RELEASE DATE: 7TH JULY 2017
From X Japan headlining Wembley Arena to the genre-busting sensation that is Babymetal, it’s very pleasing to see Japanese Rock and Metal bands getting wider attention and a bigger audience around the world.
With that in mind it’s an exciting time for new boys “Esprit D’Air” to break onto the scene. An independent, London-based band with a truly admirable DIY attitude. The core three-piece consists of Kai on vocals and Guitar, Ellis on bass and Daishi on drums and, after a brief false start from 2010-2013, the band have returned with their new album “Constellations”.
First track “Ignition” kicks off the album with a heavy riff and shining synths before returning to guitars for a blistering solo (a pattern and balance that they stick to for most of the album). “Rebirth” follows a similar blend of guitars and synths, with Daishi’s drumming really coming to the front and kicking with technicality.
Lead single “Guiding Light” is a particularly strong track, with Kai’s vocal melodies and riffs blending beautifully with a strong rhythm section and verses that shift smoothly between English and Japanese.
“The Hunter” comes tearing out of the speakers with super heavy riff and machine-gun drumming before smooth, melodic vocals take over while “Starstorm” starts with EDM synths and a dance beat before settling into even more melodic vocals and an almost J-Pop chorus.
With upbeat riffing and vocals “The Awakening” sounds like the opening theme tune of many an Anime show while “Reminisce” slows the pace with a Synth riff and some gentle, ethereal vocals from Kai - again, think “Ghost in The Shell” transformed into a rock song.
The album ends with the circling riff attack of “Versus” which sounds like it was designed for the nearest circle-pit. With enough light and shade in their song-writing, Esprit D’Air has a sound that will definitely lend itself to larger venues than your normal metal clubs.
Esprit D’Air actually reminds me of fellow J-Rock star Gackt - they have a similarly polished melodic sound. Admittedly, at some points the resemblance does begin to blur a little too close to a copy but that’s understandable given the genre. While it may not please fans of bluesy or more stripped back rock and metal, Esprit D’Air manage to retain enough of their own character and reflect this in their songs to make “Constellations” a solid, exciting and well produced album from a very promising young band.
Now to catch them on their Upcoming Spring 2018 UK tour to see if they can match the album’s energy in a live setting…