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X Japan (エックス・ジャパン, Ekkusu Japan) is a Japanese heavy metal band from Chiba, formed in 1982 by drummer Yoshiki and lead vocalist Toshi. Predominantly a power/speed metal band with heavy symphonic elements, they later gravitated towards a progressive sound with an emphasis on ballads. Besides being one of the first Japanese acts to achieve mainstream success while on an independent label, the group is widely credited as one of the pioneers of visual kei, a movement among Japanese musicians comparable to Western glam. Originally named X (エックス, Ekkusu), they released their debut album Vanishing Vision (1988) on Yoshiki's own Extasy Records a year after finalizing their line-up including bassist Taiji, lead guitarist hide and rhythm guitarist Pata. They achieved breakthrough success in 1989 with the release of their second and major debut album Blue Blood. Following 1991's Jealousy, Taiji left the band in early 1992. He was replaced by Heath and the group changed...