Marching Out – Rock Will Never Die Running Time: 45:19
Release Date 11-12-2015 Independent
Album Review by Rick Tilley
One of the things that I love about being part owner of Ever Metal is that bands and musicians get in touch with me directly about coverage or reviews. This is not only a huge honour but it also means I get to decide who I’m going to feature on the site rather than someone else. With that in mind, when Marching Out vocalist Kazu Rock got in touch with me from Japan to ask if we would review their debut album ‘Rock Will Never Die’ I jumped at the chance for two reasons. Firstly, Marching Out are not going to get huge amounts of coverage in the UK and we want to give those smaller unsigned bands plus those from different countries the chance to get some well-deserved publicity and secondly because, as a fan of Japanese Metal/Rock bands such as Loudness and Vow Wow back in the 1980’s, I’ve been absolutely blown away by the quality of Marching Out!
Formed in 2012 ‘Marching Out’ (perhaps a nod to the Yngwie Malmsteen album) have taken me back thirty years and made me feel young again. We know that the Japanese love their Metal and Rock and ‘Rock Will Never Die’ (perhaps a nod to the MSG song and album) is about as close to a perfect Japanese Metal/Rock album as you are likely to get. Originally released in December 2015 this is a mixture of the aforementioned Loudness and Vow Wow together with a huge Neo-Classical dose of Malmsteen, Becker and Friedman. Top it off with some Michael Schenker/MSG and a smattering of 1980’s Whitesnake and I’m personally living a Heavy Metal wet dream.
‘Prelude’ kicks the album off and it’s essentially a riff leading into some beautiful Neo-Classical guitar work. This leads straight into first track proper ‘The Cross’ a classic sounding fast song that screams Vow Wow and immediately got my neck snapping. I’ve always loved Japanese Heavy Metal vocals and Kazu has a great set of pipes with all the nasally vibrato and grit you expect. He hits a couple of insane high notes as well and his voice alone is worth the price of admission. However you also get some stunning guitar work from Tsuyoshi Hayashi. You get the feeling he was probably brought up on the Mike Varney Shrapnel Record releases of the 1980’s as well as Accept and Wolf Hoffmann. This is Neo-Classical of the highest order. Keyboardist Akira Ishiguro also plays a massive part on the album playing some of his own awesome solos and duelling with the guitars on several songs. Backing them all up are Keiichiro Fujita on Bass and Kozo Suganuma on Drums who provide a thoroughly rock-solid rhythm section! This isn’t all about fast guitar and keyboard work though. There are many bands around, Japanese or otherwise, that rely on speed without thinking about song structure but Marching Out have crafted some very catchy tunes with great choruses!
‘Burnin’ Fire’ and ‘Fire In The Sky’ pass far too quickly, probably because I feel so immediately comfortable with them, within a couple of listens I was singing along like they were old favourites! ‘Let Me Feel You For A While’ (apart from probably losing something in translation) is a very Whitesnake sounding ballad and is placed on the album in exactly the right place to bring everything down a notch. It certainly proves that Marching Out can mix things up. ‘No One Can Stop We Rock’ picks the pace up again and the main riff is one I certainly want to witness live! ‘The Resurrection’ has a modern Deep Purple meets Ozzy feel and ‘The Sign Of Southern Cross’ is a medium pace shining star.
Title Track ‘Rock Will Never Die’ appears twice on the album in different versions. An original version appears about half way through and is another great song, however it is also presented as a bonus track and the bar is raised further with the inclusion of some guest musicians, namely Minoru Niihara and Masayoshi Yamashita of Loudness and none other than Doogie White (ex Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock’)! Together this particular track takes on a more epic feel with the inclusion of further vocalists and finishes the album off in fine style!
I had hoped that Marching Out would be good but I wasn’t prepared for them to be this good. They may not appeal to a modern day Metal fan who has been brought up on a diet of screamed vocals but for those of us that were weaned on 80’s Metal and Heavy Rock, especially of the Neo-Classical variety, then ‘Rock Will Never Die’ is a gem of an album. It may be a bit cheesy but it’s been done so well that I don’t give a fig! Bring on album number two and let’s get Marching Out over to Europe and the UK to do some gigs. I’ll be there like a shot!
- 1. Prelude
- 2. The Cross
- 3. Burnin’ Fire
- 4. Rock Will Never Die
- 5. Fire In The Sky
- 6. Let Me Feel You For A While
- 7. No One Can Stop We Rock
- 8. The Resurrection
- 9. The Sign Of Southern Cross
- 10. Rock Will Never Die (Featuring Minoru Niihara, Masayoshi Yamashita of LOUDNESS and Doogie White) (Bonus Track)