|Posted on december 18th, 2017 | by Anthony Martinez|
Imari Tones,"The first Christian heavy metal from Japan" has recently released their 16th album "Jesus Wind", a concept album that talks about the history and Christian legends of Japan.
Imari Tones, currently formed by Tak Nakamine (Guitar/Voice), Hassy (bass) and Jake (Battery), released their first album in 1998, becoming the first metal band with Christian message in Japan, something unusual in this country because most people in Japan are Buddhists or Atheists.
The boys of Imari Tones, in the face of all adversity, did not hesitate to take their guitars and decide to go against the system, becoming in metal missionaries in their own land that needs to know more about Jesus. And although it may seem a difficult task, they have been for almost 20 years without losing sight of the horizon. Their new album reflects greater musical maturity, and a commitment to music and their Faith.
According to the band,“Jesus Wind” is a concept album about Japanese history from a Christian point of view. Imari Tones wasformed as a band in 2004 and became a Christian rock band with current lineup (Tak, Hassy, Jake) in 2008.The band has toured both in Japan and USA, while recording many albums independently.
After releasing the former studio album “Revive the World” in 2015, Tak (guitars/vocals) was interested inJapanese history and came up with an idea for the album. He says, “We wonderedif it’s possible to make aconceptalbum. A concept album to focus on Japanese history from a Christian point of view. So manyJapanese people think Christianity is Western/European religion. But we don’t necessarily think that way. Infact, essence of Christianity was carried to Japan in many ways. For example, if you read the book “Bushido”by Inazo Nitobe, you can see Bushido (Samurai’s code) has so much in common with Christianity. Also it iswidely known that Japanese Buddhism in medieval age was influenced by Christianity.
“ After intenserehearsals and 5 months of recording work, Jesus Wind was finally finished.The album consists of 3 parts: Past, Present and Future. This is because the band decided to write not onlyabout the past, but also about the future, in order to convey the message of hope. The Present part gives thelistener a feeling of tension and reality, through the songs about the ongoing events like Fukushima NuclearPower Plant incident in 2011 and political turmoil in the current world. The future part has almost prophecy-like overtone, with spiritual utopian songs like “Revolution” and “New Jerusalem”.Although playing in “Christian Metal” genre, Imari Tones is also known for its diverse music styles, oftenprogressive with a similarity to Rush and Yes. Butthey focused more on straightforward heavy metal style onthis album.
As a result “Jesus Wind” is the heaviest and most intense heavy metal album Imari Tones hasmade so far. “Repent”, the lead single and the first music video from the album, is nothing short of a loud &clear statement as a Christian metal band from the East. It is not a coincidence that Tak quotes the Bibleverse from Isaiah 42 in the song “Revolution”;Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the ends ofthe earth, You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, You coastlands and you inhabitants of them!