The essential Bridear

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For more than a decade, Japanese metal group Bridear has been producing some of the most electric and exciting sounds to come out of the country. The group was formed back in 2011 and blends different metal styles and genres into a dramatic and far-reaching sound that is both familiar and distinctively their own.

With their fourth studio album out earlier this year, it is the perfect time to celebrate the metal powerhouse that is Bridear.

The Essential Bridear

Bridear delivers a classic metal sound to fans, with unbelievable guitar riffs and soaring vocals. Mixing elements of hard rock with metal and a hint of punk, they have created something that will sound familiar to fans of groups like X Japan and Band-Maid. Listening to Bridear’s catalogue feels like a celebration of what great Japanese metal has always been about: pushing the boundaries with their melodies, with the backing of fantastic drummers. They bring all the energy and power that Iron Maiden did in their prime and are a wonder to see perform.

Like most groups that have been around for more than a few years, Bridear has had several line-up changes in its history. Founding members Kimi and Haru have provided vocals and bass respectively since the band was formed. Ayumi replaced Mitsuru on lead guitar in 2019, the same year that Natsumi was brought in after the group had several drummers between 2018 and 2019. Moe rounds out the current line-up on the guitar.

Not sure where to start with this band’s impressive catalogue? Here are a few of our choices for the best that Bridear has to offer.

Determination

Producing great albums takes a lot of time and a lot of work, so it was surprising to see Bridear announce their fourth studio album, Aegis of Athena, which would release just a year after their previous album. With a fresh line-up after several changes in the previous two years, the whole album feels like a make-or-break moment for the group, but they manage to deliver. Every song on the album is worth listening to, but Determination is easily one of the best tracks on it.

Metal groups live and die by the strength of their rhythm section. The drums are the glue that keeps the band on track as their vocalist and guitarists get all the attention. Determination is a great example of just how good Natsumi is on drums. She is a musician worth keeping an eye on as she continues to grow.

Ghoul

If you wanted to introduce metal to someone, Ghoul is a great way to do it. It is dramatic and over-the-top but still restrained and raw in places. It shifts in tone throughout but gives each member of Bridear a chance to shine. You’ll hear heavy metal influences along with some nu-metal sounds throughout the track. This song feels incredibly well balanced despite how high it reaches.

Check out the guitar riff that starts at 2:51 in that video. That is serious work that could belong on any classic metal song. It is worth listening to this song on repeat just to figure out how she managed to pull that off. Ghoul might be the most technically brilliant track in Bridear’s catalogue, but that riff is something truly special.

Road

Another offering from their most recent album, Road feels like a slight shift in gears for the band. They sound like they’re having more fun than they have in the past, with more effortless performances from the new line-up than before. That’s not to say they’re slacking off at all, as new guitarist Moe proves in the opening minute of the track.

Aegis of Athena is a great album that should be in the running for any metal fan’s album of the year. And the good news is that UK fans can look forward to seeing more of Bridear later this year when they tour the country. They can really tear the house down so be sure to catch them while you can.

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