Loudness is a Music/{{heavy metal}} band, founded in 1981 in Osaka, Japan.

The original lineup consisted of Music/AkiraTakasaki (guitar), Music/MinoruNiihara (vocals), Music/MunetakaHiguchi (drums), and Masayoshi Yamashita (bass). Takasaki and Higuchi had formerly been members of the band Lazy (which also included singer [[JAMProject Hironobu Kageyama]]), which disbanded earlier that year; Niihara had earlier been the bassist/singer in the band Earthshaker (although he left before they made any records). The band's early musical style was in line with the first generation and second generation (such as the NWOBHM scene) of heavy metal, especially Music/{{Rainbow}} (Ritchie Blackmore having been one of Takasaki's main musical influences; notice that his previous band was named after a DeepPurple song).

After having made three domestically-released studio albums, the band began to tour in Europe and the United States, and recorded their next studio album in London. This album, ''Disillusion'', was released in Europe (the earlier three had been released in Europe the previous year), and had both an English-language version and a Japanese-language version of the vocal parts recorded.

The following year, the band recorded two songs and two instrumentals that were used in the anime movie ''Odin: Koshi Hansen Starlight'', also released on the maxi-single ''Odin''. Then they recorded their next full-length album (''Thunder in the East'') in Los Angeles; this was their first album to be released in the United States, was English-language only, and probably remains their most famous album. More touring in the United States followed, including as an opening act for MotleyCrue. The band's musical style during this time gradually changed toward contemporary American {{hair metal}}.

After three more studio albums, Niihara left the band in 1988 and was replaced by Michael Vescera (formerly from the band Obsession). During Vescera's time in the band, they recorded two studio albums; the second one of these (''On the Prowl'', 1991) consisted of eight re-recorded versions of songs originally from albums / singles that were not released in the United States, with new lyrics in English and (for some of them) changed titles, as well as three new songs.

In 1992, both Vescera and Yamashita left the band, and were replaced by Music/MasakiYamada (formerly of Sapporo-based band Flatbacker, later known as EZO) on vocals and Music/TaijiSawada (formerly of Music/XJapan) on bass. This lineup recorded their next studio album, ''Loudness'', the same year. This album was an abrupt shift away from the hair metal stylings of the 1986-1991 albums to a '''much''' heavier (even compared to their original style) {{thrash metal}}-influenced style (much like Music/JudasPriest's 1990 album ''Painkiller''), as well as having elements of {{funk metal}} in two of the songs, as well as elements of VisualKei in the appearances and styles of Sawada and Yamada and even, at the time, Higuchi. This album was also the first one since 1988 (or since 1984 if not counting [=EPs=]) to have Japanese-language lyrics and the first one since 1988 (or since 1982 if not counting [=EPs=]) to not be released outside Japan the same year as it was released in Japan (although in 2005 it did get re-released in the United States).

This lineup did not last long; in 1993, both Sawada and Higuchi left, leaving Takasaki as the only original member still in the band. Higuchi was replaced by Yamada's former bandmate Hirotsugu "Hiro" Honma, and guitarist Takasaki temporarily took on the role of bassist for the next studio album (''Heavy Metal Hippies'', 1994). Afterwards, new bassist Naoto Shibata (formerly from the band Anthem) joined, and this lineup recorded three studio albums throughout the late 1990s (which, unlike all their earlier albums, were released by a small record company, "Rooms Records", owned by Tak Matsumoto of the band B'z). The band's musical style throughout 1994-1999 remained very heavy, but slower than on the self-titled album, with influences from contemporary musical styles such as {{groove metal}} and {{post-grunge}}.

Meanwhile, in 1998 and 1999, original drummer Munetaka Higuchi led a group of various Japanese heavy metal / hard rock musicians for two albums (one studio, one live) of cover songs, dedicated to recently-deceased Music/{{Rainbow}} drummer Cozy Powell; among this group were three of the four original members of Loudness (Yamashita being the only one not included). Then in 2000, the original lineup of Loudness officially reunited. Their next studio album (''Spiritual Canoe'', 2001) mostly returned to the musical style of the band's earliest era (albeit with more modern production values), with the notable exception of one {{rap metal}} song; it also marked a return to major labels (actually the same one that released their first album) and a return to entirely Japanese lyrics (except for the occasional pieces of GratuitousEnglish). This was followed by another studio album the same year, this time with a [[NuMetal newer musical style]]. (Also in 2001, Takasaki recorded music for the anime series ''Anime/{{Geneshaft}}'', which was also released on the album ''Geneshaft Original Soundtrack'' and the single ''Shaft Drive'', both of which were released in the US by Creator/{{Geneon}}'s ill-fated music division.)

The original lineup recorded seven more studio albums from 2002 through 2009 (a few of these have been released outside Japan). Munetaka Higuchi died of liver cancer in November 2008; one album (''The Everlasting'') with drums played by Higuchi was completed in 2009 by the other band members, and dedicated to Higuchi. Drummer Masayuki Suzuki joined in 2009, playing on one song on that album. The band has recorded one more studio album (''King of Pain''), has successfully toured the US and Southeast Asia, and is beginning work on a new album to be released in 2011 or 2012. Unfortunately, ex-bassist TaijiSawada died in July 2011.

!! Members:
* Music/AkiraTakasaki - Guitar, co-founder (1981-present, only permanent member of the band)
* Music/MunetakaHiguchi - Drums, co-founder (1981-1993, 2000-2008 - died in 2008)
* Hiro Honma - Drums (1993-2000)
* Masayuki "Anpanman" Suzuki - Drums (2009 - present)
* Masayoshi Yamashita - Bass (1981-1992, 2000-present)
* Music/TaijiSawada - Bass (1992-1993, with appearances at Munetaka Higuchi's memorial shows in 2009 and 2010, died in 2011)
* Naoto Shibata - Bass (1993-2000)
* Music/MinoruNiihara - Vocals (1981-1988, 2000-present)
* Mike Vescera - Vocals (1988-1992, went on to briefly join Music/YngwieMalmsteen after his tenure)
* Music/MasakiYamada - Vocals (1992-2000)


!!Singles:
* ''Burning Love'' (1982)
* ''Geraldine'' (1983)
* ''ODIN'' (1985)
* ''Slap In The Face'' (1991)
* ''The Battleship Musashi'' (2005)
* ''The Eternal Soldiers'' (2011)

!!Studio album discography:
* ''The Birthday Eve'' (LP) - 1981
* ''Devil Soldier'' (LP) - 1982
* ''The Law of Devil's Land'' (LP) - 1983
* ''Disillusion'' (LP) - 1984
* ''Thunder in the East'' (LP) - 1985
* ''Shadows of War'' / ''Lightning Strikes'' (LP) - 1986
* ''Hurricane Eyes'' (LP, contains one re-recorded older song) - 1987
* ''Jealousy'' (EP) - 1988
* ''Soldier of Fortune'' (LP) - 1989
* ''On the Prowl'' (LP, consists mostly of re-recorded older songs) - 1991
* ''Loudness'' (LP) - 1992
* ''Heavy Metal Hippies'' (LP) - 1994
* ''Ghetto Machine'' (LP) - 1997
* ''Dragon'' (LP) - 1998
* ''Engine'' (LP) - 1999
* ''Spiritual Canoe'' (LP) - 2001
* ''Pandemonium'' (LP) - 2001
* ''Biosphere'' (LP) - 2002
* ''Terror'' (LP) - 2004
* ''Rockshocks'' (LP, consists entirely of re-recorded older songs) - 2004
* ''Racing'' (LP) - 2004
* ''Breaking the Taboo'' (LP) - 2006
* ''Metal Mad'' (LP) - 2008
* ''The Everlasting'' (LP) - 2009
* ''King of Pain'' (LP) - 2010
* ''Eve to Dawn - 30th Anniversary New Album'' (LP) - 2011
* ''2012'' (LP) - 2012 - released 2012
* ''The Sun Will Rise Again''(LP)- 2014

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!!{{Loudness}}'s Music Provides Examples of:
* AlbumFiller: More than a few times. One could say that ALL of ''On The Prowl'' was AlbumFiller.
* AtomicFBomb: Generally live, since recorded tends to be either ClusterFBomb or PrecisionFStrike, but yes. One great example is on the Youtube upload that has both "Rock And Roll Gypsy" and "Like Hell."
* AudienceParticipationSong: "Loudness" at the beginning. "S.D.I." "Rock and Roll Gypsy" and "King of Pain" would all later take this on.
* AuthorAppeal: For Niihara, IntercourseWithYou and anti-war songs mainly. For Yamada, much of his lyrics were ReligionRantSong, OdeToIntoxication, or RoadSong. For Takasaki and Higuchi, anti-war songs and other types of the ProtestSong and AuthorFilibuster.
* AuthorFilibuster: ''Miles High'' is a song that arguably ran into this territory.
* {{Badass}}: Minoru Niihara. Just...Minoru Niihara. Despite his grief and pain, he decided to carry on the band along with Akira Takasaki in memory of Munetaka, and that's not even mentioning his vocal abilities.
* BreakupSong: So Lonely, Never Again/Losing You, Love Kills, although the former has since become a memorial song to Munetaka Higuchi for all intents and purposes.
* CarefulWithThatAxe: Quite a few examples. Most recorded ones are courtesy of Mike Vescera and Masaki Yamada, but Minoru Niihara is doing more live, especially since more and harsher screaming fits how his voice has changed over time.
* ClusterFBomb: Quite a few songs.
** "Ya Stepped On A Mine" is a pretty good example:
-->Fuck you! I'll show you Power\\
Fuck you! I'll show you Justice\\
Fuck you! I'll give you Hell\\
Fuck you! Fuck you!
** "Hell Fire" is another great example, with its chorus:
-->Ogre fuck ogre fuck\\
God is in you\\
Angel fuck, angel fuck\\
The Devil's in you\\
God is in you\\
God is in you \\
Holy fuck holy fuck\\
A holy fuck you
* CoverVersion: During the time when Masaki Yamada was in the band, "House of 1000 Pleasures" by Yamada's previous band EZO was in their live repertoire (featured on the 1993 live album ''Once and for All'' and on the 1992 concert video ''Welcome to the Slaughter House''). 1994 live album ''Loud 'n' Raw'' includes a cover of DeepPurple's "Speed King". As for other bands covering Loudness songs, {{Therion}} covered "Crazy Nights" on their 1999 album ''Crowning of Atlantis'', and there have also been two Loudness tribute albums (one from 2001, the other from 2003). One of XJapan's very first live performances in the 80s (when the band consisted only of Yoshiki and Toshi) was "In The Mirror," and {{Galneryus}} once covered "Soldier of Fortune" in the Yama-B days.
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing: "Soldier Of Fortune." It's most likely a StealthParody of the BloodKnight and WarIsGlorious, but sometimes this is missed in how cool it sounds and what a rocking song it is.
* GratuitousEnglish: Multiple examples, but most memorably the chorus to their self-titled song from the first album:
-->We are the Loudness guy, feel in the sky\\
We are the Loudness guy, we feel high
* GriefSong: All of the songs on ''The Everlasting'' in their own way, as the album is Niihara's and Takasaki's tribute to Munetaka.
* {{Guyliner}}: Masaki Yamada often wore this onstage in both EZO and Loudness. TaijiSawada tended to wear it as an artifact of his far heavier makeup from his time in the VisualKei band [[XJapan X]].
* HarshVocals: Minoru Niihara and Masaki Yamada did this. [[HairMetal Mike Vescera tried]] but...
** Akira Takasaki, when he does vocals, backing or the occasional lead, has an ESPECIALLY harsh vocal sound.
* HeavyMeta: Overlaps a LOT with RockstarSong, especially with "Rock and Roll Gypsy" and ''The Everlasting''
* HeavyMetalUmlaut: Averted. None of Loudness's songs feature one.
* IAmTheBand: Akira Takasaki. When Munetaka and Niihara left, he became a type 2.
* IntercourseWithYou: Around one song per album, nevertheless not the most common theme for the band from 2001 onward. "Snake Venom" on ''Pandemonium,'' "Clima-XXX" on ''Spiritual Canoe'' and "Hell Fire" on ''King Of Pain '' are some examples of these though.
** A VERY common theme for [[KavorkaMan Minoru Niihara]] though, who [[AuthorAppeal seems to be the writer]] of all of the IntercourseWithYou. One of his solo projects has a song called "69," which is about ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* LeadBassist: In 1992, TaijiSawada joined the band.
** Masayoshi Yamashita is no pushover either, having written many songs for the band, even one of Taiji's songs "Everyone Lies".
* LongRunner: They are set to release a new album in August. It's chronological number in their studio discography? ''TWENTY-FIFTH''.
* LoudnessWar
* KavorkaMan / CasanovaWannabe: Minoru Niihara. Despite being, ahem, to put it nicely, a BigBeautifulMan from 2000 onward and having lost weight since to normal weight, but having due to age [[{{Gonk}} gained sallow leathery skin and MOOBS]], he writes pretty much every bit of IntercourseWithYou the band has come up with since he returned to it. And sings it. Whether this is nightmare fuel or fetish fuel is up to you. As is whether he is the KavorkaMan (is he singing about people and things he's done) or the CasanovaWannabe (things and people he merely wishes he could do).
* MarketBasedTitle: ''Shadows of War'' was retitled to ''Lightning Strikes'' when released outside Japan, and the song "Shadows of War" similarly was retitled to "Ashes in the Sky". (These versions of the album also feature a slightly different mix and a different running order.)
* MetalScream: Most often done by Masaki Yamada, though Minoru Niihara is very apt to do so as well, especially post 2006.
* MisogynySong: "Playing Games" from ''On The Prowl''
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Can range from 2 to 9. Some songs can range as well: "S.D.I." on 'Hurricane Eyes,' for example, is a 7. "S.D.I." in the 1992 Yamada + Sawada version is verging on an 8. "S.D.I." 2010 JITB Festival Live? Niihara's screaming for almost all the song made it a high 8 bordering on a 9.
* NiceHat: TaijiSawada was in the band for a bit. The others and even he would occasionally go for the distinctly not NiceHat baseball cap, but other times, this trope was definitely in play. Also, in some performances, Akira Takasaki will wear one over either his shaved head or to contain his long hair, and Minoru Niihara has taken to wearing one to obscure his receding hairline.
* NobodyLovesTheBassist: Largely averted. Loudness as a band is known for its legendary bass players. They had Music/TaijiSawada, who needs no introduction, and Naoto Shibata, who is another one of the very top bassists of Japan. They currently have (and have had, for the times Sawada and Shibata weren't the bassists) Masayoshi Yamashita, who is known for his piercing bass tone as well as his excellent composition ability on songs like "Everyone Lies" and "Black Wall".
* NumberOfTheBeast: They have an instrumental titled "222" (from ''Heavy Metal Hippies'') and more recently a song titled "#666" (from ''King of Pain'').
* OdeToIntoxication: "Crazy Night," and "Rock and Roll Gypsy" are implied for alcohol, "Black Biohazard" implied for heroin, and "Hit The Rails" implied for either cocaine or methamphetamine. "Evil Ecstasy," ([[CaptainObvious can you guess what substance?]]) "Burning Eye Balls" (substance unknown, [[EpilepticTrees possibly methamphetamine]]), "Junk His Head" (substance unknown, again), "Jack" (alcohol, specifically Jack Daniels whiskey), and "Rock Into The Night" (alcohol, it's almost TooSoon since this is on a tribute album for someone who ''died of liver cancer'') are all more explicit.
* PerformanceVideo: They have quite a few, including concert and tour footage as well.
* PrecisionFStrike: "Deadly Player" provides a good example of this style of usage, as opposed to Atomic and Cluster. "Don't give a damn, don't give a fuck-"
* ProtestSong: {{Loudness}} seems to love this trope:
** "Crazy Doctor" (1983-84) seems to be a condemnation of both Japanese mental health care/hospitalization (which at the time ''was'' in need of major reforms) and a cry for help from someone suffering mental illness yet trapped in the system, referencing [[NaziGermany Josef Mengele]].
** "Clockwork Toy" (1985) is a TakeThat to the idea of conformity and having to constantly maintain outside image. "No Way Out" from the same album, "Thunder In The East," seems to be a continuation of that theme along the lines of "conformity/abusive socialization drives one into mental illness."
** Yet another song from "Thunder In The East," "The Lines Are Down" is something incredibly unusual for 1980s Music/HeavyMetal by a male band (and sadly, for the band itself, see later): an anti-rape song, seeming to start from the rapist's perspective then flipping to encourage the [[FinalGirl victim]] to [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil kill her rapist]] and escape.
** "Shadows Of War/Ashes In The Sky" (1986) is another WarIsHell song. Which was arguably the prelude to...
** "S.D.I." (1987) which is a protest against the ColdWar arms race, which became a general anti-war anthem and one of the band's top songs. Minoru Niihara actually performed it as the opening song of a 2010 rock festival set.
** "Soldier Of Fortune" (1989) is arguably StealthParody of WarIsGlorious and the BloodKnight and of media coverage of war. "25 Days From Home" "Faces In The Fire" and "Demon Disease" from the same album are more direct expressions of WarIsHell and "Demon Disease" is a TakeThat to war and fighting.
** "Slaughter House" (1992) has lyrics protesting product-testing on animals. Also from that album we have "Racing The Wind," which is an angry Type 1 ReligionRantSong.
** "Howling Rain" (1994) is yet another anti-war song.
** "Miles High" (1998) could charitably be described as what happened when someone pushed Akira Takasaki's BerserkButton. It's a rant on Japan and Japanese culture of the late 90s. Everything from the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult's terrorism to society's empty materialism and conformity gets called out in the TakeThat that is this song. "Dogshit," the next song on the ''Dragon'' album, is a similar rant aimed at the US, specifically New York.
** "Sweet Dreams" (1999) is NOT a MarilynManson or Eurythmics cover, but rather a protest song aimed at racist stereotyping of Japanese.
** ''Pandemonium'' (November 2001) is pretty much an entire album devoted to WarIsHell, again, with TakeThat aimed at BOTH SIDES of the WarOnTerror. Notable songs are "Ya Stepped On A Mine," the [[HarsherInHindsight eerily prescient]] "Bloody Doom," and "The Pandemonium."
** "Racing" (2004) has "Misleading Man" which is a TakeThat at GeorgeWBush and has "Unknown Civilians" which is yet another WarIsHell song that is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, as well as a TakeThat at GeorgeWBush too.
** "Don't Spam Me" (2006) is a protest song directed at the {{Spammer}}.
** "Change" (2009) seemed to be a call for "being the change you seek."
** "The King Of Pain"/"King Of Pain" (2010) seems to be a venomous TakeThat to war profiteers and warmongers as embodied in the CorruptCorporateExecutive that encourages war.
** "2012" seems to be an entire album of Protest Songs, like Pandemonium 11 years earlier. Of particular note is "Bang Em' Dead" which seems to be a call to arms against government tyranny, particularly money-hungry politicians.
* RearrangeTheSong: Repeatedly. Most {{egregious}}ly with ''On The Prowl'' (which almost entirely consists of rearranged songs) and ''Rockshocks'' (which entirely consists of rearranged songs). Another example would be "Ares's Lament" from ''Disillusion'' which shows up virtually unchanged as "So Lonely" on ''Hurricane Eyes.'' Also with "The Eternal Soldiers" for which the music is a complete remix of "Death Machine" from ''King of Pain'' even if the words are changed.
* ReligionRantSong: A few. Some overlap with ProtestSongs (most notable being "King of Pain," which if the EpilepticTree that it refers to {{Jesus}} rather than to a PresidentEvil or a CorruptCorporateExecutive was true, would make it a Type 1). "Racing The Wind" is a type 1. "Broken Jesus" is arguably a type 2. "Apocalypse" is a type 1. "Babylon" is a type 2. "Desperate Religion" is a type 2 or 3.
* RockstarSong:
** "Loudness" (1982)
** "Satisfaction Guaranteed" (1984)
** "Crazy Night" (1985)
** "Rock and Roll Gypsy" and "Rock This Way" (1987)
** "Dreamer and Screamer" (1988)
** Arguably "Down and Dirty" and "Deadly Player" (1991)
** "House of Freaks" (1994)
** "Greatest Ever Heavy Metal" and "The Metal Man"- 2014
** Some people might argue the combination of the albums ''Ghetto Machine,'' ''Engine,'' and ''Dragon'' to be this as a drawn-out, disgusted reflection on the dark side of/aftermath of SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll by Takasaki as he was "coming down" off of that life. .
** ''The Everlasting.'' An entire album of {{Rockstar Song}}s, as a tribute to Munetaka Higuchi.
* SelfTitledAlbum -- They have both a self-titled song and a self-titled album (note that that song is not on that album, though).
* SillyLoveSongs: Almost way too many to list. That said, their love songs tend to avert a lot of silly tropes (and some are VERY touching: these would be "The Love Of My Life" from ''Breaking The Taboo'' and "I Wonder" from ''The Everlasting'' (which is a RealLife TearJerker: the vocalist Niihara is singing to the now-dead Munetaka.)
* TheSixthRanger: Masayuki Suzuki.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS -- Hiro Honma/Homma (in kanji it's spelled 本間大嗣)
* StopAndGo -- Used many times in "Street Woman" (from ''The Birthday Eve'').
* SuccessionCrisis: Not only was Munetaka one of the band co-founders, not only was he a major creative member for his times in the band, he was also one of the, if not ''the'', best heavy metal drummers in Japan right up until he became too weak to play. That said, Masayuki Suzuki seems to be more than capable of reaching Munetaka's level of technical skill on the faster songs, so the band's quality didn't change for the worse... except on slower songs such as "So Lonely" where you can definitely tell a negative difference.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish -- Their English lyrics throughout 1985-1999 generally didn't have serious grammatical errors, although they did sometimes have help from native English speakers (and in 1989-1991 had an American singer).
* TakeThat: The band's memorial song for TaijiSawada is "Black Widow," which, if you know the circumstances of his death, is probably ''the'' most apt of his songs to play in memory. ([[DontExplainTheJoke His death was in part due to a]] BlackWidow.)
* TooMuchInformation: Minoru Niihara on his personal blog tends to go here. Being a BigEater, what goes in must come out... and he apparently likes to [[http://blog.goo.ne.jp/m-niihara/e/db786dd59470fd276608b6f55e846292 blog about]] [[http://blog.goo.ne.jp/m-niihara/e/3c7b053acc16872cd1dfb4c5c5cd2c59 both ends]] of said process.
* TrainSong: "Hit The Rails"
* VisualKei: [[SubvertedTrope Not exactly]]...Loudness is not a VK band, however they started out as HairMetal and used kei-inspired makeup. Masaki Yamada's onstage makeup was the most heavily kei-inspired, seeing as he carried it over from EZO, which were even more kei-leaning.
** TaijiSawada was a VisualKei bassist who first became famous with Music/XJapan which was one of the founding bands of VisualKei.
** It could be argued that the Sawada and Yamada era was ''heavily'' inspired by VisualKei for both's looks (and for Munetaka's look at the time as well) and for the lyrics both wrote, which seemed to emphasize the more metal side of VK. This however did ''not'' apply to Akira Takasaki, who looked like a NewAgeRetroHippie.
* WarIsHell: Obviously, someone in the band either believes this or thinks that writing songs around WarIsHell rather than WarIsGlorious is a good way to stand out.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Masaki Yamada.
** In the 1992-94 era, almost everyone was a WalkingShirtlessScene at times. AkiraTakasaki was in the ''Once And For All'' live, and TaijiSawada was in at least one photoshoot (which is the only place all of his tattoos can be seen).
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