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  • Writer's pictureNikki Smash




New Samurai metal band RYUJIN deftly deliver heavy metal and blazing guitar wizardry from Japan with their self-titled Napalm Records debut, RYUJIN, set for release on January 12, 2024.

Blending both Japanese and English lyricism and featuring production and several guest features by Matthew Kiichi Heafy (Trivium), the band's high speed riffs and breakneck guitar descents pair with traditional Japanese elements (including instrumentation on Shamisen, Dragon Flute, Erhu, and Taiko), delivering a sound influenced by everything from ancient orchestral Gagaku to even modern anime themes.

Following up first single,Raijin & Fujin”, the band has just released another new track, entitled "The Rainbow Song". The melodic power metal track features an essential contribution from aforementioned album guest Matthew Kiichi Heafy. Check out the new song alongside its official music video below.

RYUJIN mastermind Ryoji Shinomoto says about the new single, "We are very proud of this song. The song is a fusion of Japanese '90s anime songs and power metal. We all absolutely love it! The video features nature footage of my hometown, Hokkaido, and Ainu tribal costumes, as I am very proud of the beautiful nature we have here. Matt arranged the lyrics, which were originally written about trout, and he also sings the chorus with me! Also, it's the first song without growls and you can also hear my first high tone shout before my solo!“

Matthew Kiichi Heafy adds, "RYUJIN is a band who will take over the world. 'The Rainbow Song' is a track that I believe will bridge the gap, taking a whole new slew of fans to become RYUJIN-devotees. You’ll find yourself singing along on the first listen!"

Watch the music video for “The Rainbow Song” here or by clicking below.

RYUJIN features production by Matthew Kiichi Heafy and mixing/mastering by Mark Lewis, with guest appearances by Heafy (vocals and conducting on various tracks) and Mukai Wataru of the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra (cello). Blending both Japanese and English lyricism, RYUJIN’s tracks feature titles based on the words of the Ainu people of Hokkaido (RYUJIN’s home region), as well as famous Japanese paintings and idioms.

Opening instrumental track “Hajimari” sets an ominous stage for “Gekokujo” - a thrash-ified death metal riff-fest with folk-inspired passages. First single “Raijin & Fujin” is an epic power metal storm featuring guest vocal contributions from Matthew Kiichi Heafy, while “The Rainbow Song” blends modern melodic heavy metal and power metal innovation. Tracks like “Dragon, Fly Free” and “Kunnecup” invite the listener to sing along with RYUJIN as they paint musical canvases of adventure and positivity. “Scream of the Dragon” embraces their extreme influences amid uplifting choruses and a story blending English and Japanese lyrics, before “Gekirin” ventures into darker death metal hints and nautically-inspired melodies (as “Ryujin” is a dragon god of the sea in Japanese mythology, these oceanic musical themes weave seamlessly throughout the album).

The album nears the end with three primarily Japanese-language opuses - the rock-opera-like ballad “Saigo No Hoshi”, the traditionally-inspired title track “Ryujin” and a cover of Linked Horizon’s “Guren No Yumiya” - widely known as an opening theme of popular anime series Attack On Titan. The album finishes with a bonus English-language version of “Saigo No Hoshi”, with vocals once again performed by Matthew Kiichi Heafy.

Pre-Order RYUJIN HERE in the following formats: CD digi-sleeve, gatefold clear orange vinyl, and digital album.

Track List:

1. Hajimari

2. Gekokujo

3. Dragon, Fly Free

4. Raijin & Fujin (Feat. Matthew K. Heafy)

5. The Rainbow Song (Feat. Matthew K. Heafy)

6. Kunnecup (Feat. Mukai Wataru)

7. Scream of the Dragon

8. Gekirin

9. Saigo No Hoshi

10. Ryujin

11. Guren No Yumiya (Feat. Matthew K. Heafy)

12. Saigo No Hoshi (Feat. Matthew K. Heafy)

Catch RYUJIN on tour with PAIN in Europe now! See below for all remaining tour dates:

PAIN w/ RYUJIN in Germany:

09.11.2023: Leipzig, DE - Hellraiser

10.11.2023: Hamburg, DE - Gruenspan

11.11.2023: Berlin, DE - Columbia Theater

12.11.2023: Stuttgart, DE - Im Wizemann


Ryoji Shinomoto - Guitar, Vocals, Shamisen, Erhu, Dragon Flute & Orchestration

Shuji Shinomoto - Drums, Vocals

Aruta Watanabe - Bass, Vocals

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