Type: CD Company: Lights Out Release: 2004 Genre: Power Reviewer: Eric Compton Published: 4/23/2005
Power thrash engine with plenty of furious fret work
Argument Soul - Reviving The Truth - 2004 - Lights Out Records
1. Slaughter In A Silent Storm 2. Glory In The Past 3. Never Come Tomorrow 4. Total Destruction 5. In My Soul 6. Alone In Time 7. Face Yourself 8. The Scum Of Society 9. Blind Emotion 10. Reviving The Truth
I've always been fascinated by the Jap metal scene. Being a Loudness fan for years has opened my eyes to a ton of Asian entertainment on the metal stage. From the likes of EZO and Anthem to Sly and Earthshaker, Japan has played host to a hugely talented group of musicians. Now we get another in Argument Soul, a brand new act (I believe, no bio is legible) that is promised to be in the style of Iced Earth, Vicious Rumors, and early Queensryche. With their new release on Lights Out Records, "Reviving The Truth", Argument Soul opens my eyes to a new breed of power thrash, one that really takes into effect what has come before it and adds a foreign spin on it. Let's face it, nobody plays exceptional guitar riffs and virtuoso like the Japanese and that is exactly what you get here. This new record is a really good offering and a good example of the type of bands coming out of the Orient.
This is normally the part where I spell out the band's history to you. Unfortunately I don't know what their history is because most of their info is in Jap. Those funny little characters have always confused me. That isn't a language, its like a bad game of pictionary. Anyhoo, let's get down to business. From a few listens to this album the obvious influence is Iced Earth and to a degree Floridian metal in general. Vocalist Toshinori Kamiya proves to have a strong set of pipes, hitting some amazing high notes but for the most part staying true to form by delivering a mid-tempo thrash delivery. Guitarist Kenichi Teraoka and Takahiro Kawashima hook up for some vicious combo work, really working together like James McDonough and Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth. The production brought to the table by Lights Out is just fantastic, really allowing the bass plenty of up front attention and carrying Isao Honda's drum work very high in the mix.
With cuts like "Slaughter In A Silent Storm", the two guitarists really shine. With fast and wicked chops Argument Soul really set themselves up with a solid foundation. Vocalist Kamiya really fits the music perfectly, allowing his band plenty of room to shine. And shine they do with some phenomenal lead work from the rhythm section, at times recalling Loudness and even Annihilator, crossing the entire globe for inspiration. You just can't go wrong there. Other strong cuts are the German power-prog feel of "Face Yourself", the blazing but stirring "Blind Emotion", and the thrashy speed monster "Total Destruction". Each song really brings a thrash/speed feel to it while Kamiya never gets too over the top, really displaying a ton of patience and maturity to just let his band "play it out".
Fans of Iced Earth, Annihilator, and even Metal Church will find plenty to like here. I don't hear much Queensryche and find it odd that references were made to them. Argument Soul are built upon a power thrash engine with plenty of furious fret work to entertain the "neo classical" metal heads out there. Japan proves they have more to offer than just Loudness and Anthem, and with Argument Soul's strong release, the metal world should be fast approaching that global discussion of just who is who when it comes to thee newcomers. Argument Soul should not be left out. Look beyond Germany and Finland when looking at this sort of hybrid.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details