Anthem - Bound to Break (1987)Release ID: 14690

Anthem - Bound to Break (1987) Cover
Daniel Daniel / October 25, 2023 / Comments 0 / 0

I’ve been very much looking forward to investigating some more of Tokyo heavy metal four-piece Anthem’s more widely celebrated releases after thoroughly enjoying my initial experiences with their highly regarded 1989 fifth album “Hunting Time” recently so I decided to give their 1987 third full-length “Bound To Break” a crack this week. It features a slightly different lineup with Eizo Sakamoto handling the microphone duties before Yukio Morikawa had entered the fold & Sakamoto proves himself to be a talented & powerful singer with his masculine tone being a highlight of the record. As with “Hunting Time”, English producer Chris Tsangarides has produced a particularly metal sounding album here too. It feels a lot like Judas Priest’s “Defenders of the Faith” in that way. The quality of the song-writing isn’t quite as strong as “Hunting Time” though with most of the tracklisting sitting a step down from the best material on that record, despite the fact that there are no weak tracks to speak of. The best moments appear during the one-two punch of faster power metal number “Empty Eyes” & chunky heavy metal anthem “Show Must Go On!” while the progressive electronic interlude “Limited Lights” is also a welcome addition.

Anthem were clearly a force to be reckoned with back in the 1980’s & are probably the best Japanese heavy metal band I’ve heard to date but “Bound To Break” doesn’t feel as essential as “Hunting Time”. It’s not that different in its approach but it doesn’t deliver the knockout blows through powerful chorus hooks as regularly which leaves it sitting as a nice-to-have rather than a buy-or-die.