Rie a.k.a. Suzaku

Rie-07Rie a.k.a. Suzaku is a Japanese solo heavy metal guitarist born on November 26 in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. Her influences include Children of Bodom, Dream Theater, Arch Enemy, Helloween, and In This Moment, among others.Rie-01A Rie a.k.a. Suzaku is similar to Australian guitarist Orianthi but, unlike Orianthi, Rie a.k.a. Suzaku does not sing. Orianthi, by the way, is the only guitar virtuoso who can sing. Anyway, Rie a.k.a. Suzaku has, instead, employed a handful of talented vocalists, all female, over three amazing mini-albums. Of course, she also includes an instrumental or two with each release. And, apparently, Rie a.k.a. Suzaku wrote all the music and lyrics. She plays melodic metal similar to Japanese bands like Destrose, Mary’s Blood, Aldious, Cyntia, etc. Her songs and vocalists are so good that, sometimes, I forget the music is meant to showcase a talented guitarist! But, on her first full album, Kingdom Of The Sun, Rie a.k.a. Suzaku kicks it out Satriani-style with all instrumentals.

Rie-02Rie-03Rie a.k.a. Suzaku‘s debut mini-album, Messiah (2010), features vocals from IBUKI, Dia, Kaoru and Sattin. Dia is featured on all three mini-albums, while IBUKI is featured on two. I wish I knew more about these vocalists, but I don’t, and I can’t find any details. IBUKI is featured on the infectious “End of the Darkness” and the thrashing “Messiah”, while Dia is featured on the hard rocker “Chaos” and the power ballad “Lost”. And, Sattin is featured on another hard rocker “Fly Away”, while Kaoru is featured on the best track “Heaven”, another power ballad. The final track is an instrumental aptly titled “Suzaku”.

Watch the videos for “End of the Darkness”, “Messiah” and “Suzaku” here:

Rie-04On Rie a.k.a. Suzaku‘s second mini-album, Mother Earth (2011), regular Dia is featured on two tracks: the thrasher “Mother Earth” and the awesome X-Japan-esque power ballad “Hand In Hand With Each Other”. The latter is one of the best. Shizuka, another vocalist for whom I don’t have any background on, is featured on two excellent thrash rockers: “Believe” and “Last Enemy”. And, Rie a.k.a. Suzaku allows herself two instrumentals: the melodic rocker “Time Paradox” and the power ballad “Mirage”. The latter is another X-Japan-esque ballad, and I’d love to hear that song with lyrics and vocals courtesy of Dia.

Watch the video for “Time Paradox” here:

Rie-05On Rie a.k.a. Suzaku‘s third mini-album, Dreaming Eyes (2012), Dia is featured on no less than three tracks, all melodic hard rockers (“Dreaming Eyes”, “Grab the Sky” and my favorite of her tracks here “Oblivion”), while IBUKI returns for one track (the glam metal rocker “Not Escape”). Akane, who may be the former vocalist of Destrose, is featured on the excellent hard rocker “Desire”. But, again, I can’t find any information easily without having to use Google Translate to translate Japanese which is often difficult. Anyway, the brief “Angelism” and “Aurora” are Rie a.k.a. Suzaku‘s instrumental showcases here.

Watch the video for “Angelism / Dreaming Eyes” here:

Read my review of Rie a.k.a. Suzaku‘s latest album, Kingdom Of The Sun here.

Rie-06Rie a.k.a. Suzaku Discography
2010.09.01 – Messiah [Mini-Album]
2011.08.24 – Mother Earth [Mini-Album]
2012.05.09 – Dreaming Eyes [Mini-Album]
2013.06.26 – Kingdom Of The Sun [Album]


2 responses to “Rie a.k.a. Suzaku

  1. Pingback: Rie a.k.a Suzaku – Kingdom of the Sun (6/26/13) | Rock Chicks Rule!·

  2. Awesome.

    However…. NOT over-the-top djenty numetal as the text might make it seem. NO SLEDGEHAMMER STUFF HERE. Nor quacky djent riffs (she does pick up an 8-string occasionally, but seemingly for the ability to keep both standard tuning range and low notes on the same axe, not to do djentiness).

    This stuff is kinda unique, but mostly influenced by shred / power / 80s metal stuff. Think plenty of expression, rather non-aggressive, quite emotive and not at all angry. And, though lower than many on theatrics and dramatics, obviously – jrock/visual kei.

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