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Country Japan

Style Hard Rock/Heavy Metal

578687_379360248770860_373731575_nEarthshaker (アースシェイカ) is a Japanese hard n’ heavy band that was formed in 1978 in Osaka. Their earlier music was very similar in style to countrymen Loudness and Anthem, but the band steered toward a poppier sound on later albums and dropped from worldwide view, preferring to record and tour in their home country.The band follows in Y&T’s footsteps, creating their sound at a time when the very idea of heavy metal music was still being developed. Unlike their more metal-minded countrymen in Anthem, Earthshaker has a slightly bluesy, more melodic hard rock sound that owed more to the American West Coast rock style than the NWOBHM. 

1983’s self-titled album is the first offering from Earthshaker. It’s a blistering set of hard rock songs that features some killer guitar work. The vocals are a bit uneven, thanks in part to lyrics that alternate between English and Japanese. Their album was produced by DJ, critic and all-round Japanese metal guru, Seisoku Itoh, otherwise known as ‘Masa Itoh’. The song ‘Dark Angel’ on that album was written by Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden, which goes some way to describing how traditionally-styled the metal on their first album was. The 1999 Japanese import version of Earthshaker features digitally remastered sound. It doesn’t completely eliminate the flaws in the original production, but it definitely helps.

Fugitive released in 1984, the second full length recording from Earthshaker is a hard hitting opus, propelled by the axe work of Shara, and the energetic vocals of Marcy. There are several choice cuts on offer here, including the album opener “Kioku No Naka”, plus “Love Destiny” and the driving force of “More”.  The album again licensed to Music For Nations and with a guesting Mitchell From of Gammma on keyboards, also scored well.

With “Midnight Flight” their third effort, the direction is pretty much the same, though with a couple of exceptions the overall quality of material seems to be a lot stronger. The album meelled to be their last European release. Passion released in 1985 and although recorded in L.A. this was only released in Japan (with Japanese lyrics). Like its predecessor Midnight Flight sound, songs and playing are timeless. This one contains the anthem “Arigato Kimini” (one of the best ballads ever written) and “The Night We Had”, which is also a classic.   As they changed their sound to more commercial with the addition of keys help them to gain popularity even amongst mainstream music fans. Which was the reason, that they managed to play the Nippon Budokan in 1986, a first for a domestic Heavy Metal band while the same year they released “Overrun” through Kng Records. Their success followed by the albums “Aftershock” released in 1987 and “Smash” came out in 1988 where in “Smash” album the song “Don’t Look Back” was the theme song for the anime Borgman.


After a good few years of success, the band split up in 1994 citing musical differences, where according to Shara part of the reason was the by then overwhelming obsession of vocalist Marcy’s with mainstream pop music. In 1994 Shinichiro Ishihara forged side act SLY, a high profile union with ousted Loudness singer Minoru Niihara, Blizzard bassist Koichi Terasawa and Loudness drummer Munetaka Higuchi, this unit releasing four albums. Vocalist ‘Marcy’ Masafumi Nishida released a solo album and toured Japan in 2000.

After eight years they returned with a new full lenght album titled “Birthday” released in November 2001. Drummer Yoshihirio Kudo would team up with the erstwhile Deep Purple pairing of Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner for their Hughes Turner Project tour of Japan in May of 2002. A new album released in 2003 titled “Soko-Ni Aru Shi”, an album that can be described as an inferior degree of music. The band the same year tour for the anniversaryof 20 years since their debut album, that also released on DVD with a selection of tunes never heard before. 

During 2004 with the release of “Faith” guitarist Shinichiro Ishihara united with former Marino man Reibun Ohtani to perform an acoustic live set, captured on the April release ‘Rock Ballads: Secret Live At Tokyo’.  Three years after the release of “Faith” a new album came out named “AIM” that bring memories from the Midnight Flight era, while released on limited edtion 2CD+DVD contain demo recording from 81-82. In 2009 with the release of “The Course of Life” made a guest appearance with LA Guns in their Japan tour. The band in 2015 is in tour to promote their brand new album “Bird”.


– Earthshaker [1983]
– Fugitive [1984]
– Midnight Flight [1984]
– Passion [1985]
– Overrun [1986]
– Aftershock [1987]
– Smash [1988]
– Treachery [1989]
– Pretty Good! [1990]
– Earthshaker [1992]
– Real [1993]
– Birthday [2001]
– Soko Ni Aru Uta [2003]
– Faith [2004]
– Aim [2007]
– Quarter [2008]
– The Course Of Life [2009]
– Back to Nexus [2010]
– Pray For The Earth [2011]
– The Earthshaker [2013]
– Bird [2015]

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