By Paris365 on January 15, 2013

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Daiki Sound

Bored with J-Pop? Tired of Visual Kei? Is J-Rock not loud enough for you? Well, look no further. Mary's Blood is a 100% genuine Japanese METAL band. I'm talking about head-banging, fist-pumping, mosh-worthy music.

This remarkable six song mini-album kicks off with "Ms. Carrie," which introduces the group's four uber-talented ladies perfectly. First we hear Eye speak the words "I'm Carrie" then Mari starts pounding away on the drums just before Rio starts playing some aggressive bass guitar and, finally, guitarist Saki starts shredding away. When Eye starts singing her vocals are processed, as though she's singing through a mega-phone, but that doesn't last very long. Soon we hear her powerful voice, which is as clear as it is loud. I'm assuming that this song is about the character created by Stephen King, since Carrie is associated with lots and lots of blood, which the group seems to like, given their name and the title of this release. But the lyrical content almost seems to be beside the point, the point here being to thrash. When Eye sings the line "I will give you what you want, yeah," she might as well be singing "I will rock your fucking socks off." The remarkable thing is that they do even more than that -- they deliver songs with fantastic hooks that sink right into you like a knife penetrating chocolate cake. And this is one cake you'll want a second piece of.

If you like Anna Tsuchiya or Tommy Heavenly6 then you have to hear this. They take Anna's punk attitude and Tommy's loud guitars and throw them in a blender along with metal gods like Helloween and Iron Maiden and the result is one red hot smoothie. In fact, the single "Burning Blaze" is the sort of sweltering metal song Iron Maiden used to deliver before they started dishing out boring, nine minute history lessons during recent years. It's truly electrifying, Saki's razor-sharp guitars sparking like downed power lines after a storm while Mari delivers what is possibly the mightiest and fastest metal drumming since Dave Grohl's Probot album. It's remarkable that Rio is able to keep up, but she plays that bass guitar with the speed and intensity of an asteroid striking the earth. As for Eye's vocals, they're quite sonorous and she's more than capable of hitting super high notes like Helloween's Andi Deris or Stryper's Michael Sweet.

Another highlight is "Shout The Truth," which has some tongue-twisting lyrical phrasing that proves there's nothing that Eye can't sing. At times her vocals even remind me of Yo Shibusawa, one of my favorite J-Rock singers ever. Musically, it's easily heavier than much of L'Arc-En-Ciel's material, perhaps even heavier than Dir En Grey. Suffice to say it's one of the most intense metal songs I've heard in years. The only song on Scarlet that isn't blistering is the ballad "Far Away To...," during which we're treated to the softer side of Eye's vocals. And while most of their material is far too heavy for mainstream radio, this sweet song might fare very well. -Michael McCarthy

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