Anthem (1981-1992, 2000-present): a Heavy Metal band from Tokyo, Japan.
orming in 1980 this Japanese group made it a habit to clone Western rock music. Their debut mini-album came on the indie 'Medusa' label titled simply Anthem in 1985, with the follow-up album Tightrope following a year later. Influenced by the styles and melodies of U.F.O., Thin Lizzy, Kiss, and later thrash acts like Megadeth, Anthem would complete two more albums, Bound To Break (1987) and Gypsy Ways (1988).
Their first EP single in 1986, Xanadu, was the first known song to be used for promotion of a new video game, that being Nihon Falcom's computer RPG "Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu".
By the time that first EP release came, there had been several membership changes, settling on Elizo Sakamoto (vocals), Hiroya Fukada (guitar), Nuoto Ski Bata (bass) and Takamasa Ohuchi (drums). By 1988, the first change seen on a recording happened with Yukio Morikawa taking on vocals.
Hunting Time (1989) and No Smoke Without Fire (1990) would follow before their "best of..." compilation, Best 1981-1990 came about. Domestic Booty (1992), the "best of..." part 2, Best II (1992), and their live album Last Anthem (1992) came before their break-up.
The act's music failed to make an impact on the Western market and remained silent for some time before their reformation in 2000 under the line-up of Graham Bonnet (vocals), Akio Shimizu (guitar), Naoto Shibata (ex-Loudness; bass), Takamasa Oouchi; drums) for the release of Heavy Metal Anthem (2000). Seven Hills (2001), Overload (2002), Eternal Warrior (2004) and The Show Carries On! (Complete Version) followed, now with Eizo Sakamoto on vocals and Hiro Homma on drums.
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Burning Oath (2012) and Absolute World (2014) followed, before the last album, however, in February 2014 singer Eizo Sakamoto left for a second time and was replaced by former singer Yukio Morikawa. The group also announced drummer Isamu Tamaru as a permanent member. By Engraved (2017) the line-up featured Naoto Shibata (bass), Yukio Morikawa (vocals), Akio Shimizu (guitars) and Isamu Tamaru (drums). Nucleus (2019) followed.
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