When pop fans hear the words "death metal," they may cringe as they imagine songs about nails in the neck or impalements by bands with names like Cannibal Corpse and Dying Fetus. What may not spring to mind are songs about feudal Japan.

"I think the death metal voice resembles a war cry," explains Tokyo-based Gotsu Totsu Kotsu bassist/vocalist Haruhisa Takahata. It's one of the reasons he believes death metal and samurai make such a superb pair.

While Japanese history and mythology may seem like an odd topic to theme a death metal band on, it's actually in keeping with the genre.