It’s More Like J-Metal…

For this week’s blogging task, I chose to focus on the Japanese electronic-infused metal band Crossfaith, a band on the peripheral of the vast Japanese music world. Crossfaith have taken the metal music world by storm, and for good reason. They’ve jumped out of Japan to take on the world, and have been able to do so through taking advantage of digital media giants like YouTube to release music video after music video which has helped them gain attention worldwide.

They have continued to appeal to fans and viewers because of their high-energy live performances, and their fast-tempo, electronically influenced brand of metal, which they’ve particularly showcased in music videos like ‘We Are the Future’ (2013), in which they appear to be playing on a deserted planet in a futuristic time.

Their highest viewed videos like ‘Omen’ and ‘Monolith’ both have over 1.5 million views respectively, so they’ve been successful in capturing a particular part of the market of the heavy world. Coming from a place like Japan, where the J-pop scene is much more prominent than the heavy scene, Crossfaith have had to work hard on social media like Facebook and Twitter to really push their name and music to the forefront, but they haven’t lost sight of their cultural heritage either. They blend the traditionally heard Western metalcore sound with synthesised and electronic Asian style melodies creating a mixture of cultures that works to set them apart from other big metalcore names.

Coming from a heavy music background myself, I took a quick liking to Crossfaith and the way they showcase themselves through YouTube, both in live performance videos and music videos. It’s easy to see why they’ve managed to capture the attention of a new generation of metal enthusiasts with their blend of Eastern and Western styles. Listening to the songs, the lyrics are a little harder for me to relate to, but I very much enjoyed the instrumental aspects to their tracks.

References:

1. Crossfaith Official Website. 2014. Crossfaith Official Website. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.crossfaith.jp/en/. [Accessed 26 August 2014].

2. Crossfaith (JAP) – discography, line-up, biography, interviews, photos. 2014. Crossfaith (JAP) – discography, line-up, biography, interviews, photos. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.spirit-of-metal.com/groupe-groupe-Crossfaith_%28JAP%29-l-en.html. [Accessed 26 August 2014].

3. CrossfaithOfficial – YouTube. 2014. CrossfaithOfficial – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/user/CrossfaithOfficial/videos. [Accessed 26 August 2014].

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2 comments

  1. It’s interesting, to me their music sounds no different from mainstream ‘popular’ metal. I grew up in a metal household (My dad loves it) so I’ve heard a wide variety. Personally I’m not so much of a fan of the hardcore, screaming type, I’m more of a melodic/symphonic metal kind of guy (Loooove Nightwish,) I especially love power metal!

    The reason I brought this up, there’s this fantastic J-Power Metal band called Galneryus. What’s interesting about them, despite the fact that you can clearly hear them singing in japanese, the melodies themselves are very distinct from mainstream power metal, and you can hear the inherent ‘Japanese Flair’ within them.

    Here’s one of their songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hL-iO86vdI

    Their music reminds me of the songs featured in anime credits, haha.

    Perhaps it would be interesting for you to look at successful Japanese metal bands, looking at which bands are more popular within Japan, and outside Japan, and perhaps looking at why? I’m sure you can find fan-bases distributed over various social media sites who you could also talk to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It still baffles me that Asian music has to work hard to break through on to the world wide stage. With Anime having a very massive world wide following, along with manga and other forms of digital media – what happened to the music side of things? As you’ve said, Crossfaith have achieved this through the use of various social media and YouTube. As said above, It would be cool to research into what it takes for a Japanese band to reach that world wide audience, or is there any real incentive or want, for the bands themselves to do this.

    Liked by 1 person

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