Saber Tiger
The Best of

1. Dance Macabre
2. Im Paradisum
3. Die Young
4. All Year Long
5. Descending
6. Ghost
7. The Pentagram
8. Mirror
9. The Day I Die
10. Only Death Is Real

Akihito Kinoshita - guitar, leader
Yasuharu "Machine" Tanaka - guitar
Takenori Shimoyama - vocals
Yasuhiro Mizuno - drums

Invasion (1992)
Agitation (1994)
Timystery (1995)
Project One (1997)
Brain Drain (1998)
Saber Tiger (2001)
F.U.S.E. (2002)
Indignation (2005)
Decisive (2011)
Messiah Complex (2012)



Released 2015-10-02
Reviewed 2015-11-25

cleopatra records

サーベル・タイガー Saberu Taiga that is what this Japanese band from Sapporo calls themselves, and why not call yourself something like that when you offer something with a little bite? They are probably Japan’s most famous hardrock/metal band with nine albums, a few EPs, compilations, DVDs and demos on their long CV. Plenty of members have come and gone during the almost 35 years the band has been going, it was formed as far back as 1981 but the debut LP saw the light of day in 1992 and the first release on a major label was 1997. It is to celebrate 35 years they gather some of their best music and put together this compilation consisting of a dozen tracks from their best albums.

It is metal of the Japanese school and anyone who has heard a Japanese band of that type - be it Saber Tiger themselves, Double Dealer, Concerto Moon or Lightning who recently was reviewed by us – will know just about how it sounds. Saber Tiger’s music is quite heavy yet melodic, the singer sounds Japanese but does very good singing in English and as usual with Japanese bands there is a song where he sings in Japanese as well. The sound of this album is good and the feeling is that it is coherent even though the songs are from different album, but they are from the same era in the band’s history which probably helps in that regard. I think the album is rather varied even though I also think that it may be a little on the longer side.

In my years as a reviewer I have heard a few Japanese bands and albums, it may not be what I hear most but I think I hear enough to know a little about their music scene, and this I must say ranks amongst the stronger. To me Saber Tiger is the best of the Japanese bands and as they may not be super famous on an international level I think that this compilation might serve a purpose in introducing the music of this band to a wider audience. I think that it would arouse curiosity to check out more of what this band has to offer as it is very solid, the songs are great and the energy and heaviness is really something that grabs your interest so I can recommend that you take a close lock at this album as I believe it is worth both the time and the investment.

The ending track sung in Japanese (with some English parts) is a great way to end, possibly the best track of the album even though the first track is a strong contender for that title. I think that we can conclude that this compilation is a great way to celebrate the first 35 years of this band’s existence, even though it will really be 35 years next year. I think that you will find this very agreeable if you like heavy metal or if you are looking for something a little more exotic than your everyday German or British heavy metal band, it is a record with a lot of bite that holds the interest of the listener really well. 素晴らしいアルバム!




Label: Cleopatra Records
Three similar bands: Concerto Moon/Double Dealer/Lightning

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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