Nozomu Wakai’s DESTINIA – Metal Souls (2018)
Skilled guitarist Nozomu Wakai set out to release new album “Metal Souls” under his project Nozomu Wakai’s DESTINIA via Frontiers Music next month. Joined by a stellar line-up consisting of Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, CoreLeoni, Lords Of Black), Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies) and Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake, David Coverdale), this is a strong 10-track rocker of an album.
Nozomu Wakai hailed in Japan for bringing forth authentic and melodic hard rock in the 21st century, has led his project Nozomu Wakai’s Destinia over the course of two albums, ‘“Requiem for a Scream’ (2014) and ‘Anecdote of the Queens’ (2015).
He has also been recognized in the Japanese hard rock and metal scene for contributions on guitar, compositions, and sound direction on releases by the country’s leading musicians and anime’s.
In 2016, during his journey to find Destinia’s new musical direction, Nozomu witnessed a performance by Lords Of Black – featuring vocalist Ronnie Romero – at Loud Park 16, the metal festival in Japan. Though Nozomu was well aware of Ronnie’s abilities, he was hit hard by the performance of the new Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow singer.
An offer was made to join together and it was decided that Ronnie would participate as the vocalist in his project.
Having set his course for the new compositions, Nozomu made the decision to offer Marco Mendoza, bassist from The Dead Daisies and solo musician, and Tommy Aldridge from Whitesnake, the rhythm section rhythm section duties.
It was an obvious choice for Nozomu’s music, which demanded the presence of two musicians with vast knowledge of the history of hard rock / metal. Upon listening to Nozomu’s music, Marco and Tommy were thrilled to get involved. Nozomu was honored to have two of his biggest influences join the band.
Nozomu describes the musical direction and aspirations of Destinia as “classic modern” catchy melodic metal with a traditional hard rock groove. The music goes beyond the the classy sound & style for these genres, in the same vein as Rainbow, Whitesnake, Dio, etc.
The title song kicks off the album and sets the tone: ‘Metal Souls’ is a punchy and catchy metallic tune with lots of melodies and it clearly has loud echoes of the ’80s, dominated by Wakai’s guitar playing and Romero’s powerful voice.
But as heard in second track ‘Rain’, the hard rock groove is present all over the record with several keyboards providing color. This particular track even has some little AOR touches, and Mendoza’s deep bass lines pump the song which sports as well a terrific multi-layered chorus and of course, a swirling solo.
It isn’t a coincidence that Frontiers Music decided to release “Metal Souls”. Destinia fits in well musically with Frontiers’ other artists, and this album will please a wide audience, including his traditional melodic hard rock / AOR fans.
Just listen to ‘Raise Your Fist’: this is AOR in steroids, anthemic, with a singalong chorus, keyboard fills, bouncy (and awesome) rhythm section, and a fiery melodious guitar solo.
‘Promised Land’ sounds like the more melodic Jorn side, while ‘Be A Hero’ could pass as a Dio track forward 2018. Killer tunes.
Make no mistake with Nozomu Wakai’s DESTINIA “Metal Souls”; this is a terrific, classic hard rock / melodic metal album full of melody, catchy choruses and top notch musicianship.
It’s benefited by a 10-track only selection, all good – no fillers, a crisp production and that ’80s vibe’.
You have Romero / Mendoza / Aldridge… wow, a dream team, and Wakai’s guitar riffs / solos are precise and to the point.
Seriously, this is one of the best composed / performed / produced classic hard & metal album I heard in a long time.
01 – Metal Souls
02 – Rain
03 – The End of Love
04 – Promised Land
05 – Take Me Home
06 – Raise Your Fist
07 – Be a Hero
08 – Metamorphosis
09 – Cross The Line
10 – Judgement Day
Nozomu Wakai (guitar) (Paul Shortino Band)
Ronnie Romero (vocals) (CoreLeoni, Rainbow, Lords Of Black)
Marco Mendoza (bass, vocals) (The Dead Daisies)
Tommy Aldridge (drums) (Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne)