coldrain – Nonnegative (Album Review)

coldrain-Nonnegative album review

coldrain – Nonnegative
Released: July 6, 2022


Masato Hayakawa | Lead Vocals
Ryo Yokochi | Lead guitar, programming, piano & keys
Kazuya Sugiyama | Rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Ryo Shimizu | Bass guitar, backing vocals
Katsuma Minatani | Drums



Quite stoked to introduce the legendary coldrain to the Wall Of Sound universe. coldrain are among the ranks of many acts leading the J-rock revolution, having graced world festivals stages such as Download, Rock Am Ring, and the Vans Warped Tour throughout their impressive 15-year career (so far) and new album Nonnegative just happens to follow the trend of epic rock offerings that’s been coming across my radar of late.

It’s a mix of melodic vocals, hardcore screams, riff-led guitar hooks and killer solo passages that offers up something both fresh and familiar to heavy music fans. From the get-go of ‘Help Me Help You,’ coldrain are instantly compelling to listen to, creating a massive musical landscape that has you nodding your head along to each chorus.

Vocalist Masato Hayakawa has some melodies in him, from hard and heavy belters ‘Cut Me’ and ‘Bloody Power Fame,’ the latter track also serving as the theme for ‘BASTARD! – Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy,’ an anime series currently running on Netflix, to some radio-ready rockers in ‘Boys and Girls’ and the addictively stellar single ‘Before I Go.’

The lead single from the album, ‘Paradise(Kill The Silence)’ serves well as the band’s signature sound with energetic guitars and a powerful vocal hook.

2020’ is a heavy take on the pandemic from the coldrain’s perspective, leading into one of the heaviest tracks on the album in ‘Rabbit Hole’ which offers a heavy verse while keeping the band’s melodic sound for the chorus. We’re then treated to a cool cover of No Doubt’sDon’t Speak,’ before the album wraps up with ‘From Today,’ a song that alternates between pop-punk and heavy beatdowns, leaving you keen for another listen from the start.

Nonnegative is a cracking album and a good starting point if you’re keen to get into coldrain’s earlier work. Fans of fellow Japanese acts One OK Rock or Crossfaith will find coldrain a happy combo of the two and is another addition to what’s becoming an extensive list of mine of bands to see in Japan.

coldrain – Nonnegative tracklisting:

1. Help Me Help You
3. Cut Me
4. Before I Go
5. Bloody Power Fame
6. Here With You
7. Boys and Girls
8. PARADISE (Kill The Silence)
9. 2020
10. Rabbit Hole
11. Don’t Speak
12. From Today 

Rating: 9/10
Nonnegative is out tomorrow, July 6th. Pre-order here
Review By – Simon Valentine (@SimonValentineAU)

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