Fireworks

Lightning - 'Road To Ninja' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4e/eb/47/lightning-road-to-ninja-14-1449701873.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 09, 2015    
 
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A guilty pleasure maybe, but a pleasure nonetheless.

With Lightning proclaiming that they have been implored to go forth from their Japanese homeland and conquer the rest of the world, they've chosen their weapon to be 'Road To Ninja', an unusual mix of Power Metal and energetic Hard Rock. Based round the guitar (or as he's credited in the booklet Grrr) talents of Iron Chino – a riff-monster of a man and also a shred machine – there are five suitably attired (swords, leather waistcoats, eye patches...) chaps on the back cover of 'Road...' although only a Grrr, Vrrr and Drrr (I'm quoting here...) are named in the credits, so who handles Brrr and Krrr is anyone's guess. Maybe they snuck in by cover of night disguised as drum stools to lay down their parts, so no one really knows?

With some people comparing Lightning to Gamma Ray, Helloween and Sir Yngwie J of Malmsteen, its clear this act are seen as a Power Shred beast. Hence it's the natural conglomeration of all three – namely DragonForce – which often springs to mind through 'Heavy Metal (Of Destiny)' or 'Thousand Fields', while the added keyboards bring to mind this lot's countrymen Vow Wow.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Save The Truth' or 'Destiny Destination' would be perfect as Metalised anime theme tunes, although as you'll gather from the song titles, a little of what Iron Chino attempts through his lyrics gets lost in translation, while it's obvious that English isn't really the main concern of the otherwise excellent (if a little mad) singer YUMA. Surprisingly Oliver Hartmann (At Vance/Hartmann) arrives to take lead vocals on the Judas Priest with keyboards of 'Stand Alone' (and Amanda Somerville wrote the lyrics!), the excellent results sounding like a different band entirely!

'Road To Ninja' is one of those flawed albums that's easy to cast derision upon, or even poke fun at and yet I'd be a liar if I didn't admit that it has received way more time in my player than strictly necessary. So a guilty pleasure maybe, but a pleasure nonetheless, and if like me you're open minded towards the J-Rock/Metal scene, one you'll find most to your liking.

Steven Reid

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