- Ghosts of Purgatory
The full title of Hayaino Daisuki's second release is The Invincible Gate Mind of the Infernal Fire Hell, or Did You Mean Hawaii Daisuki? It takes almost as long to read or say out loud as this latest batch of four songs takes to tear your face off -- where their debut disc was 14 minutes long, this time they get the job done in 12, which may make people paying the full price of a CD feel like they've been ripped off, but honestly, what you get in those 720 seconds is totally worth it. Vocalist Jon Chang is once again supported by maniacally shredding guitarist Takafumi Matsubara of Mortalized and GridLink, and drummer Eric Schnee is once again attempting to demolish his kit. But there's an element of subtlety and dynamics here that was not present on the 2008 Headbanger's Karaoke Club Dangerous Fire EP. "Shibito" has actual tempo changes, slowing down at the bridge so listeners can catch their breath before launching full steam ahead toward the finish line. Some of the riffs are less mind-crushingly technical this time, too, replacing the Rigor Mortis influence of the first release with a more hardcore- and even punk-derived style. It's rawer and more like an actual band than highly skilled, perfectionist dudes tearing it up in the studio. Chang continues to shriek at the upper edge of his vocal range, but he has also once again been joined by a female voice to provide contrast. This is an excellent second effort by a very interesting -- if undoubtedly polarizing -- band.