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    Greetings, fellow Monochromians! Yall doing, alright? I certainly hope so! As we close out the year 2019, some of the Official Reviewers and Staff members thought we'd take a look back at some remarkable (and one or two remarkably bad) J-rock albums that turned 10 this year! So whether you were around 10 years ago or not, let's discuss! What do you think of the entries on our list? What are your favorite J-rock albums that turned 10 this year? Did they age well for you? Let's talk about it! 9GOATS BLACK OUT Black rain The sophomore release that followed their iconic debut album Devils in Bedside, Black Rain gave the fans exactly what they were waiting for, more of that hypnotic, bluesy nagoya kei abyssal void to lose ourselves in. While the album never seems to get the fanfare of the releases before and after it, it stands on its own all these years later just fine. Ryo's guttural roars in "SALOME" still pierce the soul just as deeply, Hati's walking, rhythmic bass "in the rain" still stirs all of the vivid imagery it ever did, and Uta's echoing guitar strumming for "ROMEO" still haunts the dark corners of the mind. When you go back to revisit all the amazing albums of the last decade, don't you dare forget this one! - @doombox Devils in Bedside was shrouded in mystery. This melancholic band had literally no space in a scene that was filled with pop rock vibes and colourful looks. Nevertheless, 9GBO continued down their own path and released Black Rain. It’s a blessing that they never followed the trends surrounding the scene, or we might have never gotten one of the most dramatic creations in vk. The band is still a mystery at this point as no PV graced our eyes with this album, all we know now is that these guys are *not* a one hit wonder. I believe that because of the lack of visuals and their mature sound (way ahead of their time) 9GBO never reached the success they deserved. Listening to Black Rain is like opening a fantasy book and losing yourself in a beautiful rainy landscape. The topic of rain has been explored a million times in visual kei, but Black Rain captures the feelings and nuances of its title very effectively. ‘Romeo’ and ‘In the Rain’ are still some of my favourite tracks ever and I remember playing them over and over back in the day (I still do, but I try to limit myself). Whereas Devil in Bedside was drier and raw, Black Rain is simply dripping with emotion. It's escapism at its best. - @platy While most fans of 9GBO fell in love with their debut album Devils in Bedside, it was Black Rain that made me a fan, as this was also my first time listening to them. I was convinced 9GBO were going to be remembered for years to come as this album to me has depths of artistic expression not relative to other acts of this time; they reminded me so much of deadman, they were in a league of their own. It did indeed feel like each track told a story, some clinging on to life, with others full of warmth and energy. “In the Rain” would be my favorite song from them to this day, as the harmony of light and dark, simple chords and the complexity of how they’re interpreted, left a respectable mark on my listening experience of them so many years ago. - @YuyoDrift SUICIDE ALI 第4のwaltz Give SUICIDE ALI a plaque next to the likes of √eight and Werkmare and Deluhi in the Visual Kei Hall of 'We Captured Lightning in a Bottle Exactly Once and the Rest of Our Releases Really Kind of Suck'. Nothing should be taken away from 第4のwaltz because SUICIDE ALI weren't able to recreate its magic however. 第4のwaltz is all over the place in the best possible ways. Songs with goth midi-satyr-flute, acoustic guitar strumming, nu-metal tinged bass guitars and gang shouts behind rushed lead vocals shouldn't work at all but oh my God "笛吹童子" is one of my absolute favorite songs from 2009. 第4のwaltz would get my vote as the best album released by Starwave Records/ Darkest Labyrinth. Often when Kiwamu gets involved I find releases simultaneously over- and under-produced but the combination of studio effects and just letting a band be who they are collided in a magnificent way for this album. There isn't another album in all of Visual Kei that sounds exactly like 第4のwaltz. Let it stand as a monument to glory for both a band and record label that often disappointed otherwise. - @The Reverend D’espairsRay REDEEMER Ah, the posterchild for our website lol. For those of us around then, it was REDEEMER that divided the D'espa fanbase. If you were just getting into the scene during this time, you’d marvel at how great the album was in the wake of Visual Kei’s exposure internationally. It had pop, rock, and melodies that made it very easy to embrace by western newcomers who weren’t familiar with the history of D’espairsRay and the current trend in Visual Kei. For fans that were around since the band’s formation, however, this album felt like a far cry from their dark and gothic VK days. I never realized how creative the approach for this album was, as you don't see this level of dedication to the music, to which D'espairsRay were no strangers to. They were always known to place their music as that symbol of expressive emotions that suited their name and I felt that REDEEMER upheld their ideal while keeping the VK aesthetic close by. While I understand the album underwhelms to some, it still retains that creativity that none can deny was what really mattered during this age, and with Hizumi’s way of singing being otherworldly, their arrangements were an art form itself. “Heaven’s Color”, one of my favorite songs of the album and the last decade, has lyrics portrayed beautifully in Hizumi’s singing along with the instrumental chords that kindle an ethereal feel, eternally associating the colors of heaven to a song that continues to give me an ephemeral rush of emotions today. - @YuyoDrift 凛として時雨 just A moment Back in the day, long before TK ever whispered on any anime songs or produced for any Jpop artists, when people were still spelling their name "rin toshite shigure", ling tosite sigure were to J-indie fans what DIR EN GREY or the GazettE are to visual kei. The band's musical acumen and trend-setting innovation pretty much guaranteed that each new release would be a spectacle met with critical acclaim. Naturally, that was the case with just A moment too. ling had just struck a deal with Sony Music Japan, so this was their first major label album. There may have been concern that they'd be plagued with the dreaded major-label curse and fall off like their contemporaries 9mm Parabellum Bullet, but this album quickly put all those worries to rest. just A moment definitely reigned in ling's sound a bit and established more structure in their songwriting, but the quality of their music did not suffer at all. In fact, ling remained just as intense, emotional, and creative as ever. Plus, this was the first time that we got to hear ling's music with actual state-of-the-art production!...and DAT BASS!!! W000!!!! But I digress. Including this album was a no-brainer for me. It was bangin' then, and it's bangin' now. ling has always been in their own lane, and in my book, they wouldn't go on to release anything sub-par until after 2013. - @CAT5 -OZ- VERSUS VERSUS turns ten this year and it does not feel like the album is that old. It feels five to six years old, tops. I still spin this album regularly, more than I can say for subsequent -OZ- albums. This is the definition of an album aging well and a lot of credit must be given to how cohesive VERSUS sounds and how well it flows. It's an effortless listen that is also very rewarding, two compliments I rarely give out at the same time. -OZ- had one sound with a few minor variations, but that doesn't matter because this album hit on all of the things that made this band an unstoppable juggernaut of a metalcore ensemble. Album opener "LAST SHELL" is worth admission price alone, and album singles "FILMY", "VENOM", and "DETOX" are all fun bangers that work surprisingly well in the studio knowing they were composed for lives. This is the distillation of -OZ-'s essence into a bite sized package that's great for recommending when their complete collection album proves too daunting to tackle all at once. - @Zeus lynch. SHADOWS Before this album released, I had very little exposure to lynch. as I found that their growls/yells were a tad too off-putting and raw for my tastes and other bands in the Nagoya Kei scene caught my attention. Once I heard about SHADOWS and the shift in musical direction that included vocal tweaks, I gave it a listen. The distinct guitar chords that I remember liking had more lead roles this time, all while overhauling their method of growls/yells with a new form of aggression that could better suit the new atmosphere that was apparent as you listened. Truly, there were a lot of new ideas thrown into making the album a prolific release, one that even I could admire. SHADOWS, from what I hear, was one of those in-between albums for the band, and this could be true because musical concepts from this album are still existent with their current work. - @YuyoDrift Crossfaith The Artificial Theory For The Dramatic Beauty Arguably, TATFTDB is Crossfaith's most electrifying album. It got the attention of the global metalcore scene almost instantly. Even if the band has drifted away from their experimental roots, TATFTDB is one of those staples that refuses to be forgotten. Crossfaith blended electronic elements and hardcore in such a way that the former never lost its ability to slice through the utter brutality of the latter, effectively contrasting and spotlighting all of the band's strengths at the time. Times change but this album still kicks ass. - @doombox Psysalia psysalis psyche Matin Brun Back in the day, when actual J-indie communities still existed online, casual hate/distaste for VK was a common sight. Meanwhile, on VK boards, the fans were generally oblivious to the J-indie world and mostly just tended to their own interests. But every once and a while, you'd get a band like Psysalia psysalis psyche that existed on the fringes. A band that would simultaneously capture the interest of members from both communities. (ppl on last.fm were jokingly calling them "normal kei" back in the day lol) By 2009, two EPs and a single had placed PPP on the radar of a decent amount of J-rock fans. Up until this point, they'd released a few standout tracks like "SUBWAY KILLER" and "Butch & The Sundance Kid", but the rest of their output was just solid and nothing more. Basically, they were the kind of band that were cool enough to check out, but not one that you'd set your expectations too high for. So when they dropped Matin Brun, their debut full-length, I don't think anyone was ready! This album just completely eclipsed their previous output. It's like they entered into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from DBZ because their sound matured by leaps and bounds in the one year since their previous EP. Their dark and edgy brand of alt.rock was still in tact, but it was far more refined here. In fact, everything was better - the songwriting, the musicianship, and even the production. Hell, they even threw in some shoegaze for good measure! Sadly, the band's flame flickered out just a few years later and they disbanded in 2012. Their 2nd and final album felt more like a rushed and shoddily put together parting gift in comparison. However, Matin Brun remains standing tall in its own splendor. It's a testament to a band that was, perhaps, not done exploring their potential. - @CAT5 Plastic Tree ドナドナ I remember clearly when Plastic Tree's Dona Dona album came out. It was right around Christmas and I must have listened to the album during my entire winter break. It holds many memories for me and the title track was one of the biggest standouts. Ryutarou sings as if he's about to break apart, which brings me almost to tears, but it's very beautiful at the same time with the sweet swaying guitars. From the album cover, one can sense that Dona Dona gives a darker mood, but not necessarily heavier. Although if you're looking for something a bit heavy, "sunset bloody sunset" and "Gagaji" does take the spot well. But overall, with the forlorn and bitter "Dona Dona", the remorseful lyrics of "1999", the tender and playful "Etcetera", and the cold and lonely "Sanatorium", the album conveys a dreary and soothing sadness. Dona Dona is also the first album to feature an instrumental track that shows more of their post-rock influences. And as a little plus, the album ends with the silly track "Yasashisa Kurabu", that easily brings a smile to anyone. - @plastic_rainbow vistlip PATRIOT Yes vistlip released a different, full album this same year, but in addition to thinking PATRIOT is simply a better distillation of what makes the band great I also have to give the nod to PPATRIOT's amazing cover art (especially compared to Theater's complete lack of cover art.) The members of vistlip said in an interview with JAME just before the release of PATRIOT that they don't have a band concept because, in part, "we might be trapped in it, so we do whatever we think is good... we are quite flexible." It's exactly this kind of attitude that makes PATRIOT a VK classic. There's a diversity in the eight songs of PATRIOT even though they all would fall under the wide umbrella of 'bright Visual Kei'. The vocalist Tomo takes some chances and screams a bit, but mostly understands what his range is and maxes what he *can* do (which is write some incredibly catchy refrains) rather than try to make his voice do things it wasn't designed to. The band isn't afraid of a crunchy riff but also want to write songs that are accessible and fun. PATRIOT deserves a spot in your collection a decade after its release because it's a crowd-pleaser that isn't pandering. Love fun Oshare Kei but want something a little less squeaky and cute? This mini-album fits the bill. You're into heavier music but want something you could play for your mom to introduce her to VK that isn't scary but also isn't milquetoast? vistlip have been doing that for more than a decade now. - @The Reverend exist†trace VANGUARD -of the muses- You guys remember the hype for this EP? For those that weren't around, exist†trace had already claimed a spot in the top-tier list of bands in such a short amount of time and their PV for “VANGUARD” was a real teaser, being praised all over the web while providing even more exposure for the band. It was fitting because exist†trace had filled in the gap of gothic and darker rock fans yearned for, as this sound was already being left behind by bands like D’espairsRay and even Girugamesh. The shift from screaming and growling from their previous work was a surprise because it was how they gained recognition by old fans and somehow, they managed to keep that intensity going with more involved instrumentation and Jyou’s vocals being the new driving force. I’m a sucker for melodies in sync with the drum’s pacing and they did not disappoint. My favorite tracks on repeat were “花の咲かない街” and of course “VANGUARD”, possibly being the first song that will ever come to mind when someone asks for a song by them, so I highly recommend you give this release a spin. - @YuyoDrift exist†trace Ambivalent Symphony Ambivalent Symphony was big step for exist†trace mixing their early raw sound with updated production elements to smooth out their rough edges and it makes for an excellent album. Certainly one of theirs I find myself returning to more than any of the others. From "RESONANCE" to "VANGUARD" you can see the band put every drop of their blood, sweat, and tears into making this album a top tier visual kei offering that would stand the test of time and get some much needed visibility for women in a music scene over-saturated with their male counterparts. - @doombox You thought they were done for this year with just one EP? Try a second one! exist†trace continued to blow the doors off the male-dominated scene by releasing Ambivalent Symphony only a few months later. Just as in the previous EP, Jyou decided to tone down the screams and growls, as I recall that at the time she was straining her throat at a very fast rate, but what we discovered was that she was an even more amazing singer once she focused her longer notes, bringing more life and contrast to their arrangements. I still herald Jyou as one of the best female singers of the vk scene and this album is a benchmark of what she contributed to the archives of old. Tracks I still play to this day are “Wrath” and “「終わりのない世界」”, and they are so synonymous to my memories of them. exist†trace may have also been the only band that still retained a gothic appearance in the visual kei scene, carrying over the heavy and dark basslines one last time in an era for them that would be short-lived, as the sound of exist†trace would soon change. - @YuyoDrift MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS ワールドイズユアーズ I'd argue that MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS are one of the most iconic indie bands to come out of Japan post 00's. Despite their original line-up consisting of all females, they somehow managed to avoid being typecast as just another "girl band", and I think that speaks volumes about their music. Frontwoman Natsuko Miyamoto (affectionately called 'Natsukon' by fans) has been a fierce & bold presence from the start. She's an absolute beast on the bass (known to always perform barefoot), and her signature croon is striking, yet pure. Of course, the other members are competent in their own right, but I think MassDre's appeal lies not in their technical ability, but in the raw sincerity and authenticity of their sound. WORLD IS YOURS perfectly exemplifies this and, in my opinion, is their best album to date! - @CAT5 Megaromania Prophetic Faction - the Universe - All of my favorite songs and recollections of Megaromania are from 2009’s Prophetic Faction - the Universe -. There is a lot of effort put into this album, from the tonal length and coordination of the guitar chords, to the timing of the riffs that enter and exit throughout the length of each song, and of course the intensity of the solos. Many fans from back then would say that they were one of the best bands to ever exist within the UNDERCODE label. Megaromania's musical arrangements were worthy of that Kote Kei distinction, as there was a youth and involvement from the band to create music full of harmony and expression that suited their visual aesthetic. That said, I’m definitely not going to forget to mention their amazing looks and outfits that you can still see in the PVs of “APOCOLYPSE” and “God of Megaromania-純血ノ刻印-“ as they are pretty iconic. - @YuyoDrift kamomekamome / DEEPSLAUTER / FUCK YOU HEROES 放送事故現場 split This split was bad-ass. The end. ahaha, in general, I think split releases are a cool idea, but it's often the case that one band out-shines the other(s) and the split just isn't enjoyable as a whole. Thankfully, that's not the case here. All three bands brought their a-game, although they all represent different shades of hardcore. kamomekamome offered two tracks that are more on the post-hardcore side of things, with killer riffs and frantic, spoken word-ish vocals. DEEPSLAUTER is pegged as "power-violence" with a much more chaotic and progressive sound, and FUCK YOU HEROES is more or less your traditional hardcore punk. Splits are an especially common thing in the punk world, but this one is essential for Japanese H/C fans! - @CAT5 the studs alansmithee Once more we had the pleasure of enjoying yet another masterpiece from Nagoya Kei’s veterans with alansmithee. I feel this album best represented Aie’s talents, as his composing style heard today was born in this album, and being able to collaborate with Daisuke must have been a big factor as well. Beautifully paced tempos and lively guitar chords, the themes throughout the album were throwbacks to their earlier careers, as well as their progress up to this point. Gosh, nothing sounded more amazing than hearing Daisuke's voice resonate through your ears during long notes. As memorable as Nagoya Kei alansmithee was, it was nothing but a bittersweet moment for fans of the studs, as we found out that this was their last album. Not even a week after the release, the studs announced an indefinite hiatus due to the future direction of the band and creative differences that led to the departure of 2 of their core members. Even more crushing was Daisuke, who I consider one of the greatest singers in VK history, passed away the following year, and with him any hope we had for a comeback. - @YuyoDrift FACT FACT If I had to pick an album for 2009 that I still cherish as much as I did when it was first released, it has to be this one. It single-handedly launched me to expand my musical horizons deeply into the Japanese punk and indie scene outside of what I was finding in the vk realm. FACT was THAT band that found the perfect mix of punk aggression with extremely catchy melodies that lived seamlessly in both the pop-punk and hardcore ends of the spectrum. Even though most of them still have strong projects going since they split, I'll always find their music together as FACT what sticks with me the most. If you have never listened to the original album version or remix of "A Fact of Life" you absolutely have to go do that right now! - @doombox 百蚊 花園 Hyacca was one of many bands that I came across in my J-indie exploration heydays via their 2006 album. It was good, but failed to leave a lasting impression. Fast-forward to 2009. I was reintroduced to them by Steven Tanaka (Founder of Next Music From Tokyo), who was raving about this album (which was new at the time), and long story short - Hyacca left a lasting impression this time! I think the band had finally found their sound on this album - noisey and spastic post-punk with angular riffs and warped distortion. If I remember correctly, I think Steve once described the guitar tone in one of their songs as 'sounding like broken glass'. This album is a blast from start to finish! Fans of melt-banana and limited express (has gone ) would love this! - @CAT5 DEATHGAZE THE CONTINUATION THE CONTINUATION did exactly what the title implied: carrying over what worked for their last album which were clean and strong growls, versatile yet heavy guitar play speed, and melodic choruses. Several of the songs are re-recorded tracks from their early-era material , this time with different guitar structures and Ai behind the mic. This album was the perfect little metal package for fans new and old. The popular consensus online at the time was that THE CONTINUATION was on par with lynch.’s album SHADOWS, that I’m sure gave birth to the running joke/confusion on which album was who’s, making each band one and the same. Take a listen and let the others and I know from 10 years ago if we’re just crazy haha. Personally, I think that between the two of them, DEATHGAZE took the crown for 2009. - @YuyoDrift アルカラ BOY NEXT DOOR Although Arukara has been around since 2004, this was the album that really put them on the map for most western J-rock fans. The PV for "夢見る少女でいたい。", featured below, made the rounds online and quickly garnered comparisons to 9mm Parabellum Bullet, who were on a sharp decline at the time. In fact, I'd say it was 9mm's downfall that really made way for bands like Arukara and cinema staff to step in and fill that void. BOY NEXT DOOR definitely showcased some of the indie-rock explosiveness that 9mm was known for, but it also proved that Arukara were very much their own band. Much like cinema staff's Mizuki Iida, vocalist Taisuke Inamura also has a strong singing voice which stands out in the J-indie world (where high-pitched and effeminate male voices are common and there really are no singing standards ). Taisuke's voice, the band's technical ability, memorable melodies, and compelling songwriting all make BOY NEXT DOOR a fantastic record. One of the best of 2009, with some of my all-time favorite Arukara songs! - @CAT5 ClearVeil RE:BORN ClearVeil’s RE:BORN is one of the many staples to this era of VK and even ten years later, still has many songs from this album in my music playlists. What made the band noticeable to many of us back then were the full-bodied basslines, clean and harmonized vocals, and if anything, the extra effort made to retain the visual sound from back then - I think was the most impressive to me. If I were to compare them, roughly, they were a combination of Rentrer En Soi, early-era D’espairsRay, and a dash of early-era Kagerou. Due to musical differences the band’s career was short lived, just shy of 3 years, but man did they tour a lot, so there’s plenty of video of them online. Since then, I believe that some of the members have moved on to more current projects like ORCALADE (they still around? Lol), so if you already listen to that band, check out where their sound came from with ClearVeil. - @YuyoDrift Far France AHYARANKE ^ This promo pic actually does a fantastic job of summing up Far France's sound: wild, crazy, and tons of fun! They're fuckin' bananas! In fact, vocalist/guitarist Shinya actually garnered quite the reputation in Tokyo's live scene for being both a raucous performer and audience member. But beyond the band's silly demeanor, these guys actually boasted some serious musical chops, as clearly illustrated here on AHYARANKE. The entire album is one non-stop ride of spastic, psychedelic outbursts and proggy twists & turns. Even the seemingly unassuming tracks end up in a sprawling jam-fest, yet the band balances their chaos with groove and accessibility. Unfortunately, the band went on what seems to have been an indefinite hiatus after this, but they left us with a record well-deserving of praise even a decade later. - @CAT5 VAMPS VAMPS It’s odd to look back on this timeline because HYDE was already an established solo artist, back with L’arc en ciel and their return to music, composer for a ton of popular songs, even doing some acting gigs, and so just when you realize that he’s at a very high point in his career, he goes and unveils his new musical project. VAMPS is seen as a duo project with Guitarist K.A.Z, who had worked with HYDE for years on his previous solo releases, and so the music itself was already recognizable, yet their self-titled album went even further to bring in fresh ideas that have aged very damn well for what they are. The album combines previous singles that hyped the release (my personal favorite is the song “Time Goes By” in the Love Addict single) giving the album more variety to what I already thought was an impressive collection. If you’re a fan of his previous solo releases like 666 or Faith, then VAMPS will remind you of those throwbacks and some new delights for keeps, so check it out. - @YuyoDrift Z 新今日 Z is....Z is something else. They formed from the remains of legendary hardcore punk band There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (whose members also formed bands like As Meias and Hununhum) I've seen them described as "Pharoah Sanders meets late-period Black Flag" and "post-avant-jazzcore" - WHATEVER THAT MEANS. They're definitely experimental, and they definitely have elements of jazz and hardcore. Their sound is also sinister and unsettling, often striving between free-form chaos and menacing grooves. I definitely wouldn't call this album accessible, but Z incorporates all of these different traits in the most sprawling and immersive, yet captivating fashion. Almost all of their tracks take time to really build up, but the payoff is always worth it and the journey is a fulfilling one, especially with frontman Jun Nemoto's frantically animated vocals in tow. A truly noteworthy effort from vets of the Japanese underground. - @CAT5 圭 silk tree. Anything related to the members of Baroque/Kannivalism, I was always excited about, so Kei's solo album silk tree. was one of the things I was looking forward to the most. Compared to Baroque and Kannivalism, Kei's solo work brought more of an ambient and electronic sound, which I was fairly new to and was not often the kind of music heard in VK, but I've grown to love the album with every visit. I even had a newfound love for the track "barred door." a few years ago, which for whatever reason didn't move me as strongly as it does now. There are many great tracks here, some featuring lovely strings and pianos, and some giving an energetic color. silk tree. is both whimsical and sorrowful, and is an album worth visiting over and over again. - @plastic_rainbow LIGHT BRINGER Tales of Almanac The origins of how I discovered FUKI were birthed right here with Tales of Almanac, coincidentally being their first full-length album. I came from a long history of listening to female JPop artists, so when I discovered that there was a metal band with a tiny and bright-colored woman as their vocalist who sung EXACTLY like acts such as Every Little Thing and Day After Tomorrow, I was hooked. Their PVs for “Upstream Children” and “Diamond” show a combination of hardcore guitar riffs and upbeat synths that provide the same satisfaction as deep growls and screams, something I didn’t think would sound great together but it did! FUKI’s highest voice tones were around this time, so if you’re a fan of hers, you need to see what she sounded like before to appreciate how dedicated she’s been to master her vocal range. LIGHT BRINGER’s existence might be before any other successful attempts to bring a lighter and cute tone with idols to metal like BABYMETAL and the whole wave of Kawaii-Metal throughout the next decade. - @YuyoDrift cinema staff Symmetoronica Technically speaking, cinema staff debuted in 2008 with their EP titled document, but personally, their follow-up Symmetoronica has always felt like their first real outing for me. Don't get me wrong, their debut was decent, but there wasn't much propelling them beyond your run-of-the-mill indie-rock band with pop leanings. And trust me, Japan is over-saturated with those types. However, this EP saw the band strengthen their song-writing with an emotional heft that had been missing previously. Although cinema staff has gone on to refine and even out-do what they've done here, this was an outstanding release in '09, and some of Mizuki's vocal lines are still memorable to this day. - @CAT5 Unlucky Morpheus Jealousy When you listen to Unlucky Morpheus now, you would never imagine that they would sound any different than they do, but they’ve come a long way during their indie/touhou days from 10 years ago. It was Jealousy that introduced me to them, with none other than the tiny woman that could belt like no other as their frontwoman, FUKI. This album contained songs that paid a sort of tribute to metal legends like X Japan (the album cover is a nod to them too) and Onmyouza. Similar to her other band LIGHT BRINGER, FUKI provides a lively and energetic contrast to the various forms of metal like Speed, Neoclassical, and Power. So, while I can spend hours telling you how much I like Unlucky Morpheus and how insanely remarkable FUKI is as a singer, I’d rather you give this album a listen. Funnily enough, if FUKI’s current vocals are more your cup-of-tea than the vocals in this specific release, Unlucky Morpheus actually rerecorded the entire album for 2018, so you can sample that one as an alternative. - @YuyoDrift Sadie MASTER OF ROMANCE 10 years is long enough to quit comparing Sadie to DEG, right? As difficult as it was for the album, MASTER OF ROMANCE eventually ended the nonstop comparisons to DEG’s music, as there really weren’t many to be made in the first place. It was easy to forget back then but DEG no longer sounded the same, leaving a void that Sadie had perfectly filled in its place. MASTER OF ROMANCE was something familiar yet so fresh, an easy-listening experience for those fans that couldn’t stomach current era DEG and instead could listen to “what could have been”. A great blend of hardcore riffs, bridges, and lively tempos, you couldn’t mistake Sadie for anyone else. Mao’s vocals were amazingly as versatile as Kyo’s, which I feel most comparisons were made from, yet more dynamics in his singing is what brought more originality to Sadie, as it gave more life than their monotonous counterpart in my opinion. - @YuyoDrift SCREW X-RAYS As an early fan of SCREW, it was nice to still see their early-era aesthetic was still around even during the turn of the decade as most bands had dropped them. SCREW still retained that hardcore rock and punk music style in X-RAYS, along with the melodies and solos that only upped their flair. Also retained was Byou’s vocal experimentation with growls and crooning and so their music direction by this time had become synonymous to the band’s image. If you were a fan of or listened to Sadie, 12012, or even The GazettE during their mid 00’ eras and never listened to SCREW, then you should definitely give them a listen. This release represents a throwback for me as I was madly into these guys 10 years ago, and was easily a top album for me in 2009 as SCREW’s early years are definitely when they were their most creative. - @YuyoDrift Hailing sometime from the awkward era where the instrumentals were good but vocalist Byou still couldn't sing, X-RAYS is one of the black sheep of visual kei albums for sure. I never thought that I'd catch myself recommending anything from this era ten years from now, but things change. Dodge anything that sounds like a bad attempt at metal - which includes songs like "DRASTIC SLAVER", "VII CARDINAL SINS", and "void box" - and you'll find a more than competent rock band yearning to be set free. Go back any further than this and I find the vocals unbearable. Go any further than this and I find the instrumentals dull. "FIREFLY" is my jam and "RUIN AND DREAD" is a surprise carrying a tone completely unfitting for the name, and "answer" has one hell of a kick ass riff that almost makes you forget people liked to clown on SCREW ten years ago. As with most of the things I review, this would have been better off as a mini-album. - @Zeus alice nine. VANDALIZE Ohhh man, I love this album. If any band was able to successfully make that musical transition without getting crap for it, it was alice nine. (This name sounds better than A9 honestly, and it was around this year that they changed to it from their previous name). I think the band members had a clear image of what they wanted to do musically, with high rankings on the music boards being proof of the good reception the band was getting from their musical change. VANDALIZE continued the bands’ success, as the album was very energetic and so musically rich that it could make you sing along even if you weren’t a fan. It seemed natural that you’d enjoy it. How they were doing it, I couldn’t tell you, but did it matter? It was the golden years for them and VANDALIZE was the most accurate representation of it. This album is easily one of my top 3 albums from alice nine. to date, and if you are new to them I’d check this release out because it’s a must-listen. - @YuyoDrift ViViD The ViViD Color ViViD was a band that perfectly bridged the colorful, lighter side of VK with enough edge to be palatable for me, especially back in 2009 when I was stepping farther away from the typical VK pop-friendly bands. But The ViViD color had the right energy and hype to stand out that year among a very strong era for VK. They were a new face that PS Company desperately needed to carry the torch from their previous generation settling from rookie to veteran status. The guitar riffs from Ryouga and Reno on this album are just as flashy as the fashion choices, Shin's voice is bright and clear (and I was already a big fan from his work with 秋葉原少年団☆電脳ロメオ), and the tag team rhythm section and dj of IV and Ko-Ki topped the whole album off to give a grounded but exciting backbone. - @doombox ハイスイノナサ 街について Every once and a while, the stars align and the Gods see fit to bless us with a band that simply seems too good to be true. Haisuinonasa falls into that category. I remember hearing a demo version of "happy end" (the song featured below), and thinking that these guys would be something special. A few months later, they debuted with this EP (through the formerly esteemed Zankyo Records), and my premonitions proved correct. You could say they played a form of dreamy, math-rock with female vocals, but that would be denigrating at best. I've even seen some describe them as "piano-driven breakbeat" with elements of post rock, prog, minimal, and electronica, but whatever you wanna call it, machi nitsuite offered an entirely new sound that is just as singular now as it was then. I can honestly say that this was a flawless debut. - @CAT5 toe For Long Tomorrow toe's first album from 2005 was (and still is) regarded as an instrumental/math-rock classic in Japan and all over the globe. So naturally, there was a ton of anticipation for their sophomore effort, For Long Tomorrow. I dare say, they exceeded expectations. This album is not only an evolution of toe's sound, but it's an evolution of math-rock in general. Unlike most bands of this genre, they're not content to just aimlessly noodle your face off with meandering riffs. Not at all. toe actually plays with intent, and their songwriting is full of character. Mino and Yamazaki aren't simply playing guitar - no, they're waltzing together on the fret board. Seamlessly. Gracefully. Kashikura isn't just an excellent drummer. nah, dude is narrating percussive epics in dis bih!!! 🤣 Basically, the band's chemistry is so stellar that anything they do is guaranteed to be high quality. And with their soundscape expanded to include keyboards, kalimbas, horns, and guest vocalists, this album truly put toe in a league of their own. They pretty much set the bar for math-rock. (btw, the song featured below has been my ringtone FOR YEARS!!! ) - @CAT5 miscorner/c+llooqtortion view for voices Don't even ask me how to pronounce their name! I can honestly say that this is one of the most unique records I've ever heard out of the vast world of J-indie. miscorner themselves were a pretty unique band, though. Essentially, they were two drummers playing to pre-recorded loops, and while their usual output was instrumental, they took a different approach on this EP by featuring a host of guest vocalists. To my knowledge, miscorner were a pretty obscure band, both in Japan and abroad. (I can actually count on one hand the amount of J-music fans I knew who actually knew this band as well.) Yet somehow, the vocalists featured on this EP are all J-indie O.G.'s like Takahisa Gomi from LOSTAGE, and Seiki from NAHT. Hell, they even managed to feature a J-pop vet like Misako Odani! Easily one of the best things about 2009, and one of J-indie's hidden gems. - @CAT5 12012 mar maroon By far my least favorite release by 12012, and quite possibly one of my least favorite albums ever, mar maroon did not improve with time. mar maroon marks the beginning of the end for many of 12012's earliest fans. It's one of the prime examples of heavy and hard rock bands going soft and losing sense of what defined their sound in the first place. There's very little appealing or even convincing musically, as if the band was almost forced into playing this kind of music. The direction they took afterwards isn't giving them any excuses either, pretty much emulating Dir en grey until their indefinite hiatus. The album folds quicker than a house of cards, revealing a surprising lack of inspiration and variety. It's almost impossible to get through in one sitting. In this case, even though the change in sound correlates with them going major, I do not think that it was the cause. Rather, I think the cause of them abandoning their roots is due to vocalist Wataru's scandal. It would not look good for 12012 to continue their old theme while still under the scrutiny of the public eye, and mar maroon even sounds like a musical apology that no one asked for. When considering 12012's entire discography, both before and after this album, this one easily comes in last place. "GOSSAMER" from their album SEVEN puts this entire album to shame. This can easily be skipped and forgotten. - @Zeus the GazettE DIM Where do I even begin? 2009’s the GazettE brought Visual Kei to hype levels that were so ludicrous, I remember music from this album spent YEARS circulating on music boards online. Who could blame them? The basslines bared so much weight and gloom, the melodies so melancholic and desolate, the lyrics were so wonderfully complex and dark, the entire atmosphere of DIM was so thick and compositionally sound that many who were around back then would agree that this was the album of our lives. *Breathes* The tracks could be cut & pasted into anyone’s mood and I feel that was due in part to the ideas and inspiration they took from other bands we adored throughout the past decade. “泣ヶ原 (Nakigahara)” for example was no more than a few simple chords and a Koto yet spoke volumes relating to current events, more so than one could put into words. The album’s last track “DIM SCENE” must be one of the heaviest message-driven compositions I have ever heard, flawlessly correlating the entire playthrough once more in the form of a message, maybe even an anthem, to other bands and fans of the VK scene alike. I can’t deny that the DIM era represented the GazettE at their prime, setting a bar so unattainable for the next decade that many would contest today has yet to be broken, even by them. I don’t think there’s a single VK fan alive today that has not listened to a song from this album. It doesn’t even feel like 10 years have gone by since its release, perhaps because I’ve grown far past a simple admiration and relive the nostalgia of “what was” every time I play DIM. - @YuyoDrift DIM is an album defined more by what it isn't than what it is. When examining the release of all the GazettE albums in chronological order, DIM rises head and shoulders above album neighbors Toxic and the eponymous Stacked Rubbish. It's almost impossible not to do this comparison. This is viewed by many as one of the GazettE's best albums, but time has not been kind to this album. With the initial wow factor out of the way, one can clearly see how the progressive leanings of Dir en grey's 2008 masterpiece Uroboros heavily influenced DIM. The album is very disjointed and features a lot of SE's to try and fix that - which it doesn't. When it's good, it's good. When it's not good, it's blase. Some tracks like "Shiroki Yuuutsu" and "IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS" are very forgettable experiences. One of the best songs "HEADACHE MAN" is a recycled B-side. "OGRE" is a bad Slipknot cover. "A MOTH UNDER THE SKIN" feels unfinished. Some pruning is required to bring the best out of this period, but it's there waiting to be found. This is an ambitious attempt by the band to outdo themselves and they really nailed this darkness concept the first time around. The lead singles are catchy without resorting to pop hooks and banal visual kei tropes. Good album, bit overrated, better than most of their full lengths, but I think that DOGMA and NINTH are better, more enriching overall experiences. - @Zeus Also known as “the first time I noticed the GazettE had a drummer”. DIM has arguably left the biggest mark on the band’s career, not only had Ruki improved as a vocalist, Kai also seemed to level up enough to finally bring life to their music. Before, sure, he kept the rhythm in check and played his role in the band, but from DIM onwards Kai’s own style started to shine. This album was the draft for what would later culminate in DOGMA, that is to say, Gazette’s style took a turn into darker corners with a heavy, tangible concept that was not only musical but visual. "13stairs[-]1" is a slow burner that I still find myself going back to and it pairs perfectly with "HEADACHE MAN" and "OGRE" — great songs to headbang to in a live setting. And yet, despite the heaviness of DIM, we were given one of the GazettE’s best ballads, “nakigahara”. It'd been several years since they had released a long, emotional trip like this (old fans will know) and they did not disappoint, despite its simplicity and instrumental minimalism, the heartache of "nakigahara" leaves you hanging to every note. Although DIM does feel like a slog to get through despite these great gems, its legacy is undeniable. - @platy Wait...DIM is on this list???? ahaha. I'm sure absolutely no one is surprised to see this album here. But there is good reason for it! Most people here know that I'm a casual VK fan, but a lover of J-rock and Japanese music in general. During my beginning phases of exploring J-rock, I dabbled in a bit of VK from like late 2004 - 2006, and then started getting into J-indie in 2007 and focusing my attention there. Basically, i'd heard and enjoyed NIL, but skipped STACKED RUBBISH. By the time 2009 rolled around, I was neck-deep in J-indie and only getting deeper, but DIM and all of the singles leading up to it were the only things that made me stop and pay attention to the VK world again. People can say what they want now, but almost everything about DIM was magical, during and prior to its release. The videos, the music, the general aesthetics...clearly, the GazettE had tapped into something special! Now in retrospect, DIM has definitely started to show some rust in areas. Certain tracks like "THE INVISIBLE WALL" and "A MOTH UNDER THE SKIN" just don't hit like they used to, and I think their whole 'dark/heavy' sound was later refined and employed waaaay better on DOGMA and NINTH. But with that said, I think all of the single/PV tracks are still particularly strong to this day. But I think what sets this album apart more than anything is the vision they had for it. It feels more like a complete experience than a cohesive collection of songs. DIM actually has character to it. - @CAT5 ......
  2. 10 points

    Reflection: Moran (2013-2015)

    It's your boy emmny…I’m not dead yet. It’s been almost two years since I dropped my last reflection (Kagerou 2002-2003), and I’m back for moar. It’s not that I’ve run out of ideas (real life is really busy btw, sorry!), but rather I’ve been thinking about particularly notable eras for bands I followed. Some bands are consistently good, and some bands have peaks and valleys which are kind of obvious. Choosing a band and time period to profile is challenging—I don’t want to give you anything obvious, but I want to bring light to eras which are underrated outside of a bands immediate fandom. Kagerou’s 2002-2003 phase was legendary—but the majority of their fame (esp in foreign fandom) came after. It was an era ripe with pickings—an avant-garde sound, striking visuals and some of their best songs—but I’d argue Kagerou are more closely associated with their 2004-2006 eras. The argument of placing their earlier days in the spotlight made the article interesting, and I’m not sure how much other eras are interesting in band histories. Selection is tough too—especially with bands that release intermittently and not giving enough musical ‘meat’ over the course of 2/3 years—which happen to be the most interesting (albeit financially strapped bands---*cough* yazzmad *cough*). Good music alone doesn’t cut it either—a reflection piece (in my own asshole opinion) is warranted by impact—Kagerou’s early years had influence literally a decade after they had moved on from that sound. Whether the following will have the same impact is TBD, but I will make the case that late-era Moran defined the zenith of art-kei, managing to sell out massive venues for a subgenre which was otherwise relegated to the underground and situated in a genre largely declining in popularity. In their dazzling sound, visuals, and approach, Moran kept their contemporaries on their feet and inspired subsequent kohai bands which continue to carry their flag, almost half a decade after they called it quits. Moran have a storied history, but getting into it would take 1) skills I lack as a visual historian and 2) too damn long. 2013-2015 covers most of Moran’s second lineup output, and I’ll briefly get into the timeline. This is where I’ve drawn the rough boundary of time, so to coincide with Moran’s third-era all the way up to their disbandment. I’ll delineate three main eras: 1) 2007-2009, 2) 2010-2012, and lastly, 2013-2015. Era 1 is Moran’s original lineup (and probably their most beloved), which formed ~2 years after Fatima’s disbandment. Era 1 came to an end with the original guitarist Velo departing the band in 2009, and bassist Zill’s tragic death in 2010, following a short-term leave from the band in 2009. The only permanent members of the band’s history (and the OGs from Fatima), vocalist Hitomi (FKA Sanaka/Kanoma) and drummer Soan (FKA Towa) were left to carry the band. Moran took a huge beating, but as one of SPEED-DISK (Free Will subsidiary)’s flagship bands, they pushed on into their second era with support bassists and Sizna (ex-Sugar) taking over as kamite guitarist in summer of 2010 and a full-reboot at the end of the year. There was a substantial lull in activities, with almost two years passing between the two eras without music. They proceeded as a three-piece until the summer of 2012, with Ivy (ex. Dio) joining as a full-time bassist and vivi (ex-DragonWAPPPPPPER) as shimote guitarist. The band formally rebooted in December of 2012, and they released their first piece of music as a five-member group in early 2013 with Jen:ga, and that’s where this story will start. Moran (2007.12.05 - 2015.09.21) Vocal: Hitomi Guitar: Sizna Guitar: vivi Bass: Ivy Drums: Soan Jen:ga (2013.02.20) 01 Barairo no jigoku / 薔薇色の地獄 02 benisashi / 紅差し 03 L'oiseau bleu / ロワゾ・ブルー 04 Bulbs 05 Melancholia / メランコリア 06 yakouchuu / 夜光虫 07 Wing or Tail 08 ReCover 09 Maybe Lucy in the Sky 10 Eclipse 11 Aru sakushi to no yuugiroku / ある策士との遊戯録 12 Fuyuubyou / 浮遊病 13 The last piece of the jen:ga Hollow Man (2013.07.10) 01 Hollow Man / ホロウマン 02 Fukamidori / フカミドリ 03 Esther / エスター Mousou Nikki (2013.12.11) 01 Mousou nikki / 妄想日記 02 Lyric of the DEAD dark (2014.03.19) 01 Nozomenai to shiru ketsumatsu ni, riyuu ga boku o nagusameru / 望めないと知る結末に、理由が僕を慰める 02 The Hermit 03 Negai to uta / ネガイトウタ 04 Fairy Tale 05 Ikou, hakushi no chronicle / 以降、白紙のクロニクル 06 Haru no yoru no, hitoshizuku / 春の夜の、ひと雫 but Beautiful (2014.07.16) 01 but Beautiful 02 Byouma / 秒魔 03 Break the silence Daraku e to Tsuzuku Hen’ai no Kanshoku (堕落 へと続く偏愛の感触) (2014.10.08) 01 Daraku e to tsudzuku hen'ai no kanshoku /堕落 へと続く偏愛の感触 02 Memorable 03 Grotesque Ride / グロテスク ライド Yoake Wo Mae Ni (夜明けを前に) (2015.07.01) 01 Koufuku ni tsuite no shakudo / 幸福についての尺度 02 Reverse 03 Yoake o mae ni / 夜明けを前に 04 The scent of dreams Moran have the distinction of being a pretty damn consistent band throughout their 8 years of activity. Their art-kei trademark of jazz/oshare/indie-rock/dream-pop/shoegaze/swing sound was a constant in their discography, with the specific flavour depending on the release. Moran largely presented a polished version of the ideas originally leveraged through Fatima’s output, which was largely experimental and toyed with combinations of genres and sounds. In my opinion, this polishing process continued into Moran’s first eras, with highs (most of Heroine and Replay) and lows (“Sea of Fingers”, “Stage Gazer”, “Party Monster”), but nowhere near as bipolar as some of Fatima’s highly questionable tracks. Early compositions were mostly Zill and Velo pieces with some Soan contributions, which diverged from their later eras which saw Sizna and Soan as key composers, with some vivi tracks here and there. Zill and Velo made some magic, but Sizna and Soan really made the band shine and polished all residual traces of odd melody and some awkward compositions. If you’re unfamiliar with art-kei, Moran laid the template for the sound in their early eras—give “Onaji yami no naka de”, “Element”, “Kimi no ita gosenfu”, “Helpless” and “Arikata” a listen for exemplars. Hitomi’s voice is a gorgeously husky and also quite nasal, a total acquired taste. If you liked Moran, you probably loved what Hitomi did on their tracks. If you disliked Moran…you were probably deaf or just didn’t like Hitomi’s voice. Hitomi’s contributions toward 3rd era Moran were notable, as he actually composed a track on dark (“Fairy Tale”), and veered into some more experimental, spoken word type tracks like “Vega no Hana #2”. True Hitomi fans know he had a poetry column throughout Fatima and was an incredible lyricist, so it was amazing to get more longer-form musings. I will say that Ivy as a bassist was a downgrade from Zill, who basically set Heroine on fire with the most fascinating basslines, counter melodies, and solos to come out of a visual bassist in a while. He played with electrifying gusto and a sharp ear toward rhythm; I can only think of a few bassists in his era who had comparable basslines. His departure and subsequent death was truly a waste of talent, but Ivy did a job well done given the high standards Zill set. That said, I think Ivy definitely had his moments (holy shit “Eclipse”), and will be glad to point them out. Soan has a nicely jazzy twang to his drumming with some great fills and cymbal work. He’s far from a perfect drummer—don’t ask him to do anything technical, but his flavour suited Moran perfectly and Ivy danced around him with ease. Also notable among his repertoire is his piano skills for which he’s credited in Moran’s releases—I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the string/piano/other instrumentation arrangements were through Soan’s background as a classically trained musician. Moran’s more baroque leanings came in around the time Soan took the wheel, so I see it as no coincidence and attribute it to his taste. In case you live under a rock, Sizna is a guitar god, and he basically carried Moran through pretty miserable circumstances and may or may not have been the glue that kept Moran together toward their end, with dueling egos from Hitomi and Soan leading the band to implode. Sizna’s instrumental and compositional prowess led Moran through what would have basically made any other band disband, and he had the tracks to back it up. I think vivi basically followed his guitarlines, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sizna wrote all the guitar parts himself, but vivi was an excellent rhythm guitarist. While the newer members were arguably weaker musicians, they breathed life into Moran and revitalized their sound—magic happens somehow somewhere—right? I want to talk about individual songs, but Moran released almost 30 tracks between 2013-2015, so that’s kinda impossible too. I will speak more about major themes across the releases, with particular attention to stand-out tracks and larger releases. Moran, while playing with a unique, multicoloured palate, did release music that could be understood as variations of a broader theme. The 2013-2015 era saw Moran release their best party songs (because IMO, the prior ones sucked). These tracks are characterized by upbeat tempos, cheeky and catchy, jangling, dueling guitar lines, heavy yet tasteful synthwork, and soaring vocal melodies. These songs are Moran’s most accessible, but far from tepid, generic pop songs—take the funky bass/drum solo break and ascending vocals in the bridge of “but Beautiful”; the wailing synths, bridge breakdown and verbose sing-along chorus of “Eclipse”; the start-stop-instrumentation and killer guitar solo of “L’oiseau bleu”. The 1 minute 30 exuberance of “Melancholia”, sugary sweetness of “Bulbs”, “Reverse”, “Break the silence” are also exemplars of their charismatic charm. Across these songs, traditional structures are subverted, pacing is played with, and the listener is taken on fuckin’ journeys through textured verses, dazzling choruses, and layered instrumentation. No one is close to touching Moran on these tracks, and they stand out as highlights in their discography. While these songs are Moran at their most polished, rough-and-tumble Moran is fun too. “Maybe Lucy in the Sky” is a rioting, gang-vocal mosh track meant to get the crowd jumping around, and “Esther” is a hella odd take on something between metalcore-kei and deadman, all ran through a lo-fi cassette playback---I’m not kidding. “Byouma” is also one of their darker tracks (not saying much, Moran are softies), marked by ominous synths, moody riffs, and a rap-sung chorus. It almost sounds like Moran doing Mejibray…in their own twisted way of course. I think what contributed to Moran’s longevity was their ability to stay true to themselves while still playing amongst basically everyone—oshare, abare, and art kei alike. They were chameleons within the visual circuit, and probably had a setlist for every occasion, reeling in curious fans of other bands with a range of styles and sounds. They weren’t outsiders playing to the same crowd at Ikeburkuro Chop every week, and they were able to spread their sound accordingly…the residual fame/notoriety from Fatima (and ikemen good looks/fanservice) likely helped as well. Next is the jazzy/bluesy/swing/calypso (yes) bangers, being fellow A-side singles “Benisashi” and “Daraku…” and “Hollowman”, which to me, always had a more jazzy flavour than the other upbeat bangers, but was too rock-ish to fit in among the jazzy tracks. Another nice crossover honorable mention is the band’s cover of SiD’s “Mousou Nikki”, which they infuse with extra urgency through tremolo picked riffs, complex lead fills and extra dramatic vocals from Hitomi. SiD’s early years were notable for jazzy leanings, and Moran’s cover picks up with even more jazzy touches with an extra quirky rock flavour—which fits the stalker fan concept of the lyrics. Of special note is the calypso flavoured interlude of “Hollowman”, which they took all the way in the romantic mid-tempo “Daraku”. Hitomi’s vocal line is delicate as the acoustic guitars and tempered percussion, with an energy that hearkens back to the more rock-but-pretty-acoustic “Ningen no ningen no ni yoru ningen no tame no koiji”. Moran, throughout their lineup changes and style fluctuations, were always conscious of their roots, and for them to revive that sound is a treat. “Benisashi” opens up with tight bluesy, melodic-yet-dissonant lead guitar work from no one but Sizna, leading into Hitomi’s crooning over the jazzy verse and bombastic chorus. I wish I had more words in my vocabulary to describe the nuances of their sound, but I’m not well versed enough in jazz/blues lingo. What I can say is that its fucking awesome, give it a listen. The jazz tracks on Jen:ga are by far the most balls-to-the-walls, with the elegantly restrained smoky cabaret opener of “Barairo no jigoku”, to the maddening swing-your-partner-by-the-arm jig of “Aru sakushi to no yuugiroku”. This is easily some of the jazziest/bluesiest music I’ve heard from a visual band—far from the shitty metalcore-swing transmutations of recent years. Moran also had a good repertoire of slower, dreamier tracks. Jen:ga outtake “Yakuchuu”, “Wing or Tail”, “Fuyuubyou” and Hollowman b-side “Fukamidori” compliment each other well in their delicate, romantic style and . Speaking of midtempo (and slowwww), Moran pulled out all their stops for the ‘ballade’ concept mini-album dark. They literally made my art kei dreams come true and dropped A WHOLE FUCKING MINI ALBUM’s worth of ballads. I will preface this by saying that I’m a ballad person—If you’re not *cough* like @saishuu *cough* then you better sit tight because I’ll try to fuckin convert you. There is nothing better than some sad fucking guitar chords layered over some slow, moving rhythms and subtly ornamental basslines and a beautiful comforting vocal line. Moran give me all that and more with dark. “Haru no yoru...” is the spiritual successor to my all-time fav Moran ballad “Snowing”; “Negai to uta” is a quasi post-rock, spoken word-y duet with female vocals complement Hitomi’s crooning; “Nozomenai to…” is driven by charging drums over weeping strings, bringing to life a heartwrenching narrative of lovers split by the sea shore. The whole album stands out for being a dazzling display of Moran's compositional prowess, with each song having its own taste despite the otherwise monotonous theme of balladry. "Fairy Tale" is a barebones acoustic track, "Ikou, Shirakami..." plays with dynamic shifts and swelling delayed guitars like Mono, while "The Hermit" is a shoegazy piece with a hard-ass breakdown toward the end. Moran's ballads are removed of visual cheese, with attention paid to maintaining a bitter sweet sound, in which they remain melancholic but not absorbed by melodramatic displays of emotion. If you've been shy to approach ballads because of the affective excess ever so present in visual kei, I'd urge you to give Moran a shot. You can’t talk about ballads without their goodbye single, “Yoake wo mae ni”, which places Hitomi as the proverbial prince in the fairy tale that was Moran. While he was going to close the chapter of Moran, he wanted to leave their fans with something to remember and his hand to hold on to. The PV reaches Malice Mizer drama heights, with the band members disappearing one-by-one as the song comes to an end, a-la "Au revoir" or "Le ciel" (an ironic touch, given Hitomi's entry into VK as a MM roadie). My favourite part is the end interlude where most of the instrumentation cuts out and Hitomi delivers an uncharacteristically dynamic vocal solo, which is even more goosebump-inducing in the footage for their last live (linked below!). As Hitomi delivers the vocal line, the audience belts it out with him, and you can clearly hear them holding back tears as they sing “I silently listened to your heartbeat; its very steady; in this way, I can share the loveliness of the night with you”. English translations (thank you translation blogger) don’t do it justice in the least; the verbs used in the Japanese version like “resonance” and the use of “beloved” with “night” sounds like Hitomi kissing his fans goodbye in his ever-romantic, poetic style. With that, Moran bid us farewell. Basically, the tensions between Hitomi and Soan probably drove the band crazy and they peaced out. I’m no expert on Moran’s member drama, but a glance at the band news threads on here should offer a healthy dose of visual tea. Hitomi and Soan are apparently good now, with Hitomi’s solo projects Ameyasame and Umiyuri having played with Soan’s solo project (Soan Project with Akuta; Temari) on occasion. Should Moran come back? Vivi’s hands are tied with DEZERT’s current fast-track to visual major fame, Ivy is juggling side projects with Yoru (Temari, ex-amber gris’s solo project) and Tenten’s Lack-Co. Sizna has mostly left visual outside of a Sugar one-night revival, and is now teaching guitar in his own business. The funniest part of it all is that Velo had a guest appearance on Umiyuri's debut EP and is currently playing with Ivy in Yoru. I’d like to think of this as no bad blood between the art-kei dudes. The talent that graced visual kei from 2013-2015 is still present in some form in the indies circuit, although no solo project has reached the heights of Moran’s fame; routinely selling out AREA, playing onemans at O-East and ending their career at a packed Zepp Tokyo. Oldheads on here will remember that amber gris died shortly after, and with the deaths of cocklobin and 9GOATS BLACK OUT in the near past, no major art kei band was left to carry the scene, the splintered solo projects and off-shoot bands haven’t been able to drive up interest like before. This may just be that the bands aged out of the super-touring style of SPEED-DISK bands—Hitomi and Soan were around 40 when Moran called it quits, and by then, most of their fans that followed them since Fatima were probably retiring as bangya. Luckily, the youngins behind Develop One’s Faculties have been able to carry the torch of Moran, reaching similar peak venues without members deeply rooted in art-kei like Moran. Yuya’s charismatic vocals, perplexing lyrics and intricate guitarlines certainly give him the starpower to take over Moran’s legacy while being different enough. I’d argue there are lots of parallels between current DoF and later day Moran, especially with DoF’s ability to be visual chameleons while staying true to their sound. The same can be said for Chanty, who have a distinctly indie-rock crossover flair and straddle the boundaries between j-indie and visual kei. Hell, Akuta, the vocalist of Chanty is also the star of the more rock-flavoured part of Soan Project. Belle has a slightly jazzy twang to them too, but they remind me more of classic Oshare than the former three bands. I can’t think of any other notable bands that followed in Moran’s wake, but I think as visual’s popularity continues declining—there will never be another Moran. I’m not entirely okay with that, but DoF and Chanty are doing god’s work. In the meanwhile, we can look back fondly at Moran’s later years, smiling, dancing, bopping and shedding tears with some of the best visual kei of the 2010s. I want to hear your opinions? Are you a holic? What are your fav Moran songs? Are you with me and think their best era was 2013-2015 or are you a diehard first lineup fan? Will art-kei live forever? Do you happen to hate Moran (YOU MONSTER!!) for some odd reason? Let me know! Ps thanks to @peffy for the lyrics and @The Moon for literally being a whole Moran street team in one person. xx emmny
  3. 10 points
    ex-DAMY Vo.椋 (Ryo) solo project "鴉-カラス- (Karasu)" has formed. http://karasu-web.com/
  4. 8 points
    アルルカン (Arlequin) new single "怒り (Ikari)" will be released at 2020/2/26.
  5. 5 points
    DIAURA Have announced two new singles. Envy will be released on 2020.03.04 and will come in 3 types. Hydra will be released on 2020.04.01 and will come in 3 tytpes. 『ENVY』 Type A : CD 1. ENVY 2. DRAIN DRAIN DVD 1. ENVY MV Type B : 1. ENVY 2. DRAIN DRAIN DVD 1. 6 Songs from their live on 2019.12.24 恵比寿LIQUIDROOM Dictatorial X'mas Setlist for that live: Type C : CD 1. ENVY 2. DRAIN DRAIN 3. inner core 『Hydra』 Type A : CD 1. Hydra 2. ポワゾ DVD 1. Hydra MV Type B : 1. Hydra 2. ポワゾ DVD 1. 6 Songs from their live on 2019.12.24 恵比寿LIQUIDROOM Dictatorial X'mas Setlist for that live: Type C : CD 1. Hydra 2. ポワゾ 3. Promised Land ALSO NEW WEBSITE
  6. 4 points
    Plastic Tree new album "十色定理" (Juusshoku Teiri ) will be released at 2020/03/25
  7. 4 points

    random thoughts thread

    They really need to omit the whole "Peace Be With You" + handshake thing when half the church is coughing their asses off. Immediately came down with a shitty cold the next day, and I'm still having to take Dayquil... Need to replace the holy water with some hand sanitizer.
  8. 4 points
  9. 4 points

    Your last music-related buy!

    Some oldies from Rarezhut... ...and some (relatively) new cali≠gari stuff.
  10. 4 points
    Ai (gulu gulu) replied me twice on twitter today and I’m so fuckn happy because I love this man so much and never saw him interacting online with fans before 😭🖤
  11. 4 points
    It always gets me how people leave the bands because of difference in musical direction, like didn't they talk about that before they started activities together smh.
  12. 4 points
  13. 4 points
    ラク×ガキ (RAKU×GAKI) apparently has a new look, quite stylish~ Individual members:
  14. 4 points
    Tracklist: 1. "絶縁体" (Zetsuentai) 2. "人間を被る" (Ningen o Kaburu) 3. "Downfall" 4. "Devote My Life" 5. "Values of Madness" 6. "Celebrate Empty Howls" 7. "赫" (Aka) 8. "Merciless Cult" 9. "Rubbish Heap" 10. "軽蔑と始まり" (Keibetsu to Hajimari) 11. "谿壑の欲" (Keigaku no Yoku) 12. "Ranunculus" 13. "The World of Mercy" Encore: 14. "Followers" 15. "朔-saku-" 16. "詩踏み" (Utafumi) After an unceremonious dinner of two donuts, I trudged my way through the rain and darkness to Gramercy Theatre for Dir en grey's TOUR 19: THIS WAY TO SELF-DESTRUCTION stop at New York City. I had concerns about the weather since it was raining all week, but thankfully the rain eased up by the time I reached the back of the line. The line wasn't the sea of umbrellas I had anticipated; other Dir en grey fans were less fazed by the weather and relied on the scaffolding to shield them from the elements. I made quick friends in line with the fans around me and we got to shooting the clay about different visual kei bands, which really helped to pass the time. Like I noted with my previous live experience at Playstation Theater, all types of fans rolled out to see the band; goth kings and queens, scene kids from high school and college, older metal heads, obvious netizens like myself, and everyone in between. One cosplayer impressed me with his "OBSCURE"-era Kyo outfit, while another gaggle of friends looked like shinobi. It's refreshing to know that Dir en grey's appeal is still universal. Unlike my experience in line at the GazettE, Dir en grey fans know their trivia. The organization was impressive until I stepped inside the venue, at which point it looked like a bomb went off. For those not in the know, Gramercy Theatre has a max occupancy of 499 people. There felt like way more than 499 people in line and in the venue. The security check was much more extensive - the guy went through my bag twice to make sure I had no recording equipment before searching me for weapons - but that part was organized. The true chaos was differentiating the merchandise line from the coat check line from the alcohol line. Everything and everyone was one vibrant, pulsating mass the minute I made my way down the stairs to the basement level. I fought my way to the merch line, which at this point was short because everyone was checking in their coats, and ten minutes I later I was greeted with disappointment. There were legit five pieces of merchandise available for sale, and the items I wanted were not in my size. Shirts were $40, the hoodie was $70. I spent enough money to pay down the karma debt on my years of downloading Dir en grey's music in one shot, and nabbed myself a sweet hoodie so big I could swim in it (as they only had small and extra large available). I'm shocked they didn't bring any copies of The Insulated World to sell, because I'm sure plenty of fans would have bought. Shoved the goodies in my bag, checked in all my stuff for eight dollars (definitely recommend buying a ticket with guaranteed coat check to ease the process here), then fought my way upstairs and into the venue. It's pretty narrow at first, but quickly opens up to two sections, one for standing and one for sitting. There were easily 400 people here by the time I found the alcohol bar, and seats were disappearing fast. Copped a Bud Light for $14, then ended up sitting off to the left side for the entirety of the show. For sonic balance reasons I suggest you sit or stand as close to the center as you can; Die stood to the right side and I could barely hear him, but Toshiya and Kaoru stood to the left and I could hear them clearly. BYSTS cancelled at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts, was no opening act for the New York show. This was not communicated to us beforehand, so I sat around for what felt like an eternity before the show actually began. Once the lights dimmed the crowd came to life. As the band members strode onto stage one by one backed by an SE I've never heard before, all I could see were the instruments faintly coming into the light as the strobe lights moved so fast one could catch a seizure, and the crowd heads bobbing with the occasional camera capturing the live. It was time. Despite Dir en grey performing both "絶縁体" (Zetsuentai) and "The World of Mercy", the show felt as if it passed even faster than the GazettE. Dir en grey gave a great show overall and performing the album songs live has changed my perspective on them. Kyo's Joker-lite face paint was a nice surprise for sure; I wonder how influenced he was by the eponymous movie released earlier this year. He tried to get us to sing along a few times and was obviously pissed when we didn't know the words, but what can you expect from a crowd whose first language isn't Japanese? I can recall he tried during "Rubbish Heap" and "The World of Mercy", and the second attempt was much more successful than the first. Photos courtesy of u/ raggedypan from Reddit. The biggest change are my opinions on "絶縁体" and "Devote my Life", tracks I didn't enjoy on disc but enjoyed greatly live. Unfortunately, "The World of Mercy" is still a big miss for me. Even understanding that the song is the thematic end to The Insulated World didn't shake my convictions, although I must admit that the music video for this song is unapologetically brutal, even for Dir en grey. It is hard to describe what I saw since the video was censored with a triangle overlay, but there was a bloody rampage that starts about halfway through. I don't understand what's so shocking that it needs to be censored live, considering they played the uncensored versions of the "朔-saku-" and "人間" PV's. Having said that, Kyo pantomiming disembowelment during "The World of Mercy" is one of the highlights of the show for sure. Aside from "赫" (Aka), most of the time the projects were little more than a lyrics video. "赫" (Aka) has a beautiful music video of burning baby dolls and piano with a red filter over all of it accompanied by some lyrics. It's tame so I hope they officially release it after the tour's conclusion. In comparison, "絶縁体"'s video is a more cryptic affair of flashing imagery, one that works better live than as a standalone music video. The way "絶縁体" ends stuck with me far after the show is over. At the end, the music video was revealed to be within the mind of a human, so thematically "絶縁体" and "人間を被る" are much more connected than I thought. It also ends on same "human slicing" technique that we saw in "人間"'s PV. The heavy use of projection imagery also explains why the set lists for each stop on the North American tour are almost identical, save for one song in the encore. I hope all of the visualizations and more come our way via the next installment of the AVERAGE collection of uncensored music videos (AVERAGE INCEL?). This was an album-heavy show, but we still got some throw backs in the form of "Merciless Cult" and "朔-saku-". The former came on halfway through the show where as the latter was part of the encore. The new version of "朔-saku-" - which is basically the studio version with gutturals replacing the screams - was pretty dope, but I felt that the new version of "Merciless Cult" live hit so much harder. "詩踏み", the encore closer, was also much better than the studio version. The extended distortion was the perfect way to end the encore. I'm jealous that Denver got "腐海" (Fukai 2018) and that Dallas got "理由" (Wake), but that's how it is sometimes. The New York crowd was a rough one. I sat in the back like the old rock geezer I am, but at one point during the show I saw security pull one person out from the crowd who was getting crushed. There was also a crowd surfer at another point during the show, which was also wild. I actually got to spoke to him after and he was a pretty chill dude. If you are of a smaller frame or have doubts about the ferocity of the pit, I would find a seat before the show begins. As the show winded down to a close, the band members disappeared one by one. Shinya and Kyo were the first to go, leaving the stage almost immediately after the encore. Shinya threw his drum sticks into the crowd and disappeared second; Kyo was first. Toshiya hung around for a bit but didn't engage the crowd much and left soon after. It was the two guitarists, Die and Kaoru, that entertained the crowd the most. They waved at the fans, threw picks and water bottles at the crowd, and took their leave after two minutes. We were treated to a bit more darkness before the lights cut on and reality came crawling back. The show was over and it was time to go home. If getting inside the venue was a pain in the ass, getting out was an even bigger one. I played my cards right and still had trouble getting around. The downstairs area was simply too small to contain all of us. I heavily advise buying merchandise before coat check. There's a wider assortment of goodies available before the show and a lot of people wait until after the show to buy, so more likely than not you will always be on the shorter line. I was on line long enough to meet up with @Ro plz and chat about our experiences for a bit, but the scene was too chaotic and we were quickly separated. I tried to wait outside, but there was another show for SURFACES lined up and the security were motioning for us to disperse. I stuck around for ten minutes, chatted with some random fans, and bounced. I had a blast and can definitely recommend seeing Dir en grey live if you have the money or can snag the tickets for a reasonable price. Money was the biggest contributing factor on my decision to go; buying the tickets from a scalper ran me almost $200! This was one of their better live performances judged solely off of all the live recordings I have seen and heard of the band, and Kyo is in good shape vocally for this tour. Go with friends if you can, and if not try to arrange to meet up with people from here! Fans are really friendly to talk to considering none of us knew anything about each other other than that we were fans of the same band, but that speaks to how deeply music can connect people. Until next time!
  15. 3 points
    The band is under the AINS label and theyll be coming out with a full length album in march MV spot for it in replies
  16. 3 points
    Kiyoharu is God

    TOKYO JIHEN returns

    https://natalie.mu/music/news/361792 https://aramajapan.com/featured/tokyo-jihen-reunites/103561/ Releasing a new song today called 選ばれざる国民 (ERABAREZARU KOKUMIN) and have announced a tour.
  17. 3 points
    Happy New Year Everyone 🥳🥳🤗 !
  18. 3 points
    their new album "ULTIMA" will be released at 2020/03/18 (3 types) Deluxe limited edition (9000yen) will include 2 CD (album+inst), Blu-Ray including music video, making and scenes of their live "[XV]act:1-XV BIRTHDAY-SHADOWS ONLY 19.12.27 NAGOYA CLUB QUATTRO" and photobook Limited edition (3500yen) will include CD and DVD including music video and making Regular edition (3000yen) will include CD only [XV]act:1-XV BIRTHDAY-SHADOWS ONLY 19.12.27 NAGOYA CLUB QUATTRO [XV]act:2-COUNTDOWN LIVE -2019-2020- at 2019.12.31 at Zepp Nagoya [XV]act:3-WOMEN'S ONLY- at 2020/02/07 at Shinjuku BLAZE [XV]act:3-MEN'S ONLY- at 2020/02/08 at Shinjuku BLAZE [XV]act:4-PREMIUM EXHIBITION " " -SHADOWS ONLY- at 2020/03/07 at Osaka BIG CAT, at 2020/03/11 at TSUTAYA O-EAST and at 2020/03/13 at Nagoya DIAMOND HALL [XV]act:5-TOUR'20 -ULTIMA- since 2020/04/18 to 2020/07/18 at Nanba Hatch and their tour final at 2020/07/26 at TACHIKAWA STAGE GARDEN [XV]act:6 (to be announced) [XV]act:7 (to be announced) [XV]act:8 (to be announced) [XV]act:9 (to be announced) [XV]act:10 (to be announced)
  19. 3 points
    Hmmmmm based on the sample it could be anything, but so far my interest is piqued! Having some Grieva flashbacks not gonna lie (what with the flower motif and releasing a full-length so early). edit: Just found the MV preview too, not bad.
  20. 3 points
    A great and amazing list! So many favorites listed here were ones I continuously listen to and still do. Patriot by vistlip is such a good classic that perfectly represents what the band does - mixing heavy and lighter sounds and also not being afraid to experiment. X-rays by Screw was another great release although it's not something that I listen to as much sadly, but it was one of their last releases to feature Yuuto, so visiting the album is always a nice trip down memory lane. An album that stuck out as not being on the list for me is Shu from Kagrra,. It's released with their popular Uzu song and finely mixes traditional Japanese instruments and the modern rock elements without overdoing it or being flamboyant. The cover art is also beautiful, reflecting their Neo-Japanesque aesthetic and theme.
  21. 3 points

    Show Yourself (again)

    The time I kinda dressed as "Casual" Sasuke to play with my band xD
  22. 3 points
    It surely sucks but i can totally understand people leaving for this reason. It's almost impossible to find fellow musicians who 100% have the same vision as you so i am pretty sure there are plenty of musicians joining bands only to be part of a band to begin with and if they don't get where they want they probably just move on/leave to eventually find what they were seeking for somewhere else...
  23. 3 points
  24. 3 points

    Show Yourself (again)

    I'm still a Lion, my g.
  25. 3 points
    My first initial thoughts: -Intro was too long. I thought the small tonal change around 15 seconds was going to be the real start, but there's another 25 seconds of buildup after that. -You do repeat a main theme a couple of times in the song, and perform a couple of slight variants on it here and there. However, it felt like a couple of sections were disjointed and random for the sake of diversity, rather than adding to the idea as a whole. For example, when your drum structure changes around 1:50 to be less syncopated; not a bad idea, but there's a lack of context since it happens, then shortly bleeds out of that pattern without going back to it or playing off of it again. -You're good at writing buildup. I found myself anticipating the next section of the song because you led me to want to. However, I felt like a lot of times there wasn't significant payoff as a reward for that anticipation. (This could just be because this kind of bleak post-apocalyptic style isn't really my genre of choice. I'm trying to be objective about musical structure, rather than the content itself). -That ending was really nice. The way the beeps build up akin to how a lot of EDM songs do their first drop, then end in a flatline was a nice touch. It shows you put some thought into how it should end, rather than just fading to grey or something less deliberate.
  26. 3 points
  27. 2 points
    S will revive for one day on 3/22 - Vo.Sai (Shuuen NO Rasetsu) Birthday event at 名古屋Electric Lady Land Lineup: Vo. DAI (D'reysir → S) Gt. ITSUKI (R,via → S →NO.13 → ソロ、De:Bug) Gt. YUNA (R,via → S) Dr. REINA (CROSS → S → SIX-R (support) → S、SL-R) (Ba.Zekki will not participate)
  28. 2 points
    ex-Cadenza members new project "Project Coda" has formed and their new digital single "Nocturnal Secret" will be released at 2020/1/22. Vo.搖祈 (Yuraki) (ex-Cadenza) Key.RyO (ex-the Black Roses-->Cadenza) https://twitter.com/projectCoda_
  29. 2 points

    Worst To First: Dir en grey

    Love them or hate them, almost everyone's got an opinion about Dir en grey. The scene stops to listen whenever Dir en grey announce a new single or album. As a long time fan of the band, I think it's the perfect time to express how I feel about all of their albums. My feelings will differ from album to album. Some albums have had the benefit of twenty years and others only a few months, so that's always going to be a factor in how I rank things. I will cover this from my least favorite album to my most favorite album, but by no means take this as a definitive list for Dir en grey. Everyone will have their own rankings and their own suggestions for where to start. I happen to think that this also a great order to introduce someone to this band. This is a perfect topic for those that don't listen to Dir en grey or don't know where to start, current fans looking for spicy opinions and a pot to stir, or even old fans looking for a reintroduction into their new era. Not only have I included a PV for each album as a sampler, but I also put together suggested playlists for each album. The playlists are the order that I would have arranged the band if I were them. The songs are the songs that I believe are the best from each period. Some will require more effort than others to construct. To make it simpler, I have included my favorite three tracks and one music video from each album. I will not consider the mini albums MISSA and six Ugly in this analysis, but some of those tracks will appear in the playlists I create. DUM SPIRO SPERO Album No: 8 Released: August 2, 2011 Length: 67:31 鬼葬 (kisou) Album No: 3 Released: January 30, 2002 Length: 69:57 THE MARROW OF A BONE Album No: 6 Released: February 7, 2007 Length: 50:05 ARCHE Album No: 9 Released: December 10, 2014 Length: 68:01 🎖️The Insulated World🎖️ Album No: 10 Released: September 26, 2018 Length: 50:27 🏅Withering to death.🏅 Album No: 5 Released: March 9, 2005 Length: 51:14 🥉MACABRE🥉 Album No: 2 Released: September 20, 2000 Length: 72:57 🥈GAUZE🥈 Album No: 1 Released: July 28, 1999 Length: 64:47 🥇UROBOROS🥇 Album No: 7 Released: November 11, 2008 Length: 58:54 👑VULGAR👑 Album No: 4 Released: September 10, 2003 Length: 57:02 That's everything folks! Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Did you like it? Did you agree? Do you have your own rankings? Leave them below! I'm interested to know what everyone's opinions are, especially since Dir en grey is one of my favorite bands ever. So many people are passionate about this band like no other. If enough people liked this, I may follow up soon with one for the GazettE. Until next time
  30. 2 points
    New Band GLIM GARDO -グリムガルド- Vo.朔弥 Sakuya (ex Grave Nest) Gt.ノク Noku (ex Venelli) Gt.ロゼ Rose Bass.Runa (ex Venelli) https://twitter.com/GLIMGARDO_info
  31. 2 points
    This album needs to slap. XII was hot garbage and they didn’t release anything last year. Let’s hope some fresh ideas have spawned.
  32. 2 points
    2020 fact: Plastic Tree's 雨二唄エバ remains one of the best tunes they ever did
  33. 2 points

    ghost's drawings

  34. 2 points
  35. 2 points

    Happy New Year! 🎉

    Happy New Year! 🎉
  36. 2 points

    Happy new year!

    Happy new year!
  37. 2 points

    RAKUGAKI 1st Full Album 「RAKUGAKI」

    RxG are confirmed blink182 stans.
  38. 2 points
  39. 2 points
    I wanna see them ONLY release it on vinyl just for the drama.
  40. 2 points
  41. 2 points
    i finally have internet again THANK GOD
  42. 2 points

    Show Yourself (again)

    Well, I used to think that you all were exactly as your profile pic, and now I found out this.
  43. 2 points
    Official collab photos are upppp lookin' greatttt ♥ Also, an interview in Japanese with the guys has been published HERE~
  44. 2 points
    Id sell my tit to see this happen but hella unlikely.
  45. 2 points
  46. 2 points


    Anyway with all of their make up it's difficult to guess 😅
  47. 2 points

    Your last music-related buy!

    Dir en grey - 脈 (Sample Ver.)
  48. 2 points

    New band "Astaroth" has formed

    (*_*)// Aaaa finally announced!~ btw the logo has been created by the vocalist in collaboration with me. He made a sketch and I made it digital Anyway details will be announced at 2020-01-16 20:00 JPT Some people here will gotta get horny that date
  49. 2 points

    DIMLIM new album, "MISC." release

    If the whole album sounds as brutal as in the snippet it will be a banger
  50. 2 points

    Show Yourself (again)

    I'm bored so here have some new pictures I took a few weeks back
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