We here at AVO Magazine are always happy when BRIDEAR release a new album, but their latest offering has got us excited beyond belief. Recorded during last year’s European jaunt, Aegis Of London…LIVE! is the band’s very first live album and captured the band on an especially rowdy night in the UK’s capital. AVO Magazine were there that night (reviewed here) and can attest to how special it was, and now you can experience that magic too.
BRIDEAR certainly know how to make a dramatic entrance and the haunting beginning to the epic Side Of A Bullet certainly sets the scene. As the backing track, with its spoken word introduction, fills the venue those present can barely contain themselves as yells and cheers echo throughout, along with chants of “BRIDEAR!”. However, when Kimi appears to sing her vocals, an eerie silence falls as the crowd hang on her every word, but when the whole band kick in at the three-minute mark the audience erupts with unbridled joy, and it sets a precedent for the coming hour. With different suites and sonic shifts, Side Of A Bullet is like a progressive rock track and it takes the listener on an amazing nine-and-a-half minute journey, from the softer sections to the heavier (that are accentuated by bassist Haru’s demonic growls), this is a wild ride, and one that sweeps the crowd along.
The more straight-ahead metal of Daybreak and The Moment follow to deliver a series of hefty blows, and this is what sets BRIDEAR apart from their peers. It seems we are living in the golden age of female Japanese metal bands, and while many stick to one style, BRIDEAR paint their sound from a broader palette and we’re treated to a moody Ray Of Chaos, the groove-laden Dimensions and an explosive Ignite with plenty of crowd participation. Yet, in whatever guise they appear, they’re unmistakeably BRIDEAR, and these different styles that each song adopts help the album ebb and flow perfectly.
A good live album should not only authentically capture the band’s musical prowess, but also recreate some of the excitement of that evening, and Aegis Of London…LIVE! succeeds on both counts. That’s thanks in part to producer Fredrik Nordström (from Swedish band Dream Evil) who brings the crowd to the fore at optimum moments while letting the band shine at others. And BRIDEAR did burn brightly that evening with guitarists Ayumi and Moe trading solos and riffing in tandem throughout, and drummer Natsumi hitting the skins particularly hard. This album presents all this and more, and the result is a full-on, fist-pumping, air-guitar inducing meal-fest, and one you won’t want to end. All good things do however, but not before a rowdy encore in Again brings down the curtain in style.
Although BRIDEAR have released a couple of live DVD’s, an actual live album was the one thing missing from their discography. Thankfully, the tapes were rolling to capture this evening, when all the stars in the cosmos aligned for what proved to be a special night at London’s Boston Music Room. But you don’t have to take our word for it, now you can listen to Aegis Of London…LIVE!
Aegis Of London…LIVE! is released via Setsuzoku Records on 17th February 2023.
1 Side Of A Bullet
3 The Moment
4 Ray Of Chaos
5 Brave New World Revisited
6 Helix (Instrumental)
9 Light In The Dark
12 Bloody Bride