It’s Judgement Day for Japanese power thrashers Lovebites as they drop their fourth album. We’re holding court and try to come to a just verdict.
The last time we featured Japanese all-girl power metal sensation Lovebites here, they had just released their third album Electric Pentagram and were still gaining traction in terms of (international) success. Then, after the departure of bassist and founding member Miho, the band went on an indefinite hiatus in 2021 and I thought and fully expected the band was done for. Luckily, they’ve since recruited fresh bass player Fami and whilst it may sound like a cliché, the band is back better than ever, with the release of their new album Judgement Day serving as evidence.
Of course, those who are already familiar with the band will, in broad strokes, know what to expect from these ladies and I’m glad to say that the core sound has remained the same. Judgement Day packs fifty-three minutes of lightning-fast power metal with serious thrash metal vibes. Fueled by the thunderous rhythm section of Fami and drummer Haruna, these ten songs pack a definite punch that make for what is perhaps Lovebites heaviest album to date.
As always, the songwriting here is stellar, with Lovebites dropping a few of their best songs in their career. Starting out with We Are the Resurrection we can immediately attest that the band is tighter and heavier than they’ve were before the hiatus. The whole band gives it their all in this almost five- minute clocking power metal jam, but it’s especially Asami who have markedly improved in the vocal department. Where in the past she’d occasionally hit a bum note, she sounds a lot more confident this time around. And don’t worry, you still won’t understand half of what she’s singing but that’s part of the charm.
Another big part of the Lovebites charm is guitar tandem Miyako and Midori, who happily shred their way through the material, layering the songs with all sorts of marvelous riffs and solos, adding extra flavour to already great material. Take the instrumental part of The Spirit Lives On for example, where they both bounce off each other before all things culminate in a fantastic twin guitar harmony. All played at the speed of light, of course. Other highlights include Stand and Deliver (Shoot ‘em Down) with its fun gang vocals, the surprisingly dark and heavy Dissonance and Solder Stands Solitarily, which might very well be the fastest song the band has recorded to date.
Lovebites’ fourth full-time studio effort hits hard, fast, and effectively. It’s the culmination of five years of honing their skill, both musically as on a songwriting level, and Judgement Day is by far the band’s most consistent album to date. The only real criticism one could have is that it’s a one-gear album in that it’s unrelentless when it comes to power and speed, with only My Orion scaling down a notch with its slightly looser, eighties metal vibes. If you like your power metal to be fast and furious from start to finish, with plenty of melody and guitar wizardry, you’ll love Judgement Day. Welcome back, girls! Court is adjourned.
Buy it here: https://lovebites.booth.pm/
- We Are the Resurrection (04:56)
- Judgement Day (05:52)
- The Spirit Lives On (05:32)
- Wicked Witch (05:34)
- Stand and Deliver (Shoot ’em Down) (05:09)
- Victim of Time (05:22)
- My Orion (04:34)
- Lost in the Garden (06:07)
- Dissonance (04:57)
- Soldier Stands Solitarily (05:21)
- Asami – vocals
- Miyako – guitar, keyboards
- Midori – guitar
- Fami – bass
- Haruna – drums
Review by RP