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JAPANESE METAL UNIT RYUJIN DEBUTS SAMURAI BALLAD"SAIGO NO HOSHI"


This Friday, January 12th, Samurai metal band RYUJIN finally reveal their highly anticipated, self-titled album in full! The Japanese group deliver heavy metal and blazing guitar wizardry in spades.


On the cusp of the album's release via Napalm Records, today the band have shared one further single with fans - their very first ballad - titled "Saigo No Hoshi." The massive track features backing vocals by Matthew Kiichi Heafy (Trivium) and cello expressions by Mukai Wataru of the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, and excels with an emotive chorus, a rock-opera-worthy guitar solo, and traditional instrumentation.


"This is our first ballad, so it's very special for us," comments RYUJIN frontman and mastermind Ryoji Shinomoto. "This song is about a samurai who was about to die after the war, thinking about his family and praying for peace. A lot of very sad wars are currently happening on the planet too, families are being separated, and so on. I put that feeling into it. Also, I am inviting everybody to enjoy Mr. Mukai's outstanding cello performance. The album also includes a version sung by Matthew in English, so I am curious which version people are gonna like more!"



RYUJIN features production by Matthew Kiichi Heafy and mixing/mastering by Mark Lewis, with further guest appearances by Heafy (vocals and conducting on various tracks) and Mukai Wataru of the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra (cello). Blending both Japanese and English lyricism, RYUJIN’s tracks feature titles based on the words of the Ainu people of Hokkaido (RYUJIN’s home region), as well as famous Japanese paintings and idioms, and include instrumentation on Shamisen, Dragon Flute, Erhu, and Taiko, delivering a sound influenced by everything from ancient orchestral Gagaku to even modern anime themes.

 

Opening instrumental track “Hajimari” sets an ominous stage for “Gekokujo” - a thrash-ified death metal riff-fest with folk-inspired passages. First single “Raijin & Fujin” is an epic power metal storm featuring guest vocal contributions from Matthew Kiichi Heafy, while “The Rainbow Song” blends modern melodic heavy metal and power metal innovation. Tracks like “Dragon, Fly Free” and “Kunnecup” invite the listener to sing along with RYUJIN as they paint musical canvases of adventure and positivity. “Scream of the Dragon” embraces their extreme influences amid uplifting choruses and a story blending English and Japanese lyrics, before “Gekirin” ventures into darker death metal hints and nautically-inspired melodies (as “Ryujin” is a dragon god of the sea in Japanese mythology, these oceanic musical themes weave seamlessly throughout the album).

 

The album nears the end with three primarily Japanese-language opuses - “Saigo No Hoshi”, the traditionally-inspired title track “Ryujin” and a cover of Linked Horizon’s  “Guren No Yumiya” - widely known as an opening theme of popular anime series Attack On Titan. The album concludes with the aforementioned bonus English-language version of “Saigo No Hoshi”, with vocals by Matthew Kiichi Heafy.

 

Pre-Order RYUJIN HERE in the following formats: CD digi-sleeve, gatefold clear orange vinyl, and digital album.


Track List:

1. Hajimari

3. Dragon, Fly Free

4. Raijin & Fujin (Feat. Matthew K. Heafy)

5. The Rainbow Song (Feat. Matthew K. Heafy)

6. Kunnecup (Feat. Mukai Wataru)

7. Scream of the Dragon

8. Gekirin

10. Ryujin

11. Guren No Yumiya (Feat. Matthew K. Heafy)

12. Saigo No Hoshi (Feat. Matthew K. Heafy)


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