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Eternal Elysium

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Japan's Eternal Elysium struggled in obscurity throughout much of the 1990s, eventually attaining cult-band status with a batch of extremely rare, but very sought-after singles and compilation tracks before finally finding greater commercial exposure in the 2000s. When his former New Wave of British Heavy Metal-inspired band, Ran-Ja, collapsed in 1991, guitarist Yukito Okazaki founded Eternal Elysium with bassist Atsutoshi Tachimoto and drummer Jiro Murakami. Seeking to spice up their traditional metal flavor with elements of psychedelic rock and Japanese music, the trio recorded a couple of demos leading up to 1993's independently released Faithful LP. Then, in a pattern that would repeat itself throughout the band's long career, the rhythm section took its leave, resulting in various part-time replacements (including, briefly, bassist Jun Kawasaki and drummer Yasuhiro Okada), while the ever-present Okazaki sought to secure a proper recording contract for Eternal Elysium. Such a deal would not surface until 1996, when Japan's own Eclipse Records decided to take a chance on the group, now rounded out by bassist Eiichi Okuyama and drummer Takashi Kuroda. But even then, unforeseen problems continued to plague the band, beginning with a serious illness which sidelined Okazaki for almost six months, then repeated demo sessions over the next few years which failed to yield any material deemed releasable by the record company (these recordings were later known as The Spiral Conclusion vols. 1, 2, and 3). Finally, after years of seemingly fruitless toil highlighted only by the sporadic inclusion of their songs in compilation albums, Eternal Elysium landed a deal with Meteor City Records, for whom they recorded 1999's Spiritualized D LP. Rounding up highlights from the previous decade as well as some new material, the album was released in America the following year, after which a newly revamped Eternal Elysium (big surprise there) featuring a new rhythm section of Toshiaki Umemura (bass) and Rio Okuya (drums) began work on 2002's Share. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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Years Active:

'90s, '00s