Reviewed: May 2019
Released: April 5th, 2019 / Mighty Music
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine
Japan’s SOLITUDE history started in 1996, two ex-members of SACRIFICE (Japan)*, the founding member and main composer Akira Sugiuchi <vo> and the bass player on two of their albums Toru Nishida. In 1998, they picked up “SOLITUDE” as the name of the band, and they played live for the first time in March 1999. In September, Shingo Ida (ex-BARTOLOMMEO) joined the band, and his distinctive style of melodic guitars has brought a new blood into the band.
There have been several gaps in the timeline of activity of Japan’s Solitude. They first released SOLITUDE DEMO ’99 in ’99. That was followed by VIRTUAL IMAGE EP in 2001, BRAVE THE STORM (full-length) in 2009 and REACH FOR THE SKY (full-length) in 2015. We are only just now getting it here, a proper North American release in 2019. And damn glad they did!
If you are a fan of the likes of Motorhead, Saxon, Tank, Venom, Grave Digger, Accept, Iron Maiden, Ect. Japan’s Solitude is going to be one of those bands that you only have to listen to once and then you are going to be hooked. I know I say this often. I’m not really sure when I do that I am actually steering you in the wrong direction. REACH FOR THE SKY is an insanely good album.
This album is filled with some mad guitar work. I think the first time listening to this; I was in a bit of awe just focusing on the guitars. Shingo Ida is a master at the strings here. He in no slouch and all over the neck putting out some of the most original sounding riffs out there. Musically, this album charges at you with a full-speed-ahead sensation while excellent harmonies and beautiful melodies fill in the gaps.
This is the ultimate nod to the old-school sounds of the NWOBHM with a bit of Ace Of Spades and Hit The Lights crammed right up its arse! Even vocally speaking, the songs are very sing along worthy and memorable. Solitude can only be fit into one sub-genre of heavy metal. SOLITUDE!!!
Takamasa “Mad” Ohuchi – Drums
Toru Nishida – Bass
Akira Sugiuchi – Vocals
Shingo Ida – Guitars