LOVEBITES

Power Metal • Japan
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Lovebites are a Japanese power metal band, formed in 2016. They released one EP in early 2017, titled The Lovebites EP, followed by a full length album later that same year, titled Awakening from Abyss. Compared to other Japanese power metal bands, they play a very aggressive brand of power metal, with some very heavy riffs and deep, powerful vocals.
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LOVEBITES Discography

LOVEBITES albums / top albums

LOVEBITES Awakening from Abyss album cover 4.44 | 13 ratings
Awakening from Abyss
Power Metal 2017
LOVEBITES Clockwork Immortality album cover 4.44 | 12 ratings
Clockwork Immortality
Power Metal 2018
LOVEBITES Electric Pentagram album cover 4.47 | 7 ratings
Electric Pentagram
Power Metal 2020

LOVEBITES EPs & splits

LOVEBITES The Lovebites EP album cover 4.83 | 3 ratings
The Lovebites EP
Power Metal 2017
LOVEBITES Battle Against Damnation album cover 4.57 | 7 ratings
Battle Against Damnation
Power Metal 2018

LOVEBITES live albums

LOVEBITES Daughters of the Dawn - Live in Tokyo 2019 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Daughters of the Dawn - Live in Tokyo 2019
Power Metal 2019
LOVEBITES Five of a Kind album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Five of a Kind
Power Metal 2020

LOVEBITES demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LOVEBITES re-issues & compilations

LOVEBITES singles (0)

LOVEBITES movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Daughters of the Dawn - Live in Tokyo 2019
Power Metal 2019
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Five of a Kind
Power Metal 2020

LOVEBITES Reviews

LOVEBITES Electric Pentagram

Album · 2020 · Power Metal
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adg211288
Japanese act Lovebites do not have the most metal sounding name. You'd think that a metal band with such a name would, at most, belong to the glam metal genre (in fact there is a glam metal act with the similar name Lovebite). The all female band has never been afraid to show off their femininity either, challenging the entire genre's stereotypes on image since they hit the scene, but that's not actually unusually for Japanese acts. These things may lead those out there with a habit of pre-judging to get the wrong idea about what kind of music that Lovebites play or if they do get it right, assume that the calibre of the band will be the same as others in their country's little sub-scene.

So let's say it plainly: Lovebites plays power metal infused with old school speed/thrash metal influences, with some tasteful but never domineering symphonic elements. Any uses of terms like j-pop and Visual kei to describe them is by those judging based on mere association with other power metal acts of the Japanese sub-scene or the members gender itself, which in this context may even amount to the same thing, since those other Japanese female power metal bands sometimes do have these things. More important than Lovebites' genre, is their chops as musicians. These young ladies are some of the best in the game right now, showcases blistering power metal speed from all four instrumentalists and incredible guitar solos. They also have a great singer in Asami, whose voice admittedly comes across as very accented to these English ears, yet for me that just adds a regional charm to the band. Togther they fully deserve to be recognised not just as Japan's best power metal export since Galneryus, but also one of the best power metal acts to emerge in the 2010s, a decade which gave the world the masterful albums Awakening From Abyss (2017) and Clockwork Immortality (2018).

Electric Pentagram (2020), the band's third full-length album that continues their Morbid Angel-esque naming conventions (the EP Battle Against Damnation (2018) and live album Daughters of the Dawn (2019) were sandwiched between the full-length albums, while Electric Pentagram has more recently been followed by a second live album, Five of a Kind (2020) - so we can only assume their next release will start with a G), is therefore the work of a band who already has nothing left to prove. It would have been very easy for it to be the record where the band slipped up. Instead it's the work of a band that don't seem to be losing any creative steam just yet.

One caveat with that last statement though, I would say that Electric Pentagram doesn't make itself more essential than what Lovebites has already released up until this point. For me their first album is the one that remains the true must have. While Clockwork Immortality was in many ways a refinement, wow factor and nostalgia are powerful things. Someone who discovered Lovebites through a later album (including this one) could easily feel the same about it as I do about their first. On Electric Pentagram it does feel like the band have taken a step back toward the debut again in terms of influences – more obvious deviations into speed metal and even some outright thrashy territory compared to Clockwork Immortality's more polished sound, but the differences between all three albums are really subtle.

What I can say about Electric Pentagram though is that it's another collection of great songs from Lovebites. It is perhaps their weakest album on account of the length though. It's seventy minutes long, which is a lot for a power metal album to be honest. They do have the skill to handle it without it getting into the area of being too much of a good thing, but the previous albums do come across as tighter packages for being even just ten minutes shorter, as was the case with the debut. It's not that there's an excessive amount of songs included here, just twelve, which is the same number as Awakening From Abyss, but their writing style, while never too elongated, has produced no track shorter than five minutes this time (with that said nothing breaks seven minutes either), so on paper it does start to look a little formulaic, like they've sat down and said 'okay, this is what works, let's stick to it'. With that said, I couldn't possible pinpoint any exact point where I'd say they should have trimmed something down or any particular song that should have been pruned entirely; it's just a feeling that upon conclusion, while an immensely satisfying third album, that this will go down on one to complement better, more essential works by Lovebites. I feel like they are at the point where their next record will need to try to be braver and break some new ground, though of course hopefully without ruining the identity of the band.

In summary I have enjoyed Electric Pentagram a lot, with a few cautious criticism that don't really detract from my enjoyment while listening to it, though this will be the lowest rating I've given to a Lovebites album so far and that sounds like a blow but this is is still a 4.5 star album for me, just following two 5 star albums, which is a pretty damn good achievement for any band. I still think that Electric Pentagram is a stronger release that many new power metal albums are as well and reviewing it in October after it's January 2020 release I can safely say that it's still the one to beat for the year in the genre.

LOVEBITES Clockwork Immortality

Album · 2018 · Power Metal
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Warthur
Awakening From Abyss, Lovebites' debut album, instantly established the power metal credibility of an act whose stage attire initially seemed more appropriate to a poppier context (though they've been evolving that more recently). This second album isn't quite the intense power metal hit which the debut was, and I get the impression the band are taking the opportunity to spread their wings stylistically.

In particular, there seem to be a few more symphonic-esque moments, a few more ballad-esque moments, and in particular a few more pop hooks. Make no mistake, though, they've not abandoned their power metal roots in the slightest and the compositions here are always at least nine-tenths that - they're just experimenting a bit with that last tenth. The end result is an album which is solidly performed and varied enough in its sound to stay interesting, but doesn't quite offer anything as eye-opening as the original. Still, with their music clearly evolving here, I hold out hopes that Lovebites will continue to evolve and refine their sound in future.

LOVEBITES Clockwork Immortality

Album · 2018 · Power Metal
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DippoMagoo
Japan’s power metal scene is something I’ve gotten some enjoyment out of in the past, mostly from the likes of Galneryus, MinstreliX and Aldious, but I’ve never been fully hooked on it. The latter of those three bands is an all female power metal band, which has almost become its own scene in and of itself in Japan, with that particular band leading the way, while others have risen up to follow suit. The latest such band, emerging in early 2017, is Lovebites, who released a four track EP in May of 2017, before releasing their full length debut, Awakening from Abyss, in October of that same year. Just looking at promotional photos of the band, and seeing five beautiful women in white dresses, one certainly couldn’t be blamed for thinking the band isn’t out to break any trends. However, overlooking the band and lapping them in there with the likes of Aldious and Cyntia would be a massive mistake, one which I thankfully managed to avoid making, as after seeing glowing reviews for their debut, I decided to give it a listen for myself, and suffice to say, I was not disappointed! The band has their own unique sound, which I’ll go into more detail about in the following paragraph, but essentially, they play a mix of Euro power metal and speed metal as well as some classic heavy metal elements, with just a tiny amount of the kind of J-Pop influences one would expect from the scene, to help keep that distinct Japanese flavor fully in tact. They made quite the splash with their aforementioned debut, before quickly following it up this past June with another four track EP, Battle Against Damnation. Unlike their first EP, which was essentially a mini preview of their full length debut, this one contained four new and entirely separate songs, which to date have not been reused, so it’s very much worth collecting on its own, especially since it very much kept up with the songwriting quality of their debut and some stunning moments of its own. By this point, the band had already established quite the worldwide following, and they managed to sign a deal with Arising Empire to release their second album in Europe, which should help them branch out even further. Between that and a recent European tour, it seems that band has come a long way in in just over a year and a half! Moving on, though, their second full length album, Clockwork Immortality is now here, and it’s every bit as awesome as I was hoping it would be!

One thing I was interested about when hearing this album for the first time, was whether or not it would have the same feeling of the debut, or if the band would reduce the heaviness a bit and become more like their peers. Needless to say, that hasn’t happened in the least, and so fans who were blown by the band’s previous work, should be just as pleased with this album. For those who’ve never heard the band before, they play a surprisingly hard hitting brand of power metal, led by dueling guitarists Midori and Miyaka (with the latter also playing keyboards), and the two of them are clearly the stars here, playing everything from some crushingly heavy thrash riffs, to straight Euro power metal melodies at times, to some classic Maiden style galloping riffs, to some absolutely incredible solos, where the two constantly go back and forth trying to outdo each other, and the results are always epic and absolutely stunning to listen to. Bassist Miho and drummer Haruna originally played in the now disbanded Destrose, and so they already have experience in the scene, and they both do an excellent job with the rhythm section, with the bass in particular being very noticeable in the mix, and so fans of the bass should be pleased with that.

I first discovered the band with Awakening from Abyss, and started the album from the very beginning, so I was immediately blown away by the thrashy riffs presented near the start of the first full song “The Hammer of Wrath” on that album. While there isn’t anything quite that aggressive on this release, the guitar work is still as impressive as ever, and there’s definitely still some very hard hitting riffs, especially on the likes of “Mastermind 01”, “M.D.O” and “Journey to the Other Side”, which are conveniently placed together to make for one awesome trio of heaviness. The songwriting is just as impressive as on the debut, with a perfect balance heavier tracks and more melodic tracks. The majority of the songs are very fast paced, as expected, but the band does throw in a couple of surprises, including one lighter track with some strong J-Pop influences, as well as an epic ballad, which closes out the album. Everything here is amazing, with the heavier tracks all being equal parts heavy, epic and catchy, while some of the more melodic sections are absolutely beautiful, and of the course the instrumental sections are absolutely stunning. The album is an absolute delight from start to finish, just like their first album was, and everything is perfect, from the performances to the songwriting and the production.

Another area where the band might surprise some people is the vocals, for a couple of reasons. First off, most bands in this scene tend to favor lighter, more pop infused vocals, where lead singer Asami has a very deep and powerful voice, which fits perfectly within a metal backdrop. She’s equally impressive singing on frantic, hard hitting thrash infused sections as she is singing lighter, catchier sections. While her voice is pretty deep most of the time, she does hit some really high notes on occasion, and these sound just as impressive as everything else. One other way in which the vocals differ from many Japanese bands in general (and one thing which I think helps me enjoy the band even more), is where many Japanese bands either sing entirely in Japanese, or use some kind of mix between Japanese and English, Asami sings entirely in English (with one exception on their first EP) and her pronunciations are generally quite good, with her accent being more charming than distracting. Usually when I listen to Japanese metal bands, I have to focus entirely on the music while ignoring the vocals, but with Lovebites, that isn’t the case, as Asami does an excellent job, and I find her vocals to be consistently charming, engaging and at times beautiful.

Obviously, going into this album I knew I loved the band’s overall sound, and so the one area that had even the slightest chance of coming up short was the songwriting, especially given how quickly the band has been working lately. Thankfully, any worries about a rushed release or a lack of strong creative ideas are quickly thrown out the window, as the songs here are just as engaging and as fully fleshed out as anything the band has done in the past. Obviously, the opening of Awaken from Abyss is going to be near impossible to top, but the band sure gave it their best effort here with “Addicted”. The track starts out with some very nice acoustic guitar work for close to a minute, before the full band kicks in and the heavy riffs fire up for the first time. The song moves along at a blazing fast pace and has a very classic Euro power metal feel to it, with fast, driving guitar work, fun verses, and a fast, addictive and very catchy chorus. Obviously, once the solo sections kicks in both guitarists go all out to great effect, and overall it’s an amazing track, which gets the album off to a flying start. Next is “Pledge of the Savior”, which keeps the momentum going. It’s another very fast paced track, with faint traces of those galloping riffs I mentioned earlier. It’s a slightly lighter, more melodic track than the opener, but it still moves at a blazing pace and it still has some great riffs, as well as another super fun chorus, and an excellent instrumental section. The guitar work in between verses is particularly awe inspiring, and overall the song is amazing. The lead single for the album is “Rising”, another very fast paced track, which is the lightest track up to this point, with some absolutely beautiful melodies. It’s the first track here to include some symphonic elements, mostly in the main melody and a bit during the chorus. It stays fast for most of its duration, only slowly down briefly for an epic bridge section, featuring piano work which Miyako says was influenced by the legendary Frederic Chopin, and this combined with Aaami’s vocals, help make for an epic lead in to what is probably the best solo section on the entire album, with Miyako and Midori both going all out and unleashing one stunning solo after another. Overall, it’s an absolute stunner of the track, and so the fact that it probably isn’t even one of my top three favorites here, just goes to show how amazing the album is on the whole!

The first surprise of the album is next, as “Empty Daydream” is one of the lighter songs here, having quite the distinct J-Pop feel to it. It’s a slower track, with some very nice, melodic lead guitar work, and it has slow verses, as well as an extremely light and catchy chorus. It’s one of the softest tracks the band has ever done, and yet it still has some excellent guitar work, especially during the solo section, which is the only point where the track starts to approach their usual heaviness. It’s such a fun and catchy track, though, I can’t help but love it the whole way through.

Fans hoping for more of the band’s heavier side will be quite pleased with the next portion of the album, especially the next three tracks in particular. First is “Mastermind 01”, which has a lead riff that brings the likes of Grave Digger to mind, and it stays quite heavy throughout the verses, while still giving room to a very melodic and catchy choruses. It definitely showcases the band’s heavier side very well, though, with some very hard hitting riffs and another stunning solo section. Next is my personal favorite, “M.D.O”, an absolute killer of a track, which comes charging out of the gate with some very thrashy guitar work during the verses, and it moves at an exhausting pace that doesn’t let up for a second, with a chorus that remains hard hitting, while managing to throw in just a bit of that J-Pop charm, to help make for something absolutely irresistible, and impossibly addictive! The solo section remains very heavy, and is of course amazing as usual. The softest of these three tracks is “Journey to the Other Side”, which still manages to pack in some heavy riffs during the verses, before giving way to a melodic, emotional and absolutely beautiful chorus, where Asami gets to shine. These three tracks all perfectly demonstrate what makes this band so special, as they have a classic metal edge to them, with slight thrash influences, while still staying within Euro power metal territory, as well as mixing in just enough of that distinct Japanese charm to help them stand out from the pack. The fact they have stunning guitar solos to top it all off, is just icing on the cake.

Moving towards the end of the album, “The Final Collision” is slightly lighter than the previous three tracks, and has more a classic Euro power metal sound to it, with more of a focus on keyboards, slight symphonic elements, and another super catchy and very melodic chorus, as well as another excellent solo section, as always. Out of all other Japanese power metal bands I’ve heard, Lovebites come closest to Galneryus in their sound, and while nothing here quite invites that comparison as much as “Under the Red Sky” from Battle Against Damnation, “We the United” is in similar territory, with a slight neoclassical feel to the guitars and keyboards, as well as an overwhelmingly upbeat feel to the main melody and chorus, which of course the aforementioned band is notorious for having. The chorus is the kind of epic, super catchy and uplifting music fans would expect from the scene, and the band delivers it perfectly, while also throwing in some classic heavy metal style riffs at times, as well as yet another stunning solo section. Closing out the album is “Epilogue”, a seven minute ballad which is actually very atypical, both for the band and for ballads in general. It doesn’t really have a chorus, so much as it has a slow buildup during the first two minutes, with Asami leading the way with very soft vocals, accompanied by Miyako’s piano, before slowly giving way to an epic solo section, featuring some absolutely beautiful work from both guitarists, where the music has more feeling to it than any lyrics could possibly convey. This eventually leads to a section with some very powerful and absolutely beautiful vocals from Asami, before again going back to some more amazing solo work. Overall, it’s an absolutely stunning and beautiful track, which closes out the album perfectly.

I was expecting great things from Clockwork Immortality, as Lovebites managed to become one of my favorite bands almost overnight with their previous full length album, and I’m happy to say they have not disappointed me in the least, as this release is every bit as intense, beautiful, super fun and fully fleshed out as anything they’ve done in the past, with the same perfect blend of Euro power metal, classic heavy metal, some slight thrash influences and the kind of J-Pop charm fans of the scene would expect. The band has been working very fast as of late, so you’d think they’ve more than earned a bit of a break at this point, but whenever they put out more new music, I’ll certainly be excited for it, because they have proven themselves to be one of the most promising and most refreshing power metal bands in the world over the past year and a half, and I hope they can continue to do so for many more years to come!

originally written for myglobalmind.com: https://myglobalmind.com/2019/01/13/lovebites-clockwork-immortality-review/

LOVEBITES Awakening from Abyss

Album · 2017 · Power Metal
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Warthur
Don't be fooled for a second by the publicity photo showing the Lovebites members in little white dresses and high heels (so far as I can tell, that's a tie-in to the angelic figure on the album cover). Don't, in particular, be fool enough to assume that an all-woman band out of Japan is going to be some sort of pop-based spin on metal like Babymetal offer (though Babymetal's style is artistically exciting in its own right). Lovebites are, in fact, the most forceful and heavy group to hit the power metal scene for a good long time.

Lovebites consists of the rhythm section of the presently-dormant metal group Destrose (Miho on bass and Haruna on drums) with new musical partners; guitarists Midori and Mi-Ya seem to have prior metal chops, whilst lead singer Asami is so far as I can tell a new musical discovery who makes her recorded debut here. Perhaps the highest praise I can offer Asami is that she sounds absolutely confident with the group and delivers a forceful performance which is perfectly adapted to the music - epic power metal in which the dual guitar leads are constructed on a foundation of pounding, driving rhythmic force from Miho and Haruna.

Fantasy power metal is the sort of thing I tend to be a bit fussy about - I like some cheesy nonsense on occasion, but it has to be just right to really engage me. Lovebites hits the spot with astonishing ease, perhaps because they're not afraid to dip into the more rough-edged speed metal and heavy metal roots of the subgenre when they want to give things a bit more of an edge. (The intro to Scream For Me, for instance, wouldn't be entirely out of place on Judas Priest's Painkiller.) The end result is a sound that effortlessly breezes past any of my reservations about the subgenre and entrenches Lovebites at the top of the power metal mountain as far as I'm concerned.

Combining new material and updates of the songs from the original Lovebites EP, this debut album offers a striking statement of intent from a band who, if they play their cards right, could become the hottest new metal force on the planet. If that sounds like high praise, believe it or not I'm actually holding back - though this is a truly amazing album, the group is still new and the idea that they may actually get better as they hone their craft has me positively salivating for their next releases.

Sometimes you run into an album which just instantly snags you and makes you an immediate convert to a band's cause: for me, Awakening From Abyss is like that.

LOVEBITES Awakening from Abyss

Album · 2017 · Power Metal
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MorniumGoatahl
Japan has spawned a little hotbed of female fronted and all female metal bands in recent years. While the novelty and ridiculous among them may be the ones whose names have become household, such as the cringe-worthy Babymetal, most of them are pretty serious acts. Power metal is the usual genre that these acts embrace and with their debut album Awakening From Abyss, released in 2017, the latest act to join the ranks of this scene, Lovebites, have everything they need to storm to the head of the pack.

The main reason for this is simple: musicianship. While no disrespect is intended towards any other band from Japan's female dominant scene, it's obvious that Lovebites are a cut above the norm when it comes to technical level. This is what really helps to elevate their occasionally symphonic sound, which is otherwise very typical for a melodic power metal band, to the next level. Also the riffs have real bite to them, something the typical melodic power metal album often lacks, which makes the music heavier than you might expect an album described as typical melodic power metal to sound like. There are even speed metal and thrash metal leanings in them. And the energy that the musicians play with is infectious.

If there's a weak link to the band achieving some well deserved recognition it would be that the vocalist sings in a quite accented voice that makes it difficult to follow the English language lyrics most of the time. It makes me wonder if she wouldn't be more comfortable singing in her native Japanese. Her voice was a barrier to enjoyment at first, but I have to admit that it has grown on me. I require a lyrics sheet to understand every word though, even after multiple listens to the album.

Should such a typical melodic power metal from 2017 sound this good? Probably not, since it's a style done to death. But that just goes a long way to say that Lovebites, some issues aside, are the real deal. Awakening From Abyss is undoubtedly one of the best power metal releases of the 2010's. Well done ladies.

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more than 2 years ago
Very possibly the sexiest metal band on the planet. ;)

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