Japan’s all-time most successful rock act, X Japan, signed to EMI for an exclusive three year North American distribution deal. The first release is set for sometime late this summer and is coming off the heels of this past fall’s highly successful seven-show US tour. The band plans to release an album of half new material and half oldies, all courteously translated into English for its North American debut. The album will be x Japan’s fifth studio album and its first since 1996.

Now legends in its home country, the band formed in 1982 and has since sold over thirty million albums. The band is commanded by drummer, pianist and primary songwriter, Yoshiki, who may be unheard of in the US, he is a star of epic proportions in his homeland. ABC News called Yoshiki the “Bono Of Japan” and one New York blog was blown away by the band’s mix of Metallica/Motley Cru style arena rock with classical elements. The upcoming album has yet to be named, however, the first single, “Jade,” is set to be released sometime in mid-March. An extensive tour is also being planned in support of the upcoming release.