Devil Soldier

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Devil Soldier, from 1982, represented a quantum leap forward for Loudness. While it proved that the band still needed a little more time to develop their songwriting, it displayed a marked improvement in terms of arrangements, dynamics, and especially production values in the studio. Save for each song's chorus and the occasional verse, the band continued to deliver all lyrics in their native Japanese, but this in no way detracts from competent singles like "Angel Dust," "Girl," and energetic opener "Lonely Player." The album does feature the occasional misfire -- most notably the flinch-inducing chorus of "Hard Workin'." But as they move into side two, one can literally hear the band's confidence growing by leaps and bounds, as they barrel through a solid set of tunes, culminating in the ambitious seven-minute title track. Another firm step in the right direction, Devil Soldier set the stage for the best phase of Loudness' career.