Loudness – “Thunder In The East” (1985)

Who is your god?  My god’s name is Akira Takasaki!  (Okay, he’s just one of my many guitar “gods”, but I am trying to be dramatic here!)  Anyway, take your George Lynch, take your Warren DeMartini, and THROW THEM AWAY!  Takasaki was the real deal!  With a preposterously AWESOME tone, plenty of flash, and most importantly, impeccable taste, Takasaki owns your ass on Thunder In The East!

Japan’s Loudness had already released a handful of albums by 1985, but Thunder In The East was supposed to be their grand introduction to the all-important American market.  (Yes, there was actually a day and age when metal THRIVED in the United States!)  Thunder In The East was the first Loudness LP to see wide release in the United States.  The great Max Norman was tapped to produce the album, and it was yet another fine knob job by one of metal’s best engineers.  Try not to be swayed by the eyeliner worn by the band on the LP’s back cover photo, this is some great metal, and Loudness were top-notch musicians (to say the least).  I will say this; it took me a few spins to get used to Minoru Niihara’s vocals, which come with a heavy accent.  But props to him for delivering in a second-language, something we should admire and respect (not dismiss as novelty).  I have a whole diatribe about how unfair it was that America failed to embrace Japanese metal in the eighties, despite, on the flip side of the coin,  Japan’s complete immersion into America’s heavy metal culture.  I’ll save that for another day.  Fact is, look around and you will see high quality Japanese products everywhere in your home and garage.  So why should metal be any different?  It ain’t.  Loudness rules.  Irresistible faves on this album include Crazy Nights and Never Change Your Mind.  My score: A


2 thoughts on “Loudness – “Thunder In The East” (1985)

  1. This is a pretty awesome metal album…I love how much axe wizzardry is on this album. Just Godly guitar work…

    If your a big fan of Montrose/ Van Halen/ Gamma/ Randy Rhodes-era Ozzy Osbourne, then this one is totally essential.

    Killer guitar tones….and awesome metal vibes.

    When checking your local metal shoppe, the most recent pressing on CD is a Japanesse Pressing, and Wounded Bird Records stateside recently did a re-edition, as it looks like Wounded birds Records purchased a good size of the back catalogues from labels such WEA, Warner, Atlantic, and Elektra, for the years say 1979-1985…

    I like this album better, than the earlier ones, which were licensed to Megaton Records Denmark and RoadrunneR records Holland. This style suits the band better, than the speedier approach of the first 4 albums. Just better riffs and more memorable songwriting.

    Killer Metal album !!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I agree this band rocks. I was listening to some 80’s metal on itunes radio and I had to stop and look who this band was. I would however kndly disagree over your assertion of Takasaki’s dominance over the great George Lynch. Both are fantastic.

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