this just in


…is a dude!

(thx lej!)

[official site] [wikipedia]

flyers for sale!

(christmas in japan 2003?)


BAAL | shurado (2014)

BAAL visited California for a couple of tour dates presented by Skinny Puppy’s CEvin Key earlier this year. Those dates were quickly followed by the announcement of their signing to Metropolis Records. Since then, BAAL has thrown their gear in to recording mode, and the fruits of their labor will finally be revealed on February 11, 2014.

For a style lacking a scene in Japan, their dedication to industrial is ready to be recognized.

SHURADO(修羅道) — Scene of Carnage

01. Purge
02. 畜生道 -Brush Aside Your Way-
03. Dead Sector
04. Outrage
05. Evil Collector
06. 東京 Schizoid
07. Awake
08. The Iron Age
09. Inhuman Dimension
10. 邪道 Genocide

Preorder the album via Metropolis Mailorder.

The trio will also be joining Skinny Puppy’s early 2014 tour on the West Coast.

March 1, 2014 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Market
March 2, 2014, - Portland OR - Wonder Theatre
March 4, 2014 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
March 5, 2014 - Los Angeles, CA - Mayan Theatre

BAAL is a formidable force in a live setting. As proof, check out my photos from their 2010 Halloween performance in Shinjuku.

I consider U-tarou, Mikito and Alan my close friends. I’ve yet to encounter a group of people as nice as them, especially in contrast to the outright abrasiveness of their music. They deserve every good thing that goes their way and more. Help out these earnest folks with your time and/or money, and show them some support. Right now, they are accomplishing what few Japanese artists have managed.

BAAL just returned to Japan from two shows presented by Skinny Puppy’s CEvin Key this past week in LA. CEvin broke the news that they were picked up by Metropolis Records, so we can hopefully look forward to new accessible (in the material sense, not sound) releases from this cyber punk industrial outfit.

I remember first discovering them on the first Darkest Labyrinth compilation. Still one of the best compilations in my book. BAAL’s “Vermin" was one of the songs that stood out to me. It was just different.

At some point, I reached out to BAAL for an interview in my days as a J-rock journo. By keeping in contact, when I ended up in Japan for study abroad, they were kind enough to let me shoot two of their shows (the above photos being a selection from my very first successful shoot). As my first, I will always remember it fondly. But it helps that U-tarou, Mikito and Alan are all some of the nicest people on the planet. Nicer than any of you lot, and I don’t think you’re that bad. 

Anyways, congratulations to BAAL on getting picked up by Metropolis! They sure as hell deserve it. Can’t even think of the last time a Japanese rock artist could claim such an accomplishment (I think the last was MOLICE, et. al. getting picked by Good Charamel).