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Brahman are a respected mainstay of the Japanese punk/alternative scene of the '90s/2000s, their music displaying both metal and pop leanings, as well as subtle touches of the Eastern traditional music. Formed in 1996 in Tokyo, the band went the traditional route, playing shows and making small releases, the first being the mini-album Grope Our Way. Their reputation built on, and by 1998 Brahman were already playing the 30,000-strong Air-Jam fest in Tokyo, along with other energetic newcomers of the national rock scene, such as Hi-Standard and Rude Bones. The same year they broke in the charts for the first time with A Man of the World, which got them a deal with the major label Toys Factory. The next years were spent touring heavily, including a return to Air-Jam, as well as stints at Fuji Rock Festival and the Tibetan Freedom Concert, not to mention debut shows in Hong Kong and Europe. After that, it came as no surprise that their 2001 effort, A Forlorn Hope, went platinum, selling 500,000 copies and allowing them to play on the same scene at Fuji Rock Fest '01 as Eminem, System of a Down, and Tool. That was followed by another string of shows, both local and international -- this time Brahman hit Taiwan, the U.K., Italy, and France, and landed a special guest slot on the Japanese G.B.H. tour. The band's third studio album, The Middle Way, was released in 2004 and sold well enough to get a U.S. release through the hardcore label Revelation Records in 2005. Another series of sold-out nationwide shows pre-dated the tenth anniversary live DVD Theoria in 2006, and the fourth album Antinomy (2008), which enjoyed moderate commercial success like most of its predecessors. ~ Alexey Eremenko

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