When it comes to Anime one aspect of a series that cannot be ignored is that of the opening and closing title sequences. They utilise songs from readily established artists and relative unknowns. It could well be that having a song used in an anime series propels an artist to new heights from the wide exposure a series can bring.
But there was a group by the name of Animetal that went down a different route. The group used their power metal influences to create their own take on various anime songs. (Power metal is best described as very fast metal that can be combined with a symphonic instrument such as a keyboard. A popular example of a power metal band is Dragonforce who emanate from the UK.) From the opening theme to Sailor Moon ‘Miracle Romance’ to the Dragon Ball Z song ‘Cha La Head Cha La’ they went on to record over ten studio albums between 1996 and 2006. Some of these albums included Mie from the popular group Pink Lady. In fact these albums featuring Mie were released under the name of Animetal Lady, pictured right, making a clear reference to the fact she was on the record. Despite the name change they are still included as part of the discography of Animetal.
The group is primarily known for covering songs but they do have original material too including their song Eternal Future that was in the soundtrack to the Rurouni Kenshin film. In 2006 the group announced an indefinite hiatus. While their songs have caught the eyes of many people, just search Animetal on Youtube and notice how many hits you get, there was an announcement recently which has made many a Animetal fan happy. The creation of Animetal USA.
Animetal USA, pictured left, featuring singer Mike Vescera (OBSESSION/ex-LOUDNESS), bassist Rudy Sarzo (BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, ex-OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE, DIO), drummer Scott Travis (JUDAS PRIEST) and guitarist Chris Impellitteri (IMPELLITTERI) follows in the footsteps of original Animetal with their official website stating they will be “combining famous classic anime music with some original metal riffs, solos, vocals, bass and drums, as well as some very cool surprises. In fact, you will definitely hear a few familiar legendary metal riffs from some of your favorite legendary metal bands that gave their blessing, mixed with some new originals. Although this music is based on Anime, it has lots of original screaming vocals, shredding guitar solos, and a mean bad ass rhythm section.”
Their first album has been available in Japan for a few weeks and soared to the top of the Amazon Hard Rock Heavy Metal chart and to number two on the Amazon Anime chart within twenty four hours of release! The Album is an anime covers album that includes english language versions of themes from “Space Battleship Yamato,” “Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star),” “Evangelion,” and more in the power metal style.
Below you can see them perform ‘Thesis Of A Cruel Angel’ from Neon Genesis Evagelion in Japan recently. Animetal USA’s first album is available to import via CD JAPAN now. There is currently no release date for the UK scheduled. But if you’re a fan of Anime songs and are looking for something a bit different then perhaps Animetal USA and the predecessor Animetal are worth checking out. It should be noted this video below was shot by a fan of the group at the recent Album launch event in Tokyo.
For those of you who may be unfamilar with the original version of the Evangelion opening song. You can view it below
“ANIMETAL USA is taking this music very seriously by mixing dark thematic and classic anime songs with our own original metal riffs, screaming vocals, shredding guitar solos, and intense drum and bass section. On a few songs, we even used some short but iconic metal riffs written by some of our own favorite legends of metal in order to further excite the listener. It is definitely interesting to bring all of these forms of metal to the anime world, which is an amazing and intense culture in itself!
“And no, this band is not a comedy band like STEEL PANTHER. We are taking this very seriously and putting in a lot of time and effort with Sony to create a mix of intense metal music, anime, and theatrics! Plus we are working very hard to build an international fan base!
“Currently ANIMETAL USA is reaching a mass audience and exposing a brand new generation to metal that would not have been possible if we would have taken the traditional route. I think we have been exposed to over 25,000,000 people by playing live shows and TV specials during the month of October alone. So we are definitely bringing metal to a very wide audience that may not have embraced it otherwise.
“Lastly, since we had to create so much original music for ANIMETAL, we are considering releasing an extension of this band called DEATH STAR which musically will be 100% original. Either way, there will probably be two forms of music released by the four of us in the future! ANIMETAL and DEATH STAR!”
For more information on Animetal USA you can visit their website at AnimetalUSA.com. The site includes samples of all the tracks from their album!
To conclude here is a quick Japanese TV spot promoting their album –