NEMOPHILA guitarist SAKI will be departing from the band, leaving questions about future sound

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After starting 2024 on such a high note for metal releases, NEMOPHILA again releases another banger that no one saw coming, SAKI is leaving the band and NEMOPHILA will be continuing as a four piece. As seen in their press release every member including Saki has some departing messages.

“Thank you for always supporting NEMOPHILA.
We are sorry to inform that the band’s guitarist, SAKI, will be leaving the band due to differences in direction. We apologize sincerely for this sudden announcement to all our fans and staff who have supported us.
For almost five years since the band formed, the five members have walked the same path as NEMOPHILA. However, when we considered the future of the band and the happiness of each member, we have come to the conclusion that it is best for us to part ways at this time.
From now on, the band members will be mayu (Vo.), Hazuki (Gt.), Haraguchi-san (Ba.), Tamu Murata (Dr.). SAKI will continue her career as a solo guitarist.
Each of us will be taking different paths, but we would like to express our sincere gratitude for the love you have shown to the music of the band thus far. We hope that you will continue to support us with unwavering love, the music by our new four-member lineup and music created by SAKI, as we move forward.”

This has come to be a shocking release as we haven’t heard much from the group post Budokan performance outside of the interview they did with us and some various press releases about their new album. While Saki has had various other projects such as her own solo career and playing guitar in Mary’s Blood — another monster heavy metal band that’s been on a indefinite hiatus since April 9th of 2022 — this all just leaves us with the speculation of what will continue to happen from here.

I’m now left wondering what NEMOPHILA will sound like as a four piece. I know we’ll still see their signature yurufuwa style with heavy screams and melodic singing from Mayu. However, what will the songs feel like with only one guitarist? Will they search for a new member such as other bands like Lovebites and Broken by the Scream have? Recently they’ve employed more djent-style guitar work in their songs, which could be a sign of what to expect. As a huge fan of dueling melodic guitars myself I am really looking forward to seeing what this change will bring to the band and how they will shape their next album around this.

One thing’s for sure it’s great to see the response from fans has mostly just been shock but positive messages toward both the band and Saki. NEMOPHILA as a 5 piece has been one of my favorite groups to not only cover but reignite my love with Japanese heavy metal. Over the years, starting with Loudness and then moving on to bands like Galneryus, there’s always been these monumental bands that make me check out what’s going on in the country. Scouring online for snippets of info on underground bands or up and coming groups making a name for themselves. NEMOPHILA is one of those monumental bands for me and I hope they continue to find their stride and create more inspiring albums. I wish nothing but the best for her solo endeavors and hope to see her shredding with that Killers guitar again on stage soon!