Hot on the heels of an absolute disaster of an album from High Roller Records I received another one in their roster from BLAZE, a four-piece from Japan. I really wasn’t expecting much after the earlier debacle, but I am happy to be proven wrong in this case. Great riffs, solid hooks, I could totally see buying this back in 1989, but the majority of it still sounds good in today’s metal climate. Yes. Once in a while the vocals are a wee bit over the top, but it just sounds to me like these guys are having fun with it.
The EP, titled “The Rock Dinosaur EP” is short and sweet, and definitely leaves the listener wanting more. Songs like “Shed Light On Dark” and “Right In White Light” sound like they were written for Camaro tape decks from back in the day. Opener “One Way Flight” and “Underground Heroes” also keep the intensity on high and help make this a mostly entertaining effort. Also, “The Going Gets Rough” channels the band’s inner ACCEPT / SCORPIONS, but not in a bad way. Really the only song that didn’t thrill me was closer “Lady Starlight”, but that’s a small blemish on an EP that BLAZE can and should be proud of.
From what I’ve read about them, BLAZE are unsure of when a second full-length album will be released. Well, I like what I’ve heard so far, so hopefully there’s more to come.
1. One Way Flight 04:20
2. Shed Light on Dark 05:50
3. Right in White Light 04:29
4. Underground Heroes 04:53
5. The Going Gets Rough 04:13
6. Lady of Starlight 03:37
Kenichi Kuwahara – Bass (ex-Strange Flavor)
Takashi “Bikky” Funabiki – Drums
Hisashi “Q” Suzuki – Guitars (ex-Strange Flavor)
Wataru Shiota – Vocals (ex-Highwire)
Blaze – The Rock Dinosaur (2014) EP
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