masatoshi-ono-''sho''

Galneryus - The Heroic Power Metal Band

Here I am with the week-end special in “Focusing on”! Today’s subject is one of the most representative acts of the Japanese power metal scene, a name really hard to miss. We are talking about Galneryus, formed on 2001 and nowadays composed by Masatoshi “Sho” Ono (vo.), who substituted Yama-B on 2008, Syu (gt.), famous guitarist of bands like Animetal, Valkyr and Aushvitz, Taka (ba.), who substituted Yu-to on 2008 (who most of you knows as Leda from Deluhi, preceded in this band by Tsui until 2006), Fumiya (dr.), who substituted former Concerto Moon member Junichi last year and Yuhiji (key.), former member of Ark Storm, Alhambra and Prophesia. Their name is a transliteration of the latin surname Guarnerius, a famous Italian family of lute makers. Their concept is really strong and bold, made by a series of influences, coming from different cultures. Their genre is of course power metal, with epic melodies, rich of virtuosism and technique, which finds its roots in the classical Western music and in Western metal musicians, such as Yngwie Malmsteen. Their debut occurred on 2002 with the single Rebel Flag, followed by the first album The Flag of Punishment and the second album Advance to the Fall.

The lead-track, named Silent Revelation, is introduced by a dark piano, kicking off a fast metal sound, driven by the guitar, and powerful vocals; the song is about a change which comes in strong and silent. It has been followed by the third album Beyond the End of Despair…, the single Everlasting, the fourth album One for All - All for One and the single Alsatia/Cause Disarray.

The first lead-track, used as opening theme for the anime Rin -Daughters of Mnemosyne-, is driven by a powerful metal sound, with strong electronic influences; the song is about fighting the hate and the injustice, with reference to the troubled region of Alsace. It has been followed by the single Shining Moments (the first work with the singer Sho), the fifth album Reincarnation, the compilations Best of Braving Days and Best of the Awakening Days, the single Beginning of the Resurrection and the sixth album Resurrection.

The lead-track, entitled Destiny, is considered one of the best songs by Galneryus, thanks to the incredible technique shown in the sound and to the virtuous guitars (the final guitar solo is worth to be listened to); the song is about believing in the destiny and in ourselves. It has been followed by the seventh album Phoenix Rising, the first mini-album Kizuna (Bonds), the single Hunting for your Dream and the eighth album Angel of Salvation.

The title-track is introduced by solemn violins, which lead up to a bright and energetic metal sound, where the keyboard has a pivotal role; the song is about the seeking of salvation. It has been followed by the self cover albums The Iron Hearted Flag vol.1: Regeneration and vol.2: Reformation Side, the ninth album Vetelgyus, the single Attitude to Life and the tenth album Under the Force of Courage.

Galneryus is surely one of the most powerful acts of the Japanese metal scene, despite the changes occurred so far. Even if they can appear repetitive, after a careful listening you can discover that they are incredibly various and engaging song after song. Powerful metal melodies, driven by an incredible technique and energy, where Syu is the core element, thanks to his versatility and unique talent (not by case he is considered an ojisan, a veteran, in the scene), without forgetting intense vocals and heroic lyrics, resulting each time in long, complex and structured themes, even for a common band of the genre. In a few words, if you really love Japanese metal music, you can’t miss them. But if you already love Galneryus, you can check their newest work, the eleventh album Ultimate Sacrifice, released last Wednesday.

Who might enjoy: who loves strong and virtuous power metal bands, where the epic is at home.

Recommended songs: Silent Revelation, Point of no Return, Alsatia, Owari naki, kono uta, Destiny, Angel of Salvation and There’s no Escape.

That’s all folks! See you on Tuesday for the first part of September’s themed week in “Lyrical Love”!

Thanks for the reading!