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Review of the Album Fang of the Sun by Japanese Thrash Metal Band Code Red

Updated on April 22, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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A Brief Introduction to the Band Code Red & Their Album Fang of the Sun

Code Red is a thrash metal band from Japan and these guys have been active since 1999 but they only have two full length albums out since that time. Their 2017 studio album called Fang of the Sun is some pretty heavy thrash metal that has good technicality and riffing in it but the vocals are so bad that I have a very hard time trying to decipher what is even being said. Normally that is one quality that is a deal breaker for fans of the heavy metal genre. I decided to give these guys and this album a chance.


Fang of the Sun Has Elements of Thrash Metal & Hardcore

There are elements of thrash and hardcore mixed into the album such as St. Hood and Kreator. On the song called Hunger Island, the sheer impressiveness of the lead guitar work is enough to make you say “oh my goodness!” The vocals as hard as they are to understand sound to me like the type you would hear from the band Soilwork but obviously, these vocals are not as good as Bjorn “Speed” Strid. Even so, this is an album that goes by fast when you are having fun.


Fang of the Sun Review & Analysis

This album starts with the short song called Repatriated Body Bags as there is a drumming sound that sets the tone followed by some very impressive guitar work. Fans of this genre do not have to worry about this album being a mess because the musicianship fits and works well enough. Rise of the Avenger has some Cannibal Corpse style guitar work in it followed by a very fast solo. “Toward the South” starts with some creative influenced German style thrash as this one flows very nicely. I am reminded of the album Enemy of God as I hear this song because the style of it is very similar to that album. However, Code Red must do something to improve its vocals otherwise it will have a very hard time competing with the seemingly endless thrash metal bands that are out there. The song Freezing Cold in terms of its style resembles Finnish hardcore thrash metal band Scalping Screen but the harshness isn't quite there. Who can match the intensity and brutality of Scalping Screen? Chaos/Salvation lyrically describes a scenario where there is much warfare. Once again ,the influence of Germany's Kreator is present in this song and vocals get just a bit rougher as the vocalist lowers his voice to make it sound kind of like a low harsh chant without being of the chanting style. Code Red certainly makes Japan's thrash metal scene one step better and certainly surpasses Tokyo's thrash metal veterans Fastkill by a wide margin I mean it isn't even close to compare those two bands. The band's name Code Red is also very interesting and the album's title Fang of the Sun might as well symbolize that the album is something for the avid thrash metal fan to sink their teeth into like a dog sinks its teeth into a bone because it wants to eat. The song called August 6, 1945 has the sounds of planes flying overhead to start this song and the title obviously refers to one of the days during World War 2 that the atomic bomb was dropped.

Japan is a nation that is not quite on the level of a Germany when it comes to thrash metal but they are slowly getting better and developing their talent. The key is going to be can they do enough to market their music outside of their borders or not. If they can, they will grow internationally. Code Red is a good band to check out if you are a fan of Kreator influenced thrash metal.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian

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