I'm really feeling it!
I'm really feeling it!
Illustration for article titled Atlas of Rock: Japan

For the last eight months or so I have been exploring the rock and metal music from various countries around the world here on Atlas of Rock, the ongoing series for my Metal Monday Column, and have discovered many bands and artists along the way. Today we arrive at one of TAY's favorite countries at long last!


Japan is home to a wide range of music, including a variety of rock and metal genres. When I first started getting into heavy music, I noticed that a lot of bands I liked such as Children of Bodom, In Flames, Iron Maiden, and many others all had live albums or DVDs that were recorded in Japan. There is actually a huge market for hard rock and metal bands in Japan so in doing my research for this post I was not surprised at all by how many Japanese bands exist in these genres. There is no way I can fit them all so I will pick a few that stood out to me. If you think an artist really needs to be included, respectfully leave a comment so that others can check them out!

Japanese rock dates back to the 60s with bands emulating the sound of Western artists such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan in what is known as Group Sounds. Notable bands from this era include The Tigers

The Tempters

and The Spiders

The 70s and 80s gave rise to many new genres of music around the world, and Japan was no different.


Alternative rock bands emerged such as Shonen Knife


and The Pillows

Punk and Hardcore Punk bands such as The Stalin

The Star Club

and Friction

Heavy metal bands such as Bow Wow

and Loudness

And the Visual Kei movement spanning many genres, helmed by bands such as X Japan on the metal side of things

and Buck-Tick on the rock side

In the 90s, several more punk bands emerged on the scene such as Bomb Factory

and The Dead Pop Stars

And many pop rock bands achieved popularity, especially due to being featured in anime, such as B'z

Mr. Children

and Glay

The 80s and 90s also spawned thrash and death metal bands such as United

and Outrage

Black metal bands like Sabbat

and Sigh

and Doom metal bands like Church of Misery

and Boris

Today there are several Japanese metal bands that are once again capturing a major audience in the West such as the insane nu metal meets thrash metal meets hardcore punk of Maximum the Hormone who you may recognize from the second opening and ending of Death Note. These guys are probably my favorite Japanese band.

and the J-Pop meets metal of Babymetal

and the pop nu metal band Man with a Mission


That wraps up our look at some rock and metal from Japan! Sound off in the comments with your favorite Japanese artists! It doesn't have to be rock or metal for those of you who like other genres. Join us next week when we take a look at a country south of Japan, very south.

Metal Monday is a weekly column by DisturbedShadow on TAY that discusses all things metal. Every Monday morning, we will discuss something metal related and leave you with a playlist to listen to. If it has to do with gaming you'll find it on TAY and if not you can find it over on TAYClassic.

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