Tokyo melodic metalcore act SAILING BEFORE THE WIND
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10 underground heavy bands to check out, by Tokyo melodic metalcore act SAILING BEFORE THE WIND

4 mins read

Tokyo metalcore royalty SAILING BEFORE THE WIND have recently released their crushing new single ‘One Step Over‘ featuring Jonathan Thorpenberg of The Unguided fame, delivering their propulsive metalcore energy in an anthemic package. To celebrate, we caught up with the band to give you their top 10 underground bands worth checking out in 2022, and Top 5 Albums selected by their bassist Bitoku Sakamato!

Merging influences from metalcore, melodic death metal and hardcore genres, ‘One Step Over’ boasts relentless grooves, ruthless fretwork, and hook-laden choruses that rip the song open from the starting note. Vocalist Ryoichi Suemori delivers brutal gutturals and resonant cleans with full gusto elevating this swirling wall of sound layered with precise riffs and rhythmic builds to a new level.

Thematically Suemori explores the trepidation that comes with stepping outside of your norm to embrace the uncertainty and undiscovered possibilities of new beginnings. Accompanying this sonic onslaught, the lyric video features vivid flashes of bright blue and gold to hone in on the uplifting message, courtesy of Tommy Antonini whose impressive repertoire includes Soilwork, Machine Head & more.

Bassist & Composer Bitoku Sakamoto speaks: “We are super excited to unleash the new single to all metalheads around the world! “One Step Over” is about stepping out of what you’re used to towards a new direction. As the song name says, I wrote this song in a style that I had never done before and worked with an outside engineer for the first time since this band started in 2011. I met Jonathan when his band The Unguided and Sailing Before The Wind performed together on their 2018 Japan tour in Tokyo. That night was beyond great as a melodic death metal kid myself. His excellent job takes listeners one step further in the enjoyment.”

With seven EP’s and various singles under their collective belt, it is not a surprise that Sailing Before The Wind have poised themselves as one of Japan’s premier metalcore acts. Recognized for their immersive live performances featuring aggressive choreography, the group has performed alongside heavyweights such as Isotopes, Sienna Skies, A Scent Like Wolves, The Unguided, Convictions, Bleed From Within, Aviana, Void of Vision as well as appearing at True North Festival, Scream Out Festival and more. Their 2019 EP ‘Revised Standards’ featuring guest appearances from A Scent Like Wolves and Sienna Skies made the third release to reach No.1 on the Japanese iTunes metal charts.

Hot off the back of their latest single ‘Illuminator’, the group has been garnering global airplay and coverage including features on, IdiotEQ, Windmill Full Ov Corpses, HM Magazine and more. With the release of ‘One Step Over’, Sailing Before The Wind, yet again demonstrate their willingness to explore unconventional avenues and a ravenous hunger to not accept anything that falls short of their vision.

Top 5 Albums selected by Bitoku Sakamato (Bassist, Sailing Before The Wind):

This Or The Apocalypse – Haunt What’s Left:

This is a Metalcore masterpiece and deserves 100 out of 10. It changed my view of metalcore music to a deeper one.

Outrun The Gun – Rooms:

I love the creative song structures, arpeggios, riffs, and melodies. I listened to it so much that I used to play it by ear this album in my youth.

Destory The Runner – I, Lucifer:

Most underrated christian metalcore/post-hardcore album of all time. All songs are incredibly beautiful and worth checking out.

Last Winter – Under the Silver of Machines:

Perfect emo-rock album. Songwriting and arrangements are phenomenal!

The Air I Breathe – Great Faith In Fools:

This album taught me how to make technical riffs and breakdowns coexist in one song. It a must-listen!

10 underground  bands worth a check – heavy picks by SAILING BEFORE THE WIND:

Falling Asleep

Falling Asleep is a Japanese alternative metalcore band and I really think they’ve been underrated since they started. Their 2022 single HEAVEN’S DOOR is a masterpiece. I look forward to more new music from them this year!


Eversolitude (formerly known as Solitude A Sleepless Nights) is a Japanese Mathrock/J-Rock band. They sound like J-rock meets Dance Gavin Dance. I love their technical tapping, beautiful arpeggios, melodic atmosphere, and beautiful female singing.

Sable Hills (FABTONE Inc.)

Japanese metalcore band. They have their 2nd album coming out on June 3rd which is the first one in three years. I was involved in the production with song arrangements and I can confidently confirm that all songs are BANGERS. Be prepared to headbang until your neck breaks.

Winter Wakes

Winter Wakes is a Japanese alternative hardcore band.You can hear the influence of LANDMVRKS, but with its own unique atmosphere. They are all nice guys and excellent musicians even though they are quite young, and I expect them to be more active in 2022!

Life Itself

One of the most underrated melodic hardcore bands. Their sound is the perfect blend of melodic and hardcore and needs more recognition. When the first time I heard “Staring Daggers (Drew Dijorio of Stray From The Path)”, I went onto mosh in my room so hard that I destroyed it…so I need a new room. Sean (Vocals) is my dude, he is a great guy.

Hall of the Elders

To borrow the comment from YouTube, they are more “Attack Attack!” than the new Attack Attack!.

Recently they posted some pictures and it seems like they are making new music (or just entertaining). Can’t wait to hear about the new crab-core in 2022.


I don’t think that they are “local” per se but they are definitely worth checking out. These guys are ex members of: Spiritbox, Secret & Whisper, Shark Infested Daughters and Kitsune. Talk about a supergroup! I chatted with members Ryan and Kala the other day and they are wonderful people, super nice and down to earth.They have only released two songs, so more releases are expected!

Our Divide (Cénit Records)

These guys are a metalcore band from Mexico. I came across them on a Spotify playlist I manage. Only one song has been released, but it is enough to see the potential. Nice clean singing, solid chugs, and some metal guitar licks. What else do we need?

Straight Shot Home

Their song Introspective is one of my best songs of 2021. The songs are super melodic and heavy, with an early ERRA/Invent Animate vibe which I love. I heard that they have finished tracking sessions on their newest EP. I need that record in my life as soon as possible.


Metalcore/Synthwave band from the United States. They just released their debut album ‘Virtual Reality’ this April 5th and it’s absolutely amazing. I love the combination of their guitar work and synths. Not too mellow, not too heavy, and every song has an exciting song structure. I personally connected with their bassist Kevin on IG, he is friendly and a great guy. The metalcore scene should pay more attention to this band!!

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