Loudness（ラウドネス，Raudonesu）是日本重金属通过吉他形成于1981年带高崎晃和鼓手樋口宗孝。他们是第一个在美国与主要唱片公司签约的金属乐队，到2014年发行了26张录音室专辑（在美国发行了5张）和9张现场专辑，并在当下跻身Billboard前100名最大的国际知名度，以及数十次登上Oricon排行榜。尽管高崎是唯一的固定成员，但他们的阵容发生了许多变化，乐队在整个1990年代继续了他们的活动，最终在2001年使原始乐队重新团结起来。这个化身发行了另外七张专辑，直到2008年11月30日，原始鼓手Munetaka gu口在大阪的一家医院因肝癌去世，享年49岁。他被铃木雅之（Masayuki Suzuki）取代。
乐队由吉他手高崎晃，贝司手田中裕之和鼓手Munetaka Higuchi创立，他们于1980年2月脱离了懒惰的摇滚乐队。三位音乐家，尤其是高崎，对他们先前乐队的音乐方向不满意。并希望在新领域测试他们的能力。日本新的重金属音乐（弓箭，Anthem等）的兴起与年轻音乐家的志向和音乐倾向相吻合。尽管如此，贝斯手田中很快放弃了加入新金属乐队的行列，与乐队一起在动漫配乐业务中寻求成功梦幻岛。高崎招募了他儿时的朋友山下正俊（Masayoshi Yamashita）作为贝斯手，经过几次试镜，乐队在前撼地者成员新原美浓露（Minoru Niihara）中找到了一位歌手。
有了这个阵容，Loudness签署了大唱片日本哥伦比亚和记录了他们的日语首张专辑，生日前夕。尽管当时重金属流派在日本媒体中的占有率有所下降，并且缺少发行这张专辑的单曲，但《生日前夕》及其演唱会却非常成功。高崎华丽的吉他弹奏作品以及其他乐队成员扎实的音乐才能很快成为他们在录音室和舞台上表演的标志。乐队对日本的良好销售反应感到兴奋，并迅速连续制作了四张录音室专辑，而吉他手高崎（Takasaki）则开始了自己的个人职业生涯，并发行了专辑《 Tusk of Jaguar》，其他乐队成员也参加了专辑。
最终，在1985年，通过Twisted Sister联合经理Joe Gerber的管理，他们与Atco Records签订了国际唱片交易。这项成就是日本音乐史上重金属乐队的第一项成就。他们的第五张专辑《麦克斯·诺曼》（Max Norman）由东方制作的《雷霆》在美国录制，并取得了很大的成功。这是他们在美国发行的首张专辑，并在Billboard专辑榜上排名第74 位，很大程度上依赖于单曲“ Crazy Nights ” 的实力，其视频在MTV上获得了重播。
他们的第六张专辑《Lightning Strikes》再次由Max Norman制作，并排在第64位，受到好评，使Loudness成为全球性的吸引力。专辑在日本以不同版本发行，名称为Shadows of War。他们在美国的成功促使乐队创作更多的商业流行金属音乐，就像单曲“ Let It Go”一样，与他们之前所有专辑的创作都大不相同。跟随这个新的，显然是在排行榜上的奖励的方向，乐队失去了一些支持日本的歌迷基础，这些歌迷不接受与美国华丽金属声音的同源性。
他们的第七张专辑《飓风之眼》于1987年发行，并以标准的英语歌词在全球发行。随后，日语版仅在当年晚些时候在日本发行，而Niihara则用日语演唱大部分歌词。专辑由著名的制片师和音响工程师埃迪•克雷默（Eddie Kramer）制作，他与“滚石乐队”，“齐柏林飞艇”，“ 吉米•亨德里克斯”和“ 亲吻”等乐队合作。歌曲“ So Lonely”是1984年专辑Disillusion的“ Ares Lament”的翻版版本，由Andy Johns制作，另一个世界著名的制作人。这是Loudness的最后一张专辑进入美国Billboard 200排行榜，并持续了4周，达到了第190位的峰值。
继嫉妒于1988年EP，新原主唱离队，制作人Max诺曼的建议后说英语的歌手能帮助乐队突破美国市场。选定的美国歌手是前迷恋乐队的主唱Mike Vescera。新原 hara野（Minoru Niihara）在日本继续自己的演唱生涯，担任金属乐队Ded Chaplin，Sly和XYZ→A的负责人，此外还发行了一张个人专辑。新的Loudness乐队阵容录制了两张录音室专辑：1989 年的《财富士兵》和《四处寻觅》1991年。后者在Vescera翻译和演唱的较旧资料的翻录中仅包括三首新歌。尽管唱片公司进行了广泛的巡回演出并得到了唱片公司的大力支持，但新唱片并没有提高乐队在美国的地位，相反，这进一步降低了日本乐迷的粉丝群。在发行单曲“ Slap in the Face”之后，Vescera在1991年的美国巡演中离开了Loudness，加入了Yngwie J. Malmsteen的乐队。他被前Ezo主唱山田昌树（Masaki Yamada）取代，完成了巡演。人员的变动并没有影响乐队的成功，因为美国观众突然偏向于摇滚和另类摇滚的坚韧而激进的声音90年代初期的乐队事实上已经结束了美国对Loudness的冒险，也结束了许多其他来自魅力和重金属领域的乐队的职业生涯。
返回日本后不久，山下也离开了乐队，并由前X贝斯手泽田泰治（Taiji Sawada）取代。这个阵容产生了1992年的同名专辑Loudness，该专辑在日本排行第二，成为他们在日本的排行榜最高的专辑，以及1993年的现场专辑Once and for All。这些作品中呈现的声音和音乐比在美国发行的专辑中更重，更富侵略性，标志着乐队主要作曲家高崎晃的事业进入了一个新的阶段。
1993年，乐队再次濒临崩溃，在新居的Sly演出的Higuchi 和创立DTR高崎的Sawada仍然是唯一的创始成员，他们的乐队进行了重塑。在此期间，他前往印度并converted 依了佛教，并找到了不驱散Loudness的正确动机。他说服山田继续做歌手，并在他的帮助下，招募了前Ezo鼓手Hirotsugu Homma加入乐队。这三人于1994年制作了一张过渡录音室专辑《Heavy Metal Hippies》，高崎在专辑中尝试将响亮的声音与摇滚和世界音乐的影响融合在一起。为使乐队巡回演出，高崎与当时解散的日本重金属乐队Anthem的贝斯手兼首领Shibata Naoto一起完成了花名册。在1994年至1999年之间，这种新的Loudness化身发行了另外三张录音室专辑（Ghetto Machine，Dragon和Engine）和一张现场专辑（Loud’n’Raw）。这些发行的声音与乐队的早期作品完全不同，高崎的强烈偏向带有迷幻和种族影响的凹槽金属的音乐作品。 Homma的低音提琴节拍是与早期Loudness声音的另一个重要区别。乐队定期在亚洲巡回演出，并去了欧洲，在那里他们参加了1999年的Dynamo露天音乐节。
在新的Loudness录音室专辑中，乐队再次尝试将不同的音乐影响力与1980年代乐队的旋律金属音色融合在一起，采用了截然不同的创作风格。结果通常是歌曲的异构集合，从经典的重金属声音到速度金属，rash击金属和垃圾，到民族甚至嘻哈音乐的影响。乐队在日本的人气仍然很高，他们每年继续巡回演出。Loudness甚至尝试重新发行国际市场，发行了专辑RockShocks and Racing以英语讲解，并进行了国际巡回演出，将乐队带回了美国，如美国’06响亮的DVD ‘所记录。
2006年9月1日，原始的贝斯手田中裕之死于心力衰竭。他当时46岁。在发行专辑《Metal Mad》仅两个月后，悲剧将再次发生，当鼓手Munetaka Higuchi被诊断出患有肝癌时，Loudness中断了。他们打了克鲁小丑乐团于2008年10月在大东京地区的埼玉超级竞技场，其中为了填补樋口鼓手会议菅沼幸三（脆弱的，扣减卓别林）。Munetaka于2008年11月30日在大阪一家医院因病去世，享年49岁。2008年12月，乐队在其网站上发表了有关原始鼓手Munetaka Higuchi逝世的以下声明：
通过高崎证实乐队，尽管近期鼓手樋口宗孝的损失，他们将记录一个标题为新的录音室专辑永恒的，这是2009年5月发布了新的材料是基于之前樋口记录鼓轨道他的过世。专辑发行后，他们在铃木雅之介绍了他们的新鼓手。乐队在2009年进行巡回演出，仅介绍前四张专辑中的资料，并宣布了随后一张名为《痛苦之王》的专辑，该专辑于2010年5月发行。同样在2010年，Boudness出现在Bang Your头！！！德国音乐节，并进行了简短的欧洲巡回演出。Loudness乐队于2011年5月和2011年 6月回到美国进行了30周年巡回演出。
高崎明（Akira Takasaki）在2011年7月11日发布在YouTube上的《吉他世界》（Guitar World）采访中，评论了《痛之王》缺乏独奏和速度的问题。他说，这样做的原因是乐队渴望引进他们的新鼓手铃木雅之（Masayuki Suzuki）。高崎还表示，下一张专辑的播放将比痛苦之王 “快得多，更具侵略性” 。Loudness 在2011年9月14日发行了《夏娃去黎明》。
另一张专辑，2012年，随后于2012年8月22日发行。由于与Niihara的附带项目XYZ→A的安排发生冲突，Michael Vescera于2013年4月14日在巴西圣保罗的Live N’Louder音乐节上担任大声乐的客串歌手。这是他20年来第一次与乐队合作演唱。
乐队于2014年6月4 日发行了第26张录音室专辑，名为《太阳将再次升起》。Loudness在2014年的《Monsters of Rock》巡回演唱会上播放了专辑中的一首歌《Immortality》。
在2018年1月，乐队发行了他们的第二十七张工作室专辑《Rise to Glory》。但是，2月，铃木因轻度中风住院。乐队邀请Ra：IN鼓手西田龙一（Ryuichi Nishida）完成巡回演出，直到铃木完全康复并于2018年9月返回。
Loudness (ラウドネス, Raudonesu) is a Japanese heavy metal band formed in 1981 by guitarist Akira Takasaki and drummer Munetaka Higuchi. They were the first Japanese metal act signed to a major label in the United States, releasing twenty-six studio albums (five in America) and nine live albums by 2014 and reaching the Billboard Top 100 in their moment of maximum international popularity, as well as charting on Oricon dozens of times. Despite numerous changes in their roster, with Takasaki the sole constant member, the band continued their activities throughout the 1990s, finally reuniting the original line-up in 2001. This incarnation released a further seven albums until November 30, 2008, when original drummer Munetaka Higuchi died from liver cancer at a hospital in Osaka at age 49. He was replaced with Masayuki Suzuki.
1980–1984: From Lazy to Loudness
The band was started by guitarist Akira Takasaki, bassist Hiroyuki Tanaka and drummer Munetaka Higuchi, coming off the split-up of the rock band Lazy in February 1980. The three musicians, Takasaki in particular, were unsatisfied with the musical direction of their previous band and wanted to test their abilities in new areas. The rising movement of new Japanese heavy metal acts (Bow Wow, Anthem, etc.) fit the aspirations and musical tendencies of the young musicians. Nevertheless, bassist Tanaka soon renounced to be part of the new metal group, searching success in the anime soundtrack business with the band Neverland. Takasaki recruited his childhood friend Masayoshi Yamashita as bass player and, after a few auditions, the band found a singer in former Earthshaker member Minoru Niihara.
With this line-up, Loudness signed for the major label Nippon Columbia and recorded their Japanese-language debut album, The Birthday Eve. Despite the reduced presence of the heavy metal genre in the Japanese media at the time and the lack of a single to launch the album, The Birthday Eve and the concerts to support it were quite successful. The flashy shred guitar work of Takasaki and the solid musicianship of the other band members soon became a trademark of their performances in the studio and on stage. The band, excited by the good sales response in Japan, produced four studio albums in rapid succession, while guitarist Takasaki found the time to start his solo career, releasing the album Tusk of Jaguar, which the other group members played in.
In 1983, after recording their third album The Law of Devil’s Land, they embarked on their first United States tour, followed by a tour in Europe. They moved to Europe to record their fourth album Disillusion, performing several concerts there, as documented in their second video Eurobounds. As an attempt to break in the international scene, the band re-recorded the vocal tracks of the album Disillusion in English language, releasing their first album outside Japan in 1984.
1985–1991: American years
Finally in 1985, through the management of Twisted Sister co-manager Joe Gerber, they signed an international record deal with Atco Records. Such an achievement was the first in Japanese music history for a heavy metal band. Their fifth album, the Max Norman–produced Thunder in the East, was recorded in the USA and was very successful. It was their first American release and it peaked at No. 74 in the Billboard album chart, relying much on the strength of the single “Crazy Nights”, whose video earned heavy rotation play on MTV.
Their sixth album, Lightning Strikes, was once again produced by Max Norman and charted at No. 64, receiving very good reviews and making Loudness a worldwide attraction. The album was released in Japan in a different version, under the name Shadows of War. Their success in the United States had pushed the group to write more commercial pop-metal tunes, like the single “Let It Go”, which was quite different from what they had done in all their previous albums. Following this new and apparently chart-rewarding direction, the band lost some of their supportive Japanese fan base, which did not accept the homologation to the US glam metal sound.
Their seventh album Hurricane Eyes was released in 1987 worldwide with standard English lyrics. A Japanese version was subsequently released only in Japan later in the year with Niihara singing most of the lyrics in Japanese. The album was produced by the famous producer and sound engineer Eddie Kramer, who had worked with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Kiss. The song “So Lonely”, a reworked version of “Ares Lament” from the 1984 album Disillusion, was instead produced by Andy Johns, another world-famous producer. This was the last Loudness’ album to enter the US Billboard 200 chart, where it remained for 4 weeks, peaking at No. 190
Following the Jealousy EP in 1988, singer Niihara left the band, after producer Max Norman’s suggestion that an English speaking vocalist could help the band break through in the American market. The chosen American vocalist was former Obsession frontman Mike Vescera. Minoru Niihara continued his singing career in Japan as frontman of the metal bands Ded Chaplin, Sly and X.Y.Z.→A, besides releasing a solo album. The new Loudness’ line-up recorded two studio albums, Soldier of Fortune in 1989 and On the Prowl in 1991. The latter included only three new songs among remakes of older material translated and sung by Vescera. Despite extensive tours and strong support from their label, the new albums did not improve the band’s status in America and, on the contrary, reduced further the Japanese fanbase of Loudness. After the release of the single “Slap in the Face”, Vescera left Loudness during their 1991 American tour, to join Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s band. He was replaced by former Ezo vocalist Masaki Yamada to finish the tour. The change of personnel did not influence the success of the band, because the sudden predilection of the American audience for the gritty and aggressive sound of grunge and alternative rock bands at the beginning of the 90s, had already de facto put an end to the American adventure of Loudness, as well as to the careers of many other bands from the glam and heavy metal scene.
1992–1999: Back to the start
Soon after their return to Japan, Yamashita also left the band and was replaced by former X bassist, Taiji Sawada. This line-up produced the self-titled album Loudness in 1992, which charted in Japan at No. 2, becoming their highest charting album in Japan, and the 1993 live album Once and for All. The sound and the music presented in those works is heavier and more aggressive than in the albums produced in America and marks the beginning of a new phase in the career of Akira Takasaki, main composer of the band.
In 1993, the band was again on the verge of falling apart, with the departure of both Higuchi, who went to play in Niihara’s Sly, and Sawada, who founded D.T.R. Takasaki remained the only founding member, with a band to reinvent. In this period he traveled to India and converted to Buddhism, and found the right motivations to not disband Loudness. He convinced Yamada to stay as singer and, with his help, recruited former Ezo drummer Hirotsugu Homma to the band. The trio produced in 1994 Heavy Metal Hippies, a transitional studio album, where Takasaki tried to mix the old Loudness’ sound with grunge and world music influences. To bring the band on tour, Takasaki completed the roster with Naoto Shibata, bassist and leader of the then disbanded Japanese heavy metal band Anthem. This new incarnation of Loudness released three other studio albums (Ghetto Machine, Dragon and Engine) and one live album (Loud ‘n’ Raw) between 1994 and 1999. The sound of these releases is quite different from the band’s earlier works, with Takasaki’s compositions veering strongly towards groove metal with heavy psychedelic and ethnic influences. Homma’s double bass drum beat is another important difference from earlier Loudness’ sound. The band toured regularly in Asia and went to Europe, where they participated to the 1999 edition of the Dynamo Open Air Festival.
In 2000, Yamada manifested his wish to quit Loudness and suggested a reunion with the original line-up to celebrate the band’s 20th Anniversary. Takasaki agreed with him and dismissed Homma and Shibata, asking at the same time Higuchi, Niihara and Yamashita to rejoin the band for the event. The original members of the band reunited in 2001, releasing the album Spiritual Canoe and doing a celebratory tour. Although intended to be a one-time event, the popularity of the band’s reunion in their native Japan was overwhelming and the band decided to continue recording and live activities. At least one studio album and one DVD release have followed every year since the 2001 reunion, in addition to one-off recordings, like 2005’s theme song for famed K-1 fighter Musashi (“The Battleship Musashi”).
In the new Loudness’ studio albums, the band tries again the fusion of different musical influences with the melodic metal sound of the band from the 1980s, adopting very different styles of composition. The result is often a rather heterogeneous collection of songs, going from classic heavy metal sound to speed metal, thrash metal and grunge, with ethnic and even hip hop influences. The band’s popularity remains very high in Japan, where they continued touring every year. Loudness even tried a new approach to the international market, with the reissue of the albums RockShocks and Racing in English language and an international tour that brought the band back to the US, as documented in the DVD Loudness in America ’06.
On September 1, 2006, original bassist Hiroyuki Tanaka died from heart failure. He was 46 years old. Tragedy would strike again in April 2008, just two months after releasing the album Metal Mad, Loudness went on hiatus when drummer Munetaka Higuchi was diagnosed with liver cancer. They played with Mötley Crüe in October 2008 at the Greater Tokyo Area’s Saitama Super Arena, with session drummer Kozo Suganuma (Fragile, Ded Chaplin) filling in for Higuchi. On November 30, 2008 Munetaka died from his illness at a hospital in Osaka at age 49. In December 2008, the band issued the following statement on their website about the death of original drummer Munetaka Higuchi:
“Munetaka Higuchi passed away from liver cancer at a hospital in Osaka city in the morning of 30 November 2008. With permission from his family, we are officially announcing his passing. We realize this announcement came late and we apologize for that. With his and his family’s request, a wake and funeral will be held privately. For the press and the fans, we will make sure that you have an opportunity to say your goodbyes to him at later time. For the last eight months since he was diagnosed with liver cancer, he had been in and out of the hospital several times for the treatment. For the entire time, he was very positive and bravely fighting this disease. He had this strong desire to come back to the stage to play for the fans again. His death came very suddenly and was a very immature one. He lived his life to the fullest as a rock drummer who always gave us hopes and dreams. His heart and soul for music will be succeeded for a long time to come. Munetaka, we are grateful for all your hard work and the great 49 years you lived with us here in this world. We would like to express our appreciation for all your condolences sent here for him.”
2009–present: New drummer
The band confirmed through Takasaki that, despite the recent loss of drummer Munetaka Higuchi, they would be recording a new studio album titled The Everlasting, which was released in May 2009. The new material was based on drum tracks recorded by Higuchi before his death. Upon the album’s release, they introduced their new drummer in Masayuki Suzuki. The band went on tour in 2009, presenting only material from their first four albums and announced their following album titled King of Pain, which was released in May 2010. Also in 2010, Loudness was featured at the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Germany and did a brief European tour. Loudness returned to America for their 30th Anniversary tour in May and June 2011.
In 2010 they recorded “The Eternal Soldiers” to be the theme song for Mazinkaiser SKL, which was released as a single later that year.
In an interview with Guitar World and posted on YouTube on July 11, 2011, Akira Takasaki commented on King of Pain’s lack of solos and speed. He said that the reason for this was the band’s desire to introduce Masayuki Suzuki, their new drummer. Takasaki also stated that the next album’s playing would be “much more speedy, much more aggressive” than King of Pain. Loudness’ released Eve to Dawn on September 14, 2011.
Another album, 2012, followed on August 22, 2012. Due to a scheduling conflict with Niihara’s side project X.Y.Z.→A, Michael Vescera performed as guest vocalist for Loudness on April 14, 2013 at the Live N’ Louder Festival in São Paulo, Brazil. Marking the first time he has sung with the band in over 20 years.
The band released their 26th studio album titled The Sun Will Rise Again on June 4, 2014. Loudness played a song from the album called “Immortality” on the 2014 Monsters of Rock cruise.
The group teamed up with Outrage to hold the first Loud∞Out Fest on May 2, 2015. The second installment was held on May 1, 2016 and also included Anthem and Lost Society in addition to the two namesake acts. The 2017 edition of the fest was called a “tour” and saw two concerts on May 4 and 6 that included Galneryus.
In January 2018, the band released their 27th studio album, Rise to Glory. However, in February, Suzuki was hospitalized with a mild stroke. The band tapped Ra:IN drummer Ryuichi Nishida to fulfill the tour until Suzuki’s full recovery and return in September 2018.
1981 – The Birhtday Eve [1993, Japan]
1982 – Devil Soldier [2004, Japan]
1983 – The Law Of Devil’s Land [1993, Japan]
1984 – Disillusion [1994, Japan]
1985 – Thunder In The East [2016, 3CD, Japan]
1986 – Lightning Strikes [2016, 2CD, Japan]
1986 – Shadows Of War [2005, USA]
1987 – Hurricane Eyes [2009, Japan]
1988 – Jealousy [1991, Japan]
1989 – Soldier Of Fortune [1989, Japan]
1991 – On The Prowl [Germany]
1992 – Loudness [Japan]
1994 – Heavy Metal Hippies [Japan]
1997 – Ghetto Machine [2016, Japan]
1998 – Dragon [2016, Japan]
1999 – Engine [2016, Japan]
2001 – Pandemonium [Japan]
2001 – Spiritual Canoe [Japan]
2002 – Biosphere [Japan]
2004 – Racing [2005, Japan]
2004 – Terror Hakuri [Japan]
2006 – Breaking The Taboo [Japan]
2008 – Metal Mad [Japan]
2009 – The Everlasting [Japan]
2010 – King Of Pain [Japan]
2011 – Eve To Dawn [Japan]
2012 – 2・0・1・2 [2CD, Japan]
2014 – The Sun Will Rise Again [Japan]
2016 – Samsara Flight [2CD, Japan]