Guitar Spotlight: Akira Takasaki


Photo by Hiro Photo

This weeks guitar player hails from Japan where he is well known for his early contributions to the 80’s Metal scene.  His name is Akira Takasaki of the rock band Loudness.  The first time I heard Akira play guitar it totally blew my mind! He has the ability to use a special mix of melodies and harmonies, while at the same time, keeping the volume on his Marshall set to 11! Aside from his soloing, the rhythms of his songs are very catchy and constructed outside the standards of normality.  No doubt he would have been a good fit for Queensryche when they started out.  The possibilities are endless in terms of the metal that could have been… but what he did with Loundess was pretty damn awesome to say the least.

As a native from the land of the rising sun, Akira never got the recognition he deserved worldwide like Malmsteen, Vai, Lynch and Hammett did during that same period of time, but his efforts on vinyl clearly stand out from the rest.



The band’s international career began in 1985 with “Thunder in the East”, which sold quite well in the U.S. for its face value,  giving the band false hopes about their popularity by western metal audiences.  Subsequent efforts,   “Lightning Strikes” and “Hurricane Eyes” were records geared for the American commercial market, and saw the band slowly sail away from their roots towards a more bubble gum, pop-metal sound.  All to be short lived soon thereafter.


  • Loudness, was the first Japanese metal band ever signed to an American recording contract.
  • Akira considered by many as the greatest Asian guitarist ever.

Below is a list of his most notable shredding:


  • The Birthday Eve (1981)
  • Devil Soldier (1982)
  • The Law of Devil’s Land (1983)
  • Disillusion (1984)
  • Thunder in the East (1985)




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