Release date: 29.10.2014
Genre: believe it or not, a cross between J-pop and melodic metal
First a little background: in Japan, (there are exceptions, such as Tokyo based steampunk band Strange Artifact) much like is the case with visual kei, steampunk in the music industry is something that compiles a wide variety of genres, unified almost solely by their look.
So unlike Western steampunk bands such as Steam Powered Giraffe, Abney Park and The Cog is Dead, they don’t have a set gimmick and steampunk lyrics, but use their look to set themselves as part of the movement whilst playing their own particular musical genre.
One of those artists is Eri Kitamura, the most recent Japanese artist to have discovered steampunk (no idea how long she’ll stick with it mind).
Her latest EP RINREI is a revelation, point blank, end of story. Eri Kitamura has taken the best from J-pop, which her voice is perfect for, and blended it with all the best of melodic and symphonic metal. And whilst most people would frown at that notion, it is a mix that not only works, it is new, fresh and simply brilliant. The only negative thing that can be said about it is that there are only six songs on Rinrei and in reality only three, as the three last ones are versions of the three first ones without vocals. That said, all are tracks worth listening to, and amazing songs in their own right, whether or not they include vocals. As an added note, RIN URARA, the first track on the album, is also the end theme for the anime series Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryu no Rondo.
Should you want to get a copy of this CD, these are the links from CD Japan.
There are undoubedly other distributors (such as possibly Japan Discoveries and Amazon Japan) but you’ll have to find/check those yourself.