My Wish is Your Command
Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Featuring a number of notable members in the band such as Chris Slade (ex-AC/DC)and Bjorn Englen, who also plays with Yngwie Malmsteen, MIWA is a band playing music in the veins of old school hard rock/heavy metal music, with My Wish is Your Command being their first full length release.
The album opens with Finally Found You, with an opening drum fill which brings to mind songs such as Judas Priest‘s Painkiller opening drumming. Japanese vocalists all seem to have a certain style of singing and vocal pattern, and vocalist Miwa is no different. Right from the moment she begins singing on Finally Found You, there is no mistaking that this is a Japanese vocalist. Her gruff vocals sound extremely old-school thrash influenced, and at times she goes all the way to a pseudo-shriek/scream, easily putting male counterparts at shame with the amount of balls and aggressiveness in her vocals. However, this does not mean that she is not capable of “normal” singing as she proves on Crazy and Point Seven, where she does clean singing, displaying the versatility in her vocals. While listening to her vocals certainly took me by surprise on the first listen, subsequent listens become enjoyable and soon realise that there are no other way the vocals on this album can be done.
Guitarist Sean Lee also helps in keeping up the seemingly Japanese image of the music by pulling out guitar riffs that bring to mind old-school Japanese heavy metal bands such as Loudness. And unlike the neo-classical, sweep-picking shredding that similar bands like to utiliise, most of the guitar solos are well thought out and melodious, with small speedy sections littered around, such as on Crazy. The prominent bass lines also give songs a fuller sound, and this presence is even more prominent on the ballad Point Seven.
The songwriting department also does not disappoint, with the songs written by the band being all extremely catchy, with songs such as Gimme sounding almost like a soundtrack to play while riding on a bike, with wind flowing through the hair (with the opening riffs almost reminding me of Metalucifer‘s Heavy Metal Midnight Rider). Top that up with a bluesy Slash-influenced guitar solo and you have the perfect hard rock/heavy metal song. The song even ends like how a Slash song would, with an extra guitar section included at the end of the track. Point Seven is the standard sappy ballad that most such records have, and what makes it special is Miwa choosing to sing in her native language, Japanese, which somehow gives it an even more emotional feel than the usual ballad.
The album provides listeners with 40 minutes of fun and enjoyable music with this debut album. As evident from the music written, the band is capable of much more if they so choose to, and is certainly one of the bands to look out for. Recommended for fans of Japanese-styled heavy metal bands.