X Japan announces first album in 20 years

by Melynie Yoneda

Staff Writer

X Japan leader Yoshiki Hayashi announced Saturday that the group will be releasing its first album in 20 years.

The drummer, who goes by Yoshiki, made the official announcement on Saturday at the 16th Japan Expo in Paris. It will be the group’s first studio album since 1996’s “Dahlia,” and their sixth overall. According to Yoshiki, the LP will be made up of entirely new material and include “Kiss the Sky,” the song that appears as background music in the group’s “X Day” promotional video.

X Japan is looking at a worldwide release on March 11, 2016, which will also mark the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. X Day festivities will commence in full on the following day with a concert at London’s SSE Arena, Wembley. The group’s first documentary film, directed by American filmmaker Stephen Kijak, will also premiere March 12.

Dubbed by Rolling Stone magazine as “rock’s most flamboyant survivors,” X Japan has had a rocky history with the suicide of lead guitarist Hideto “Hide” Matsumoto in 1998 and subsequent line-up changes. The group is also recognized as pioneers of the metal-tinged visual-kei genre.