|This article relies on references to primary sources. (April 2011)|
|Genres||Heavy metal, speed metal, power metal, anison|
Sony Music Entertainment
|Associated acts||Anthem, Galneryus, Gargoyle, Zigoku Quartet, Pink Lady, JAM Project, Eizo Japan, Animetal USA|
They were composed of several luminaries of the Japanese metal scene, most notably vocalist Eizo Sakamoto, who has been involved off and on with Anthem (one of the first Japanese heavy metal bands to achieve name recognition outside of Japan in the 1980s) as well as participating in various other projects including the pop rock group Nerima, the JAM Project, and a successful solo career where he also plays lead guitar as well as vocals.
As of 2006, the band is currently on indefinite hiatus. Sakamoto has since begun a similar project called Eizo Japan, but in 2013 he announced that he and She-Ja were reforming Animetal as Aisenshi (哀旋士).
Their music can be classified as speed metal and power metal with a very high level of musical virtuosity, especially on the guitarists' (initially She-Ja for the first four albums, then Syu from Animetal Marathon V to the present) and bassist Masaki's parts. Masaki, in particular from Animetal Marathon IV onward, has shown an intensely active and aggressive approach to his instrument with fluid soloing, manic slapping and popping, energetic fills, and crashing chords for punctuation. The albums are structured as nearly seamless barrages of short songs woven into well-structured medleys that sound as though the band simply enters the studio and lays down virtually the entire album from start to finish in one go, with occasional overdubs and breaks in the action here and there.
Part of the band's nostalgic factor is their incorporation of popular rock/metal instrumentals into some of the songs. For instance, their version of "Choujuu Sentai Liveman" is played to the tune of Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law".
The lyrics are almost entirely in Japanese with occasional lines of "Engrish", which may partly account for why they are virtually unknown outside of Japan, aside from the fact they admittedly are playing to a very small niche market. For a short time, they incorporated Pink Lady vocalist Mie into the band, hence the name change to "Animetal Lady", and recorded two albums with her distinctive and melodic vocals that are much more commercially accessible than the rest of the Animetal discography.
While they're known more for their covers, the band has a few original songs, including the ballad "Eternal Future" (永遠の未来 Towa no Mirai ) from the Rurouni Kenshin film.
- Katsuji – drums (1997–2006)
- Mie – lead vocals in Animetal Lady (1997–1998, 2002)
- Kouichi Seiyama – keyboards (1997–1998, 2002)
- Marty Friedman – lead guitar on one track on Animetal Lady Marathon II (2002)
- Nov – vocals on "Ai o Torimodose!!" (2001)
- Mitsuo Takeuchi – vocals on "Galactic Gale Baxinger" (2001)
- She-Ja – guitar (1997–2001)
- Yasuhiro Umezawa – drums (1997–1998)
- Shinki – drums on "Yuuki no Akashi" (1998)
- Munetaka Higuchi – drums on Animetal Summer and "Sentimetal" (1997)
- Take-Shit – bass on This is Animetal (1997)
- Animetal Marathon (アニメタル・マラソン Animetaru Marason )
- Animetal Marathon II: Tokusatsu Collection (アニメタル・マラソンⅡ ～特撮編～ Animetaru Marason Tsū ~Tokusatsu Hen~ )
- This Is Japanimetal Marathon (Asia-only release)
- Best of Animetal (アニメタルのベスト Animetaru no Besuto )
- Animetal Marathon III: Tsuburaya Productions Collection (アニメタル・マラソンⅢ ～円谷プロ編～ Animetaru Marason Surī ~Tsuburaya Puro Hen~ )
- Complete First Live
- Complete Last Live
- Animetal Marathon IV (アニメタル・マラソンⅣ Animetaru Marason Fō )
- Animetal Marathon V (アニメタル・マラソンⅤ Animetaru Marason Faibu )
- Animetal Marathon VI (アニメタル・マラソンⅥ Animetaru Marason Shikkusu )
- Animetal Marathon VII: Fight! The Metal Heroes (アニメタル・マラソンⅦ ～戦え!メタル・ヒーロー～ Animetaru Marason Sebun ~Tatakae! Metaru Hīrō )
- Decade of Bravehearts
- "Animetal" (アニメタル Animetaru )
- "This Is Animetal"
- "Let's Go With Tokusatsu!" (特撮でいこう！ Tokusatsu de Ikō! )
- "Animetal Summer" (アニメタル・サマー Animetaru Samā )
- "Sentimetal" (センチメタル Senchimetaru )
- "Meeting the Old Enemy" (宿敵見参！ Shukuteki Kenzan! ) from Rurouni Kenshin: Requiem for the Ishin Shishi
- "The Ten Swords" (The 十本刀 The Jūppon Gatana ) from Rurouni Kenshin: Requiem for the Ishin Shishi
- "Eternal Future" (永遠の未来 Towa no Mirai ) ending theme of Rurouni Kenshin: Requiem for the Ishin Shishi
- "Proof of Courage" (勇気の証 Yūki no Akashi )
- "THE ANIMETAL ～RE-BIRTH HEROES～"
- "For The Bravehearts Only!"
- The Fourth Marathon
- The Psycho Marathon
- Songs for Everlasting Future
- Animetal Lady has Arrived! (アニメタル・レディー参上！ Animetaru Redī Sanjō! )
- Animetal Lady has been Found! (アニメタル・レディー見参！ Animetaru Redī Kenzan! )
- Animetal Lady Marathon (アニメタル・レディー・マラソン Animetaru Redī Marason )
- Animetal Lady Marathon II (アニメタル・レディー・マラソンⅡ Animetaru Redī Marason Tsū )