Sunday, February 14, 2010

Grand Halls 41

FLATBACKER – “Senso” ’85 (Invitation, Jap) – If you’ve heard the mid-period Japanese Loudness CD’s like “Engine” & “Ghetto Machine,” you’ve heard “The Voice.” Find this baby and hear where he came from! “The Voice” is that of Masaki Yamada, easily one of the greatest metal vocalists of all-time. Like a twisted cross between early Klaus Meine and Udo Dirkschneider in his glory days, this guy combines power and emotion in one awesome package. FLATBACKER was Masaki’s band (before his tenure in Loudness and even before his American debut in E-Z-O, who were also quite good) and there was quite a wallop to them, even besides the man’s killer pipes. From the Motorhead-ish “Hard Blow” (sounds either great or painful, depending!) to the grueling “Banishment” to the Sortilege-like “Camouflage,” these Easterners kicked it. The overall sound is very much that of early ‘80’s Euro-metal and, for that reason alone it’s a winner in my book. On CD from Japan, this should be on the want-list of anyone into bands like H-Bomb, “Restless”-era Accept and yes, early Loudness. FLATBACKER’s 2nd effort, “Esa” is available also and equally kick-ass, so buy, buy, buy! Smoke This Senso

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