Japan – Land of the Rising SLAM!

April 14, 2010

Gorevent: note the chick in the Devourment T shirt

It’s interesting to see how cultures vary across the world. When I say this, I’m not really referring to the “classical culture”, that had African tribes working on extreme body mods long before Pauly Unstoppable, and had us brits drinking copious tea and wearing dashing outfits while we “discovered” the world. These are obvious differences that of course are gonna happen as individual culture develops. Instead, I refer to culture in todays “net 2.0” generation, where any trend is instantly viral, spreading throughout the world via blogs and music videos, ready for adoption by all who choose to incorporate it into their personal brand (or just straight out copy the entire thing). You can observe european interpretation of wiggerdom, and Americans trying to be Japanese, and everything gets twisted through a kaleidoscope of personal interpretations and cultural differences.

I have a kind of morbid hard on for some of Japanese culture. Not that I’m some kind of cos playing Naruto fan (although I dig some anime), no, what i really dig is the fucked up extremes of the stuff, the films where blood sprays from every orifice in unquenching fountains, where girls get chopped in half, then their vagina’s grow into crocodile jaws, where all fight scenes involve loss of limbs, and not just tussled hair. The pornography that involves tentacles, and now, the death metal scene. I love the fact that the culture seems to operate so far away from western censorship and morality, and thrives on unabridged gore, rape and bright garish colors (interestingly enough, Japan has the lowest incident of rape pretty much anywhere). Of course, this is only a microcosm of the rich cultural tapestry that is Japan, but I feel it is very much the side responsible for Japanese slam metal.

This film is one of the most surreal hour and a half’s I’ve ever experienced. Don’t watch the video if gore ain’t your thing.

Anyway, I think that the interest in gore and the culture it seems to have over there has met with the gore culture prevalent in death metal, and it seems to have produced the wonderful scene of Japanese slam. Japanese metal has been largely absent or laughable, and although I’m probably not in the best viewing seat to their “scene”, here in Manchester, although as far as I’m aware, it consists of X Japan, J-Rock bands like Nightmare, or now, Slam. For some reason, only the most extreme genre of metal has inspired a scene over there. It’s like there was the 80’s, with hair metal, then they just skipped thrash and death metal, and instead have just jumped right in the deep end around 2004, and gone straight for slam. This IS their definition of death metal btw. The think of Devourment and Suffocation, not Deicide and Death. I wish there was more of that here tbh.

I am, obviously, woefully out of the Japanese slam metal scene, so I have no idea who the “leaders” of the scene are. They all seem to worship, like every Slam group, at the altar of Devourment. So here are just some of the bands I dig. You’re probably best off rummaging through the last.fm Japanese Death Metal page for a more extensive look, but hey.


Note the Hatebreed like attire, wiggerish arm movements, and awesome vocals.

I feel that this video is probably very relevant as well, due to the awesome double bass drumming and absurd dancing at 0:33

Blunt Force Trauma

These guys are probably the most internationally acclaimed Japanese slam group, via an awesome split with Russian slammers Katalepsy (I guess other than the US, Russia is the other slam hotbed). They are also proud owners of the accolade of best song title ever, the brilliant “Fight in Anus”, which is probably the best example of Engrish I’ve ever heard.


Check out the “about” section on their myspace if you want some lols at Engrish!

Infernal Revulsion

It’s also interesting how none of these bands seem to be capitalizing too much on the internet. There are no lush myspace layouts, no bigcartel merch stores, and little else other than youtube and last.fm. In a way this kind of makes me feel like the scene is kind of more exclusive than most, and if I’m ever in Japan I’ll be doing my best to get in there somehow.

In short, the Japanese death metal movement seems to be a mixture of Wiggerdom, awesome Japanese Gore films and the culture that permits it, and of course, Slam metal. I’m sure Wayne Knupp would be proud were he around to see this.




  1. gave tokyo gore police a watch and it’s disgustingly hillarious

    • Indeed! Theres plenty more where that came from (Japan)

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