Coldrain are a Japanese rock/post-hardcore band based in Nagoya and they have released their third album The Revelation; though this is the first album that has been released outside of Japan. No need to worry however, as the band, who consist of Masato on vocals, YKC and Sugi on guitars, Ryo on bass and Katsuma on drums, sing all their songs in English. Many people question when foreign bands (particularly Asian bands) decide to sing in English but honestly, there is no question here. They’ve done good. The band are clearly influenced by western rock music but also include a hint of Japanese magic that gives the music that bit of an edge.
‘The War Is On’ is the fast paced, catchy and incredible opener of the album which sets the standard that the band have tried to achieve for the rest of the album. The song briefly opens with atmospheric and ambient styles before exploding into an Underoath influenced wall of sound. The chorus is extremely catchy and Masato is obviously an established and very emotional singer, who is also to easily able to achieve his scream vocals to a high standard.
The second track, ‘The Revelation’, has a lot to live up to with such a strong album opener and it does. In a completely different way. Because it’s an entirely different song. The verses are brutal and that’s probably the best way to describe it. The style of the instrumental backing is much darker than the previous song as well as being far heavier. Masato also focuses on his scream vocals, which are flawless, until the chorus which contrasts to the rest of the song with its poppy nature and catchy melody line. The song is strong and lives up to the line set by ‘The War Is On’ but we feel that this song could have maybe done without the poppy, almost cheesy sounding chorus and instead, the band could have risked the idea of having an entirely aggressive song.
The album continues with ‘Fade Away’, which varies greatly in dynamics throughout, ‘Given Up On You’, a song more on the pop punk style compared to previous tracks and ‘Time Bomb’. Throughout the entire album, Coldrain display exceptional skill in their musical and creative ability with both their instruments and with their songwriting. The ability they have to transfer from more melodic sections directly into contrastingly aggressive attacks of heavy guitar riffing, as well as combining the two styles together is second to none, particularly in ‘You Lie’ and ‘Aware and Awake’; this also helps give the album diversity.
Lets not get too carried away though. It’s probably expected on a 12 song album but not all the songs are stand out songs. The penultimate track, ‘March On’, does not introduce any new tingly sensations to our ears (although the song does come alive very briefly towards the end when it breaks down into heavy ‘hardcore’ guitar playing). A similar problem occurs with ‘Evolve’ where the tracks just don’t stand out compared to some of the far more superior tracks on the album (the ‘superior’ tracks take up the majority of the album).
Before we conclude our views on this album, it’s definitely worth noting the performances of each of the band members. As already mentioned, Masato is incredible on vocals with the raw power of his screams as well as his melodic voice, particularly on the upper musical range. YKC and Sugi have both impressed us with their guitar parts who have shown no mercy to their guitars as well as some of the solos of the album (see ‘The War is On’). The rhythm section of Ryo and Katsuma are solid and completely intertwined with each other; particularly Katsuma, who we have assumed must drink all the red bull in the world before playing.. He has SO much energy.
The Revelation is an all round album that really shows off the ability of this group of musicians. The sound is very western influenced although their are sprinkles of a Japanese origin hidden between the lines through the whole album with subtle atmospheric and electronic additions. Coldrain have undoubtedly impressed with this album. Let’s remember now that this is the first album they’ve released outside of Japan. Looks like there is going to be some post-hardcore competition heading to the west. Watch out America, Coldrain are coming over all guns blazin’.