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Established in 2003, the Japanese metal act Girugämesh rose to prominence in just a few years, thanks to their combination of visual kei looks and the Linkin Park/Machine Head heavy but melodic sound. Girugämesh also serve as a blueprint success story for aspiring youngsters, because the bandmembers shot to success in Japan and tours in the U.S. and Europe straight from school. It fact, bassist Shuu and guitarist Nii have been friends since elementary school, but it wasn't until high school that they took a stab at being rock stars, forming Girugämesh, first with vocalist Cyrien and guitarist Hotaru, replaced in 2004 by Satoshi on vocals and _yo on drums and songwriting. The band began working the traditional way -- by playing local clubs and releasing demos, followed by the first maxi-single Kaisen Sengen: Kikaku Kata Enban in August 2004. The record reached the Oricon indie Top Ten. Girugämesh went up the spiral of touring/releasing after that, playing live with Henzel, Rivue, and Marusa and recording the EP Goku: Shohan Kata Enban in 2005 and doing a solo tour and a debut full-length, 13's Reborn, in 2006. The first foreign break for the band came in 2007, when Girugämesh played the J-Rock Revolution fest in Los Angeles along with Merry, MUCC, and D'espairs Ray, and also became one of the few Japanese bands to make its material available on iTunes. The EP Reason of Crying and an eponymous album were also released in 2007 (the latter got stateside distribution in 2008), and the next year the band hit the road big-time again, debuting live in France, U.K., Sweden, Finland, and Germany (a stint at Wacken Open Air included) before releasing its third full-length, Music, in November 2008. ~ Alexey Eremenko

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