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LOVEBITES - ELECTRIC PENTAGRAM

25/01/2020 2020-01-25 01:00:00 JaME Author: Ruchesko

LOVEBITES - ELECTRIC PENTAGRAM

LOVEBITES once again prove masters of giving fans their money's worth.


© JVCKENWOOD VICTOR ENTERTAINMENT CORP. All rights reserved.
Album CD

ELECTRIC PENTAGRAM

LOVEBITES

From Akira Takasaki to LUKE TAKAMURA to SYU to SAKI (and a dozen more besides), Japanese metal has never lacked for iconic guitarists. Iconic guitar duos are a different matter, with the obvious exception of X JAPAN’s hide and PATA, and arguably Versailles’s HIZAKI and TERU. That said, the case for LOVEBITESmiyako and midori to be inducted into this slim pantheon grows stronger by the day.

It's amazing to think where the two women were this time five years ago. midori was just seeing out her tenure with kawaii metal trio Gekijo METALicche, whilst miyako was dividing her time between pop-rockers 21g and an electronicore outfit with whom she played as much keyboards as guitar. Jump to the present day, and just months after wrapping a tour with DragonForce, LOVEBITES is already up to its third studio album.

ELECTRIC PENTAGRAM comes storming out the gates with the thrashy THUNDER VENGEANCE and quasi-symphonic battle anthem HOLY WAR. Both herald the return of the kind of songcraft that was somewhat lacking in LOVEBITES’ 2018 efforts. Though Battle Against Damnation was a delightfully chaotic romp, it had all the coherence of a jam session, whereas the solo sections on Clockwork Immortality could feel oddly detached from the songs at large. Here, tracks like HOLY WAR and WHEN DESTINIES ALIGN flow more seamlessly between vocal sections and the obligatory typhoons of guitar shredding.

Melodic power metal makes up the lion’s share of ELECTRIC PENTAGRAM’s running time, though none of the later tracks quite reach the same heights as those already mentioned. That’s not to say midori and miyako don’t still deliver on the 'guitar porn' front. At this stage in LOVEBITES' career, you can pretty much take that for granted. The album’s other big head-rushes come in the form of two further detours into thrash metal territory: RAISE SOME HELL and SET THE WORLD ON FIRE.

It goes without saying vocalist asami’s billows are sure to get a mean workout on the upcoming tour. It was possibly with that in mind that the band included FROZEN SERENADE, a power ballad that feels like it’ll be as much a breather for the singer onstage as for the listener. With its laid-back tempo and acoustic guitar solo, it serves as a calm intermission halfway through the album. Until, that is, it too culminates in a crescendo of vibrato and howling six-strings.

While enjoyment of ELECTRIC PENTAGRAM will depend on your appetite for power and thrash metal, those who like what they hear will find plenty to enjoy. The band appears to subscribe to neoclassical metal pioneer Yngwie Malmsteen’s philosophy of “more is more”, as no song runs shorter than five minutes, and several break the six-minute barrier. If the album's longer gestation period – thirteen months compared to the six months between Battle Against Damnation and Clockwork Immortality – is to thank for the uptick in quality, here’s hoping LOVEBITES don’t rush the next one either.

 Buy at JPU Records
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