Welcome to a new feature on Heavy Blog, “The Anatomy Of”. Taken from the Between The Buried And Me album of the same name — in which the band pays tribute to artists/bands that they feel have most inspired their songwriting — it’s a feature in which we hand off the metaphorical microphone to bands so they can talk about their influences. Read more entries from this series here.
If you’ve been reading Heavy Blog for a while, you may recognize multi-national British/Japanese tech metal act Cyclamen. Longtime friends of the site, we’ve watched them grow from frontman Hayato Imanishi’s homegrown bedroom project to internationally touring metal group. Since their inception, Cyclamen have combined chaotic hardcore, prog, J-Rock, and post-rock for a sound all their own.
This week, Hayato went above and beyond, identifying a dozen different records and charting his chronological discovery of rock music to the mathcore and tech metal movement that informed Cyclamen’s chaotic sound.
The wake up call to guitar music. Before I was listening to Ministry of Sound type UK dance music hahaha – Aggressive, catchy, fun, and sometimes dark… Everything great about rock music right here! I don’t listen to it anywhere near as much as I used to, but still, forever grateful for opening my eyes to the world of rock music.
Without this album, I’d probably have taken a lot longer to get into metal. Riffs are simple but effective, everything way more brutal than anything else I heard at that time. “Wait and Bleed” is a godly example of how to write a song with aggressive verses to catchy choruses to the great finish, not wasting even a single note on the song.
This one was taught me how to write unique sounding riffs and how to be quirky, teaching me that heavy riffs can be written even from childhood jingles! Before listening to this all I could write was involved in typical scales and very much non-rhythmic stuff – After listening to this, I was very much into having unique sounding guitar riffs as catchy as vocals. And how the vocals are syncopated to the music is one of the characteristics I seem to have picked up and use this a lot for Cyclamen.
Absolutely gorgeous fusion of heavy riffs and melodic chords. Pretty much THE reason I got into using beautiful chords for song writing. And my teenage relationship taught me that a heavy song can be romantic too
Not actually sure how much effect it had on my writing, but this album has been definitely my reference to decide how catchy your tune needs to be when you write for the hooks. Catchiest metal album ever? I think so.
I heard them on MTV Japan first – Literally, I did not understand what the hell is going with the band and didn’t pay any attention for quite a while. Few years after I picked up the guitar, I visited then band again, and hell yes I was glad that I did. I was quite competent with playing the guitar by then, and I was getting bored with all simple nu-metal power chords. And I suddenly heard this and my brain exploded.
One of the very few guitar band I was listening from the young age actually (since age 6?). This Japanese duo have the history of having released 46 consecutive No. 1 singles, 25 No. 1 albums and sold more than 80 million records worldwide. Pretty much unknown to the scene elsewhere though. For this album, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey from Mr.Big appeared on bass and it’s generally a lot more aggressive and raw than their normal recording. J-Rock at its best!
About the same time as I re-discovered TDEP, my bandmate introduced me to this band – So much chaos like TDEP, but the difference was it was also catchy as quirky and… everything really. And somehow things felt in order. It actually took me quite a while to really get into them, but as most of you know, they are one of the biggest influence in my writing now. I prefer their early recording, I think because it felt more real somehow. Their albums were perfection… but as chaotic hardcore listener I do like a bit of humane element in recording always.
This is the band who have actually managed to influence me so much through their career by changing their style so much. Because of them I was no longer afraid to write anything, in any style, without worrying about audience. They have proved to us all that as long as continue to write good songs, people will always love you no matter what you write.
The opening door to my love Post-rock and long progressive song that played around with dynamics. This album taught me so much about how you need quiet parts in order to let the aggressive part sound more aggressive, and the point of making long songs and having build-ups. Before meeting this albums I hardly ever wrote any songs that were longer than 5 minutes, but after discovering this album, I’ve written numerous long, slow tempo songs, with very big, open ending. I’ve even learned to write album tracks that basically act as a build-up, rather than every track being a “single” standalone song. It was a big learning experience seeing things in a bigger picture rather than just in the breadth of a single song. And obviously how I scream has so much to do with how Tetsu-san screams. Envy are hands down my favourite band in the world.
While I do share great love for Meshuggah like most other progressive types, Fellsilent had more impact on me than Meshuggah – Mainly because they were in the scene and they were a lot closer to where I was as a musician. And it helped for the fact that Fellsilent grooves were very easy to get into, with catchy as hell choruses. Definitely provided an easy entrance for me to get into groove-oriented song writing.
I actually never had pleasure of seeing them live, because they were doing everything I wanted to do like 10 years before I did. Technical, progressive, melodic, interesting and emotional. Like SikTh, if they came out years later they would have been massive I think. “Mononoke Picture” is one of the best songs ever written.