Mel – Lead Vocals
Hiroaki Kato – Guitars, Bouzouki, Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Shigetsugu Hagiya – Guitars
Yugo Maeda – Bass
Yuki Pazzy Iraka – Pianos, Mellotrons, Organs, Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Kazuhiro Kaneko – Drums & Cymbals
Takashi Miyamoto (2010-present)
EARLY CROSS are a Japan-based band whose musical style embodies what has been called “Landscape Rock“.
Their musical originality has its base in rock music, but is also influenced by various styles of music from heavy metal, progressive rock, gothic rock, and European folk music to world music. They have succeeded in creating a kind of music that would make you “see landscapes” by its inorganic-organic contrast and emotion-eliciting profound melodies interwoven throughout their songs.
In their music, sometimes they restrain rising emotions with a cool hand, and sometimes they let them burst forth. Their fans appraise their sound as “wondrous and magical as if All About Eve has acquired the power of the earth” and call their music “landscape rock” for their original and distinctive musical perspective.
2002: Formed in Chiba Prefecture, starts activities mostly by performing live in Tokyo and its suburbs.
2006: Joined by Natasha Vaichuk, a vocalist of Ukrainian-Japanese decent.
Early 2010: Released a mini album “Solstice” from IHATOV Productions. Initially it was released in digital format only from the iTunes Store and was later re-released on CD by request from many fans.
“Solstice” was highly appreciated worldwide by a number of review sites, being described as:
“hybrid sound that has avant-garde sensibility and heavy, atmospheric moods at the same time”,
“a kind of music that you have never heard before”,
“a masterpiece that would astonish you with the fact that the band creating such lyrical, solemn and bleak music that reminds you of European scenery is actually from Japan”.
This EP led the band to a contract as “the first and currently the only band from Asia” with the “Lion Music” label in Finland which is renowned for its ample lineup of proficient prog metal bands.
January 2010: Performed on the main stage of the “FAR EAST RAMPAGE -ADDICT XX-” festival at Club Citta’ in Kawasaki, also joining the compilation album “Enter The Rampage” released at the timing of the same event.
September 2010: Performed on the main stage of the “Narita World Music Festival 2010” in Chiba Prefecture.
October 2010: Performed at the “THE GATE OF ADDICTION” festival held in Osaka.
July 2011: Joined a benefit album “Embrace The Sun – Lion Music Japan Benefit Project” planned by “Lion Music” to support those suffering from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. EARLY CROSS was the only band joining from Asia.
November 2011: Released a special, limited-quantity Christmas EP “December’s Cross: Dasher” from IHATOV Productions. This EP also drew attention for the pioneering and innovative styles of its production and promotion. The production was partially financed by taking pre-orders from the initial stage. The promotion was conducted not only on their official website but also via social networking services (SNS) such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Thereafter, while conducting live performances and songwriting at the same time, in summer 2012, EARLY CROSS recorded their very first full-length album at Studio NEST, in Chiba Prefecture (where such artists as FACT, Maximum The Hormone, Defiled et al. have also made recordings).
Jan Erik Liljeström from Anekdoten participated in the recording as a guest musician.
The album was mixed by Christer-André Cederberg (ex-Animal Alpha, ex-In the Woods…) who has been nominated five times in the Norwegian Grammy Awards and is well-known for working with Anathema, Circus Maximus, New Empire, Petter Carlsen et al.
The mastering of the album was done at Propeller Mastering, Oslo, Norway by Chris Sansom who has been in charge of a number of masterpieces by Anathema, Jaga Jazzist, Motorpsycho, Bernhoft, Enslaved, Bertine Zetlitz et al.
This excellent team, one of the best Norwegian production teams, led the album to its completion.
The artwork, which superbly visualizes the perspectives of the music, was created by Takashi Miyamoto, a truly talented graphic designer who has been involved in the production of “Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn”, Otomo Katsuhiro’s “Farewell to Weapons”, etc.
Seems we cannot keep our eyes off of this “pathfinder” from the Far East.
EARLY CROSS have performed with:
DGM(from Italy), Nocturne Moonrise(from Taiwan) FACT, Mariko Gotoh, Alhambra, Northern19, Special Providence(from Hungary), Dave Juteau Band, Djizoes(from Switzerland), Mother Kingdom(from Switzerland), IN BLOOM(from Sweden), Felipe Gomez Bass Invaders (from Chile), Curiosity(from USA), Jurassic Jade, Terror Squad, 五人一首, Baraka, TEE, Phantasmagoria, Machine Messiah, Yuka Funakoshi & Chronoship, SincerityGreen, Bellfast, SoundWitch, GxSxD, exist†trace, Mary’s Blood… and various other artists, domestic and international, regardless of genre.
•Solstice – EP (2010)
•December’s Cross: Dasher – Christmas EP (2011)
•December’s Cross: Dancer – Christmas EP (2012)
•Pathfinder – Full Album (2013)
•December’s Cross: Prancer – Christmas EP (2013)
•December’s Cross: Vixen – Christmas EP (2014)
•December’s Cross: Comet – Christmas EP (2015)
•December’s Cross: Cupid – Christmas EP (2016)