction to Valhalla” served as a warm-up for the debut. VALHALLA is a very cool CD to look at and touch as they choose a very dense textured, low gloss paper and adorned it with photos and lyrics all pertaining to ancient and medieval style themes. The band has four members including Yuko on vocals, Anjue on guitar (and mandolin) and a keyboardist who does not show his face because he dresses in monks robes. I’m not sure who plays drums as no one is credited. The bass was done by a session member, Asano of Shadows Fall.
Fatima Hill are certainly heavily influenced by European sounds and images with every demo, photo and lyric being based on medieval themes and ancient times. The band even dress in that manner. I hear a lot of Iron Maiden in them which is a good thing! This is by far the most progressive, most traditional and least thrash-oriented signing to the label thus far. Great songs, great performances make this a recommended pick because often you don’t hear classic, mainstream metal coming out of Japan.
Previous review: » Fatima Hill - Aion