ASTERISM recently completed their second US tour, with their first stop in Los Angeles, CA at the high-profile Anime Expo, Santa Ana, CA in the West Coast leg of the tour, and then rounding off in New York City, NY to cover the East Coast portion of the tour. We caught up with them at their second stop, a free concert at the Observatory in Santa Ana, earlier this summer.
Established in 2014, ASTERISM is a three member heavy metal band, with members Hal-Ca on guitar/main vocals, and brothers Miyu on bass/backup vocals and Mio on drums. Their most recent release, Aside, featured five original songs. Highlighted during the US tour was the album Animetic, covering songs from fan favorite anime series.
Music enthusiasts and anime fans lined up early on a bright July afternoon, trickling in when doors opened into the dimly lit venue. Seasoned rockers made their way to the barricade, settling into the spots with the best view. A few folks grabbed drinks from the bar and checked out merchandise in the back. The muffled sound of light conversation in the background rested atop pop songs playing over the speakers. The bright lights from phones reflected on faces as they scrolled through their news feeds. Unlike most rock concerts, a mellow and calm atmosphere permeated the humid, intimate space.
As the seconds trickled down, the buzzing anticipation from the crowd grew. The members suddenly emerged from the black curtains, and took their place in front of their instruments. As soon as they struck the first cord from “STARS,” the first song from their second album GUERNICA+a, the crowd exploded with a roar of cheers, setting the mood for the rest of the performances.
ASTERISM’s discography are mostly instrumentals, or rather, “instrumetals,” with Hal-Ca performing vocals on several songs. The highlights of the night were tributes to classic rock songs, Slipknot’s “Before I Forget” and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” with the audience passionately chanting along to the lyrics. The anime metal covers of “廻廻奇譚 / Kaikai Kitan” from Jujutsu Kaisen and “unravel” from Tokyo Ghoul followed with the loudest ovations. The electrifying enthusiasm and explosive energy was infectious, with a mosh pit spontaneously starting in the middle of a few performances. The audience was also treated to a new song, “Shooting Star” not presently on any album. ASTERISM’s highly technical skills and unabashed ferocity have solidified their place as the premiere Japanese metal rock band to watch out for.
Set List (July 9, 2023)
- Rising Moon
- 廻廻奇譚 / Kaikai Kitan – Instrumetal Version (Eve 6 Cover, from Jujutsu Kaisen)
- unravel – Instrumetal Version (amazarashi Cover, from Tokyo Ghoul)
- Before I Forget (Slipknot Cover)
- Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne Cover)
- LIVE HOUSE
- Light In The Darkness
- Shooting Star