Label: Sonic Revolution, release: 04.09.2015
Inspired by bands like Helloween and Gamma Ray, this PowerMetal band, formed in 2007, became well-known in their home country, Japan, with their debut album “Brave Hearts”. With their three follow up-records, also the rest of the world took notice of them. Except for me. This is my first encounter with Lightning but being a Power Metal band from Japan, my curiosity was sparked immediately. It’s easy to hear the band’s influences but, they also added some traditional Japanese elements, which make their music unique. In the beginning it’s hard to recognize whether they sing in Japanese or English but a quick look into the accompanying booklet and a more thoroughly listen reveals that it is a strongly Japanised English. This is somehow sweet and funny but on the other side, I could well imagine the entire record to be in Japanese, because why not? This would really make it something special. But to my delight, they did one song (“Raise the Sun”) also in Japanese – and I hope they will be doing this on the next record, too. “Road to Ninja” is not only great because of the well-designed booklet, it is also awesome because of the cool guitar solos and the amazing sound in general. This record is highly recommended to all those Power Metal fans, who are not afraid to try their music with a dash of Japanese flavouring. It’s really unique and well-done.