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Loudness Albums: Worst to First

If you think I only do rankings on bands I love, think again. This discography is a tragic tale of great band's gradual descent into garbage.

The 3rd and final part in Loudness’s attempt at Pantera-esq groove metal, and it was 3 times too many. Words can’t describe how much I hate this fucking album, it really is among the worst I’ve ever heard. It’s really hard to believe that these guys used to be pretty great.
Best Track: N/A
Grade: F-
Ghetto Machine

I would have been willing to accept this album as being a huge misstep and leave it at that, but this was the album that sealed Loudness’ fate of being complete dogshit for roughly 11 years. Downtuned guitars, strained vocals, and non-stop, monotonous, chugging riffs would characterize the band for nearly another decade. Fuck this album.
Best Track: N/A
Grade: F

‘Dragon’ is the best of the groove-metal trilogy, but that’s not saying anything at all. You’d be better off listening to a jackhammer pound concrete for an hour. All of these albums fucking suck mondo dick.
Best Track: N/A
Grade: F

This album right here is where I almost gave up on the band. I simply couldn’t believe how shit they had become. At this point in their discography I was starting to get depressed by how many consecutive awful albums these guys had put out. This shit royally fucking blows, my dude.
Best Track: N/A
Grade: F
Breaking the Taboo

The only thing this album broke was their already damaged reputation. Luckily, this was their last absolutely terrible album, before they started writing decent music again.
Best Track: N/A
Grade: F

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the worst album name and accompanying artwork ever conceived. Who the hell thought naming their album ‘Racing’ would be a good idea?
Best Track: N/A
Grade: F
Terror Hakuri

Loudness playing doom metal? Why the fuck not? It isn’t any good, but at least it’s different.
Best Track: N/A
Grade: F+
Spiritual Canoe

In a stroke of genius, Loudness finally got rid of Yamada, bringing back original vocalist Minoru Niihara. Sadly, they still weren’t writing good music, and they make Minoru strain his vocals so he sounds like utter dogshit. .
Best TracK: N/A
Grade: F+
Heavy Metal Hippies

The 90’s hit these guys pretty hard, and this was the first album where it began to show. Slow, plodding, grunge influence radio-metal. Pretty fuckin’ lame, but not unlistenable.
Best Track: Freedom
Grade: D-

A passable album, especially as their 2000’s output goes. It’s definitely heavy, it just isn’t very interesting. Starts out pretty strong then nosedives into the shitty drivel they were accustomed to releasing at that time.
Best Track: Chaos
Grade: D-
Metal Mad

Loudness pulled off the impossible. They made an actually listenable album for the first time in over 10 years. There isn’t anything on here that is noteworthy, but it IS listenable. Not trash, but not too impressive.
Best Track: Metal Mad
Grade: D
The Everlasting

Loudness was two for two with this record. It’s not great, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. The ridiculously down-tuned guitars are still present and Niihara is still straining the fuck out of his voice, but it still has enough okay stuff to give it a pass.
Best Track: Flame of Rock
Grade: D+
The Birthday Eve

Some pretty decent stuff on here, but the band was nowhere near peak performance. Niihara’s consistent vibrato is super annoying on here and ruins what could be some really badass songs. I’ll give it a pass because it was their debut.
Best Track: Loudness
Grade: C-
Devil Soldier

A marked improvement over the debut for sure. There are a couple classics on here, but there isn't a single song on here that doesn’t sound better than their re-recorded counterparts.
Best Track: Angel Dust
Grade: C

Holy shit, a good album by Loudness post 1992? I must be dreaming. It’s serviceable at best, but I’ll take anything at this point.
Best Track: Break New Ground
Grade: C
King Of Pain

King of Pain sees Loudness’s return to making decent heavy metal music again. They finally tuned their guitars to something other than drop b, and god bless them for it. This one is alright, so give a listen if you’re curious.
Best Track: Emma
Grade: C+
Rise to Glory

Continuing the winning trend the band was on after the comeback that was King of Pain, the band shifts their sound back to the more hard-rock oriented sound of their 80’s output. There isn’t anything groundbreaking on here, but if you’re in the mood for decent Japanese metal, this is a solid choice.
Soul On Fire
Grade: C+

After the departure of Mike Vescera that band recruited ex-EDO vocalist Masaki Yamada. While his work with the band after this record is anything but good, this record actually delivers. This is Loudness at their meanest and most intense, and is the last good record they would put out for more than a decade.
Best Track: Everyone Lies
Grade: B-
Eve To Dawn

Eve to Dawn is another solid record from their post-Everlasting era, and goes to show that King of Pain wasn’t a fluke. Hearing the band play the music that made them famous for two consecutive albums almost brings a tear to my eye.
Best Track: The Power of Truth
Grade: B-
Hurricane Eyes

On Hurricane Eyes, Loudness attempts to cross the line into a more pop-oriented direction, and the results are pretty solid. The incorporation of keyboards and grandiose choruses is a welcomed addition to their sound, but the presence of heavier tracks like “SDI” help keep the metalhead in me satisfied as well.
Best Track: Rock ‘N Roll Gypsy
Grade: B
The Sun Will Rise Again

With 3 decent post-comeback records under their belt, Loudness finally delivered an album that matches the quality of their early 80’s classics. While their recent output had been decent up to this point, there always seemed to be something slightly off which held them back from sounding like they did in their hayday. Thankfully, the band put all the pieces together and released a record that not only sounds like their classic output, but actually rivals some of their best material.
Best Track: Rock Will Never Die
Gade: B

Disillusion, for me anyway, seems to be Loudness’s attempt at their “credibility” record. This album has its own unique style, keeping the aggression of their previous output, but introducing several new elements to their sound. The progressive dabbling and atmospheric soundscapes make this a real stand out in their discography.
Best Track: Milky Way
Grade: B+
Shadows of War

Now we’re fucking talking. After the resounding success of Thunder in the East, Loudness were out to prove that they could make lightning strike twice; and strike they fucking did. Even though this is easily the band’s heaviest record from their early years,they still managed to cram tons of catchy melodies and radio-ready singles. Strangely, the album would have it’s title and track order redone for the American release “Lightning Stikes”. While I find the original Japanese pressing to be the superior, both are still damn good.
Best Track: Dark Desire
Grade: B+
The Law of Devil's Land

It was at this point where Loudness went from decent to exceptional. The first 2 albums were just practice, but this album showed us what they were really made of. Easily one of their best.
Best Track: Sleepless Nights
Grade: A-
On The Prowl

A lot of this record is just re recordings on their classic material, but with a better vocalist. These versions are definitely the best renditions of their early material. The new tracks aren't half bad either.
Best Track: In the Mirror
Grade: A-
Thunder In The East

While I may have shit on literally everything they made between 1994 to 2006, this record right here proves that they have the ability to write a killer album. And dear God that guitar tone is fucking amazing.
Best Track: Heavy Chains
Grade: A
Soldier of Fortune

Now this is a fuckin record. Soldier of Fortune sees the band firing on all cylinders, recording easily the finest material of their career. New vocalist Mike Vescara absolutely owns every single vocal performance, and gives the record a comfortable balance of heaviness and commerciality. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on this one.
Best Track: Demon’s Disease
Grade: A
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