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Lovebites - Awakening From Abyss album review

Japanese all-girl power metal is the new black

Cover art for Lovebites - Awakening From Abyss album

Power metal has always been like the nerdy younger brother of hard rock, obsessed with dragons and shredding and wearing chainmail or whatever while the rest of us are busy destroying ourselves with motorcycles, leather, whiskey and the devil.

And that’s what makes Lovebites’ storming debut so compelling and confounding. They aren’t Renaissance faire obsessed middle-aged goons, but rather a quintet of young Japanese women, a sort of Babymetal for Dragonforce fans. But while there’s some novelty at play here – drummer Haruni has star-shaped cymbals, for Chrissakes – they’re all business on Awakening From Abyss.

All the hallmarks of elite power metal are here: soaring vocals, speed metal played with alarming finesse, and plenty of bullshit about ‘hammers of wrath’ and living forever at the edge of the world.

The relentless 100mph blister of guitarists Midori and Mi-Ya is clearly the highlight of this whole affair. It’s like two Yngwie Malmsteens in white prom dresses setting the world on fire with a million fleet-fingered notes. If that’s your bag, then Lovebites might be the iron maidens you’ve been looking for.

Came from the sky like a 747. Classic Rock’s least-reputable byline-grabber since 2003. Several decades deep into the music industry. Got fired from an early incarnation of Anal C**t after one show. 30 years later, got fired from the New York Times after one week. Likes rock and hates everything else. Still believes in Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, against all better judgment.