Review – Nameless One: 千の記憶と名も無き剣 ~Thousand Memories and Nameless Sword~

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  • Bio: n/a
  • Label: Self-release
  • Release Date: October 7th, 2014
  • Genre: Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Nameless One is a five-piece Melodic Death Metal and Power Metal group that hails from Kyoto, Japan. Even though they formed in 2013, the group has been very active. That year saw the release of their 暁の街 demo, and the 反撃のカタフラクト single in January of 2014. Later on in October, the band issued their first EP 千の記憶と名も無き剣 ~Thousand Memories and Nameless Sword~, which, outside their hometown/country, hasn’t really received a great deal of attention. But is this because it’s a terrible first outing, or is this just because fans of the genre haven’t looked hard enough to discover this gem?

Right off the bat with “慟哭のタンザナト” you are greeted with an obvious Children of Bodom influence, something that is played up throughout the effort quite often. This one, however, has plenty of hooks that sound torn directly from the album Follow the Reaper, but thankfully as a baseline more than anything else. The main verses, and especially chorus, are familiar territory, though the rest plays up the fantastical Power Metal angle with plenty of Neoclassical compositions for good measure, ultimately becoming the polar opposite of the aforementioned entity to make the obvious comparisons forgiveable in such an addicting track that blends aggression with beauty effortlessly. However, this is far from the best offered. In fact, from this point on, the EP only picks up speed.

“夕闇に消ゆ” finds the thin buzz of the bass guitar putting a bit of a NWOBHM spin to the intro and chorus of the highly Melodic Death Metal composition. Of course what stands out are some of the grand, upbeat hooks that hit largely in the bridges, especially later on, not to mention some of the deeper abrasive vocals. Those also appear on “暁の街”, almost to the point of becoming pig squeals. It adds a nice hint of variety between the sharpened raspy screams that can erupt from time to time. “ロスローリエンの丘で”, however, finds that common approach with quite the enthusiastic push to match the higher pitched melodies of the guitar, sending that harsher vocal approach into near falsetto terrain with just as much heat, if not more. There’s also some additional emotion to be felt in the eighties Hard Rock inspired riffs that, like a few others, kind of show the group’s Japanese heritage in a way that anime fans would be familiar with (for lack of a better reference).

But what tracks stand out the most are the largely Power Metal infused offerings. “寂寞のファントム” has its share of Melodic Death Metal elements at work in more of a modern Chthonic manner in the somewhat restrained main verses. The rest of the song has plenty of infectious hooks for that genre, though not always the most unique. Much of this can also be said for the following cut “覚醒のアルタニス”. The only issue here is that you can pick up on a bit of a pattern. No, this isn’t the same track rehashed, but there definitely is a formula between these two that does show elsewhere as well as far as the placement of solos and the strength of the Power Metal hooks go.

Nameless OneThe only gripe to really had about this release is the sound of the bass guitar. While the thinner hum is on par with both Power Metal and Heavy Metal staples, the Melodic Death Metal angle definitely could have used a little more presence from it, whether it be tuned a bit deeper or just a little louder in the final mix. This would help bulk things up a bit during some of the grander passages, which can end up a bit thin, leaving a noticeable difference when jumping from one genre to the next, such as on the closing of “覚醒のアルタニス” when things go from light and airy Power Metal to a medium pitched Melodic Death Metal darkness.

But, all things considered, 千の記憶と名も無き剣 is a surprisingly strong Melodic Death/Power Metal EP from a relative new band who seems to have a full grasp on their musical direction. Sure there’s a little more room to grow, and hopefully some of the formulaic elements can be weeded out a bit, but even if neither of these occur it won’t be a bad thing. Nameless One incorporate just the right amount of variety, societal elements, majesty, and aggression to create a truly addicting EP from start to finish. Think Children of Bodom and Stratovarius if they lived in Japan and you’ll know exactly what you’re in for. Nameless One put everyone on notice with 千の記憶と名も無き剣, signifying the arrival of a band that needs to be in your “must watch” list.

Nameless OneDigital review copy of this release provided by .