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Released: 2011, n/a
Los Angeles’ (by way of Japan) Taka Minamino is the latest in a long line of guitar shredders. Like most of these types, he not only plays guitar on this album (his second), but bass and keyboards as well. Unlike most guitar heroes, Minamino doesn’t play ultra-clear power metal or progressive metal. While you’ll definitely find all kinds of guitar-based “Look at me!” moments (the guy certainly is talented), they are refreshingly couched in crunch riffs that border on death metal at times. OK, so “Mercy of Evil” starts with a stereotypical neo-classical widdly bit (complete with keyboard “symphonic” accompaniment), you will definitely be shocked the first time you hear “Woke Up Dead” and it’s almost melodic death metal riffs.
So yes, BLOOD RAIN is a guitar shred album with an admittedly different style – good. It also has vocals on most songs – normally, this is also a good thing. Sadly, vocalist Kevin Jones singlehandedly ruins almost all of the songs with his atrocious singing. I don’t know if he’s going for a clean vocal and sucks at it (he’s extremely flat and screechy), or wants to do a growl and just can’t. Whatever the case, the guy is not good.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much use for instrumental albums, and the terrible vocals just wreck the other songs for me as well. Still, if you’re an instrumental guitar fan, BLOOD RAIN may be worth checking out for Minamino’s fluid, impressive work.
1. Woke Up Dead
2. Lost Forever
3. Mercy of Evil
4. Set Me Free
6. Blood Rain
7. All My Days Alive
8. Thy Postremus Velum
Kevin Jones: Vocals
Taka Minamino: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Atma Anur: Drums
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