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Japan (1999 – present)

陰陽座 (Onmyouza, stylized as Onmyo-za) is a heavy metal band from Japan who released their first commercial album in 1999. They play quite orthodox style heavy metal music mixed with Japanese folk themes and pop music elements. Since their debut, they have appeared in traditional clothing characteristic of Japan’s Heian period.

Their songs mainly deal with oni, yokai, Japanese dragons, etc, but some songs have a more concrete theme and inspiration. For example, Onmyo-za has composed many “Ninpouchou” (Tales of Ninja Magic) songs, which are a tribute to the Japanese author Futaro Yamada and his Ninpouchou series. Kouga Ninpouchou was written for the anime “Basilisk”, whose story is from Futaro Yamada’s “Kouga Ninpouchou”. There are also some other songs inspired by Osamu Tezuka and Kyogoku Natsuhiko. The trilogy “Kumikyoku Yoshitsune” is based on the legend of Japanese ancient tragic hero Minamoto no Yoshitsune.

Each of their stage names has double meaning with a sense of humor. Kuroneko(黒猫) literally means “black cat”, which symbolizes her personality, as well as being a nickname she used before starting Onmyo-za. Matatabi(瞬火) means flashing fire, but it can also be read as a silvervine/catnip (loved by cats). Maneki(招鬼) practically means “summoning oni”, but its reading reminds most Japanese people of maneki neko (beckoning cat). Karukan(狩姦) is not clear in its literal meaning, though Karu(狩) independently means “attacking” or “hunting” and Kan(姦) means evil or debauchery and so forth. However, Karukan when spoken sounds familiar to Japanese people as a brand name of cat food. When written Tora(斗羅) has little literal meaning, but its spoken pronounciation means tiger in Japanese.


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  • dememe

    Hopefully soon some info about a DVD of the Raijin/Fujin tour, but probably not due for release for a few months. Wouldn't think there will be an album anytime soon, maybe a maxi-single. Depends if they are going back to an album a year like they used to.

    11 May 8:38am Reply
  • KibTH

    any news?

    9 Apr 11:15pm Reply
  • GuilhermeDbanda

    the band is so consistent that there's almost no deviation in quality from album to album. [2] These two new albuns are really amazing.

    27 Oct 2014 Reply
  • dememe

    Yoarukikawarabotan is magnificent, it reminds me of their really early albums which for me is a huge plus. Agreed with Raijin being a notch better than Fuujin, but then again I am just so happy that we got TWO full fantastic albums after such a long break. I know lots of people really loved Kishi-Bojin and were hoping for more of the same thing, but I'm so relieved they moved on.

    10 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Slamacques

    I'm having the same feeling right now - at first I thought "well, this is okay...", but I can feel it growing on me in a major way. I also feel that Raijin is a notch better overall than Fuujin, though. Yoarukikawarabotan and Higurashi are true gems, and Raibu is guaranteed to tear down every concert hall. I'm starting to yearn for Onmyo-za to do something unexpected, though. Like cut a ska album, with Maneki on the lead vocal, or something. 「気にしないで、ただの独り言・・・」

    10 Oct 2014 Reply
  • dememe

    I'm still working through them and I'm really surprised at how they get so much better after each listen. Not that I was disappointed the first time, but wow the wait was worth it.

    7 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Dudemanguy911

    Their new albums may actually be among their best. Of course, the band is so consistent that there's almost no deviation in quality from album to album.

    7 Oct 2014 Reply
  • allbluedream

    Kuroneko's trademark sinister laughter is back! Love it!

    4 Oct 2014 Reply
  • andoreh

    Onmyouza NEVER disappoints. Especially 「累」 (Kasane), such a killer tune!

    3 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Jondesu

    New promo picture avaliable. Vote for it.

    23 Sep 2014 Reply
  • darkonyxswe

    The new PV is quite nice, but I miss Matatabi's vocals :/

    15 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Dudemanguy911

    Collecting things is nice though.

    19 Aug 2014 Reply
  • andoreh

    I need to sell one of my lungs to import it, Better be great as 鬼子母神

    13 Aug 2014 Reply
  • afropunk90

    interesting stuff

    5 Aug 2014 Reply
  • dememe

    The cover art for the albums is amazing. I love the fact that Matatabi designs and does the DTP himself.

    2 Aug 2014 Reply
  • MaRtInCeS

    Both albums will be released on September 24. I'm looking forward to listening to them.

    20 Jul 2014 Reply
  • GuilhermeDbanda

    WOOOOW! I'm so happy about these two full-lenghts coming <3 Let this new season for onmyo-za begin <3

    27 Jun 2014 Reply
  • celloria

    11th album [風神界逅] (Fuujin Kaikou) and 12th [雷神創世] (Raijin Sousei), interesting titles btw :)

    18 Jun 2014 Reply
  • celloria

    TWO full-lengths coming this fall! [2] Can't wait for new releases!

    18 Jun 2014 Reply
  • KibTH

    cant wait for new album *

    30 May 2014 Reply
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