Dead End (band)

Dead End (band)
Dead End
Origin Tokyo, Japan
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal
Years active 1984–1990, 2009–present
Labels Night Gallery, Victor, BMG Japan, Danger Crue, Motorod,
Metal Blade (NA)
Associated acts Terra Rosa, Saber Tiger,
The Willard
Crazy Cool Joe
Past members

Dead End (デッドエンド?, stylized as DEAD END) is an influential Japanese metal/rock band formed in Tokyo in 1984.[1] They were one of few Japanese metal bands who had international exposure in the United States during the eighties.[2] Originally disbanded in 1990, Dead End reunited in 2009 after almost two decades.

Although they achieved only limited commercial success in their homeland, Dead End had a significant impact on its rock scene, influencing numerous musicians in, or related to, the developing visual kei scene in the 1990s. Specifically Morrie who inspired the visual appearance and rough vocal style of many prominent singers.[1][3]



1984–90: Formation to disbandment

"The name Dead End to us implied that we will be the last of something. Nothing like us would come after us, really the end, definitive."

 —Morrie, on the band's name.[4]

Dead End was formed in December 1984 by singer Morrie and guitarist Takahiro, both previously in the band Liar, bassist Crazy Cool Joe coming from the band Rajas, and drummer Tano from Terra Rosa.[5] They had their first show in March 1985, at the Osaka Bourbon House in front of almost 500 people.[6]

In 1986, they went on a nationwide tour called "Dademonium Break Tour '86 Vol.1", after which guitarist Takahiro left and was replaced by You from Terra Rosa. In June they released their first records, the singles "Replica" and "Worst Song" on the independent label Night Gallery.[5] Followed by their debut album Dead Line on June 30,[5] which sold 20,000 copies, a rare achievement for a "house" band not yet signed to a major label.[5] To commemorate the release of the album, the band played the Osaka Bourbon House again, and this time had a crowd of 800 people.[6]

Dead End circa late 1987, from left to right: Minato, Joe, Morrie, You.

In 1987, drummer Tano left the band due to poor health, just before Dead End signed to major label Victor Entertainment.[5] He was replaced by Masafumi Minato from Saber Tiger after an audition held in May, completing the "classic" line-up that remained until their disbandment.[5] On September 8 the band released their most successful album Ghost of Romance, which reached No.14 on the Oricon chart.[7] At the end of the year Dead End signed with the American label Metal Blade Records for releases of Ghost of Romance and their next album. It was released on January 1 of the next year, and although it didn't enter the charts, it received a very good review in Kerrang! magazine.[8]

On May 21, 1988 Dead End released their third album Shambara, followed by their first major single "Blue Vices" in December.[7] That same month Psychoscape, a live video recording from their concert on September 24 at Shibuya Public Hall, was released. Shambara was released in the United States on September 1, and like the previous album it did not chart but received good reviews.[7][9] Though music videos of "Danse Macabre" and "Blue Vices" were airing on MTV's Headbangers Ball television program,[4] and their songs had decent airplay on rock radio stations,[8] Morrie notes that "it just happened" and he "was not conscious of the US at that time."[4]

The year 1989 started off with the band signing to major label BMG Japan, and they soon went to London, England to write songs and record video material until May.[10] At this time their style changed, with the music being softer than their previous releases.[10] On July 9 they held a concert in Shinjuku called "Standing Convention Gig", where played many new songs, that same month their second major single "So Sweet So Lonely" was released .[10] On September 21 they released their fourth album Zero, in October they went on a live club tour and in mid-November a concert hall tour.[10] It was this year when they started getting major exposure and promotion on TV. At the year's end they released their second live video Hyperd., which was recorded at their concert at Hibiya outdoor music hall.

However, after a concert at the Nakano Sun Plaza on January 21, 1990, Minato left Dead End and the members decided to disband.[10] On April 21 the single "Good Morning Satellite" was released, and on July 21 a self-titled live album recorded at their last concert was released.[10]

2009–11: Reunion and current activities

On July 3, 2009, after almost 20 years, Dead End announced they would reunite on August 15 at "Jack in the Box 2009 Summer" at Makuhari Messe.[3][11] On October 1, a new album titled Metamorphosis was announced for release on November 11 by Danger Crue Records.[12] Also released was a remastered release of Dead Line (also available in a limited edition including a DVD from a concert in January 1987 at Osaka Manichi Hall),[13] SHM-CD releases of Ghost of Romance and Shambara, and reissues of Zero and Dead End on Blu-spec CDs in December, all with bonus tracks.[13] They went on to perform sold out concerts on November 17 at Osaka Big Cat and November 20 at Shibuya-AX, which Minato chose not to participate in.[14][15] Since the reunion he has not toured live with the band, being replaced by Shinya Yamada (Luna Sea) and later by Kei Yamazaki (Venomstrip).[16]

On March 20, 2010, Dead End performed on the second day of the Rock May Kan venue's 30 anniversary concert "Legend of Rock May Kan" at JCB Hall, along with D'erlanger and 44 Magnum.[17] Two days later, they performed at the concert "Third Devour" at Namba Hatch in Osaka, the third in a concert series called "Four Wizards Night-Crawling", joined by Gastunk, Pay Money to My Pain and Cocobat.[18] In August, they performed at "Rock in Japan Festival 2010" in Hitachi Seaside Park and "Jack in the Box Summer 2010".[19][20]

In 2011, from January 22 to February 8 Dead End supported Acid Black Cherry on a Zepp tour.[21] On August 8 they hosted a charity concert titled "Fourth Devour" at Shibuya O-East, where themselves, Pay Money to My Pain and Lynch. performed. All proceeds were donated to the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[22] In October they held a three-date tour called "Death Ace 2011",[23] with the final concert at Shibuya O-West on October 13 being broadcast live worldwide via Ustream.[24][25] On October 23, they performed at the "V-Rock Festival '11" held at Saitama Super Arena.[26]

On November 9, Dead End will release their first single in over twenty years, "Conception", the first in a three-month series of consecutive releases.[27] The second will be "Final Feast", which is scheduled to be released on December 14, the band also confirmed a nationwide tour for 2012.[28]

Music style and influence

Dead End, both in local and in Western media, was seen as a non-typical metal band whose music is hard to categorize.[8][7] Allmusic author Eduardo Rivadavia, wrote that they're a "prototypical Japanese melodic heavy metal band"[29], while in the '80s Kerrang! magazine review on Shambara, their music was described as similar to those of the English bands The Mission and The Cult, whose music takes cues from gothic, hard rock and post-punk.[7] In the same review, Morries vocal style was described as an intermediate between Graham Bonnet and Wayne Hussey.[7] Also in the year before their disbandment Dead End's style changed, with the music being softer and poppier in sound than their previous releases.[10] Although opposite of the media, Morrie doesn't think of Dead End as a metal band.[4] On the question "If there was one single song that best showcases the soul of Dead End" You said he's fond of some songs, but doesn't think there is a song that showcases Dead End, while for Morrie is "Song of a Lunatic", that "is a look into the abyss, the back of my head".[13]

The majority of the bands catalog of music is written by You, followed by Morrie, and then Takahiro, who wrote seven of eight songs on the first album.[5] Morrie is responsible for all the lyrics, which are mostly in Japanese with some English lines, and contributed three songs on the second,[8] and four (two with bands producer Hajime Okano) on the fourth album.[10] Joe composed one song in each of the first three albums, and they all showcase the bass. They usually do not discuss their ideas on sound and style, yet Morrie says, "we individually do what we want to do based on the songs that You creates, even if it destroys the original concept of the song".[4]

You was influenced by English metal/hard rock band UFO, with his early band Steeler covering songs from them, Deep Purple and Rainbow.[citation needed] Morrie's way of signing in the early years of Dead End was influenced by Ronnie James Dio, from whom he "learned how to crush the treble pitches", and by Baki of Gastunk, "who influenced him to establish his own style", leading to a combination of clean and a distorted vocals.[30] He claims his present way of signing and vocal approach are quite different now.[4]

Dead End had a significant impact on the Japanese rock scene, influencing numerous musicians in, or related to, the developing visual kei scene in the 1990s, including; Sugizo from Luna Sea,[31] Tetsuya and Sakura from L'Arc-en-Ciel,[31] the latter being a roadie for them in 1989,[32] Hiro from La'cryma Christi,[31] Yuana from Kagerou,[31] Ka-yu from Janne Da Arc.[citation needed] Morrie also inspired the visual appearances and rough vocal styles of Ryuichi Kawamura from Luna Sea,[33] Yasu from Janne da Arc,[31] Kiyoharu from Kuroyume and Hyde from L'Arc-en-Ciel.[1][3][citation needed]


  • Motoyuki "Morrie" Ohtsuka (大塚基之?) – vocals (ex:The Wild, Liar, Creature Creature)
  • Yuji "You" Adachi (足立祐二?) – guitar (ex:Jesus, Terra Rosa, Goatcore)
  • Tadashi "Crazy Cool Joe" Masumoto (増本 正志?) – bass, backing vocals (ex:Rajas)

Former members

  • Takahiro Kagawa (香川孝博?) – guitar (ex:Liar, The Willard)
  • Masaaki Tano (田野勝啓?) – drums (ex:Terra Rosa)
  • Masafumi Minato (湊雅史?) – drums (ex:Saber Tiger)

Live support members


  • "Replica" (June 19, 1986, distributed for free at Osaka Bourbon House gig) Night Gallery
  • "Worst Song" (June 1986)
  • "Replica/Worst Song" (1986)
  • "Blue Vices" c/w "Wire Dancer" (December 16, 1988) Victor Invitation
  • "So Sweet So Lonely" c/w "I'm in a Coma" (July 21, 1989) BMG Victor
  • "Good Morning Satellite" c/w "Genshi no Kakera" (April 21, 1990) Oricon ranking: #75[34] BMG Victor
  • "Conception" (November 9, 2011) Motorod
  • "Final Feast" (December 14, 2011) Motorod
  • "Yume Oni Uta" (January 11, 2012) Motorad
Studio albums:
  • Dead Line (June 30, 1986) Night Gallery
  • Ghost of Romance (September 8, 1987) #14[7] Victor Invitation
    • Remastered release (November 11, 2009) #77[34]
  • Shámbara (May 21, 1988) #29[34] Victor Invitation
    • Remastered release (November 11, 2009) #79[34]
  • Zero (September 21, 1989) #21[34] BMG Victor
    • Remastered release (December 23, 2009) #152[34] Ariola Japan
  • Metamorphosis (November 11, 2009) #14[34] Danger Crue
Live albums:
  • Dead End (July 21, 1990) #54[34] BMG Victor
    • Remastered release (December 23, 2009) #253[34]
  • Dead End ~Live Act I~ (May 24, 1995) BMG Victor
  • Dead End ~Live Act II~ (May 24, 1995) BMG Victor
Compilation albums:
  • All in One (June 21, 1997) BMG Victor
  • Infinity ∞ (January 26, 2005) #198[34] BMG Victor
  • Psychoscape (1988 VHS; September 22, 2004 DVD) #270[34] Victor Invitation
  • Hyperd. (1989 VHS; May 23, 2001 DVD) BMG Victor
Various artists compilations:
  • Shoot the Guitarist (May 2, 1990)
    • 02. "Good Morning Satellite", 11. "Genshi no Karera"
  • Ariola Meeting 1995 - Meet the Singles (April 21, 1995) BMG Japan
    • 02. "Good Morning Satellite"
  • Ariola Meeting 1995 - Meet the Ballads (May 24, 1995) BMG Japan
    • 07. "Serafine"
  • Ariola Meeting 1995 - Meet the Favorites (June 21, 1995) BMG Japan
    • 12. "Promised Land"
  • Legends of Japanese Heavy Metal 80s (September 26, 2003) Victor Entertainment
    • On CD: 09. "Skeleton Circus", On DVD: 06. "Phantom Nation"
  • Legends of Japanese Heavy Metal 80s Vol.2 - Brilliant Guitar Plays (February 25, 2004) Victor Entertainment
    • 08. "Blind Boy Project"
  • Rock Nippon - Rolly Selection (January 24, 2007) Sony
    • 13. "I Can Hear The Rain"


  1. ^ a b c "DEAD END Biography at JaME U.S.A". Japanese Music Entertainment. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ Eduardo Rivadavia. "Dead End biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  3. ^ a b c "DEAD END Revival". Japanese Music Entertainment. 2009-07-30. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Pebbles (2009-12-29). "Interview with DEAD END!". Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "短期集中連載:増田勇一のDEAD END回想録(1)『DEAD LINE』" (in Japanese). 2009-08-04. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives - Dead End". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "短期集中連載:増田勇一のDEAD END回想録(3)『SHAMBARA』" (in Japanese). 2009-08-11. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d "短期集中連載:増田勇一のDEAD END回想録(2)『GHOST OF ROMANCE』" (in Japanese). 2009-08-07. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  9. ^ Watts, Chris (10 December 1988). ""Shambara" review". Kerrang! no. 217. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "短期集中連載:増田勇一のDEAD END回想録(4)『ZERO』" (in Japanese). 2009-08-13. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  11. ^ "伝説のロックバンド・DEAD END、20年ぶりに復活" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2009-07-03. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  12. ^ "New Dead End Album: METAMORPHOSIS". J-Pop World. 2009-10-21. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c Andrew (2009-11-10). "Dead End Interview". J-Pop World. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  14. ^ Kathy Chee (2009-11-28). "live report Dead End – Tour 2009 “Metamorphosis”". Purple Penguin Productions LLC. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  15. ^ "「再臨、そして新たなる覚醒」DEAD END、SHIBUYA-AX速報" (in Japanese). 2009-11-23. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  16. ^ "現在・過去・未来をつないだDEAD ENDワンマンライブ" (in Japanese). livedoor Co.,Ltd.. 2009-11-25. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  17. ^ "【ライブ・レポート】鹿鳴館30周年記念ライブ" (in Japanese). Rittor Music, Inc.. 2010-04-13. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  18. ^ "DEAD ENDとGASTUNKが歴史的激突、さらにP.T.P、COCOBATが伝説を迎え撃つ" (in Japanese). 2010-02-22. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  19. ^ "DEAD END ROCK IN JAPAN FESTIVAL 2010クイックレポート" (in Japanese). rockin'on Inc.. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  20. ^ LuCioLe, Yurikoh (2010-08-17). "JACK IN THE BOX 2010 Live Stream". Japanese Music Entertainment. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  21. ^ Yurikoh (2010-11-22). "Acid Black Cherry to Perform with jealkb and DEAD END". Japanese Music Entertainment. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  22. ^ "DEAD END、東日本大震災チャリティーイベント開催" (in Japanese). 2011-09-01. Retrieved September 09, 2011. 
  23. ^ "DEAD END、10月に東名阪ツアー「DEATH ACE」実施" (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc.. 2011-08-12. Retrieved September 09, 2011. 
  24. ^ "DEAD END、2年ぶり単独ライブで新曲立て続けに披露" (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc.. 2011-10-16. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  25. ^ "「DEAD END tour DEATH ACE 2011」レポート!" (in Japanese). 2011-10-18. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  26. ^ "DEAD END&きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ「V-ROCK FES」初登場" (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc.. 2011-10-12. Retrieved October 30, 2011. 
  27. ^ "DEAD END、2年ぶり新作音源は3カ月連続シングル" (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc.. 2011-09-09. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  28. ^ "DEAD END、2012年全国ツアースケジュール13公演発表" (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc.. 2011-10-07. Retrieved October 07, 2011. 
  29. ^ Eduardo Rivadavia. "Dead End biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-26. "Dead End was a prototypical Japanese melodic heavy metal band from the 1980s,..." 
  30. ^ Pebbles (2008-11-24). "Exclusive interview with Creature Creature!". Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  31. ^ a b c d e "DEAD END、当時の貴重なライヴ映像付のベスト盤リリース" (in Japanese). 2005-02-02. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  32. ^ Non-Non (2009-07-09). "Interview with Creature Creature". Japanese Music Entertainment. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  33. ^ Ali W.. "Interview: Luna Sea in Hollywood, CA". Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "DEAD ENDのリリース一覧" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved September 09, 2011. 

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