Japan’s SOLITUDE history started in 1996, two ex-members of SACRIFICE (Japan)*, the founding member and main composer Akira Sugiuchi <vo> and the bass player on two of their albums Toru Nishida.
In 1998, they picked up “SOLITUDE” as the name of the band, and they played live for the first time in March 1999. In September, Shingo Ida (ex-BARTOLOMMEO) joined the band, and his distinctive style of melodic guitars has brought a new blood into the band. In November, they recorded two songs, “Virtual Image” and “Eagle Fly”. This recording was used for promotion as “SOLITUDE Demo ’99”.
Their debut album “Virtual Image” was finally released on 5th of September, 2001 from SPIRITUAL BEAST. The album got rave reviews from the underground fanzines and webzines, not just in Japan but in the US and throughout Europe, and requests for interviews flooded in. The reaction was especially overwhelming in Germany, owing to the sampler CD called “Metal Crusade” from “Heavy oder was!?” magazine, which featured the title track “Virtual Image”.
The first drummer’s Yasuo Koyano (ex-RIP RIDE) left the band prior to the release of the album, but the band continued touring with the help drummer, sharing the stage with various bands from METALUCIFER to DEFILED and SIGH. In July 2003, having added Tai Syouda (ex-GUARDIAN’S NAIL, now leading his own band, SEVENTH SON) as a permanent drummer, they flew to Germany to play at “Headbangers Open Air”, where they shared the stage with veterans like BLITZKRIEG, TRESPASS, and KILLER (Belgium) as well as youngsters like STORMWARRIOR, CRYONIC TEMPLE and DOOMSWORD. Their performance was praised by various media, with German “Rock Hard” magazine describing them as “the highlight of the festival”. The fact that many metalheads kept on chanting for SOLITUDE for a while after they left the stage proves the impact they had.
In 2004, they started preparing for a new album, and first recorded “Rainbow Theme” – “Frozen Rainbow” for a SAXON tribute album “Eagleution – A Tribute to Saxon”, put together by Remedy Records in Germany. The recording continued while the band played selected gigs like “Duryu Rock Festival” in Korea, or short tour in Japan, but their uncompromising attitude and personal issues (the death of Akira’s family) delayed the whole process more than they had expected.
The recording, carried out at various points, was finally over and while they were waiting the mixing to be done, at the end of 2008, Syouda decided to leave the band. In later 2009, very famous drummer’s Takamasa “Mad” Ohuchi (ex-ANTHEM) joining SOLITUDE as a permanent member.
In December 2009, after 8 years from the debut album, the long-awaited new album “Brave the Storm” finally hit the stores. The mastering duty was handled by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (THE AGONIST, MASTODON etc).
In January 2011, the band toured Korea and Japan with Swedish sensation Enforcer, with Mean Streak also added for the Japanese dates. In September, “Brave the Storm” was released in Europe on Fastball Music in Germany. In July 2012, the band helped set up a Japan tour for Canada’s Skull Fist, and toured with them and Widow from US. In 2013, they co-hosted the “Japanese Assault Fest”, sharing the stage with GIRLSCHOOL, VEKTOR, FASTKILL, AIR RAID etc.
In April 2014, the band finally started recording a new album. Looking for the kind of sound production they grew up listening, they went into a closed movie theater in Gotenba, Shizuoka, where they brought in the recording equipments, just like Deep Purple did in a hotel, Rainbow did in an old castle etc in the 70’s. With the great ambience and the environment to allow you to play as loud as you want, the place was later modified into a proper recording studio called “Tapestry Recording Studio”. The band appeared at the “Japanese Assault Fest 14” two years in a row (SATAN, HEAVY TIGER, MIDNIGHT MALICE, etc) later that year.
The album was mixed and mastered at Pama Studios in Sweden, by Magnus “Mankan” Sedenberg and Magnus “Maxe” Axelsson respectively, who had worked with such bands as BULLET and CRUCIFIED BARBARA. The stunning artwork was painted by the Italian artist Velio Josto, who had done covers for WARLORD, MEDIEVAL STEEL, OSTROGOTH among others. This album “Reach for the Sky” was released from SPIRITUAL BEAST in June 2015. And the band appeared at the “Japanese Assault Fest 15” (ENFORCER, SUICIDAL ANGELS, DIEMONDS, etc.) , and the band performed Japan tour of more than 20 place until early 2016.
In November 2016, the band appeared at the “Japanese Assault Fest 16” (BLITZKRIEG, ANCIENT BARDS, BIO-CANCER, HITTEN, etc). And In December, “Reach For The Sky” was released in Canada, North America, Mexico by Test Your Metal Records in Canada.
And the great evaluation of that album spread far to England and Europe.
Powerplay Mag (UK): 9/10 Point
Rock Hard (Germany): 8.5/10 Point
Burrn! (Japan): 88/100 point
FFM ROCK (Germany): 9/10 point
Bravewords.com: 8/10 point
Lords Of Metal (Nederland): 80/100 pointRelease