The Law of Devil's Land

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Hang on -- don't shut off your CD player just yet! Despite its downright silly intro, "Theme of Loudness (Part II)" (which recklessly marries Queen-like chorused guitars and a military march to an absurd children's chorus straight out of a bad Japanese cartoon), Loudness' third effort, 1983's Law of Devil's Land soon launches into one of the band's best ever compositions -- monster concert opener "In the Mirror." See? Told you it was worth it. And it doesn't end there, as guitar wizard Akira Takasaki leads his troops through their most accomplished collection of tunes thus far, including the anthemic "Sleepless Night," the menacing "Black Wall," and the self-explanatory "Speed." Quite simply, this is the album where Loudness came of age, and even their experiments with a more commercial style (radio single "Wish You Were Here") and flirtations with progressive rock ("Mr. Yes Man") are carried out with confidence and power. In fact, the only thing which makes it hard to recommend this album as their best, and the first which should be sought out by new fans, is the fact that it remains largely unavailable to Western consumers except as an import.

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