I know what you’re thinking… Japanese Heavy Metal isn’t a phrase that rolls off the tongue easily for many metal fans. James Hetfield of Metallica used to describe playing in Japan as ‘work’, not a phrase frequently employed by that band and Japan’s wonderful culture so famous for food, history and invention hasn’t seen fit to present the world with many shining examples of metal music.
Straight from Tokyo, Crystal Lake are here to change all that.
I showed up to the main stage on the first full day of the festival having just stepped through the entrance for the first time in time to see these metal heads take to the stage in a full-on spectacle of energy, distortion and vocals. If you’re wondering what kind of sound it is imagine Limp Bizkit combined with The Dillinger Escape Plan.
Or to have a closer look check out the videos for tracks like AEON and Apollo. Singer Ryo Kinoshita takes to the stage after drummer Gaku Taura wearing a classic ‘Existence is Punishment’ Crowbar shirt, a band which played this same venue a few years back and immediately starts goading the crowd into action.
They’ve brought their own take on a brand of heavy music made for stadiums, huge venues and festivals just like this. It was loud. It was in your face. It was metal. The crowd loved it too, it was hard not to get infected by the energy on stage!
This for me is one of the best things about a festival, the surprises. You might not have gone thinking a specific band would impress you but there are always a few that really stick with you and, while I don’t think they’re ready to topple the world leadership of metal music just yet they’re a band I’ll be keeping a closer eye on in the future.
Hail to the Fire
Six Feet Under
Lost in Forever
Playing Time: 50 minutes