It’s been barely a year since Japan’s BRIDEAR last visited these shores, and that they have such a strong affinity with the United Kingdom is really no surprise as there’s a strong NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) influence to their brand of power metal. It may only be 12 months since they were last in London at the time of writing, but an air of expectation hangs heavy as we await the band. BRIDEAR are the type of group that inspire a rabid devotion from their fans, and the faithful are packed tightly in front of the stage and they create a commotion as they clap and cheer to summon the band.
Live Report: BRIDEAR
Boston Music Room, London, 10.09.2022
There’s no support act tonight so there’s not too long to wait for BRIDEAR, yet a tangible excitement electrifies the air. That sensation is only amplified by the haunting introduction to Side Of A Bullet, and finds the band standing statuesque as guitarist Ayumi plays atmospheric notes that are akin to icicles hanging in the air. However, the band are like five tightly coiled springs, and when Side Of A Bullet bursts into life so do BRIDEAR, and they are a blur of energy that barely abates over a 90-minute set. The band are all smiles, and they look like there’s nowhere else on Earth they’d rather be than rocking the Boston Music Room tonight. With barely a pause for breath Daybreak follows like a ballistic missile and finds BRIDEAR playing heavy metal exactly how it should be played; with plenty of headbanging and gnarly guitar solos.
Tonight’s set ululates perfectly with rockers nestling next to slower tracks, but in truth, it’s the high-octane songs that permeate, and it’s not until we reach the sixth song, Brave New World Revisited that we get a breather of sorts. A song of several suites, it is almost progressive in nature as it shapeshifts and evolves over the course of seven minutes. It’s back to the rock action with the groove-laden Dimensions with its catchy melody that’s so arresting, it should be illegal. Likewise, ‘GNITE is the spark that lights the torch paper and turns the crowd into a sea of pumping fists. BRIDEAR constantly interact with the audience, and this creates a real bond and when they sing “raise your voice for us” during Determination, we’re happy to oblige, and in roof-raising style.
Vocalist Kimi in particular is always in motion and writhing to the heavy beat provided by drummer Natsumi. The diminutive Haru has a unique style of bass playing that’s integral to the band’s sound, and she also proves backing vocals in the form of unearthly (and frightening) guttural growls that counterpoint Kimi’s singing nicely. In Ayumi and new guitarist Moe BRIDEAR have a pairing who could rival Iron Maiden’s Murray/Smith partnership, and throughout the gig they trade blistering solos, and to great effect on final track Bloody Bride. The crowd demand an encore and, after Kimi and Aymui change into BRIDEAR T-shirts, the band return to deliver a twisting and turning rendition of ‘Road’ that brings the set to a suitably frantic conclusion.
Each time that BRIDEAR have visited the United Kingdom they’ve gained more traction, and have played to bigger (and more rabid) crowds. Is their next stop world domination?
For those who want to (re)experience this show might want to check out the the live album Aegis of London…LIVE!, set for release next February via Setsuzoku Records. It is the first time BRIDEAR will release a live album.