ReviewsHagane - Life Goes On (Euclid Agency)

Hagane – Life Goes On (Euclid Agency)

Shredding Japanese power metal act Hagane took a bit of a hit last year when vocalist Uyu, guitarist Mayto, and drummer Kanako left the band (Uyu and Mayto went on to form Mana Diagram thereafter). But earlier this year, it was announced that Hagane was soldiering on, with a new vocalist in Nagi and drummer Juuna, as a four-piece. Life Goes On is the first taste of new material since, and it bodes well for the band’s future.

Comprised of five songs (two of which do not contain vocals), Life Goes On is a showcase of what the revamped Hagane can do. Following the slow, epic build of intro “Victoire,” Hagane wastes no time in going right into the shred-fest in “Tengagoken.” Sakura’s furious riffing sets a galloping pace, even when it’s tempered by a greater sense of melodies. Vocalist Nagi shines on the chorus, as she strikes a delicate balance of power and soothing with her voice. But not to be outdone, the battering ram of “Hero Time” comes in next, ripping up the floor with intense thrashing and frantic drum flourishes, accented by some hook-y melodies and Nagi’s commanding vocal presence. Instrumental “DATT” offers some catchy rolling bass and plenty of time for Sakura’s guitar solos to chew the scenery, almost sounding like an ode to something you’d hear in the Mega Man series with it’s video game-y but hooky melodies. It’s a short track that doubles down on the playfulness and doesn’t outstay its welcome. Closing with the title track, it’s a triumphant piece that balances the usual shreddy guitarwork with more melodic, epic moments in the chorus and finishes the EP on a high note.

Hagane have proved they can weather the storm of losing much of their line-up and still bring power metal that has as much charm as it does shred with Life Goes On. Their brand of metal is fun and memorable, while containing the complex and furious guitar work that one would hope for in a group like this, and acts as a statement that Hagane have much more to say in the future.

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