The Demons have returned to Earth

24 Aug

I like to listen to heavy metal music. I enjoy most all “genres” of heavy metal (as “heavy metal” itself is a “genre” of rock music, you may be surprised that there are different “types” of heavy metal music).

Some of my favorite bands are KISS, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Megadeth and “pre-1991” Metallica.

But I’d say my favorite heavy metal genre is “Shock Rock“.
Bands that have a shocking* or “over-the-top” image and stage-show to go with their excellent music.

Bands in this genre includes acts such as KISS, Alice Cooper, Lordi, GWAR, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, W.A.S.P., etc.

The concerts by these bands include frightening costumes and/or make-up, fire, blood, guillotines, snakes , and bats (one even had it’s head bit off 😉 ) all while playing the type of music I enjoy.
It’s a much more entertaining concert than is common by musicians of other types of music.

And of course since I’ve been living in Japan for the past twenty years I listen to a number of Japanese bands as well.
I wrote a post about the Japanese hard rock band X-Japan. I think they’re okay.

Then there’s the Japanese band 「カブキロックス」 (Kabuki Rocks). Probably inspired by the American band KISS (who, ironically, were inspired by Japanese 歌舞伎 (Kabuki theater)), Kabuki Rocks dress as Japanese kabuki actors while they’re on stage performing.
Here’s a video of them performing their most famous song 「お江戸」 (“O-Edo“):

But probably the best Japanese band in this genre is 「聖飢魔 II」 (“Seikima-Two“).

「聖飢魔II」 ("Seikima-II")

Their name is kind of a Japanese play-on-words. It’s spelled to say “The Holy Starving Demons (II)” but is pronounced “Seikimatsu”, which means “The end of the century”.

The reason for their name is because their gimmick is that they are a band of demons who came to Earth from Hell to punish humans for destroying the environment.

The band was formed in the 1980s and they intended from the beginning to take over the world and disband on New Years Eve 1999 at 11:59:59PM (the “end of the century”), and that’s what they did.
(Well, they didn’t take over the “world” but they were popular in Japan in the 1990s).

I remember at the height of their popularity in the ’90s, the lead vocalist “Demon Kogure” was doing funny TV commercials for Fuji Film.

"Demon Kogure", lead vocalist

In these commercials, the “demon” with his spiky hair and make-up was the “father” of a kindergarten-age girl.
Instead of his usual outfits that he wore, in these commercials he dressed in regular “human clothes” and he’d have some humorous adventure and his “daughter” would snap a photo of his facial expression with a “Fuji Film” disposable camera.

I liked these commercials a lot.

Here’s one where his “daughter” is on her school bus and he’s trying to give her her lunch that he forgot to give before she got on the bus:

And another one where he’s trying (and failing) to fly a kite with his “daughter” at New Years time (which is a tradition in Japan):

These commercials were so popular in Japan in the ’90s that Fuji Film began to offer “Demon Kogure” alarm clocks and pajamas (with “spiky hair” night-cap).
I remember that I wanted the alarm clock…but I didn’t buy film often enough to acquire the necessary “points” to get one. Oh well.

Here’s the commercial for the clock and pajamas:

Anyways, as I mentioned above, 「聖飢魔 II」 (“Seikima-II“) disbanded on New Years Eve 1999 at one second before midnight…but this year they had a reunion concert (including a show in America and one in France) and a new album.

I intend to get their new album.

Here’s a promotion video for a song by them that I like. It’s called 「蝋人形の館」 (“House of Wax”):

8 Responses to “The Demons have returned to Earth”

  1. Metal Misfit August 29, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    As a KISS fan, I have to say Seikima-II looks pretty cool! The music isn’t half bad either! Those Fuji commercials are pretty entertaining.


    • tokyo5 August 29, 2010 at 3:38 am #

      Actually, I was waiting for your comment on this post. 😉

      Their “KISS-like” make-up and outfits are what originally got me interested in this band years ago.


  2. metalodyssey August 25, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Dude… this entire post is FABULOUS! I’m telling ya’… Japan knows how to have FUN with their commercials and incorporating Heavy Metal with Fuji was brilliance. This Seikima II is one melodic and cool band. They kinda remind me of Dokken… with the “soft” vocals and the lead guitar. I think it is a wise choice for this band to make a return… their good. What a strange story though… deliberately “retiring” at the stroke of New Years in ’99. That’s so bizarre!

    I don’t understand a syllable of Japanese and I still enjoyed that Seikima II song a good deal. I’ll probably hunt down an album of theirs now… most likely their new album too. I just won’t expand on the lyrical content if I ever did a review on them. 😉

    BTW… that alarm clock and other Seikima II merchandise must be worth $$$ on the secondary market now?

    Thanks for sharing this stuff… I had my 10 year old daughter watch that Seikima II video with me… she agrees with me, they are good!



    • tokyo5 August 26, 2010 at 12:56 am #

      Thanks for the kind words.

      If you buy one of their CDs and write a review, I definitely would like to read it!

      >that alarm clock and other Seikima II merchandise must be worth $$$ on the secondary market now?

      Yeah, maybe. Because they haven’t been available from Fuji Film for almost twenty years.


  3. RattRocker August 25, 2010 at 4:14 am #

    very interesting, apparently they are going to wait to 2013 now right?


    • tokyo5 August 26, 2010 at 12:54 am #

      Sorry. I don’t know what you mean.
      Wait until 2013 for what?


      • RattRocker August 26, 2010 at 11:25 am #

        the end of the world, it is some theroy that that because the Mayan calender ended in 2013 that the world would end.


      • tokyo5 August 27, 2010 at 2:09 am #

        >the end of the world

        I see.
        「聖飢魔 II」 (Seikima II) is the “end of the century“, not the end of the world.


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