Japanese heavy metal veterans SEIKIMA-II (pronounced "Seikimatsu," which means "the end of the century") are back with a new album.
This new compilation, entitled "Akuma Nativity - Songs of the Sword", will feature 13 of the band's greatest hits re-recorded in full English. The CD will come out in August in the U.S. and Canada, and September 16 in Japan. A European release date will be announced soon. It will be released as a limited edition with a bonus DVD, and as a regular version, featuring an all-new bonus track.
SEIKIMA-II was formed in 1982 by lead guitarist Damian Hamada. While the band underwent quite a few member changes, its most well-known and most stable lineup included Demon Kogure on vocals, Ace Shimizu and Luke Takamura on guitars, Xenon Ishikawa on bass, Raiden Yuzawa on drums, and Yuichi Matsuzaki on keyboards.
SEIKIMA-II took the roles of demons from hell, while wearing traditional Japanese kabuki make-up, and because of this, foreign people always found a strong resemblance to KISS. Not surprisingly, SEIKIMA-II members have mentioned that KISS was one their most major influences in both the show and the music.
Though they disbanded on December 31, 1999 at 23:59:59 (since they had long decided this, and their name says so), they played two special reunion shows for their 20th anniversary. Both concerts included all original members and supporting members while the second gig also featured original guitarist Jail O'hashi as a special guest.
SEIKIMA-II has released twelve studio albums, six compilations, and five live albums, and has sold more than 10 million albums in Japan alone.
The band has performed in Spain and England, and the group's live album, "Live! Blackmass In London", was recorded at the Marquee in London.
Most of SEIKIMA-II's former members are currently involved with their own solo projects. Kogure, who is said to be the most active of them all, recently visited Sweden as a special guest for a Japanese expo.
SEIKIMA-II released a promotional video for the song "Eldorado" that was made in collaboration with animation director Kobun Shizuno. Watch it below.
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/seikimaiiofficial.