biography - 04.11.2013 17:42

A Japanese heavy metal band, LIGHTNING's music often features a nostalgic or heroic vibe, with the vocalist howling the sing-along choruses in a theatrical way.

LIGHTNING was formed in 2002 by guitarist IRON-CHINO, who some may know from his doujin metal group IRON ATTACK!, and bassist MIHASHI. The more romanticized version of the story states that they had a predestined meeting on a journey to a snowy mountain and MIHASHI, deeply moved by his philosophy, quickly swore to aid IRON in the pursuit of his artistic vision. They later recruited drummer Hama and guitarist YOHSUKE and, while still auditioning singers, they began working on instrumental material.

In 2005, after a year and a half of searching, they recruited vocalist JUN. LIGHTNING released their first demo CD SOLDIER FORCE in 2006, which was distributed by the record label Soundholic.

Due to various difficulties, their debut album BRAVE HEART took over a year to be released, coming out in April 2007. The album attracted praise from both Japanese and European media, but YOHSUKE, Hama and JUN, would all leave the band that year. Although they soon recruited new vocalist Robert Waterman and drummer GIGA THRASHER, unfortunately LIGHTNING’s momentum began to slow once again.

New guitarist KOUTA (THOUSAND EYES) joined the band in 2008, but LIGHTNING’s next release, FIVE RINGS, did not come until two years later. The year 2010 also saw LIGHTNING and IRON-CHINO’s other project IRON ATTACK! perform a show together, which was later documented with a live DVD.

In 2011, the band signed with the hard rock/metal label AVALON. On this new label, they released BRAVE HEART Re-birth, a re-recording of their first album with their new members. They were also invited to perform at France’s Japan Expo that year, helping to expose their music to a new audience overseas. However, the band’s line up underwent another major change soon after when Waterman left the band and they welcomed new vocalist Yuma, who had just left Egyptian-themed visual kei group el-Ethnic Legist- earlier that year. Their first album featuring his vocals, JUSTICE STRIKE was released on December 14, 2011.

The next year saw LIGHTNING sign a deal with Swiss label NONSTOP Records, who re-released their previous three albums making their music more accessible for fans overseas. LIGHTNING also held a concert with former GALNERYUS frontman YAMA-B’s band GUNBRIDGE at Shibuya CYCLONE on November 2nd, and they would go on to contribute a song to his Yama-B and Friends international collaboration album in 2013.

The year 2013 saw the release of LIGHTNING’s new album RAISE THE SUN, although IRON-CHINO and Yuma were somewhat preoccupied with IRON ATTACK!, which continues to maintain a much more intense release schedule than LIGHTNING.
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