SPERMA (スペルマ)About the time progressive metal developed into a genre of its own in the mid-1980s – In Kyoto, Japan, Ranko, a.k.a. God Mother and bassist for The Continental Kids (Japanese punk band 1981) had already formed her own band Sperma (1983). Joining front-woman Ranko (Vocals) and rounding out the original lineup was bass player Hideki, drummer Tankichi, guitarists Mabo and Wada. Sperma, not to be confused with the punk band from Zürich of the same name, were a progressive heavy metal band in the vein of early Loudness and their contemporary in the west Queensrÿche.

Signed to Beat Crazy Records in 1985, the band released their first single Please Love Me Tonight. Over the next 2 years they would release two more singles: Come on tonight (1986) and Shaking My Heart (1987). Eventually signing with Alchemy Records, the group then released three studio albums. Unlike the singles, a mixture of upbeat and rock – the albums are progressive to the core.

In 1991, Sperma released their debut album Nyotei Fukkatsu. Followed two years later by the genre defining sperma cardMegami Tensei, this album setting the tone for what was to come. In 1996, the group released their third and final album Utsukushiki Shishi no Sakebi. Their finest work, the album’s musicianship, recording quality and Ranko’s vocals is a definitive progressive metal album. Sperma had found their voice, just in time to loose it.

In 1997, after being diagnosed with cancer Ranko died, and on December 29th of that year a memorial concert “ONE NIGHT LEGEND” was held at Kyoto University. Amongst the performers that evening was one of Ranko’s favorite artists Carmen Maki & Oz – who had reformed for that one night only.

On the death of Ranko, Sperma disbanded. And in 2003, Inundow Records released a compiled remastered CD, and movie-extra of the band performing at the Japanese underground Rock Festival in Yokohama. The CD includes 3 singles, plus 2 Sperma songs from the omnibus album We Are Beat Crazy.

Inundow Records
Alchemy Records
スペルマ Tower.jp