RYUJIN – Ryujin
January 23, 2024, a month ago
Ryujin is the new samurai metal band from mastermind Ryoji Shinomoto. Ryujin is a rebranding after their previous name of Gyze and before that Suicide Heaven. Think of this as an evolution with Ryujin being the new form.
This samurai metal is basically melodic death/folk/power metal and Trivium’s Matt Heafy handled the production and also guests on a couple tracks.
Ryujin incorporates cultural influences in opening instrumental “Hajimari” before exploding into “Gekokujo” a melodic death metal explosion with rhythms that remind of Dissection – the heaviest offering on display. Going through the self-titled album provides reminders of early Ensiferum, Wintersun, and Children Of Bodom. “Gekirin” sounds like a lost Ensiferum song from the Iron days in the bouncy rhythms and dramatic chorus.
The Japanese act also uses neoclassical soloing and shredding – “Kunnecup” and the before mentioned “Gekokujo” excel at this. Heafy provides clean vocals on “Raijin & Fujin” – an exciting power metal romp and “The Rainbow Song” is actually how it sounds, cheery and friendly and is something that would have fit on Dragonforce frontman Marc Hudson’s solo album.
“Saigo No Hoshi” also switches the pace being sung in Japanese and is a melodic, heartfelt, power ballad that resembles fellow countrymen Galneryus at their softer moments.
There’s much to like here, Ryujin keeping the genre fresh and inspired. It’s the right amount of heavy and balance of harsh and clean vocals. Heafy should also be commended for his work behind the desk as Ryujin is lively and explodes through the speakers. Highly recommended – check this one out.