Imari Tones – Jesus Wind

Imari Tones
Jesus Wind
Kitchen Knife Records

It is no trivial fact that Imari Tones is a Christian Japanese heavy metal band when you consider the deeply rooted traditions of Buddhism in their country. One should not assume either that Christianity cannot thrive in the same vein as other more traditional religions of any region. It is within that tension that Imari Tones approached their latest release, “Jesus Wind,” as a concept album that concentrations on Japanese history from a Christian perspective. Their press release explains it well;

The album consists of 3 parts: Past, Present and Future. This is because the band decided to write not only about the past, but also about the future, in order to convey the message of hope. The Present part gives the listener a feeling of tension and reality, through the songs about the ongoing events like Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant incident in 2011 and political turmoil in the current world. The future part has almost prophecylike overtone, with spiritual utopian songs like “Revolution” and “New Jerusalem”.

All that aside, I  admire the fact that they are a hard-working band, laser focused on a mission. If you look at their Band Camp page, you’ll see they have close to two-dozen albums available! It’s a good stretch of time, work and effort that shows an incredible amount of commitment and drive.

The greatest appeal of their latest (and former) release for me, is the cutting-edge metal. I love the energy of the guitar riffs and leads that are backed up by a pounding back beat of drums and bass. I love to hear the blistering solos like on “The War” and the three-plus minute solo, “This is How Freedom Dies.” It leads into the fist pumping “Repent” which is one of my favorite songs on the new album. They also come close to the infamous rock ballad with the more subdued “The Peace;” which also has a sweet Satriani style solo too boot.

Imari Tones reminds me of a time when the neighborhood garage band was grinding out great tunes. It’s less radio polished and just pure rock driven. If you’re looking for something unique and eternally significant, I would highly recommend checking them out at the resources listed below.

– Ken W.

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