The latest album from Japan’s own metal stalwarts Survive is entitled Immortal Warriors and it’s a work that fuses new metals and old metal. The violent, fast, delicate melodies have been pushed right to the front creating a tough and sturdy album that is interwoven with melodies that are unique to Japan.
Tokyo’s Survive are one of the longest standing metal acts in Japan. They have played many big festivals (Loud Park, Beast Fest, Multiplex-motorbike event, Korean Live Rock, Formoz Festival, Asia Metal Festival, Dongducheon Rock Festival, Trendkill Extreme Feast, etc) and toured all over the world with acts such as Behemoth, United, Killswitch Engage, Dope, Pulling Teeth, Testament, Outrage, Anthrax, Hatebleed, Napalm Death, Amon Amarth, Venom Inc, At The Gates, to name just a few.
Immortal Warriors is the groups 7th full length studio album, one of their very best and as an added plus contains a bonus track featuring a cover version of the Metallica classic Master Of Puppets …Survive style!
Track By Track Run Down
The album opener instantly sets the tone for pretty much the remainder of Survive’s latest musical endevour: it’s dark as f*ck. Surprisingly, this album sounds as Scandinavian as it gets… Think of bands like Dissection, Bathory or Dark Funeral for instance. If you believe that damnation is upon us, you’d better pick Degenerate as the soundtrack of your choosing.
While it certainly delivers what the title anticipates, what stands out the most about “Wrath” has got to be the contrast between the canonical death metal rhythm section as well as the main guitar riff – which is groovalicious, to say the least. You can sure as hell tell that the band leader NEMO has a penchant for Dimebag Darrell’s guitar work, with a tasty guitar solo to boot.
It’s rather interesting how, despite the overall stylistic coherency Survive are able to maintain throughout the entirety of the record, each track has its own personality. With that being said, Immortal Warriors is likely cut out to be a single, and is the most melodic track thus far. The chorus is surprisingly catchy and “singalongesque” but don’t let this deceive you …by the time you reach the mid-section, it’s thrash metal galore!
Tears Of The Victims
Having the listener jump on the table and chant the chorus of Immortal Warriors (quite possibly holding one of many pints of his favourite ale in his hand) was fun and all but let’s be real, we all knew that wouldn’t last long. Tears Of The Victimsproves that Survive don’t mess about and deliver their deadly brew of bone-crushing metal in spades. Not for the faint-hearted.
At this point, judging from the unsettling dissonance of the lead guitar parts coupled with Goro’s relentless blast beats, it’s safe to say that chaos is securely restored. Killing Field is 3.18 minutes of pure evil. Noteworthy orchestral arrangements, too!
Obey Your Own Army Corps
The chug is strong with this one! The laser-sharp accuracy and tightness of the riffs would make bands like Testament wan to give the guys in Survive a warm, brotherly hug. The twin-lead harmony guitar melodies of the chorus sit really nicely on top of GORO’s devastating layer of double-bass drum mayhem.
Programmed Slaves is one of those songs that gets straight to the point without beating much about the bush. It’s almost as if the listener were instantly sucked into a black hole of destruction. A track reminiscent of At The Gates’s finest work.
Wither My Dying Blood
Once again, GORO’s drum work is straight up impressive here. I wouldn’t be surprised if they named the four-armed Mortal Kombat monster after him. The song outro is also a highlight, with its dramatic, soul-hibernating string chords.
Control The Darkness
One of the album’s heaviest tracks. The crystal-clear production definitely allows NEMO and GAKU’s rhythm guitars to shine through, while SINIJILOW happily pounds away with his chubby bass lines. The menacing choirs allow for further drama to ensue, adding a nice atmospheric dimension to the track.
Blood And Sacrifice
Blood And Sacrifice is a real stand out and masterfully mixes metal with symphonic music, encapsulating that sort of sound only bands like Dimmu Borgir or Behemoth are capable of. Arrangements, musicianship and creativity all wonderfully entwine, making the song a rightful closing number, as well as the album’s piece de resistance.
Master of Puppets
There’s not much to be said about this track, as it’s a pretty flawless and faithful rendition of the original. In fact, I could barely tell the difference! Other than the fact that the production is of course 33 years younger. Nonetheless, always a pleasure to listen to!
Nemo – Vocal/Guitar | Gaku – Guitar | Sinjilow – Bass