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  1. 28 points
    Just like the title says this is an attempt to bring back the m-h jrock awards for the year 2017 which last took place way back in 2012 and apparently ended do to lack of participation. Awards were given for best album, single, new band, etc. And all of this was decided by user votes. So I asked about reviving this and here's what @Zeussaid, Judging by all of the yearly best album/single reviews I would hope there's still some interest in something like this. So if you want to see the "Monochrome heaven J-Rock Awards 2017" then help me get this topic 50 likes and/or 50 comments by the end of the month.
  2. 26 points
    I've been wanting to write some of this stuff out forever because I'm a huge digital packrat and I like to archive these types of things... I don't think any of this has been written out anywhere before, but I'm not sure how much people actually care about the fan culture part of VK here, especially the Japanese fan culture, and especially the online Japanese fan culture. But, just in case any of you are also level 50 Turbo Nerds I thought I should post it here. I hope this is a sensible place to put it?? this piece is WAY too long for how lame the subject is and i'm so sorry tl;dr: tanuki is old as fuck and there used to be another tanuki and forums are dead, long live tanuki edit: fixed a number i screwed up
  3. 22 points
    Chronic Bandmate Slappin' Disorder, it's untreatable
  4. 19 points
    cvltic

    Akinori returns to lynch.

    At lynch.'s countdown show last night, Akinori appeared during the encore, and after an apology, announced he will be returning to the band.
  5. 19 points
    SadMoomin

    Show Yourself (again)

    I cut a wig for the first time and I love how it came out !
  6. 18 points
    In celebration of Monochrome-Heaven's 10th Anniversary, we've decided to hop in our musical time machine and take a look at some of the important, classic, and downright pivotal J-rock albums of 2007! Below you'll find albums that left a significant impression on us as fledgeling J-rock fans and albums that impacted the fandom at large. So let's put on our nostalgia-goggles and take a look, shall we!!?? 9mm Parabellum Bullet Termination Alongside the likes of ling tosite sigure, these guys were one of the most hyped bands amongst the J-indie fandom at the time - and with great reason. On this album, 9mm crafted the perfect blend of explosive indie rock with elements of punk, hardcore, and metal - creating a sound so dynamic and fresh that even their naysayers couldn't deny it! TERMINATION was only their first full-length album, but it's responsible for inspiring an entire generation of successive bands with an influence that's still palpable to this day. Sadly, 9mm descended into utter mediocrity after this release, but this remains one of the few albums that I'd consider flawless, and it's widely regarded as a classic by fans. -@CAT5 girugamesh girugämesh Few albums I have listened to in their entirety as much as girugamesh’s 2007 eponymous release. The 45-minute epic strips the soul bare - from the dynamic opener “Patchwork” to the heart wrenching “Kowarete Iku Sekai”, girugämesh brought out an unmatched explosion of creativeness from a group of friends that, despite barely breaking into their 20s, had given their all into music. It is a quality seldom heard in VK today as they channelled all of their aggression, elation, desperation, pain and longing, relishing the listener in girugamesh’s world of raw emotion where each song held meaning and every individual tune stuck to memory. This is certainly one of the albums that not only epitomized 2007, but defined girugamesh for me. For many of us, bands like girugamesh catered to our angst-ridden adolescence, as we threw away our childish inclinations while gravitating toward the darker side of VK. And it was partially thanks to this album that gave me the faith to continue following them throughout their tumultuous latter years and see their career to their end, finally gaining closure with their swansong “period” that took them back to their formative roots. -@helcchi bis Believe in Style If girugamesh represented the transition into the dark side of visual kei to the generation that were growing up in the 00s, bis held tight to that childhood naïveté as they remained frozen in time, echoing sounds of a bygone era of oshare kei. An ode to eternal youth, Believe in Style is an endearing Summer album that embodied all the stupid things we did when we were young and all the fun we had - free of consequences and responsibilities, as well as the bitterness we held towards growing up. “Start”, “DAYS” and “SEASONS” were the quintessential high school anthems that perhaps started many people's venture into j-rock, brimming with youthful energy, catchy tunes and an attitude ready to conquer the world. It certainly seemed that success would come easy with the bright-eyed popular young band shooting their way to the top of the indies charts, yet bis’ world was painted through rose-colored glasses. And like many young bands trying to gain their footing in an adult world, the fun was short-lived and they disbanded way too early. Believe in Style would be their first and only full-length album, however not before leaving us with heartwarming memories. -@helcchi D'espairsRay MIRROR Perhaps the only album I personally covered that sounds just as good today as it did ten years ago, MIRROR is one of the defining visual kei albums of the '00s. Every time I think of the mysterious cover, the riff to "Trickster" starts playing in my mind and Hizumi's crooning is like a harpoon that gets stuck in your head and can't be removed. It's funny to imagine how divisive this album was when it came out because it sounded nothing like [Coll:set], but in retrospect I might consider it the most approachable D'espairsRay album that still maintains the darkness I love them for. There's also bittersweet sentimentality talking, as this is the release which marks the point of no return for many fans. -@Zeus Eksperimentoj Eksperimentoj Having garnered a good amount of clout from the highly regarded band Dhal (a side-project formed by Aoki Robin of downy), vocalist Eugene Wakamikoto's first album with his own band Eksperimentoj was certainly a release of great interest back in 2007. In a lot of ways, Eksperimentoj sounded something like a spiritual successor to downy (who were on hiatus at the time and would remain as such for another 6 years). Eugene wrote and sung the album entirely in English, yet he sounded almost identical to Aoki Robin, and musically, the band played a gloomy, atmospheric style of post-rock that was aesthetically in line with downy as well. Though in spite of the similarities, Eksperimentoj still occupied a space of their own. Unfortunately, this was the only album they ever released, yet it's singular to this very day. -@CAT5 HIZAKI grace project Dignity of crest Released on New Year's Day of 2007, HIZAKI grace project's first album was significant for me as it ushered in the second wind of my VK fandom, which is still kickin' today. I was delighted to see an old face, Juka (ex-Moi dix Mois), combined with some great neoclassical guitarwork and subtle tinges of MALICE MIZER (dat harpsichord in "Philosopher") that brought me back to when I first learned of VK in 2002. Virtuoso guitarists HIZAKI and Teru went on to form Versailles and Jupiter, but I still come back to Dignity to crest fairly often, as it showcases some of their best riffing. -@fitear1590 Ling tosite sigure Inspiration is DEAD Ling tosite sigure (who were still being referred to as 'rin toshite shigure' by western fans at the time), had to be the most exciting band in Japanese indie at the time. Here you had a demure indie rock trio playing music with the technical prowess and ferocity of a death metal band, and their creativity seemed to know no bounds. Even if you found the vocals grating or annoying, you couldn't deny the Ling's ingenuity. Hell, before I grew to appreciate them, I found myself simply captivated by all of TK's insane riffage alone. Coming from a band so talented, and so obviously inspired, Inspiration is DEAD seemed like a statement - a dig against all of the bands who were content to tread the status quo instead of breaking new ground. And that's exactly what Ling did with this album, as they continued to do for years to come. Inspiration is DEAD remains a fan-favorite to this day, and as the band's final indie release, it's one of the most raw and unkempt records they've put out - a far cry from the polished, formulaic, and generally diluted music they've been producing lately. -@CAT5 LOSTAGE DRAMA Just a year after LOSTAGE dropped the classic PLAY WITH ISOLATION, they returned again with this spectacular release. DRAMA took all of the emo-tinged indie rock of the previous album, but accentuated it with hard rock elements which resulted in a fresh and powerful new sound for the band. In fact, you could argue that this is the album that set the tone for the rest of the their career, as the style they crafted here is one that they've continued to hone throughout every album since. Truly a highlight in LOSTAGE's discography and the year 2007 alike. -@CAT5 MERRY M.E.R.R.Y. After ten years, M.E.R.R.Y. still remains as one of MERRY's most memorable albums due to the band's versatile sound, which consisted of distorted punk rock with jazzy elements, groovy melodies, and some tender ballads. The singles included are "Blind Romance", "Saihate no Parade (最果てのパレード)", and the tender "Komorebi ga Boku o Sagashi Teru (木洩れ日が僕を探してる・・・)", which all remain as fan-favorite tracks today. In fact, 2007 was around the time of MERRY's prime, as the band had already been signed with major label Victor Entertainment for 2 years, and they had already performed overseas for the first time a few months prior to the album's release. Personally, the album has some of my favorite MERRY tracks ever, including "Utagoe Kissa 『MODERN』 (歌声喫茶『モダン』)", the catchy and melodic "Hirahira Tonderu. (ひらひらとんでる。)" (whose PV was directed by FULL of GUNIW TOOLS), and dat sweet bass solo at the start of "Coq d'or mama (コックドール・ママ)". -@suji nayuta solar ribbon・solar children Never heard of this band? No worries - most people hadn't heard of this band ten years ago either! In fact, nayuta is so obscure that only some of the most hardcore J-indie enthusiasts that I know have come across them, as this album wasn't released widely and almost no information can be found on it today. Still, despite their stature, nayuta has to be one of the best kept secrets of the J-indie scene, and this album is one of the best that you've never heard. On Myspace (yes, Myspace was still a thing in 07), they used to describe themselves as 'Underground hardcore parade music', and while that's actually pretty apt in a weird way, it doesn't do them justice. There's a definitely a hardcore element to their music, which is further emphasized by the rough and noisy production quality, but the band makes creative use of melody while maintaining the beauty of it. Add in some sublime male/female vocals and you have a sound that's as chaotic as it is charming. solar ribbon・solar children may be a hidden gem, but it's well worth excavating to wrap your ears around. -@CAT5 OGRE YOU ASSHOLE AlphaBeta vs. Lambda If bands like Ling tosite sigure and 9mm Parabellum Bullet were dominating the aggressive side of Japanese indie in 2007, then on the opposite end of the spectrum, OGRE YOU ASSHOLE were the kings of slacker rock. The band already an album and a mini-album under their belts at the time, but Alpha Beta vs. Lambda truly solidified them as an indie rock force to be reckoned with. Characterized by laid-back grooves, smooth vocals, colorful riffs, and tight instrumentation, OYA carved out a delightful sound on this album that many younger bands like mitsume and siamese cats have aimed at, yet have never quite been able to hit. Hell, even the band themselves have never been able to live up to the sound they established here - and they've released eight albums since! -@CAT5 Plastic Tree Nega to Poji 2007 marked the 10th anniversary since Plastic Tree's major debut, and to pay all their efforts for making it that far, they decided to release the groundbreaking and jaw dropping album that is Nega to Poji. It was a major turning point for Plastic Tree, throwing away the old and bringing out new ideas. Nega to Poji as a whole laid out such a unique charm that if you listened to one song out of the album context you'd instantly recognize the Nega to Poji sound; the dreaminess, the grungy guitars, and Ryutaro's less childish to mesmerizing vocals. Honestly, there really is no bad track on the album as they all give it a perfect balance, except for old, but newer versions of tracks like "Spica", "Makka na Ito", and "hate red, dip it", that might feel like extras to some. I do admit however, that the new "hate red, dip it (loudest sound version)" flows well with the rest of the album. You've got the dreamy "Nemureru Mori" as a tranquil start, the pumping "Fujunbutsu" and "Elegy" to amp up the noise and energy, the heavy "Sabbath", which is possibly their heaviest track other than "Ghost", some impressive drumming in the melancholic "Kuroi Kasa", and the beautiful and heartbreaking "Andro Metamorphose" that received huge debate for copying Mew's song "Comforting Sounds", yet is still loved by most, if not all pura fans. I remember playing this album on heavy rotation the day it released. It was one of the best things I heard at the time and is still an absolute favorite of mine, which I'm sure many fans can agree with as well. Hell, there's even a whole studio version of the album on DVD from the limited edition. -@plastic_rainbow RENTRER EN SOI The bottom of chaos It's not the album that springs to mind when I think of classics, but THE BOTTOM OF CHAOS is the album I think of when I think of Rentrer en Soi. The sound of a band successfully reinventing themselves to fit the hype sound of the time while still retaining their defining features and simultaneously progressing is as difficult to pull off as it is to describe, but for the most part THE BOTTOM OF CHAOS does this successfully. The album hasn't aged as well as I would have hoped - the production sounds thin, the growls are weak, and the best moments are segments of tracks spread over the whole affair rather than one or two solid songs - but when the entire package is this consistent it's still fun for a spin. Give this one a try if you want to know what fans a decade ago thought the tops in heavy music was. -@Zeus school food punishment air feel, color swim school food punishment debuted with their first mini-album school food is good food back in the spring of 2007, instantly turning heads as one of the new, promising indie bands on the block. Some people were even quick to compare them to Spangle call Lilli line - one of the most prominent female-fronted indie bands of the time. However, It wasn't until later that year with the release of this album that sfp really began to come into their own. The groovy, upbeat power-pop of the tracks like "you may crawl" and "art line" were basically the prototypes for what would become sfp's signature sound later on in their major label years. While the moody and dramatic "loop, share" was like a precursor to the band's 3rd mini-album Riff-rain, which came to be widely regarded as their best work when it dropped the next year. Still air feel, color swim is an important release that marks the development of a band that later grew to become iconic in their own right. -@CAT5 Shiina Ringo Heisei Fuzoku Shiina Ringo is a legendary figure in Japanese music, hands down. With her gigantic and diverse discography, it can be quite overwhelming to start digging in. While I started with her most famous albums 勝訴ストリップ (Shouso Strip) and 加爾基 精液 栗ノ花 (Kalk Semen Chestnut Flower), I wasn't officially 'sold' on her until heisei fuuzoku. The album, which was arranged with the help of Neko Saito and served as a film OST, is a collection of self-covers and new tracks (like "Gamble"), all with a sumptuous orchestral/jazz/big band sound. The reinterpretation of "茎 (kuki)" as a sultry jazz number is particularly unreal. For anyone not quite ready for Shiina's pop-rock or more experimental side, heisei fuuzoku is another great entry point to her oeuvre. -@fitear1590 the GazettE STACKED RUBBISH 2007 might have been the last year I was flat-out head-over-heels in love with visual kei. Great albums and band debuts were happening left and right, its popularity was growing, bands were touring internationally, and people were still allowed to post fan-made content on YouTube (or am I the only one missing hilarious fanvids?). One of my most played albums that year, and probably my most played GazettE album ever, was STACKED RUBBISH. Not only did the singles leading up to the album kick ass, but just about every B-side from them was just as good in their own right, and it's no surprise some ended up making it to the final cut. The album enveloped the singles perfectly too, with just the right amount of variety between upbeat clap-alongs like "ガンジスに紅い薔薇(ganges ni akai bara)" and "SWALLOWTAIL ON THE DEATH VALLEY" and GazettE's classic, bitter aggression in tracks like "BURIAL APPLICANT", "MOB 136 BARS" and "CIRCLE OF SWINDLER". A light sprinkling of Ruki's new-found 'hip hop' influence also gave the album a dose of intrigue, as it opened with the questionably titled and unintentionally hilarious "ART DRAWN BY VOMIT" as well as the unforgettable did-he-really-just-say-fuckboy? engrish in "AGONY". Whether it's for a good laugh or a good headbang, STACKED RUBBISH's epic-ness needs to live on forever in VK infamy. Yes I did probably link the entire album, fight me. -@doombox Tokyo Jihen Variety Let's take a trip back to the past when Tokyo Jihen was saving jazz and Shiina Ringo was still relevant. Believe it or not, Tokyo Jihen's third full-length 娯楽(バラエティ), pronounced Goraku, turns ten this year! Feel old yet? I would consider 娯楽 to be the black sheep of their discography, mostly due to everyone but Ringo composing music for this release. 娯楽 includes seven tracks from guitarist Ukigumo, five tracks from keyboard player Ichiyo Izawa and one composed by bassist Seiji Kameda. Drummer Toshiki Hata was also asked to contribute, but he declined. There's nothing wrong with it, but when it comes time to name drop Tokyo Jihen tracks, my mind often does not wander here. 娯楽 is best known for lead singles "O.S.C.A." and "キラーチューン" (Killer-tune), and "金魚の箱" (Kingyo no Hako) which became the theme for the film 魍魎の匣 (Mouryou no Hako), but my personal favorite song is "黒猫道" (Kuroneko-do). It ended up selling 175,000 copies and was certified Gold by the RIAJ. -@Zeus trico MUSICS Sometimes brilliance goes overlooked because it's found in the most unexpected places, or in trico's case - a place that wasn't even on the radar for most. 2006 saw the release of the band's first album, but it was just humdrum enough to be negligible. They hadn't become a band that you'd hear readily flying off the lips of J-indie fans, so it made sense that Musics went by barely detected when it dropped the next year. I'm not sure what transpired in the time between these two releases, but trico had clearly become inspired in the interim. As opposed to downy, who were far left-field, and sleepy.ab, who were perhaps a bit too poppy, trico managed to hit the perfect stride of Radiohead-inspired rock, while also forging their own identity. With Musics, the band remained highly accessible while keeping things interesting. They took some interesting creative liberties, employing unusual sounds and subtly progressive arrangements, yet never became overly-experimental or self-indulgent. This was a short but fantastic mini-album, and it's a shame that this was trico's last proper release. I would have LOVED to hear what else they could have gone on to produce! -@CAT5 Versailles Lyrical Sympathy Many of these tracks have been revisited and re-recorded in many releases by Versailles, which should indicate just how influential this release is. The Revenant Choir was the first release, but Lyrical Sympathy is what opened the door and introduced the band to the world. Classics such as "The Love from a Dead Orchestra" and "Sympathia" are among many fan favorites, and it's always refreshing to hear a power-metal band take a few trends and buck them. Actually, there are only one or two tracks here which haven't made a reappearance because they've even recycled the intro track! A decade ago when I first stumbled across Versailles, I never thought I'd have the opportunity to see them grow and come this far. Lyrical Sympathy holds up if you approach it from an ideas perspective, but as far as execution goes it's a diamond in the rough that I enjoy with the thickest rose-tinted glasses I can find. -@Zeus - Liked our list? Disagree with our list? Did we miss anything? Feel free to leave your comments below, let us know what you think, and let us know what albums you found remarkable that have turned 10 this year!
  7. 17 points
  8. 16 points
    It was announced on 2017.12.01 at the "Raphaelesque Head Bursting" 時限式:uadjet's sponsored event at EDGE Ikebukuro, llll-Ligro- restart their activities from today with two new members : Gt. Jesse and Ba. 羽鳳(hao) They were on hiatus since december 2013. They will have their oneman 「THE BEGINNING OF THE END」 on 2018.03.04 at EDGE ikebukuro. Voice. ヒナタ (hinata) Guitar. kazari Guitar. Jesse (ex ZeR'0-ゼロ (ジェシー(jecy)) Bass. 羽鳳 (hao) (ex ZeR'0-ゼロ (蓮 (ren)) Renewal OHP : http://llll-ligro.info/
  9. 16 points
    The Moon

    Akinori returns to lynch.

    can't believe they are letting this DRUG ADDICT and JUNKIE into the band again. sad!
  10. 16 points
    emmny

    Reflection: Kagerou (2002-2003)

    蜉蝣 (Kagerou) Vocal - 大佑 (Daisuke) Guitar - ユアナ (Yuana) Bass - kazu (Kazu) Drums - 静海 (Shizumi) July is a bittersweet month for Kagerou fans, as the infamous charisma vocalist himself, Daisuke was both brought into and taken out of this world within the month. Kagerou are a band that have been impossible to replace, both in the the Western and Japanese fandom, as seen in the outpouring of emotion that happens every year on the net around July. Kagerou--the band--isn't just their vocalist, nor are his talents confined to Kagerou, but his passing marked the end of an era. The legendary bands of the mid-late 2000's i.e, MUCC, D'espairsray, lynch., merry, Nightmare and The Gazette all had their roots in the early 2000's, with many of the mentioned members playing alongside each other--most notable being the historic Beauti-Fool's 2003 multi-band event. They were all doing the most in their early eras, embracing eclectic and varied looks and styles in the shadow of visual kei's mainstream success and eventual demise. Daisuke's passing marked the end of the decade in which those aforementioned groups had come through the scene and out of it, shedding their visual flair for a more straightforward rock image and fading into the background of the scene as bands from the mid-late 2000's took over the reigns. They kept their followings, don't get it twisted, but they were in a different category from the hot new faces of the time, i.e. Sug, Versailles, ScreW, Alice Nine, Sadie, etc. While a lot of the earlier bands managed to reach a more constant, and arguably mainstream level of fame past 2010, we've been left wondering what might have been with Kagerou. While Kazu and Yuana continue to play in the scene with Stereo C.K and in sessions, it's on a much smaller scale than their peak of fame. 2006 marked the end of Kagerou, Daisuke passed in 2010---but this isn't a sad history lesson. So why, in 2017, are we discussing Kagerou's tunes from 15 years ago? If you've ever listened to their output from that era, you'll know what I'm going to be getting at. The 2002-2003 era was Kagerou as they were gaining steam--nowhere near their peak popularity with Rakushu and not as polished as their endroll Kurohata. What it was, a raw, aggressive synthesis of alternative rock, 90's visual kei and alternative metal. If this mix sounds familiar, that's because it is, with some of today's hot bands including DEZERT, Xaa-xaa, R-Shitei, Kuroyuri to Kage and Gossip in addition to some legendary names of yore, Girugamesh, Awoi, Sel'm operating on the very paradigm that Kagerou had worked to create--with more than a bit of imitation between them. It's not always songs note by note being ripped off, but rather several stylistic elements that function as motifs in Kagerou's discography that come up time and time again among kouhai bands. Trying to claim the influences of newer bands is an exercise in caution, as while something may sound like a rip off, it could be a rip off of a rip off and you can't know for sure. I won't claim Kagerou's influence as universal, original, or unique (although if you disagree with the latter I'll kick your ass), but I will argue that their 2002-2003 run was the most influential two-or-so year run of any band in the early 2000's. While MUCC and DIR EN GREY were equally prolific and influential in this era, Kagerou's contribution has been overlooked in the greater scheme of visual history, which I hope to address here. If you children think that Vulgar invented visual kei, you're in for a fucking surprise because I've heard more nods to old Kagerou from 2013 onward than anything from aforementioned album in the past half-decade. I think this has more to do with the old school revival we've been experiencing as of late, with bands foregoing bland metalcore rehashes and instead embracing the roots of the genre from the late 90's and early naughts. Some historical context will be missing from the following ~mini~ 'dissertation', because I'm not a vk historian (unfortunately), but I'll try to go through everything as clearly as possible. Now without further ado, lets track Kagerou's discography in this era. The marker I'll be using to start my history is Kazu's addition to the band in late 2001, shortly before the release of Iro megane to scandal in January of 2002. If you recall, Kagerou have been around since the end of 1999, and they were active for almost two years with two other bassists before Kazu. He then stayed with the band 'till the bitter end in 2006, and in all honesty I don't see Kagerou without him. As a bassist, he was skilled in accenting Shizumi's percussive line while also playing second guitar at times to Yuana's loose riffs. He's written some totally hummable bass leads and composed more than a few amazing songs with these at the center of the composition. The moral of the story is that Kagerou became a well-oiled machine with Kazu's contribution, and I find Kazu to be instrumental in their later success—hence starting the timeline with his addition. While some great tracks came out of the pre-Kazu era, and @Disposable might kill me for omitting the 2000-2001 period, the best tracks that came out were re-recorded (as you'll soon see), for singles that fit our era of interest. The only stickler was “Nawa”, which was first released in 2001 and wasn't re-done until 2006's Shinjuuka best-of album. Now that we've set up a start, the end coincides with the self-titled album's release tour finale at Kawasaki's legendary Club Citta, filmed for the live DVD/VT Zekkyou Psychopath at the end of 2003. Is this is the end as we know it? Of course not, Kagerou wrote their biggest songs well after this and their signature album with its wide foreign and domestic distribution, Rakushuu came after in 2004. However, this is where the visuals were more scaled back, with the band no longer looking like they just raided a consignment store on acid after a bad domestic spat. The metal edge changed as well, although not gone—as seen with “XII Dizzy” and other notable heavier outtakes—the band embraced a more clean alternative/visual rock aesthetic and sound. They were still vicious, putting on insane live shows as usual, but with greater maturity and restraint. If you're a fan, you kind of understand how their sound changed from 2003-2004 and onward, and while it wasn't a bad change by any means, it was a change that I don't feel fits in with the period of interest. Okay now we can actually get to the discography, sorry! 01/09/02 色メガネとスキャンダル Iro megane to scandal 1.) 夕暮れの謝罪 (Yuugure no shazai) 2.)エキゾチックな感染症 (Exotic na kansenshou) 3.) 葬失 (Soushitsu) 05/04/02 蜉蝣事典 <大人の書店> Kagerou jiten <otona no shoten> 1.) アイドル狂いの心裏学 (Idol kurui no shinrigaku) *note that there was no single ever titled after the track, this is a frequently misreported part of the discography in the west 07/10/02 水浸しの数え唄 Mizubitashi no kazoe uta 1.) ゆびきり (Yubikiri) 2.) 企画モノ (Kikaku mono) 3.) R指定 (Rshitei) 07/10/02 火炙りの数え唄 Hiaburi no kazoe uta 1.) 午前三時の太陽光線 (Gozensanji no taiyou kousen) 2.) 鬱 (Utsu) 3.) リストカッター (Wrist cutter) 02/08/03 叫び Sakebi 1.) 叫び (Sakebi) 2.) 鬼畜モラリズム (Kichiku moralism) 05/07/03 過去形真実 Kakokei shinjitsu 1.) 過去形真実 (Kakokei shinjitsu) 2.) 説教 38.5℃ (Sekkyou 38.5℃) 3.) 過去形真実 [remix] (Kakokei shinjitsu remix) 4.) 説教 38.5℃ [remix] (Sekkyou 38.5℃ remix) 07/23/03 蜉蝣 Kagerou 1.) 十戒 (Jukkai) 2.) 迷走本能 (Meisou honnou) 3.) 根暗高速子守唄 (Nekura housoku komoriuta) 4.) 冷え性の女 (Hieshou no onna) 5.) 闇に笑う黒 (Yami ni warau kuro) 6.) マーヴェラスな首飾り (Marvelous na kubikazari) 7.) 雨の海岸通り(Ame no kaigan doori) 8.) 所詮、自分は犬であります。(Shosen, jibun wa inu de arimasu) 9.) ピチ崇拝 (Pichi suuhai) 10.) 過去形真実 (Kakokei shinjitsu) 11.) 渦(Uzu) 2002's string of singles are a perfect introduction to early Kagerou, featuring them at their most extreme and also at their softest. While some of the tracks were lost in time, others became eternal fan favourites and live staples until the very end. As for the killer live tracks, both “Yuugure no shazai” and “Wrist cutter” were exemplars. On studio, they're brief, rough and tumble tracks: “Wrist cutter” is a flurry of blast beats and thrash-y riffing and “Yuugure no shazai” a more punk-y styled early 2000's/90's throwback. In a live setting however, these ~3 minute tracks were stretched to 8-10 minutes at a time, building up tension in the audience with Daisuke's insane onstage antics and Shizumi working overtime while Kazu and Yuana either played off of each other or also dicked around with the audience. This is more or less the contemporary gyakudai number which is now a staple in any band's live repertoire. Common among the two tracks is the influence their guitar sound had on the scene as well. “Yuugure no shazai”'s guitar line almost deserves its own article, because there's an extensive list of bands who have ripped off the style and structure of the riff. What's unique about the riff is the way Yuana plays with the phrasing and pitch and how it interacts with an effect-laden guitar tone. The guitars are abnormally distorted and clipped, both in the context of visual kei and Yuana's sound overall. It almost sounds like someone put his rig through a bass distortion pedal, and the end result is this beefy and robust sound that has yet to be replicated in a visual band...think something along the lines of Dinosaur Jr. or something. This distortion also lingers a bit, almost suggesting a delay effect is thrown on as well. Anyone trying to cover the song has probably run into some difficulties with that sound, as it throws off the way its played—I know I have. The riff is a simple series of power chords, but the way they move up and down the neck in tandem with the furious rhythm, both in the verses and chorus are evocative of being shaken back and forward. Yes, a single riff made me think of being physically moved—physically and emotionally. What's cool is how completely fresh this sounds in the context of 2017 as well, it's kind of a jaw dropper to think this was released in 2002. That is in huge part to many bands taking a liking toward—what I'll now call—the shaking riff. You hear it all the time, In Xaa-xaa's "Shinitai", DEZERT's "Himitsu", Shellmy's "Katou zakuro" and so on. It's not the exact same, but that principle of moving up, down, and back up is eerily similar. “Wrist cutter”'s structure is more so notable than a standout riff, especially the rhythm work as a alt-metal track. The bass plods pretty high up in the mix along with incredibly busy drumming from Shizumi, which carries the track as it moves through it's iconic thrashy riff and Daisuke's mad vocalizations. The jumping part toward the end (you'll know what I'm talking about) is notable too, as a fragment of the kote-kei era being repurposed into a metal track. I'm pretty sure any band guy that heard it, with the gang shouting vocals, screaming and start stop drumming was permanently entranced. Drawing from some recent releases, DAMY's “Eikyuu ni puppet” is like that brief section of wrist cutter being dragged out into a full song. Another track that (I think) rounds out the holy trinity of 2002 Kagerou songs is “R-Shitei”. The takeaway message is not that R-shitei named themselves after this track (they probably did, lets get real sis) but rather the contrast between unhinged, chaotic verses contrasted with a saccharine chorus. While this is a common complaint with the current indies sound...don't get mad y'all, Kagerou did it first. That said, I understand why people see this as a cop-out, but with “R-shitei”, it doesn't come at the expense of a jarring key change, rather it fits into the contrasting structure of the track. Speaking of that chorus, it's damn glorious; Daisuke is at his finest melodically in the track—in stark opposite to his crazy talk/grumbling in the verses. Among these big hits, there are many underrated gems waiting to be overturned as well. “Utsu” is a weird pick, especially as the band chose to play it at their last live—much to the possible confusion of those who were there (the footage looked awkward). Stylistically, it's closely aligned with “Wrist cutter” through the busy sense of rhythm, despaired chorus and insane end section freak-out. It's also a bop of the highest order, and a shame I discovered it so late. The little jazz break in the middle is somehow funny in the greater context of the track, but a great example of the varied and quirky compositional style of early Kagerou before they ended up toning it down. The two main ballads “Gozensanji no taiyou kousen” and “Soushitsu” pale a little bit in comparison to the band's later, Kurohata-era balladry as they go on for a bit too long and sound a bit messy. That said, the ideas they offer are the backbone of their later work. “Soushitsu”'s acoustic core is reworked into “Shizumu sora”, and “Gozensanji...”'s delicate lead guitar and percussion is heard again in “Wakaremichi” and “Kusatta umi de oborekaketeiru boku wo sukuttekureta kimi”, all of which were composed by Kazu. They're worth the listen for hardcore fans, as they're rewarding despite some of the fluff—but hey, not everything is perfect all the time. Moving onto 2003, we see Kagerou releasing some more melodic singles compared to the 2002 era. “Yubikiri” and “Sakebi” are two tracks I often confuse for each other, partially because they're both beautifully melodic, bittersweet-sounding (although quite different) and a slight departure from their previous work, hinting at their future outlook. “Sakebi” was also their last pre-album single release, and from then on, the band's discography structure would change. Kagerou were an indies band up until the very end, despite being signed to their own sublabel under Free Will, Lizard, supposedly distributed under Sony. The Japanese wiki is in conflict with the English one, and even among Japanese fans there has been question as to whether Kagerou were indies or major. Their releases were big enough to have charted on Orikon's major charts, which began with Kakkokei shinjitsu, the band's second highest charting release at #40, just behind the 2006 Kusatta umi... 3 ver. maxi single release at #21. I'm bringing this up because while their label affiliation didn't change, they began followed the western/major band style of singles featuring lead tracks from upcoming/preceding albums, with a new b-side or two thrown into the mix. This was kind of a bummer and why their 2002-2003 era was so unique, partially because of the insane speed by which they were writing, recording and touring their songs, and also because of how much original music came out. Aside from “Meisou honnou” being featured in a 2002 VA, and the obvious “Kakkokei shinjitsu” inclusion, all the tracks from Kagerou were unique and unreleased. No 8 old songs on a 10 track release, no cashgrab compilation or mini-album, no bullshit. As an indication of what was to come, “Kakkokei shinjitsu” was misleading. A TBS nightly sports show closing song, it is a bright and pretty song without the carnal, rhythmic flair that was overflowing on the S/T. It comes across as kinda boring, and even the cheap, skittery b-side on the single doesn't help much. It works better in the overall scheme of the album though, which is a truly dazzling piece of visual history. Kagerou is a heavy, dark, cohesive, grinding album with sharp poppy, melodic sensibilities in the mix, along the lines of DIR EN GREY's VULGAR, D'espairsray's Coll:set, and MUCC's Homura uta. To talk about individual tracks is kind of against the ethos of the album, as all the pieces work best within the context of the album. This is the opposite of their prior output, which was a bit spotty from release-to-release, and while the album comes without super standouts like the aforementioned tracks, what the band gained was a stylistic voice. This was the sweet-spot between their now waning old-school visual influence and alternative rock, alt-metal and post-hardcore songwriting, with a fair dosage of jazz, blues, and pop in the mix. Kazu most notably came into his own in this release, with a lot of punchy basswork—especially some notable slap sequences, as seen in “Yami ni warau kuro”. While this is an older album, the riffs here slap harder than anything DIR EN GREY released back then, and I'm still confused why they eat up all the acclaim around here for inventing alt-metal in Japan. What about that poly-rhythmic breakdown in "Nekura housoku komoriuta"? The opening lurch and howling despair of “Meisou honnou”? The tension-release in “Marvelous na kubikazari”? The DEZERT-core bass and guitar in “Ame no kaigan doori”? Bitch...this shit slaps. Speaking of DIR EN GREY, Shizumi always reminded me of Shinya in his earlier days--around the time both bands were active. His attention to detail and fills and frills, especially cymbal work and spacy drumming on ballads is a close parallel with Shinya's MACABRE-era drum work. The bands were close however, as they were both the big shots on Free Will at the time, with DIR EN GREY on the cusp on mainstream success. Kagerou's OHP is still open, both in English and Japanese, and it's heartbreaking to navigate. The site hasn't been touched since 2005, with the copyright frozen in time, and a website design that must have been gorgeous for its time serving as a reminder of just how old we've gotten since then. Whats especially sad to me is how much they invested into making things accessible for their European/English speaking fans, considering no one does anything like that anymore. It's a kind of haunted place on the internet and in the fandom, but also a beautiful relic that continues to stand of a legendary band. July 31st has passed, happy belated birthday Daisuke. He would have turned 39 this year, and the weight of his passing isn't lost on me, especially in the writing of this article. Daisuke certainly talked the talk and later walked the walk with his depression, as it manifested in grotesque, macabre narratives within his music, but it's often times too easy to separate the artist from the art. I don't think the news of his passing came as that big of a surprise to die-hard fans, as he had documented his struggles in his poems for a while, but it didn't make it any easier a pill to swallow. At times, it's hard to read his lyrics knowing his eventual fate and partially why I avoided going into detail about his lyricism (spoiler alert, he's an amazing writer). As I've said, this was the end of their proto-indies-whatever-the-fuck-era. Everything past this deserves an article of its own, and while I chose to explicitly focus on 2002-2003, it doesn't mean that the other eras are not as important—just that this period was the most influential by far on the current indies scene of 2014-2017. I'd love to hear what current visual fans who have no clue about Kagerou think of the tracks linked here, as I hope that you hear the bits and pieces of songs, think “Hey, maybe this does sound a bit similar” and maybe lend your ear toward the classics of the genre or venture beyond your post-2011 comfort zone. I've refrained from making this all about individual comparisons, but I welcome them as it's always interesting to compare and contrast present with the past. With the anniversary of his passing almost two months ago now, Daisuke touched many musicians and fans alike and to see the legacy of Daisuke and Kagerou, a full 15 or so years later in full bloom for 2017 is an amazing treat.
  11. 16 points
    so you had an opportunity to ask for his opinion on the developing north korea nuclear crisis and its relation to the everyday lives of japanese people, but went for validation of die/may existence from the mouth of VK godmother herself? may your patreon always prosper, x.
  12. 15 points
    Zeus

    Bad Boiz, Bad Boiz

    2017 has been an...interesting year, with so much unexpected drama and surprises that's to go down in history for years. So much has happened that I was able to put together two lists of band members caught in embarrassing , illegal, and reprehensible crimes and scandals. Before we put this year to rest for good, let's take another look at visual-kei and some of the less glamorous acts musicians have been up to this year. Also before I begin, I have to shout out a few members who gave serious help in making this list possible. Thanks to @suji, @tetsu_sama69, @cvltic. and @doombox for all their help, as well as for those who broke the news in the first place and those that corrected my facts after publication! Keina (ex-DIVEIN) The first entrant on the naughty list is bassist Keina, who was fired earlier on July 7th from indie visual kei band DIVEIN (ディヴェイン) for "violating the rules of the visual kei industry". Earlier in 2017, KEINA was hospitalized for tonsillitis and took a break from musical activities. While on break, he participated in a session band without the rest of DIVEIN's permission, and this angered the other three members of the band. He also spread confidential information about upcoming lives and photo shoots on the side, so that was enough to get him the boot. 蕚 (Utena) (ex-DEGENE) DEGENE announced on September 26th that they fired their vocalist 蕚 (Utena) for "bad behavior". Digging a little deeper, we find out that Utena committed violent acts against certain members of the band, trashed band equipment, and sent one or more people into mental break downs. The band stated that they could not find any way to improve his behavior, and each member felt a sense of crisis about his behavior. The other four members came to the same conclusion: “I can't work with him anymore”. In contrast, Utena's announcement about his departure did not mention his bad behavior. DEGENE went on a temporary hiatus until they could replace him. Chaos (Glamscure, ex-INSANITY INJECTION) One of the dual vocalists of Insanity Injection, Chaos, got the boot on May 31st for being involved in "deplorable acts on many occasions". What it was has not been clarified, but it was something bad enough to sow feelings of betrayal among the members. One can only speculate what he did, but he hasn't made another appearance since his departure, so perhaps he was blacklisted from the scene? The band has continued without him as three, which as we will see shortly is not usually the norm. Good on INSANITY INJECTION! Update: Turns out that Chaos is still active in the VK band GLAMSCURE! 塁 (rui) (ex-REVLOW) The last bassist of REVLOW, 塁 (rui), was fired from the band on August 5th. Management and band members discovered on July 29th that Rui was involved in many "anti-social acts" that corresponded with recent criminal acts in various Tokyo restaurants. Of note is that the official announcement used the kanji "反社会的", which is often used to refer to the yakuza. REVLOW cancelled the rest of their live dates, including their first one man show scheduled for August 29th, and rescinded the release of their CD, "'REVLISM-EP", scheduled for Aug 23rd. The band has not yet returned from hiatus, and none of the other band members have appeared in official projects. It's sad when an up and coming band gets ruined by the poor choices of one member. Three lumps of coal, one for each member you screwed over. 冬音 (Fuyune) (ex-サムクロ (Samurai Crows)) It's ironic that I found this picture of the purple-haired maverick while in a topic discussing crimes and other scandals. He was fired from his band サムクロ (Samurai Crows) on 2017/05/11 due to misconduct during their live at Ikebukuro BlackHole at 2017/5/5. He got a little too amped up and destroyed equipment, refused to apologize for it, and was caught verbally abusing people via private messaging service SNS. This is not only a rule not to be broken in visual kei, but also a rule not to be broken in society! Fuyune's misconduct caused the band to be dropped from their label, Me teaR music, and the band has been on hiatus after their live at Shinsaibashi paradigm on 2017/7/8. The other three members have moved on to a project called Bokutachi no neverland; Fuyune is still missing in action. I wonder if he has been soft blacklisted from the scene... 俐乃-rino- (ex - Synk;yet) Remember how we established rules of the visual kei scene all members have to abide by? I can safely say one of them is to inform your band members and your label whenever you participate in a session band or a side project. Synk;yet's ex-guitarist Rino broke these rules and was terminated from his band and artist contract with Starwave Records on 2017/01/30, shortly after the return of bassist Shiori. The official reasons were "betrayal and breach of contract". Rino secretly planned musical activities with other management companies for two years behind other members' backs. He also had "private exchanges" with fans for money requests, but nothing confirmed as sexual. Synk;yet went on indefinite hiatus on 2017/05/21 despite their best attempts to keep it together, and Rino has wiped all traces of his online presence so no one knows what he is up to. 『L.』(ex-VAJRA) Let's take it back to 2009 for a bit when grotesque face masks were all the rage and it was cool to rip off Dir en grey. There was an visual kei band named VAJRA, essentially a Dir en grey rip-off parading around as a silent tribute band, and mimicked all of their antics to carve out a meager existence in the indie circuit. VAJRA started by word of mouth and shot up in popularity quickly by sticking with the flavor of the month and putting on electrifying performances. Some of these lives would include fish hooking, vomiting, and public masturbation on the crowd, but the violent, unpredictable, ink-spitting guitarist『L.』took it too far one day. He was known for punching female fans in the face, giving them black eyes, and dragging them around by the hair on the stage, but he took up a notch for a live at Sendai on 2010/05/10, and caused fans serious injury. At first, he was put on house arrest and banned from lives temporarily, but soon after he "left" the band due to musical differences. There's room for interpretation on this. It is not known if he left because he wanted to and this was the breaking point, if he was forced out, or if he truly left on his own accord. VAJRA couldn't keep up the pace without him and virtually disappeared into disbandment. 『L.』found Jesus and work as an oshare-kei vocalist for the band Awake, now known as Eru. Aki (ex-2bullet, ex-JackRose, ex-Concerto Moon) Remember Takahiro from FAZ? He was covered in our first edition of the list and was caught trying to defraud people to fund band activities. It turns out that he had an accomplice! Aki, along with Takahiro, tried to defraud an elderly woman of 3 million yen. He was arrested once in November of 2016 and again in January of 2017, both for links to Takahiro and suspicion of fraud. Norifumi Shima of Concerto Moon immediately dismissed him from the band, while vocalist Re:i announced that JackRose would enter hiatus, since Aki was the composer and keyboardist. Ouch. Ryuusei (ex-暁月 (Kyogetsu)) Another unwritten rule of the scene - one that is good practice to follow in most situations - is to keep internal band drama private. I love juicy drama stories as much as the next person, but band members spilling the beans about strife in their own project will only undermine their musical efforts. What happened to 暁月 (Kyogetsu) demonstrates this perfectly. Our story begins on early September 2017, with a few incendiary tweets from guitarist Ryuusei on Twitter. In the first tweet he claims that all bangya not attracted to him are into Himura of Bananaman, or ugly men in general. The second tweet was a little more pointed: This hit a raw nerve with a lot of fans because it came on the heels of several unexpected disbandments. But this was just the tip of the iceberg. On his blog, Ryuusei went into detail about several aspects of the scene which up to now were just rumors and which come together to make life difficult for him and his band. A few of the things he mentioned (while also explicitly noting that he didn't know everything) were: Ticket quotas as fees for live performances. Ryuusei does the math on how many tickets they need to sell to cover for the fees, which is dependent on how many fans show up to see them and that's before the band members split the money five ways. Poor return on investment for popular vk standbys such as cheki. Name drops the GazettE in a section about how well popular bands with a "pretty bassist" do financially. This got Reita's attention with a fiery response of his own. Low wages paid from the indie labels. How difficult it is for bands to recover once they are "in the red" and how close 暁月 (Kyogetsu) is to reaching that point after three years. Asks fans to spend more money at shows, less at host clubs, and to tell him more information about salaries of other band men. You can see how this won't go over well. It's one thing to blow the whistle, but when you do you better know all of the facts. Constantly dropping figures about how much your competition makes relative to you while claiming you don't know for sure is a fast way to draw a ton of well-deserved criticism both from outside and within, and that's exactly what happened. On top of that, the claims made do not mesh well with the stories I've heard about what lengths some fans will go to support their favorite artist or band. I know that some tsunagari will go as far as to feed, clothe, shelter, and fuck a band man or two just to support them! But treating your fans like ATMs and literally telling them to "If you have money, use it. High schoolers, study so you can make money in the future." is trash. To me, it seemed like Ryuusei is looking for a scapegoat for his band's poor performance. Fans struck back by revealing his name, his bare face, his DMs, and even coordinating to send 100 pizzas to his house! Ryuusei threatened to get the police involved if the situation escalated further. His behavior afterwards is what sealed the deal. His band mates wanted nothing to do with the controversy this generated, as the vocalist even went so far as to hold an "apology twicast", and posted many apologetic tweets, even individually replying to people to apologize long before Ryuusei commented on the issue. However, Ryuusei did eventually apologize before backtracking the very next day. In his second blog post, he starts by claiming he only apologized because he was forced to. He then deflects the contents of the first post to "netogya" (a derisive term referring to online fans that don't go to shows, meaning most of us here), apologizes for name dropping bands and labels, claims he's always trying to be controversial and that this is no different, and claims that he thought this was common knowledge so there would be no problem. This only provided fuel for the fire. The sad thing is that, as you could have guessed by now, these guys were virtually unknown before this. Shame is a very powerful deterrent in Japanese culture, and I've seen lesser drama capsize bigger bands than this. By constantly undoing the damage control his band members tried to provide, and by backpedaling and baiting Tanuki, Ryuusei put Kyogetsu in a spot where they had to kick him out to continue or disband. They did both. Bassist Shogo jumped ship first, but the formal disbandment of Kyogetsu was announced for October of 2017. Setsuna (ex-THE EGOIST) Whenever I write one of these lists, one person ends up doing something that eclipses everything else I discuss. Setsuna, guitarist of THE EGOIST, takes the "honors" for this position this time, although it's not something to be proud of. 2017 was not a kind year to THE EGOIST, as they paused activities earlier in the year when they lost contact with their vocalist, but things came to a breaking point by the end of the year in what will remain a black mark on visual kei for a long time to come. The timeline gets hazy at points but what we do know for certain is that Setsuna, also known as Keisuke Kawasaki (thanks NHK!), began an intimate relationship with a woman named Uran Hirayama while engaged. Uran didn't know he was engaged when she met him with the wedding planned to the degree where the venue had already been picked. The marriage was held sometime during his relationship with Uran as well. It is not confirmed if she was a mitsu of his, but what we do know is that they had a very tumultuous relationship, all documented on Hirayama's twitter. Uran used the account as a regular personal account initially, but at some point the account became flooded with pictures and screenshots of the newly minted couple. Many LINE screenshots show both happy times as well as arguments, including one where Uran demanded to know if Setsuna had slept with a tsunagari/mitsu of his named Ayumi. He initially denies it, but admits to eventually sleeping with her once and apologizes, swearing Uran is the only one he really cares for. He ends up saying something similar on his public Twitter: "I've had relationships with various women, but aside from Uran I was just messing around. I'm very sorry. I'm considering marrying [her] in the future". No mention of his wife. Other pictures included Disney date pictures, many pictures of them in the snow as a couple, and of course the now-infamous video of him eating out Uran's ass (note to future readers: he chows down). Considering this is all in public view, it didn't take long for his "wife" to come across some of it; she apparently went ballistic when she found purikura of her and Setsuna kissing in his wallet. Things get demented as the year winds down to a close. The messages on Uran's Twitter become more alarming; her profile stated 'I wish to be reborn and marry Keisuke in my next life', she posted screenshots of one of Setsuna's tweets that basically said he "will be one" with Uran (which he quickly deleted from his page), tweets about gifts she bought with the money she got from sex, and more. At some point, Setsuna informs Uran that he was married and in retaliation, she dumps all of this information on her Twitter. She also had at least one suicide attempt around December 3rd, likely in response to all of these happenings. Despite his marriage, he still publicly pines for Uran after all of this. The following is my guess of what happens next: Uran tells Setsuna about her suicide attempt(s) and he tries to talk her out of it, but ends up agreeing to commit double suicide with her a week later on December 9th. We know this because Uran sent the explicit details of the plan to one of her close friends around 3pm that day, which was later posted to her Twitter page. The person who posted the notice in no uncertain words claims it was intended to be a double suicide and firmly believes that was their original intention. This same friend also contacted the police with all of the information she had at her disposal, but by the time the police showed up to Uran's apartment at 9pm the deed was done. She was found on her futon, her room was locked, there were no signs anyone had been through her belongings, and there was a handwritten suicide note next to unused charcoal briquettes. I can only guess the plan was to lock themselves in a room and suffocate to death, but Setsuna had a last-minute change of heart, ended up choking her to death, locked the door, and left. It took the detective work of another of Uran's friends to connect Setsuna to this mess and to send the police to his door. He admitted to the killing and was promptly arrested. When asked his occupation, he claimed he was a "part-timer" and did not mention THE EGOIST, his band mates, or his label. Thus, the band was able to avoid most of the wrath of the Eye of Sauron, but they still chose to disband anyway to distance themselves from the stigma as much as possible. I don't blame them. The story stops here for now, but there are a lot more questions to be asked than can be answered. As for the most important one, as one of Uran's friends put it, "The only way to know the circumstances that led to Uran being the only one who died is to ask [Setsuna] himself". Maybe this information will come out in a court trial soon. UPDATE: THE EGOIST disbanded earlier in 2017 due to the departure of their vocalist. Thanks for reading! Hopefully, band members will behave and another one of these lists won't come for a good while
  13. 15 points
    u mean 華那 just 華n 那t contain his ドラゴン and this will result in a コドモ ?
  14. 15 points
    I’m going to try and cliff note this and if anyone else wants to chime in feel free. I think it was in April (???) that Mejibray’s Youtube channel’s name was changed to Forum Official. Another band was added that no one gave a shit about it. People assumed or hoped that was the reason why. Then in May, after the first show on the Hangman tour which was completely normal, they posted that announcement on the homepage and all about the hiatus. After that, there were no more encores. Moreover, there were no more MCs. Tsuzuku didn’t talk to audiences at all (bar shouting the name of the city and maybe “Mejibray”). A lot of fans are of the mind that he was essentially gagged by the label and prohibited from speaking. No way to know this for sure, but it felt like it. Also worth noting is the instores switched from talks to 2shots before any of this. Also no way to know for sure this is related. Most of their one-mans ended with BI”name”JIKA. Sometimes Decadance. Mobile member content was really sporadic from there. Even the staff blog hasn’t had images added since the beginning of the last tour. Fast forward to the tour final at Shinkiba Studio Coast. Tsuzuku and Koichi emerged painted black. They’d each done this once previously this year. The live was 14 songs instead of 15. This may or may not have been deliberate as Tsuzuku had collapsed and stayed down at the last song, seemingly overwhelmed. Koichi went to him and checked on him before stepping in front of him and seemingly flipping off the staff at the back and then holding up three fingers to the audience. The curtain finally closed. Koichi’s birthday was a lot more fun. During the breaks between songs at one point, rather than facing the drums, Tsuzuku faced outwards, staring at the audience. He still didn’t speak; it was Koichi that spoke at the end, remarking on the challenges of the year and said we’d meet again next year. Everyone was crying, but the general air was optimistic after the live. Then when the end of December hit, an announcement was posted on Mejibray’s OHP declaring that Tsuzuku’s and Koichi’s contracts had expired and to wish them the best in the future. Koichi’s Twitter and Instagram have been wiped clean. Meto’s birthday live where he will be providing vocals under a different name was announced. Mia is busy as fuck all spring with various projects and sessions. So it’s basically been a massive clusterfuck. _(:3」z)_
  15. 15 points
    Tokage

    ☆2018 Predictions☆

    The Japanese government finally outlaws br00tal kei entirely, thereby saving the entire music scene because they still didnt fucking do it this year like i hoped they would lmao
  16. 15 points
    Hey guys! As you may have noticed, the news section is more active than ever before since a certain character has departed, and more and more users are able to contribute their findings without any disruption or intimidation. With more contributors than ever, we each have our own writing style; some of us simply copy and paste band announcements and then translate them - whether by machine or on our own - to the best of our ability, and some of us take a more journalistic approach by adding more details rather than the standard news format of the past. To keep our status as one of the leading J-rock news sites/forums, we've decided to add in some rules and regulations to keep the forum in order and to help future contributors post without any issue: REQUIREMENTS: - intelligible English - News sites like Shattered Tranquility and JROCK NEWS actually make articles about the topics posted here, so think about how you write them. Make sure to proofread spelling, grammar, etc., so that it can be more coherant to the reader. - Translations to romaji are required mainly for band and release names, since most of our users are not proficient in Japanese (Google Translate is fine, but you are free to request/suggest alternate translations for the sake of accuracy, especially since song titles are a bit more challenging) As elaborated further down below, vkdb or Google can help decipher any names if you need to double-check. *If there's any issues with making translations using Google Translate, I suggest using RomajiDesu! Not only will it romanize the kanji you want to translate, but also show an English translation for each character used (if you're interested ^^). - Please Please PLEASE use the report button if there's a double-post or issues in the thread. (the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is to check up the news and try to find some things that are out of order. Some days, I won't be around, nor will the rest of the staff, to do that as we do focus on our own lives too. Reporting a post is a much easier way of getting our attention rather than simply posting in the thread about the error, or even worse, unnecessary drama...) - Speaking of cooperation, this is NOT a competition. If someone else posts what you originally left out/posted seconds ago, don't make a big fuss (unless it's a double-post of course) ; after all, providing news is a team effort, so it's better to work together and to help each other out! ♥ - Please refrain from making any offtopic posts. This could clog up the thread with more unnecessary posts and less valuable information, especially when that escalates to drama. Any posts that have nothing to do with the aforementioned artist or release, etc., will be removed from the thread. Repeat offenses may warrant a warning for spam or misbehavior. - Make a new topic if necessary, especially if the band's previous thread hasn't been updated in a long period of time. In other words, don't necro long-dead topics, especially if you're only doing so to request an old release. That's what the Requests section is for btw. RECOMMENDATIONS: - Band/release names in kanji and romaji are recommended (makes it easier for hardcore/casual/non-Japanese speaking fans to search up their faves; may have to extend this to the download forum as well) If there's any problems trying to figure out a band/member's name, especially in romaji, google them or check out their webpage/social media/vkdb page, which can all be very helpful. - BEFORE posting, use the search function to check if anything has been posted yet. This can prevent double-posts of topics (such as accidentally making 2 threads about a band's new single), and confusion/competition between users. - If you want to make any posts about an artist in general, please do so in their appropriate thread in the Artists section (or make one if necessary). This will prevent any clogging of release threads and saving some of us the trouble to going through page after page to find more relevant information about the actual release. - Put some effort in how you actually research and post news. If a band is disbanding at the beginning of 2018, and the actual date of their last live has been posted, please post that date instead of "so&so will disband in January/February 2018". Most news topics don't need a lot of digging, but for posts like these, it'll totally save up a lot of time and stress. **Also, not everyone can keep up with a certain band/release (and understandably so), so threads often tend to go dead even though new stuff is being announced via the official source. It's highly recommended that you follow a band's twitter or check their webpage ever so often for new updates so they well, won't be forgotten or fall off the face of the earth. xD - Don't go overboard on making your news look pretty or overexaggerated. We've had some issues with certain users putting in too much formatting on their text, posting too many Youtube/Twitter/etc. embeds all on one post, and it's tiresome to actually go through everything, especially when dealing with a slow internet connection or other factors. Extra formatting such as big text, abusing the bold italic formats, or puking rainbows is completely unnecessary and distracting when all we want to read is the news. If you want to proceed with posting lots of tweets/picspams/videos that are relevant to the topic, fine, but put all that shit under a spoiler.
  17. 15 points
    plastic_rainbow

    Show Yourself (again)

    been debating for a long time if i should show myself here or not but i trimmed my hair yesterday and felt pretty happy about myself so hi i miss my longer hair tho. this was me from a year ago. i was thinking about growing it out like yusuke koba's mane but having to tie it up at work made me feel more girly so i've been going back to shorter hairstyles
  18. 15 points
    Jigsaw9

    Show Yourself (again)

    Been a while since I showed my ugly visage around here. Just got back from an awesome gig, and got this new beanie, it's so comfy & warm <3
  19. 15 points
    suji

    Show Yourself (again)

    hi i finally did my own makeup and it looks great
  20. 14 points
    The other day I met YOSHIKI. I was at a showing of We Are X in Oslo, Norway. Norway doesn't have a huge VK scene so I was happy he had come. It turned out to be his first time in Norway. I asked him "Can western bands be visual kei?" - He laughed and replied "Of course!" So I followed up with "If a western band is to be visual kei, is there something they must adhere to, in terms of style or aesthetic?" He explained VK is more of a mindset, born out of them feeling like they didn't really fit in anywhere. As he said, they played "super heavy" and "super soft" music. He also told me about a festival he hosted recently where the bands were everything from metal to pop, and there was even a band that didn't play music (that got some laughs around the room). He summed everything up by saying it really isn't a genre, but more of a mindset allowing yourself to be as creative as you want. And it also generally has makeup. I am summing these things up from memory. So here's my take on VK: 1. You must be influenced by Japan/Japanese music (because after all, it originates from Japan). 2. Make creative use of makeup/visuals. 3. Be somewhat diverse in terms of style. 4. Be doing your own thing confidently (basically: be true to yourself, because people and fans can see through you being a cookie-cutter). So basically, no you don't have to have a lolita in the band. One member doesn't have to wear a surgical facemask at all times. You don't have to have death-metal growls in your music. Some music fans within genres and subcultures get really elitist and that gets irritating, especially when people say that VK is only Japanese (so is glam-metal only truly American? Can you not make Brazilian samba music if you aren't from Brazil?). VK is unique in that it is vague but also has a meaning. A band alone isn't just "visual kei" but "visual kei rock" would be a better indicator. I think in that sense, the addition of the term "visual kei" before "rock" to me would indicate the above traits I listed, like being influenced by Japan, be somewhat "different" in terms of makeup/visuals and potentially have a diverse musical style. I had a blast meeting YOSHIKI. He's a funny and nice guy, and it was an honor having him in Norway.
  21. 14 points
    The Piass

    The GazettE new album release

    This album will be released in spring 2018. There will also be 4 dates for Halloween called "HALLOWEEN 17 SPOOKY BOX 2" which can be seen in the images. The lives on 2017.10.25/30 will have the concept of Abyss while the lives on 2017.10.28/31 will have the concept of LUCY.
  22. 14 points
    I'd like to take YOSHIKI's quote and add my own context. This is the key. Visual kei was born out of Japan by those who felt like they didn't fit in anywhere in Japan. YOSHIKI isn't going to say that visual kei can't exist world wide because that's not good for his bottom line, but there's a very good reason why it hasn't taken off outside Japan. It has less to do with looks, singing capability, or chosen musical direction, and more to do with anti-conformity and rebelliousness within and against a homogeneous society. No other country faces the same mix of societal pressures and obligations the way the Japanese do, and as these pressures change over time visual kei changes over time too. This is in contrast to musicians from Western countries who want to emulate the style and look to their favorite and popular artists first. It's the difference between taking a picture, and taking a picture of that picture, and taking a picture of that picture. The farther away one gets away from the source and the conditions that cause that source, the less authentic the final product is. I fully agree with this. So many bands follow trends because it's the thing to do, but at some point a trend started as a unique idea. Much as I expect musicians to look within themselves and put their feelings into music, I expect inspiring Western visual kei musicians to do the same thing with their looks. The looks are supposed to be an expression of how one feels, not a style of the decade to phone in and gain legitimacy. I do think Western visual kei is a thing that can happen but the form it would assume would be so different we wouldn't even recognize it by looks alone. My ideal Western visual kei band would be identifiable with the sound alone. We would hear them and just know where those influences came from instead of the "lol i like visual kei and pocky" archetype that usually translates over first. I'm done ranting.
  23. 14 points
    SadMoomin

    Show Yourself (again)

    Made test for my Halloween costume and i'm happy with it. :') Mostly inspired of Chiaki from DEZERT
  24. 13 points
    Your #kayaforseason10 movement has paid off... Kaya will appear at RuPaul's Drag Con in Los Angeles, California in 2018. http://kaya-rose.com/information/detail.php?id=220 (( THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING GUYS HOLY SHIT))
  25. 13 points
    Zeus

    Recommended Tracks: October 2017

    Better late than never! Here's the newest batch of recommended tracks from the amazing ORZ team! Check them out and let us know what you think! @tetsu_sama69's Pick "PM:500" by ラッコ(LACK-CO.) I really don't know why it is that LACK-CO.'s ballads always seem to hit me in the right spot. "PM5:00" is definitely a track to be noted (if you can look past their drummer's current visual style) with its strange power ballad styling. It's very easy to get swept away by the tidal wave of guilt and depression, leaving you stranded in a sea of psychosis emitted perfectly though tenten's vocals and the bands messy but perfect instrumentals. Granted the rap segment of the track seems very awkward but it fits for me since it feels more like the ramblings of a man questioning his choices in life. Unfortunately, since I am not fluent in Japanese, I can't translate what is being said, only what is being musically expressed and LACK-CO. definitely know how to compose a robust track that can't be categorized as something "stereotypical". I really look forward to the release of their first album 『弱肉教職』 (Jakuniku Kyoushoku) , as it's hard to predict how it's going to end up. But if it's spiced up with a track like "PM5:00", then it's sure to land a place on this year's favorites list. @helcchi's Pick "お邪魔します" (Ojamashimasu) by まみれた (mamireta) Mamireta have brainwashed me. This song is a drug. From the unnerving yet catchy door-knocking, to the deliriously hypnotic opening riff, to the disturbing lyrical and visual themes, “Ojamashimasu” is the intoxicating psycho fix that VK has been thirsting for. This band is so shameless in expressing their corrupt morals, and so unhinged in their mannerisms, you can't help but feel like many years of lunacy have been packed into the unit's short lifespan. Laden with fast talking featuring the ramblings of a madman, the eccentric vocal delivery adds to the song's intrigue, as this trope is so steeped in VK tradition. Whilst a passionate chorus cuts through the repetitive rhythm that has pervaded through almost half the song, it quickly spirals into a fast-paced whir of pure neuroticism, leading back into the unnerving yet catchy door-knocking that started it all. I've lost count of how many synonyms for “crazy” I've already used in writing this, but did I mention that this band is crazy? Let Mamireta “ojamashimasu” into your head. @emmny's Pick "朧月夜 (Oborozukiyo)" by 己龍 (Kiryu) Kiryu have passed 10 years together as a band, a massive milestone for any band, let alone a visual kei band. To celebrate they're...throwing it back to 1997? It's no surprise that Kiryu have an old school influence, especially as the band members have been active since the early 2000's. They're just very good at infusing it into trendy structures with their loud traditional instrumentation. I, however, live for the moments in their dark tracks when they really let loose and wear some blood on their sleeves *wink*. "Oborozukiyo" is three minutes and thirty seconds of kote-kei styled mayhem, melodrama, guts, gore; it's so indulgent and obvious a throwback that it feels like an inside joke between the band and their older fans, with the youth at the butt of the joke. Of course, all parties are in gleeful, head snapping, harakiri'd joy. Mahiro's vocal gymnastics recall the tortured voices of the late 90's, but with an amazingly melodic chorus to match the growls and grunts (all on pitch by the way, eat your heart out Matina and Soleil). The trebly, pitch-harmonic laden guitar lines paired with frequent gyakudai-style rhythm shifts disorient the listener, creating an air of chaotic noise. The track is a throwback, but not a copy in anyway- a representation fitting of an intelligent band who have grown from the scene and still know how to extract every bit of theatric gold from a sound long forgotten, keeping it fresh 20 or so years later in 2017. @plastic_rainbow's Picks "管" (Kan) by umbrella umbrella is a band that I regrettably have not paid much attention to until recently. I don't know what I was thinking at the time, but I've finally realized the greatness of their soft and melodic rock sound, plus their heartbreaking and soothing ballads are to die for. "Kan" sits as one of those beautiful tracks but takes it up another level. The beginning feels cinematic with the playing strings until a steady drum line and lovely guitar walk in. Yui's comforting vocals both sing like a slow heartbeat and an ocean wave that clashes against a rock gently; the perfect balance of softness and passion put into a ballad. Although umbrella may fall short because of their messier production, especially in their early days, they deserve much more love than they already do. I mean, if those mellow guitars don't tug at your heart strings then you must be on crack. "Snow the Dark" by Spook Jack Not being a fan of The Candy Spooky Theater, this new solo project of their vocalist Spook Jack (aka Jack Spooky) took me by surprise. While Spook Jack continues to portray his 'spooky' character, his solo work is not the usual fun spoopy-Halloween trope that The Candy Spooky Theater was. Instead, it's downright gothic and dark industrial. Apparently, Full (ex. Guniw Tools, Nookicky, Shilfee and Tulipcorobockles) collaborated with his solo project and although it's not certain how much he was involved in producing the music, some Nookicky influences can be heard. The slow tempo, the ghostly ethereal singing, the use of pianos and harmonious noises in "Snow the Dark" all make up the sound of Nookicky. However, being much darker, the track opens with a haunting industrial vibe, setting a gothic and bone-chilling atmosphere. Spook Jack's ethereal vocals tinged with a gloominess works wonderfully and reveals how mesmerizing his voice can be, unlike his The Candy Spooky Theater performances. If Spook Jack keeps this up with his new approach to a sinister and despairing night of horror, I'm all for it. "ニヤ" (Niya) by Large House Satisfaction There seem to be little to no fans of Large House Satisfaction here, so it's my job to make you start listening to them now, especially to those who like some new J-indie music. Large House Satisfaction is a three-piece band that have been around for over 10 years and play garage to classic rock music accompanied with harsh grating vocals. If you like Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, The Birthday, or any of Chiba Yusuke's side projects you may be interested in them. Usually their music is upbeat and faster-paced, but once in a while they'll chug out a few slower-paced songs as well. "Niya", from their newest album Highway to Hellvalley, happens to be one of those slower songs, yet is still stirred up by their punching garage-y guitar riffs and thick bass lines. The vocalist goes all out, and even sounds like he's about to croak, but his harsh singing effectively renders this piece as truly endearing. You'll be singing 'darling darling' all night once you listen to this. Guest Blurbs from @Ada Suilen "蛙-Kawazu-" (Kawazu) by キズ (Kizu) In the contemporary visual kei scene, it's incredibly hard to find something appealing and worthy of some attention. One of the few times I had such a feeling has been with the second single of the new band Kizu, where the lead track "蛙-Kawazu-"shows their unexpected and engaging style: a powerful melody driven by astonishing riffs, and intense vocals by the former singer of Lezard, who seems to have found his own maturity with this new band. I can surely consider Kizu as one of the most interesting rookies of the year. "愚かしい竜の夢 " (Orokashii Yuu no Yume) by D D has been one of my first visual bands, and they are nowadays one of my fixed listenings. When they came back from the hiatus, they redid one of their dearest themes and tried to experiment with something new, which I enjoyed but not so much as I thought I would. But I was sure that one day this band would have found their unique energy, and in their fifth mini-album, a limited release, they used what made them so popular for the visual fans. The title track is surely one of the best works in their career, featuring an incredible mix of languages (a la Rozova Dolina) and a clash of tempos, going from soft to powerful in a blink, with a great technique and sublime vocals. If you had lost hope in D, with this track you will surely find it again. Thank you for reading everyone!
  26. 13 points
    itsukoii

    Show Yourself (again)

    somehow that hand is actually mine and not a stranger's
  27. 13 points
    The Reverend

    Show Yourself (again)

    That crisp mountain air.
  28. 13 points
    visual kei was MADE for heterosexual men! the demons known as "women" and "gays" need to get the FUCK out of the scene!!!!!!
  29. 13 points
    JukaForever

    Zin from Jupiter will depart

    Secretly hoping Hizaki gets Juka off of fishing and back to singing dope epics again
  30. 13 points
    sakurakurakura

    Show Yourself (again)

    Yesterday's ootd, a saku kyo look.
  31. 13 points
    following seikun's impeccable logic all the bangyas in vk are actually secretly lesbian because there's absolutely no reason why straight girls would be attracted to 'feminine' bandmen while we're on this topic, i also don't get: - why there's still the weird division dictating that guys must be into vk as "ongen-gyao" who only collect cds, and girls only go to lives to swoon over hot bandmen - why the former is somehow usually conceived as more superior to the latter.... almost every guy who's an armchair connoisseur of vk i've encountered exudes the insufferable air of making themselves sound like consumers of vk who are more sophisticated than "those bangyas over there" aka the "necessary evil" that keeps the scene afloat - why the two are even mutually exclusive in the first place, as if being into the bandmen themselves somehow diminishes or effaces one's ability to appreciate/talk about music intelligently ...and i can go on. basically i feel that people (mostly guys, but also girls who are concerned with being viewed a certain way) who actually have the money to spare AND want to participate are given pause because of these problematic assumptions. i've been saizen for bands (mostly very small) and have no problems with the girls or the bandmen themselves so i can't help thinking a lot of these strange ideas are self-imposed. people should just enjoy the scene in whatever way they want (yes, even if you're a guy who go to lives to fantasize about bandmen - what's wrong with that??), instead of losing sleep over what the bangyas in the same row are potentially gossiping about you.
  32. 13 points
  33. 13 points
    ghost

    I'm back baby

    What's going on MH. I was on a short haitus while putting my life into order. I was working a life-consuming job that left me no time and energy for myself while planning a spontaneous move to start a brand new life. I had to find a new job and adjust to the new city and I just wasn't in a place where I felt like I could devote any time to the forum. I've finally worked everything out and I feel that I'm now in a place where I can be a part of this community with a free mind and heart. So, I'm excited to say.. I'm Back Baby
  34. 13 points
    itsukoii

    Show Yourself (again)

    hi
  35. 12 points
    YuyoDrift

    MH JRock Awards 2017

    Making its return for 2017, due to popular demand, we will be hosting the MH JRock Awards !!! Now, before you start voting, read the rules provided in the spoiler below, or be slapped by a HUGE Viking Fish! – @Champ213 Once you have read the general rules, here's how to vote: 1. Copy the list of categories below into your reply 2. Fill in your votes (you can skip as many categories as you'd like) 3. Submit. Your posts will stay hidden until the end of the voting. Here are your categories to choose from: Voting will last until Sunday, January 14th of the New Year (2018) This will allow everyone to take their time, since some of us are still waiting on some final releases to come out this month. Note: "Album" includes both full and mini-albums. For simplicity reasons, we follow the "Once Visual Kei, always Visual Kei" rule. So yes, that makes bands like Dir en grey or L'Arc~En~Ciel a Visual Kei band, just for the purpose of this voting. Any questions you have, please do not hesitate to contact any of the Staff! Happy Voting!
  36. 12 points
    Ito

    Show Yourself (again)

    So this is a thing I did
  37. 12 points
    ghost

    Show Yourself (again)

    Long time no see ya'll
  38. 12 points
    Chi

    Show Yourself (again)

    it is I
  39. 12 points
    -Tetsu-

    Show Yourself (again)

    tried some halloween make up although I won't attent any event I hate that there's nothing close to me because it's so much fun to put on some make up lately I tried to do some D13 from Leetspeak Monsters inspired make up, didn't turn out how I wanted it to be but I'm kind of happy with the result anyway.
  40. 12 points
    I'm feeling this tbh side A: 「Re:quiem ~for career~」 side B: 「 Re:tirement Age」 (guest dr.: Yoshiki)
  41. 12 points
    Anne Claire

    Show Yourself (again)

    i'm set 4 life, bruh.
  42. 12 points
    VESSMIER

    Show Yourself (again)

    I guess it's nice to see who you're talking to on the forum, so here's a snapshot of me and one of those self-portraits I do from time to time.
  43. 11 points
    Zeus

    #108: DIR EN GREY - VESTIGE OF SCRATCHES

    | Old scars never fade, old habits die hard Throw those DECADE-compilations out and replace them with this. Let me be clear about one thing: those compilations were trash. The covers were ugly as sin and the track selection, despite sharing many similarities to Vestige of Scratches, gave the impression that the band spent a week figuring out the details because they forgot about their anniversary. They literally scraped the bottom of the barrel to come up with enough content - the fact that "audrey", a butchered version of "Deity", "Repetition of Hatred", and "Jealous -Reverse-" are on it is telling enough - and most of them felt like copy-paste jobs trying to hide the lack of effort. Most of all, it didn't highlight DIR EN GREY at their best and did the band disservice as a 'best-of'. It seems like the band agrees with me, because Vestige of Scratches is everything those DECADE albums wish they could be. Before the hype train leaves the station, this compilation is far from perfect. Like much of DIR EN GREY's career, Vestige of Scratches is defined by its peculiar choices. Some are baffling, while others are smart. They come together in a frustrating combination that is uniquely DIR EN GREY. Let's start with the tracks that were chosen; we have at our disposal the single version of "脈" (Myaku); "罪と規制" (Tsumi to Kisei), the censored version of the remake of "蜜と唾" (Tsumi to Batsu); the version of "腐海" (Fukai) they've been playing live for some time (interesting); a new version of "THE IIID EMPIRE"; the reinterpretations of "羅刹国" (Rasetsukoku) [ew], "OBSCURE" [no], "かすみ" (Kasumi) [sure], "THE FINAL" [ok], "残" (Zan) [eh], and "霧と繭" (Kiri to Mayu) [ugh...]; the single version of "CLEVER SLEAZOID" [good!]; the choice to end the album on a reworked version of "Beautiful Dirt" out of all 200+ songs in their discography [wtf why]; the exclusion of "GARDEN" [what a tragedy]; and then minor adjustments to most other post-VULGAR tracks featured which work for the most part. We can already see this isn't the standard cash-grab version of a best album and that a proper sitting would be very rewarding, so I can only suggest you do that and start from "-I'll-". Controversial opinion coming in hot here, but the production job is fantastic across all three discs. Some may disagree, but I find that I need time to adjust to a new production job before I can assess if I like the changes. There have been many albums I panned for 'inferior production values' that I eventually came to prefer. Sloppy production has always been one of DIR EN GREY's weaknesses, especially for the visual-era stuff which hasn't held up over time, so some of the older tracks have a second lease on life. GAUZE has never sounded so clean, there's a 12-string in "脈" that I've never heard, and some of the tracks from DUM SPIRO SPERO are actually listenable now that the bass isn't obnoxious. I'd pay good money to have all their albums past and future worked like this. The way the album is structured is frustrating to describe. What at first seems like a chronological trek through their eras turns into anything but by the third disc. The first disc is an ode to their entire visual history, featuring songs from pre-GAUZE to 鬼葬 (Kisou), plus a bonus in "腐海 2018". New "腐海" sounds good, and I like it's inclusion as a way to preserve it. I'd spin it a few times, but it won't replace the original version for me. Every other song on this disc was just remastered. I'm surprised at the inclusion of "太陽の蒼" (Taiyou no Ao), since I thought Kyo hated that song, but like a few other inclusions it's here because its a single. The second disc dips back into 鬼葬 with "JESSICA", nods at six Ugly with "umbrella," and then focuses mostly on VULGAR through UROBOROS. Nothing from the disastrous UROBOROS [Remastered & Expanded] makes an appearance, which is a blessing. Personally speaking, I would have dropped "CHILD PREY" for "AMBER," "朔-saku-" for "Machiavellism," and thrown in the reinterpretation of "undecided". Disc 2 ends with a new version of "THE IIID EMPIRE" which is pretty lit and one of their more successful retakes. Disc 3 is where most of the meat lies and unfortunately most of it is displeasing to my ears. It's packed with most of their earlier reinterpretations, many hit or miss, most of which I'd have left on the table if it were solely my choice. This is where my lack of frustration with the exclusion of "undecided" comes from, as I would have rotated out "羅刹国" (Rasetsukoku), "OBSCURE", or "霧と繭" (Kiri to Mayu) for it, the PV version of "OBSCURE", and the version of "Bottom of the death valley" from THE UNRAVELING. I would have also killed for a reinterpretation of "秒「」深" (Byou 「」 Shin) from six Ugly, or a proper version of "Hydra -666-" with more gutturals and less screaming. After comes the salvageable parts of DUM SPIRO SPERO, including a version of "激しさと、この胸の中で絡み付いた灼熱の闇" (Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami) superior to the album version, but not quite what the original single sounded like, a condensed serving of ARCHE, "詩踏み" (Utafumi), and then ends on a very random note with "Beautiful Dirt". Not quite sure why they set it up this way. Maybe the unfinished feeling to Vestige of Scratches is intentional, but either way DIR EN GREY have collated a collection album worth the shelf space for any serious fan. It may not be perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than I expected it to be. At the very least, I can argue that it's a better alternative than importing GAUZE if you don't already own it. If DIR EN GREY attack 2018 the way MUCC took 2017, we may have an interesting year ahead of us. Support the artist CDJapan
  44. 11 points
    hiroki

    Show Yourself (again)

    bleached my hair some time ago
  45. 11 points
  46. 11 points
    WhirlingBlack

    [VK Nightclub] Klubb Lunacy

    Klubb Lunacy is one of Europe's oldest Visual Kei nightclubs, which originally ran between 2004 and 2010. After a 7 years long hiatus, I'm happy to announce that I'm the one who is carrying on the torch and together with the old owner I'm reforming it and intend to make it stronger than ever. The first date is set for 1 of September in Stockholm, Sweden. Six hours of old and new Visual Kei music, a Visual Kei outfit competition with an amazing prize sponsored by RarezHut, and the chance to hang out with over one hundred other fans of this increasingly rare style of music. And while we hope that some of you might be able to attend this grand revival, we don't intend to limit our activities to Sweden, and would be glad to bring it wherever enough people who are interested might be located, mainly in Europe. So if you have any connections or ideas please feel free to message me and we'll see what can be done! The clubs Facebook is located here: https://www.facebook.com/KlubbLunacy/ And the event itself is located here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1435508826514161/ Most posts have an English version after the Swedish text, so please scroll down if you want more info! We're glad for any and all support we can get from you guys as we try to bring back some community and party to the fandom! Also a special thanks to @orange~ who designed our logo!
  47. 11 points
    suji

    Show Yourself (again)

    hi again
  48. 11 points
    okay but can u imagine the GAG of this unclockable NIHONJIN QUEEN walking into the werk room w/ a "ご機嫌よう~” & a twirl in some alice & the pirates 80,000 yen custom made FANTASY rupaul would be SHOOK the house down BOOTS BITCH YAAAAAAaAaaAAAASS
  49. 11 points
    explaining VK to your parents/normie friends:
  50. 11 points
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