BAAL. Japanese Industrial Cyberpunk band.

How to describe the awesomeness that is Baal? Think hard rock/metal/industrial  – or as they describe themselves “Cybernetic Heavy Industrial Rock,” transcending industrial, electro and modern heavy rock styles.

Baal is
  • U-tarou: Vocals
  • MIKITO: Guitars, programming, synth, concepts
  • Chihiro: Drums
I’ll let the Gauntlet  describe the band’s beginnings:

BAAL came into being in June 2005 as the next step for CHRONOTRIGGER, the band’s former name. In both guises, the band has been at the forefront of spreading the Digital Heavy Industrial sound concept throughout Japan’s underground scene.

As CHRONOTRIGGER, the band played many shows across Japan’s industrial and dark music scenes including Android 666, the Kobe Underground Festival and Auto-Mod’s Tokyo Dark Castle. During this period, the band also released its demo CD featuring the tracks “On the Surface” and “Judgment.”

In 2005, the industrial event “JUNK CHILDREN#1” was held in Japan, headlined by BAAL and Despair. In the same year, BAAL released their debut single CD “Bloody_Logic_Communication” to rave reviews.

2006 saw BAAL hitting the overseas market and gaining good exposure. In November they toured Germany for the first time.

U-Tarou appeared on the cover of Astan Magazine in Germany, and a 4 page interview appeared in The Dose, (download it here). This issue focused largely on the Tokyo scene and also featured Sisen, Aural Vampire, Psydoll, Blood, D’espairs Ray and Australia’s own (and very awesome) Angelspit!

In November 2006 their first mini-album was released: “TERRITORY OF B.A.A.L”.

June 2008 saw BAAL touring Australia for the first time (performing gigs in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney) with ANGELSPIT on their “Splatterball” tour. They released their new album “RELIGION 616”, in conjunction with the tour.

BAAL’s second Germany tour (Berlin, Chemnitz,Koln) took place in March 2007, and was even more successful than their first. They also did a fantastically dark and moody photoshoot with brilliant alternative scene photographer Viona, which you can see more of here.

In July 2009 BAAL organized their own event, “King of Evil 13” – and the second one will be held next month in Shinjuku (which I’ll be attending!)

The band continues to play at clubs such as Tokyo Dark Castle and are well known on the Tokyo and Osaka scenes. BAAL has also remixed tracks for several well-known artists including ANGELSPIT, LEFT SPINE DOWN and Spectrum-X to name a few.

For more, see the official BAAL website, or go to their MySpace to hear the raw power of BAAL.

I’d like to also talk about the other side of the equation – the great people that U-tarou and Miki are personally.  Baal had met Angelspit on a European tour, where they hung out and bonded, and planned to one day tour together. I then met Baal when they came to Australia for the Splatterb
all tour.

As I was mates with Amelia and Karl, I got introduced to Miki and U-tarou. Another friend Briony was the merch girl for Angelspit, as well as interpreter, so she got to know the gang really well.
When Briony and I hit Tokyo last year, we hung out a lot with U-tarou and Miki, and I soon came to love them as well. They are really funny people, ridiculously generous, and humble, with no rockstar pretensions whatsoever.
Here are a bunch of pics from my visit last March/April.
Having arvo tea in Shinjuku, U-tarou had iced coffee and got BRAIN FREEZE!!

Then on Saturday, we descended on Harajuku, visited Takuya Angel and hung out with Sisen (here’s the video of the day).

They even came out to Alamode with us – and knowing everyone in the goth scene there, got us backstage to the green room! You’ll see quite a few familiar faces below. We took lots of pics (and drank lots of beer!)

GPK was there (Briony is to the right with the gorgeous make-up and lashes)
And then after the club, drunk and silly, we took MORE photos…

That’s more than enough for one post. I can’t WAIT to get back there, see these guys live at King of Evil 13, and just have more fun. Check Baal’s music out – if you like hardcore, I think you’ll be impressed!