(Album Review) “Amahiru” by AMAHIRU

Amahiru are described as combining ‘traditional metal with melodic and oriental infused elements’ and it’s a pretty apt description. All of these elements throw themselves at you from the off – the opening track ‘Innocent’ gives a great taste of their sound. The oriental elements have a prominent place, they aren’t lost or merely added in here and there for the sake of it.

Expectations for this album were set relatively high upon seeing the powerhouse of a line-up. Frédéric Leclercq and SAKI, the brains behind the project, are joined by Coen Janssen of Epica, Mike Heller, drummer of Fear Factory and Raven, and Archie Wilson on vocals. Also, the shakuhachi (a traditional Japanese woodwind instrument), was recorded by the Japanese virtuoso Kifu Mitsuhashi. Archie’s vocals deliver a fantastic range of clean and harsh styles across the album. His tone fits really well with more melodic aspects whilst also delving into powerful distortion to give a darker sound. Not unsurprisingly, this record is bursting at the seams with powerful soaring melodies for every instrument. The precision of the performances is immaculate and also well balanced. Each instrument is audible with out any particular sounds diving in and stealing the limelight. The composition displayed on ‘Amahiru’ is of a ludicrously high quality.

The chorus of ‘Way Out’ features a fantastic soaring melody for the lead vocal line. It produces a powerful, uplifting effect. The presence of fast paced guitar rhythms coming in half-way through the chorus gives the soaring element a boost of power underneath. This track in general just has a great energy and feel. The bridge section explores a darker, heavier sound across the instruments adding in a well-designed contrast. The fast pace of the lead guitars in this track is just insane. ‘Lucky Star’, featuring Elize Ryd, best known as one of the vocalists in Amaranthe, is a high energy track with pop-metal elements. Perfectly suited to Elize’s style. The presence of both her vocals and Archie’s in the track adds something extra. The tones and textures of their voices blend together really nicely.

‘Amahiru’ is an incredible debut album. The abilities of all those involved combine together fantastically to produce dynamic music that has a distinctive edge. Each track brings something new without deviating from the unique aspect of their identity, allowing the whole album to flow seamlessly from start to finish.





Frédéric Leclercq — Rhythm and Lead Guitar + Bass Guitar

SAKI — Lead Guitar

Archie Wilson — Vocals

Coen Janssen — Keys

Mike Heller — Drums



  1. “Innocent”
  2. “WTTP”
  3. “Hours”
  4. “Way Out”
  5. “Ninja No Tamashii”
  6. “Vanguard”
  7. “Bringing Me Down”
  8. “Lucky Star” (Feat. Elize Ryd)
  9. “Waves”
  10. “Samurai”
  11. “Bringing Me Down (Feat. Sean Reinert) [Alternative Version]
  12. “Zombi” (Bonus Track)

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Also check out the video for “WTTP” below!

Author: Holly Royle

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