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  1. 10 points
    emmny

    Reflection: Moran (2013-2015)

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

    Show Yourself (again)

    are grainy webcam photos and nasal tip piercings vk?
  3. 1 point
    suji

    ♦2020 Predictions!♦

    It's later than usual but this year's predictions are HERE! 2019 was filled with surprises that left us shook such as Ryuichi (Luna Sea) kicking cancer's ass, the disbandment of Pentagon, DIMLIM dimming down to three, Yumeleep booting their drummer unexpectedly, and NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST coming back with a new guitarist (for 3 seconds!)! We also saw the return of Pashya vocalist Sai with his new band 終焉ノ羅刹 (Shuuen no Rasetsu), 3/5 of Fixer forming new bands with 2 different vocalists (XANVALA and CULA), and bands like Dir en grey, The Gazette, Dadaroma, and Acme touring overseas! With the decade gone, what's in store for the RAWRing 20s? Dish out your predictions below!
  4. 1 point
    怪盗戦隊ヌスムンジャー (Kaitou Sentai Nusumunja) new maxi-single "クロアゲマン" (Kuroageman) will be released at 2020/02/19 (1200yen) It's Royz "クロアゲハ" (Kuroageha) parody [tracklist] 01.クロアゲマン (Kuroageman) 02.逆ギレサイコパス (Gyakugire Psycopath)
  5. 1 point
    it was announced at their oneman live "No.13" at 2019/12/01 at Shibuya club asia that アクメ (ACME) indies best-album "WE ARE VISUALKEI" will be released at their live and through their official webshop at 2020/01/22 (3000 yen) [tracklist] 01. マグロ解体チェーンソー 02. 激ヤミセレナーデ 03. ROTTEN ORANGE 04. Barguest 05. CALL MY NAME 06. 絶唱謳歌 07. RUN 08. ADVENTURE TIME 09. ラストワンショー 10. 激ヤマセルロイド 11. 放課後の飼育 12. モノノケレクイエム (Album Version) 13. 腐敗蜜柑 their new maxi-single "嘘顔" (Usogao) will be released at their lives and through their official webshop at 2020/03/04 (1000yen) [tracklist] 01. 嘘顔 02. You are my LOVE they will hold their 3rd anniversary oneman live tour "WE ARE VISUALKEI" since 2020/03/15 to 2020/05/10 at Takadanobaba AREA they will hold their US tour "ACME US WEST COAST COLLISION TOUR" since 2020/01/05 to 2020/01/12
  6. 1 point
    ex-DAMY Vo.椋 (Ryo) solo project "鴉-カラス- (Karasu)" has formed. http://karasu-web.com/
  7. 1 point
    webm4ster

    How to make Visual Kei popular again?

    two main thoughts, really: 1) it's too ''edgy'' and whatever you think about social justice, it's a big factor in the mainstream + it influences consumers so obviously a lot of bands... wouldn't be getting away with their antics. it's not even trendy to be edgy 2) big fandoms are cesspools and it's bad enough as it is, so if it takes it being niche for it to be relaxed... so be it
  8. 1 point
    Disposable

    How to make Visual Kei popular again?

    Fuck I wish I had not clicked those links
  9. 1 point
    I was curious about this too, I checked CDJapan and didn't see it available there. On their twitter there is a link to purchase, but as of right now it appears that you can only obtain a copy via mail order from the site linked in the status update. On the shipping map (which can be found under shipping details on the product page), it says that shipping charges overseas are charged separately, so I assume that means shipping overseas is available. Hope this helps.
  10. 1 point
    frayed

    ♦2020 Predictions!♦

    Mejibray remains on “hiatus”. 8P-SB keeps on its current trajectory, has another Halloween look that makes fans think for a hot minute that they’re going back to vkei. Yuutaro keeps hanging out with the Liraizo guys. When Pentagon disbands, he and Yutori do a new project together. Razor goes to Europe for a convention or a fan club trip. They release a few more singles, maybe a mini? MeteoroiD says “fuck it” and decides it’s too fun to play together, so even if it’s only for one show a year, they decide to stick together. Maybe they even come back to America for a con. (This is wishful thinking on my part but meh.) Kizu keeps releasing singles that they want to release with sometimes mixed reactions from fans. They release at least one solid heavy A-side that keeps people invested. Reiki keeps having drunk Insta lives.
  11. 1 point
    Himeaimichu

    ♦2020 Predictions!♦

    I wish!! Panic Channel was awesome!
  12. 1 point
    コドモドラゴン (Codomo Dragon) new maxi-single "PEST" will be released at 2020/04/01 (3 types) TYPE A (1944yen) will include CD (2 songs) and DVD including "PEST" PV and MAKING TYPE B (1944yen) will include CD (2 songs) and DVD including "PEST" PV multiangle version TYPE C (1620yen) will include CD (3 songs+karaoke version) they will hold their oneman live tour "否定ノ否定" since 2020/04/04 to 2020/05/28 at LINE CUBE SHIBUYA
  13. 1 point
    Saishu

    ♦2020 Predictions!♦

    New aesthetic, same tired Ruki compositions.
  14. 1 point
    Himeaimichu

    ♦2020 Predictions!♦

    Nightmare officially revives, AINS will sign another band, but soon flop as a whole as Yukika will have been taking out too many loans. Gulu Gulu will release a full length and it will be awesome Mitsuki Sakai starts a solo career, covers Kurara Zeroshiki, Kiryu and Mizelia songs Mamo will sell his pee to fangirls Still no god damn X Japan album
  15. 1 point
    sleepy coffee

    ♦2020 Predictions!♦

    My spiciest prediction is every Starwave band/artist survives 2020. Kizu will finally release a full length album. AINS will sign 2 more bands. Yuuki (ex. UnsraW) will finally release new music in some shape form (even if its just demos/teasers). Z from R-shitei will join Nocturnal Bloodlust, Mamo will either start up a new band w/ all new members or a solo project. Adding onto my prediction about Z, Nocturnal Bloodlust will have a new release this year and itll bang. DIMLIM will survive the year but stick with 3 members officially (cant speak for if they finally decide to add support members for lives). RAKUGAKI, gulu gulu, and NICOLAS are gonna be the most popular MH bands for 2020. and lastly (for now if i ever remember to add more predictions) SCAPEGOAT is going to go back to their "Haru has to kill his girlfriend in every single music video" phase and itll be great. (dont get me wrong i loved scapegoat's 2018 releases i just miss the edgy days.
  16. 1 point
  17. 1 point
    Greetings, fellow Monochromians! Yall doing, alright? I certainly hope so! As we close out the year 2019, some of the Official Reviewers and Staff members thought we'd take a look back at some remarkable (and one or two remarkably bad) J-rock albums that turned 10 this year! So whether you were around 10 years ago or not, let's discuss! What do you think of the entries on our list? What are your favorite J-rock albums that turned 10 this year? Did they age well for you? Let's talk about it! 9GOATS BLACK OUT Black rain The sophomore release that followed their iconic debut album Devils in Bedside, Black Rain gave the fans exactly what they were waiting for, more of that hypnotic, bluesy nagoya kei abyssal void to lose ourselves in. While the album never seems to get the fanfare of the releases before and after it, it stands on its own all these years later just fine. Ryo's guttural roars in "SALOME" still pierce the soul just as deeply, Hati's walking, rhythmic bass "in the rain" still stirs all of the vivid imagery it ever did, and Uta's echoing guitar strumming for "ROMEO" still haunts the dark corners of the mind. When you go back to revisit all the amazing albums of the last decade, don't you dare forget this one! - @doombox Devils in Bedside was shrouded in mystery. This melancholic band had literally no space in a scene that was filled with pop rock vibes and colourful looks. Nevertheless, 9GBO continued down their own path and released Black Rain. It’s a blessing that they never followed the trends surrounding the scene, or we might have never gotten one of the most dramatic creations in vk. The band is still a mystery at this point as no PV graced our eyes with this album, all we know now is that these guys are *not* a one hit wonder. I believe that because of the lack of visuals and their mature sound (way ahead of their time) 9GBO never reached the success they deserved. Listening to Black Rain is like opening a fantasy book and losing yourself in a beautiful rainy landscape. The topic of rain has been explored a million times in visual kei, but Black Rain captures the feelings and nuances of its title very effectively. ‘Romeo’ and ‘In the Rain’ are still some of my favourite tracks ever and I remember playing them over and over back in the day (I still do, but I try to limit myself). Whereas Devil in Bedside was drier and raw, Black Rain is simply dripping with emotion. It's escapism at its best. - @platy While most fans of 9GBO fell in love with their debut album Devils in Bedside, it was Black Rain that made me a fan, as this was also my first time listening to them. I was convinced 9GBO were going to be remembered for years to come as this album to me has depths of artistic expression not relative to other acts of this time; they reminded me so much of deadman, they were in a league of their own. It did indeed feel like each track told a story, some clinging on to life, with others full of warmth and energy. “In the Rain” would be my favorite song from them to this day, as the harmony of light and dark, simple chords and the complexity of how they’re interpreted, left a respectable mark on my listening experience of them so many years ago. - @YuyoDrift SUICIDE ALI 第4のwaltz Give SUICIDE ALI a plaque next to the likes of √eight and Werkmare and Deluhi in the Visual Kei Hall of 'We Captured Lightning in a Bottle Exactly Once and the Rest of Our Releases Really Kind of Suck'. Nothing should be taken away from 第4のwaltz because SUICIDE ALI weren't able to recreate its magic however. 第4のwaltz is all over the place in the best possible ways. Songs with goth midi-satyr-flute, acoustic guitar strumming, nu-metal tinged bass guitars and gang shouts behind rushed lead vocals shouldn't work at all but oh my God "笛吹童子" is one of my absolute favorite songs from 2009. 第4のwaltz would get my vote as the best album released by Starwave Records/ Darkest Labyrinth. Often when Kiwamu gets involved I find releases simultaneously over- and under-produced but the combination of studio effects and just letting a band be who they are collided in a magnificent way for this album. There isn't another album in all of Visual Kei that sounds exactly like 第4のwaltz. Let it stand as a monument to glory for both a band and record label that often disappointed otherwise. - @The Reverend D’espairsRay REDEEMER Ah, the posterchild for our website lol. For those of us around then, it was REDEEMER that divided the D'espa fanbase. If you were just getting into the scene during this time, you’d marvel at how great the album was in the wake of Visual Kei’s exposure internationally. It had pop, rock, and melodies that made it very easy to embrace by western newcomers who weren’t familiar with the history of D’espairsRay and the current trend in Visual Kei. For fans that were around since the band’s formation, however, this album felt like a far cry from their dark and gothic VK days. I never realized how creative the approach for this album was, as you don't see this level of dedication to the music, to which D'espairsRay were no strangers to. They were always known to place their music as that symbol of expressive emotions that suited their name and I felt that REDEEMER upheld their ideal while keeping the VK aesthetic close by. While I understand the album underwhelms to some, it still retains that creativity that none can deny was what really mattered during this age, and with Hizumi’s way of singing being otherworldly, their arrangements were an art form itself. “Heaven’s Color”, one of my favorite songs of the album and the last decade, has lyrics portrayed beautifully in Hizumi’s singing along with the instrumental chords that kindle an ethereal feel, eternally associating the colors of heaven to a song that continues to give me an ephemeral rush of emotions today. - @YuyoDrift 凛として時雨 just A moment Back in the day, long before TK ever whispered on any anime songs or produced for any Jpop artists, when people were still spelling their name "rin toshite shigure", ling tosite sigure were to J-indie fans what DIR EN GREY or the GazettE are to visual kei. The band's musical acumen and trend-setting innovation pretty much guaranteed that each new release would be a spectacle met with critical acclaim. Naturally, that was the case with just A moment too. ling had just struck a deal with Sony Music Japan, so this was their first major label album. There may have been concern that they'd be plagued with the dreaded major-label curse and fall off like their contemporaries 9mm Parabellum Bullet, but this album quickly put all those worries to rest. just A moment definitely reigned in ling's sound a bit and established more structure in their songwriting, but the quality of their music did not suffer at all. In fact, ling remained just as intense, emotional, and creative as ever. Plus, this was the first time that we got to hear ling's music with actual state-of-the-art production!...and DAT BASS!!! W000!!!! But I digress. Including this album was a no-brainer for me. It was bangin' then, and it's bangin' now. ling has always been in their own lane, and in my book, they wouldn't go on to release anything sub-par until after 2013. - @CAT5 -OZ- VERSUS VERSUS turns ten this year and it does not feel like the album is that old. It feels five to six years old, tops. I still spin this album regularly, more than I can say for subsequent -OZ- albums. This is the definition of an album aging well and a lot of credit must be given to how cohesive VERSUS sounds and how well it flows. It's an effortless listen that is also very rewarding, two compliments I rarely give out at the same time. -OZ- had one sound with a few minor variations, but that doesn't matter because this album hit on all of the things that made this band an unstoppable juggernaut of a metalcore ensemble. Album opener "LAST SHELL" is worth admission price alone, and album singles "FILMY", "VENOM", and "DETOX" are all fun bangers that work surprisingly well in the studio knowing they were composed for lives. This is the distillation of -OZ-'s essence into a bite sized package that's great for recommending when their complete collection album proves too daunting to tackle all at once. - @Zeus lynch. SHADOWS Before this album released, I had very little exposure to lynch. as I found that their growls/yells were a tad too off-putting and raw for my tastes and other bands in the Nagoya Kei scene caught my attention. Once I heard about SHADOWS and the shift in musical direction that included vocal tweaks, I gave it a listen. The distinct guitar chords that I remember liking had more lead roles this time, all while overhauling their method of growls/yells with a new form of aggression that could better suit the new atmosphere that was apparent as you listened. Truly, there were a lot of new ideas thrown into making the album a prolific release, one that even I could admire. SHADOWS, from what I hear, was one of those in-between albums for the band, and this could be true because musical concepts from this album are still existent with their current work. - @YuyoDrift Crossfaith The Artificial Theory For The Dramatic Beauty Arguably, TATFTDB is Crossfaith's most electrifying album. It got the attention of the global metalcore scene almost instantly. Even if the band has drifted away from their experimental roots, TATFTDB is one of those staples that refuses to be forgotten. Crossfaith blended electronic elements and hardcore in such a way that the former never lost its ability to slice through the utter brutality of the latter, effectively contrasting and spotlighting all of the band's strengths at the time. Times change but this album still kicks ass. - @doombox Psysalia psysalis psyche Matin Brun Back in the day, when actual J-indie communities still existed online, casual hate/distaste for VK was a common sight. Meanwhile, on VK boards, the fans were generally oblivious to the J-indie world and mostly just tended to their own interests. But every once and a while, you'd get a band like Psysalia psysalis psyche that existed on the fringes. A band that would simultaneously capture the interest of members from both communities. (ppl on last.fm were jokingly calling them "normal kei" back in the day lol) By 2009, two EPs and a single had placed PPP on the radar of a decent amount of J-rock fans. Up until this point, they'd released a few standout tracks like "SUBWAY KILLER" and "Butch & The Sundance Kid", but the rest of their output was just solid and nothing more. Basically, they were the kind of band that were cool enough to check out, but not one that you'd set your expectations too high for. So when they dropped Matin Brun, their debut full-length, I don't think anyone was ready! This album just completely eclipsed their previous output. It's like they entered into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from DBZ because their sound matured by leaps and bounds in the one year since their previous EP. Their dark and edgy brand of alt.rock was still in tact, but it was far more refined here. In fact, everything was better - the songwriting, the musicianship, and even the production. Hell, they even threw in some shoegaze for good measure! Sadly, the band's flame flickered out just a few years later and they disbanded in 2012. Their 2nd and final album felt more like a rushed and shoddily put together parting gift in comparison. However, Matin Brun remains standing tall in its own splendor. It's a testament to a band that was, perhaps, not done exploring their potential. - @CAT5 Plastic Tree ドナドナ I remember clearly when Plastic Tree's Dona Dona album came out. It was right around Christmas and I must have listened to the album during my entire winter break. It holds many memories for me and the title track was one of the biggest standouts. Ryutarou sings as if he's about to break apart, which brings me almost to tears, but it's very beautiful at the same time with the sweet swaying guitars. From the album cover, one can sense that Dona Dona gives a darker mood, but not necessarily heavier. Although if you're looking for something a bit heavy, "sunset bloody sunset" and "Gagaji" does take the spot well. But overall, with the forlorn and bitter "Dona Dona", the remorseful lyrics of "1999", the tender and playful "Etcetera", and the cold and lonely "Sanatorium", the album conveys a dreary and soothing sadness. Dona Dona is also the first album to feature an instrumental track that shows more of their post-rock influences. And as a little plus, the album ends with the silly track "Yasashisa Kurabu", that easily brings a smile to anyone. - @plastic_rainbow vistlip PATRIOT Yes vistlip released a different, full album this same year, but in addition to thinking PATRIOT is simply a better distillation of what makes the band great I also have to give the nod to PPATRIOT's amazing cover art (especially compared to Theater's complete lack of cover art.) The members of vistlip said in an interview with JAME just before the release of PATRIOT that they don't have a band concept because, in part, "we might be trapped in it, so we do whatever we think is good... we are quite flexible." It's exactly this kind of attitude that makes PATRIOT a VK classic. There's a diversity in the eight songs of PATRIOT even though they all would fall under the wide umbrella of 'bright Visual Kei'. The vocalist Tomo takes some chances and screams a bit, but mostly understands what his range is and maxes what he *can* do (which is write some incredibly catchy refrains) rather than try to make his voice do things it wasn't designed to. The band isn't afraid of a crunchy riff but also want to write songs that are accessible and fun. PATRIOT deserves a spot in your collection a decade after its release because it's a crowd-pleaser that isn't pandering. Love fun Oshare Kei but want something a little less squeaky and cute? This mini-album fits the bill. You're into heavier music but want something you could play for your mom to introduce her to VK that isn't scary but also isn't milquetoast? vistlip have been doing that for more than a decade now. - @The Reverend exist†trace VANGUARD -of the muses- You guys remember the hype for this EP? For those that weren't around, exist†trace had already claimed a spot in the top-tier list of bands in such a short amount of time and their PV for “VANGUARD” was a real teaser, being praised all over the web while providing even more exposure for the band. It was fitting because exist†trace had filled in the gap of gothic and darker rock fans yearned for, as this sound was already being left behind by bands like D’espairsRay and even Girugamesh. The shift from screaming and growling from their previous work was a surprise because it was how they gained recognition by old fans and somehow, they managed to keep that intensity going with more involved instrumentation and Jyou’s vocals being the new driving force. I’m a sucker for melodies in sync with the drum’s pacing and they did not disappoint. My favorite tracks on repeat were “花の咲かない街” and of course “VANGUARD”, possibly being the first song that will ever come to mind when someone asks for a song by them, so I highly recommend you give this release a spin. - @YuyoDrift exist†trace Ambivalent Symphony Ambivalent Symphony was big step for exist†trace mixing their early raw sound with updated production elements to smooth out their rough edges and it makes for an excellent album. Certainly one of theirs I find myself returning to more than any of the others. From "RESONANCE" to "VANGUARD" you can see the band put every drop of their blood, sweat, and tears into making this album a top tier visual kei offering that would stand the test of time and get some much needed visibility for women in a music scene over-saturated with their male counterparts. - @doombox You thought they were done for this year with just one EP? Try a second one! exist†trace continued to blow the doors off the male-dominated scene by releasing Ambivalent Symphony only a few months later. Just as in the previous EP, Jyou decided to tone down the screams and growls, as I recall that at the time she was straining her throat at a very fast rate, but what we discovered was that she was an even more amazing singer once she focused her longer notes, bringing more life and contrast to their arrangements. I still herald Jyou as one of the best female singers of the vk scene and this album is a benchmark of what she contributed to the archives of old. Tracks I still play to this day are “Wrath” and “「終わりのない世界」”, and they are so synonymous to my memories of them. exist†trace may have also been the only band that still retained a gothic appearance in the visual kei scene, carrying over the heavy and dark basslines one last time in an era for them that would be short-lived, as the sound of exist†trace would soon change. - @YuyoDrift MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS ワールドイズユアーズ I'd argue that MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS are one of the most iconic indie bands to come out of Japan post 00's. Despite their original line-up consisting of all females, they somehow managed to avoid being typecast as just another "girl band", and I think that speaks volumes about their music. Frontwoman Natsuko Miyamoto (affectionately called 'Natsukon' by fans) has been a fierce & bold presence from the start. She's an absolute beast on the bass (known to always perform barefoot), and her signature croon is striking, yet pure. Of course, the other members are competent in their own right, but I think MassDre's appeal lies not in their technical ability, but in the raw sincerity and authenticity of their sound. WORLD IS YOURS perfectly exemplifies this and, in my opinion, is their best album to date! - @CAT5 Megaromania Prophetic Faction - the Universe - All of my favorite songs and recollections of Megaromania are from 2009’s Prophetic Faction - the Universe -. There is a lot of effort put into this album, from the tonal length and coordination of the guitar chords, to the timing of the riffs that enter and exit throughout the length of each song, and of course the intensity of the solos. Many fans from back then would say that they were one of the best bands to ever exist within the UNDERCODE label. Megaromania's musical arrangements were worthy of that Kote Kei distinction, as there was a youth and involvement from the band to create music full of harmony and expression that suited their visual aesthetic. That said, I’m definitely not going to forget to mention their amazing looks and outfits that you can still see in the PVs of “APOCOLYPSE” and “God of Megaromania-純血ノ刻印-“ as they are pretty iconic. - @YuyoDrift kamomekamome / DEEPSLAUTER / FUCK YOU HEROES 放送事故現場 split This split was bad-ass. The end. ahaha, in general, I think split releases are a cool idea, but it's often the case that one band out-shines the other(s) and the split just isn't enjoyable as a whole. Thankfully, that's not the case here. All three bands brought their a-game, although they all represent different shades of hardcore. kamomekamome offered two tracks that are more on the post-hardcore side of things, with killer riffs and frantic, spoken word-ish vocals. DEEPSLAUTER is pegged as "power-violence" with a much more chaotic and progressive sound, and FUCK YOU HEROES is more or less your traditional hardcore punk. Splits are an especially common thing in the punk world, but this one is essential for Japanese H/C fans! - @CAT5 the studs alansmithee Once more we had the pleasure of enjoying yet another masterpiece from Nagoya Kei’s veterans with alansmithee. I feel this album best represented Aie’s talents, as his composing style heard today was born in this album, and being able to collaborate with Daisuke must have been a big factor as well. Beautifully paced tempos and lively guitar chords, the themes throughout the album were throwbacks to their earlier careers, as well as their progress up to this point. Gosh, nothing sounded more amazing than hearing Daisuke's voice resonate through your ears during long notes. As memorable as Nagoya Kei alansmithee was, it was nothing but a bittersweet moment for fans of the studs, as we found out that this was their last album. Not even a week after the release, the studs announced an indefinite hiatus due to the future direction of the band and creative differences that led to the departure of 2 of their core members. Even more crushing was Daisuke, who I consider one of the greatest singers in VK history, passed away the following year, and with him any hope we had for a comeback. - @YuyoDrift FACT FACT If I had to pick an album for 2009 that I still cherish as much as I did when it was first released, it has to be this one. It single-handedly launched me to expand my musical horizons deeply into the Japanese punk and indie scene outside of what I was finding in the vk realm. FACT was THAT band that found the perfect mix of punk aggression with extremely catchy melodies that lived seamlessly in both the pop-punk and hardcore ends of the spectrum. Even though most of them still have strong projects going since they split, I'll always find their music together as FACT what sticks with me the most. If you have never listened to the original album version or remix of "A Fact of Life" you absolutely have to go do that right now! - @doombox 百蚊 花園 Hyacca was one of many bands that I came across in my J-indie exploration heydays via their 2006 album. It was good, but failed to leave a lasting impression. Fast-forward to 2009. I was reintroduced to them by Steven Tanaka (Founder of Next Music From Tokyo), who was raving about this album (which was new at the time), and long story short - Hyacca left a lasting impression this time! I think the band had finally found their sound on this album - noisey and spastic post-punk with angular riffs and warped distortion. If I remember correctly, I think Steve once described the guitar tone in one of their songs as 'sounding like broken glass'. This album is a blast from start to finish! Fans of melt-banana and limited express (has gone ) would love this! - @CAT5 DEATHGAZE THE CONTINUATION THE CONTINUATION did exactly what the title implied: carrying over what worked for their last album which were clean and strong growls, versatile yet heavy guitar play speed, and melodic choruses. Several of the songs are re-recorded tracks from their early-era material , this time with different guitar structures and Ai behind the mic. This album was the perfect little metal package for fans new and old. The popular consensus online at the time was that THE CONTINUATION was on par with lynch.’s album SHADOWS, that I’m sure gave birth to the running joke/confusion on which album was who’s, making each band one and the same. Take a listen and let the others and I know from 10 years ago if we’re just crazy haha. Personally, I think that between the two of them, DEATHGAZE took the crown for 2009. - @YuyoDrift アルカラ BOY NEXT DOOR Although Arukara has been around since 2004, this was the album that really put them on the map for most western J-rock fans. The PV for "夢見る少女でいたい。", featured below, made the rounds online and quickly garnered comparisons to 9mm Parabellum Bullet, who were on a sharp decline at the time. In fact, I'd say it was 9mm's downfall that really made way for bands like Arukara and cinema staff to step in and fill that void. BOY NEXT DOOR definitely showcased some of the indie-rock explosiveness that 9mm was known for, but it also proved that Arukara were very much their own band. Much like cinema staff's Mizuki Iida, vocalist Taisuke Inamura also has a strong singing voice which stands out in the J-indie world (where high-pitched and effeminate male voices are common and there really are no singing standards ). Taisuke's voice, the band's technical ability, memorable melodies, and compelling songwriting all make BOY NEXT DOOR a fantastic record. One of the best of 2009, with some of my all-time favorite Arukara songs! - @CAT5 ClearVeil RE:BORN ClearVeil’s RE:BORN is one of the many staples to this era of VK and even ten years later, still has many songs from this album in my music playlists. What made the band noticeable to many of us back then were the full-bodied basslines, clean and harmonized vocals, and if anything, the extra effort made to retain the visual sound from back then - I think was the most impressive to me. If I were to compare them, roughly, they were a combination of Rentrer En Soi, early-era D’espairsRay, and a dash of early-era Kagerou. Due to musical differences the band’s career was short lived, just shy of 3 years, but man did they tour a lot, so there’s plenty of video of them online. Since then, I believe that some of the members have moved on to more current projects like ORCALADE (they still around? Lol), so if you already listen to that band, check out where their sound came from with ClearVeil. - @YuyoDrift Far France AHYARANKE ^ This promo pic actually does a fantastic job of summing up Far France's sound: wild, crazy, and tons of fun! They're fuckin' bananas! In fact, vocalist/guitarist Shinya actually garnered quite the reputation in Tokyo's live scene for being both a raucous performer and audience member. But beyond the band's silly demeanor, these guys actually boasted some serious musical chops, as clearly illustrated here on AHYARANKE. The entire album is one non-stop ride of spastic, psychedelic outbursts and proggy twists & turns. Even the seemingly unassuming tracks end up in a sprawling jam-fest, yet the band balances their chaos with groove and accessibility. Unfortunately, the band went on what seems to have been an indefinite hiatus after this, but they left us with a record well-deserving of praise even a decade later. - @CAT5 VAMPS VAMPS It’s odd to look back on this timeline because HYDE was already an established solo artist, back with L’arc en ciel and their return to music, composer for a ton of popular songs, even doing some acting gigs, and so just when you realize that he’s at a very high point in his career, he goes and unveils his new musical project. VAMPS is seen as a duo project with Guitarist K.A.Z, who had worked with HYDE for years on his previous solo releases, and so the music itself was already recognizable, yet their self-titled album went even further to bring in fresh ideas that have aged very damn well for what they are. The album combines previous singles that hyped the release (my personal favorite is the song “Time Goes By” in the Love Addict single) giving the album more variety to what I already thought was an impressive collection. If you’re a fan of his previous solo releases like 666 or Faith, then VAMPS will remind you of those throwbacks and some new delights for keeps, so check it out. - @YuyoDrift Z 新今日 Z is....Z is something else. They formed from the remains of legendary hardcore punk band There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (whose members also formed bands like As Meias and Hununhum) I've seen them described as "Pharoah Sanders meets late-period Black Flag" and "post-avant-jazzcore" - WHATEVER THAT MEANS. They're definitely experimental, and they definitely have elements of jazz and hardcore. Their sound is also sinister and unsettling, often striving between free-form chaos and menacing grooves. I definitely wouldn't call this album accessible, but Z incorporates all of these different traits in the most sprawling and immersive, yet captivating fashion. Almost all of their tracks take time to really build up, but the payoff is always worth it and the journey is a fulfilling one, especially with frontman Jun Nemoto's frantically animated vocals in tow. A truly noteworthy effort from vets of the Japanese underground. - @CAT5 圭 silk tree. Anything related to the members of Baroque/Kannivalism, I was always excited about, so Kei's solo album silk tree. was one of the things I was looking forward to the most. Compared to Baroque and Kannivalism, Kei's solo work brought more of an ambient and electronic sound, which I was fairly new to and was not often the kind of music heard in VK, but I've grown to love the album with every visit. I even had a newfound love for the track "barred door." a few years ago, which for whatever reason didn't move me as strongly as it does now. There are many great tracks here, some featuring lovely strings and pianos, and some giving an energetic color. silk tree. is both whimsical and sorrowful, and is an album worth visiting over and over again. - @plastic_rainbow LIGHT BRINGER Tales of Almanac The origins of how I discovered FUKI were birthed right here with Tales of Almanac, coincidentally being their first full-length album. I came from a long history of listening to female JPop artists, so when I discovered that there was a metal band with a tiny and bright-colored woman as their vocalist who sung EXACTLY like acts such as Every Little Thing and Day After Tomorrow, I was hooked. Their PVs for “Upstream Children” and “Diamond” show a combination of hardcore guitar riffs and upbeat synths that provide the same satisfaction as deep growls and screams, something I didn’t think would sound great together but it did! FUKI’s highest voice tones were around this time, so if you’re a fan of hers, you need to see what she sounded like before to appreciate how dedicated she’s been to master her vocal range. LIGHT BRINGER’s existence might be before any other successful attempts to bring a lighter and cute tone with idols to metal like BABYMETAL and the whole wave of Kawaii-Metal throughout the next decade. - @YuyoDrift cinema staff Symmetoronica Technically speaking, cinema staff debuted in 2008 with their EP titled document, but personally, their follow-up Symmetoronica has always felt like their first real outing for me. Don't get me wrong, their debut was decent, but there wasn't much propelling them beyond your run-of-the-mill indie-rock band with pop leanings. And trust me, Japan is over-saturated with those types. However, this EP saw the band strengthen their song-writing with an emotional heft that had been missing previously. Although cinema staff has gone on to refine and even out-do what they've done here, this was an outstanding release in '09, and some of Mizuki's vocal lines are still memorable to this day. - @CAT5 Unlucky Morpheus Jealousy When you listen to Unlucky Morpheus now, you would never imagine that they would sound any different than they do, but they’ve come a long way during their indie/touhou days from 10 years ago. It was Jealousy that introduced me to them, with none other than the tiny woman that could belt like no other as their frontwoman, FUKI. This album contained songs that paid a sort of tribute to metal legends like X Japan (the album cover is a nod to them too) and Onmyouza. Similar to her other band LIGHT BRINGER, FUKI provides a lively and energetic contrast to the various forms of metal like Speed, Neoclassical, and Power. So, while I can spend hours telling you how much I like Unlucky Morpheus and how insanely remarkable FUKI is as a singer, I’d rather you give this album a listen. Funnily enough, if FUKI’s current vocals are more your cup-of-tea than the vocals in this specific release, Unlucky Morpheus actually rerecorded the entire album for 2018, so you can sample that one as an alternative. - @YuyoDrift Sadie MASTER OF ROMANCE 10 years is long enough to quit comparing Sadie to DEG, right? As difficult as it was for the album, MASTER OF ROMANCE eventually ended the nonstop comparisons to DEG’s music, as there really weren’t many to be made in the first place. It was easy to forget back then but DEG no longer sounded the same, leaving a void that Sadie had perfectly filled in its place. MASTER OF ROMANCE was something familiar yet so fresh, an easy-listening experience for those fans that couldn’t stomach current era DEG and instead could listen to “what could have been”. A great blend of hardcore riffs, bridges, and lively tempos, you couldn’t mistake Sadie for anyone else. Mao’s vocals were amazingly as versatile as Kyo’s, which I feel most comparisons were made from, yet more dynamics in his singing is what brought more originality to Sadie, as it gave more life than their monotonous counterpart in my opinion. - @YuyoDrift SCREW X-RAYS As an early fan of SCREW, it was nice to still see their early-era aesthetic was still around even during the turn of the decade as most bands had dropped them. SCREW still retained that hardcore rock and punk music style in X-RAYS, along with the melodies and solos that only upped their flair. Also retained was Byou’s vocal experimentation with growls and crooning and so their music direction by this time had become synonymous to the band’s image. If you were a fan of or listened to Sadie, 12012, or even The GazettE during their mid 00’ eras and never listened to SCREW, then you should definitely give them a listen. This release represents a throwback for me as I was madly into these guys 10 years ago, and was easily a top album for me in 2009 as SCREW’s early years are definitely when they were their most creative. - @YuyoDrift Hailing sometime from the awkward era where the instrumentals were good but vocalist Byou still couldn't sing, X-RAYS is one of the black sheep of visual kei albums for sure. I never thought that I'd catch myself recommending anything from this era ten years from now, but things change. Dodge anything that sounds like a bad attempt at metal - which includes songs like "DRASTIC SLAVER", "VII CARDINAL SINS", and "void box" - and you'll find a more than competent rock band yearning to be set free. Go back any further than this and I find the vocals unbearable. Go any further than this and I find the instrumentals dull. "FIREFLY" is my jam and "RUIN AND DREAD" is a surprise carrying a tone completely unfitting for the name, and "answer" has one hell of a kick ass riff that almost makes you forget people liked to clown on SCREW ten years ago. As with most of the things I review, this would have been better off as a mini-album. - @Zeus alice nine. VANDALIZE Ohhh man, I love this album. If any band was able to successfully make that musical transition without getting crap for it, it was alice nine. (This name sounds better than A9 honestly, and it was around this year that they changed to it from their previous name). I think the band members had a clear image of what they wanted to do musically, with high rankings on the music boards being proof of the good reception the band was getting from their musical change. VANDALIZE continued the bands’ success, as the album was very energetic and so musically rich that it could make you sing along even if you weren’t a fan. It seemed natural that you’d enjoy it. How they were doing it, I couldn’t tell you, but did it matter? It was the golden years for them and VANDALIZE was the most accurate representation of it. This album is easily one of my top 3 albums from alice nine. to date, and if you are new to them I’d check this release out because it’s a must-listen. - @YuyoDrift ViViD The ViViD Color ViViD was a band that perfectly bridged the colorful, lighter side of VK with enough edge to be palatable for me, especially back in 2009 when I was stepping farther away from the typical VK pop-friendly bands. But The ViViD color had the right energy and hype to stand out that year among a very strong era for VK. They were a new face that PS Company desperately needed to carry the torch from their previous generation settling from rookie to veteran status. The guitar riffs from Ryouga and Reno on this album are just as flashy as the fashion choices, Shin's voice is bright and clear (and I was already a big fan from his work with 秋葉原少年団☆電脳ロメオ), and the tag team rhythm section and dj of IV and Ko-Ki topped the whole album off to give a grounded but exciting backbone. - @doombox ハイスイノナサ 街について Every once and a while, the stars align and the Gods see fit to bless us with a band that simply seems too good to be true. Haisuinonasa falls into that category. I remember hearing a demo version of "happy end" (the song featured below), and thinking that these guys would be something special. A few months later, they debuted with this EP (through the formerly esteemed Zankyo Records), and my premonitions proved correct. You could say they played a form of dreamy, math-rock with female vocals, but that would be denigrating at best. I've even seen some describe them as "piano-driven breakbeat" with elements of post rock, prog, minimal, and electronica, but whatever you wanna call it, machi nitsuite offered an entirely new sound that is just as singular now as it was then. I can honestly say that this was a flawless debut. - @CAT5 toe For Long Tomorrow toe's first album from 2005 was (and still is) regarded as an instrumental/math-rock classic in Japan and all over the globe. So naturally, there was a ton of anticipation for their sophomore effort, For Long Tomorrow. I dare say, they exceeded expectations. This album is not only an evolution of toe's sound, but it's an evolution of math-rock in general. Unlike most bands of this genre, they're not content to just aimlessly noodle your face off with meandering riffs. Not at all. toe actually plays with intent, and their songwriting is full of character. Mino and Yamazaki aren't simply playing guitar - no, they're waltzing together on the fret board. Seamlessly. Gracefully. Kashikura isn't just an excellent drummer. nah, dude is narrating percussive epics in dis bih!!! 🤣 Basically, the band's chemistry is so stellar that anything they do is guaranteed to be high quality. And with their soundscape expanded to include keyboards, kalimbas, horns, and guest vocalists, this album truly put toe in a league of their own. They pretty much set the bar for math-rock. (btw, the song featured below has been my ringtone FOR YEARS!!! ) - @CAT5 miscorner/c+llooqtortion view for voices Don't even ask me how to pronounce their name! I can honestly say that this is one of the most unique records I've ever heard out of the vast world of J-indie. miscorner themselves were a pretty unique band, though. Essentially, they were two drummers playing to pre-recorded loops, and while their usual output was instrumental, they took a different approach on this EP by featuring a host of guest vocalists. To my knowledge, miscorner were a pretty obscure band, both in Japan and abroad. (I can actually count on one hand the amount of J-music fans I knew who actually knew this band as well.) Yet somehow, the vocalists featured on this EP are all J-indie O.G.'s like Takahisa Gomi from LOSTAGE, and Seiki from NAHT. Hell, they even managed to feature a J-pop vet like Misako Odani! Easily one of the best things about 2009, and one of J-indie's hidden gems. - @CAT5 12012 mar maroon By far my least favorite release by 12012, and quite possibly one of my least favorite albums ever, mar maroon did not improve with time. mar maroon marks the beginning of the end for many of 12012's earliest fans. It's one of the prime examples of heavy and hard rock bands going soft and losing sense of what defined their sound in the first place. There's very little appealing or even convincing musically, as if the band was almost forced into playing this kind of music. The direction they took afterwards isn't giving them any excuses either, pretty much emulating Dir en grey until their indefinite hiatus. The album folds quicker than a house of cards, revealing a surprising lack of inspiration and variety. It's almost impossible to get through in one sitting. In this case, even though the change in sound correlates with them going major, I do not think that it was the cause. Rather, I think the cause of them abandoning their roots is due to vocalist Wataru's scandal. It would not look good for 12012 to continue their old theme while still under the scrutiny of the public eye, and mar maroon even sounds like a musical apology that no one asked for. When considering 12012's entire discography, both before and after this album, this one easily comes in last place. "GOSSAMER" from their album SEVEN puts this entire album to shame. This can easily be skipped and forgotten. - @Zeus the GazettE DIM Where do I even begin? 2009’s the GazettE brought Visual Kei to hype levels that were so ludicrous, I remember music from this album spent YEARS circulating on music boards online. Who could blame them? The basslines bared so much weight and gloom, the melodies so melancholic and desolate, the lyrics were so wonderfully complex and dark, the entire atmosphere of DIM was so thick and compositionally sound that many who were around back then would agree that this was the album of our lives. *Breathes* The tracks could be cut & pasted into anyone’s mood and I feel that was due in part to the ideas and inspiration they took from other bands we adored throughout the past decade. “泣ヶ原 (Nakigahara)” for example was no more than a few simple chords and a Koto yet spoke volumes relating to current events, more so than one could put into words. The album’s last track “DIM SCENE” must be one of the heaviest message-driven compositions I have ever heard, flawlessly correlating the entire playthrough once more in the form of a message, maybe even an anthem, to other bands and fans of the VK scene alike. I can’t deny that the DIM era represented the GazettE at their prime, setting a bar so unattainable for the next decade that many would contest today has yet to be broken, even by them. I don’t think there’s a single VK fan alive today that has not listened to a song from this album. It doesn’t even feel like 10 years have gone by since its release, perhaps because I’ve grown far past a simple admiration and relive the nostalgia of “what was” every time I play DIM. - @YuyoDrift DIM is an album defined more by what it isn't than what it is. When examining the release of all the GazettE albums in chronological order, DIM rises head and shoulders above album neighbors Toxic and the eponymous Stacked Rubbish. It's almost impossible not to do this comparison. This is viewed by many as one of the GazettE's best albums, but time has not been kind to this album. With the initial wow factor out of the way, one can clearly see how the progressive leanings of Dir en grey's 2008 masterpiece Uroboros heavily influenced DIM. The album is very disjointed and features a lot of SE's to try and fix that - which it doesn't. When it's good, it's good. When it's not good, it's blase. Some tracks like "Shiroki Yuuutsu" and "IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS" are very forgettable experiences. One of the best songs "HEADACHE MAN" is a recycled B-side. "OGRE" is a bad Slipknot cover. "A MOTH UNDER THE SKIN" feels unfinished. Some pruning is required to bring the best out of this period, but it's there waiting to be found. This is an ambitious attempt by the band to outdo themselves and they really nailed this darkness concept the first time around. The lead singles are catchy without resorting to pop hooks and banal visual kei tropes. Good album, bit overrated, better than most of their full lengths, but I think that DOGMA and NINTH are better, more enriching overall experiences. - @Zeus Also known as “the first time I noticed the GazettE had a drummer”. DIM has arguably left the biggest mark on the band’s career, not only had Ruki improved as a vocalist, Kai also seemed to level up enough to finally bring life to their music. Before, sure, he kept the rhythm in check and played his role in the band, but from DIM onwards Kai’s own style started to shine. This album was the draft for what would later culminate in DOGMA, that is to say, Gazette’s style took a turn into darker corners with a heavy, tangible concept that was not only musical but visual. "13stairs[-]1" is a slow burner that I still find myself going back to and it pairs perfectly with "HEADACHE MAN" and "OGRE" — great songs to headbang to in a live setting. And yet, despite the heaviness of DIM, we were given one of the GazettE’s best ballads, “nakigahara”. It'd been several years since they had released a long, emotional trip like this (old fans will know) and they did not disappoint, despite its simplicity and instrumental minimalism, the heartache of "nakigahara" leaves you hanging to every note. Although DIM does feel like a slog to get through despite these great gems, its legacy is undeniable. - @platy Wait...DIM is on this list???? ahaha. I'm sure absolutely no one is surprised to see this album here. But there is good reason for it! Most people here know that I'm a casual VK fan, but a lover of J-rock and Japanese music in general. During my beginning phases of exploring J-rock, I dabbled in a bit of VK from like late 2004 - 2006, and then started getting into J-indie in 2007 and focusing my attention there. Basically, i'd heard and enjoyed NIL, but skipped STACKED RUBBISH. By the time 2009 rolled around, I was neck-deep in J-indie and only getting deeper, but DIM and all of the singles leading up to it were the only things that made me stop and pay attention to the VK world again. People can say what they want now, but almost everything about DIM was magical, during and prior to its release. The videos, the music, the general aesthetics...clearly, the GazettE had tapped into something special! Now in retrospect, DIM has definitely started to show some rust in areas. Certain tracks like "THE INVISIBLE WALL" and "A MOTH UNDER THE SKIN" just don't hit like they used to, and I think their whole 'dark/heavy' sound was later refined and employed waaaay better on DOGMA and NINTH. But with that said, I think all of the single/PV tracks are still particularly strong to this day. But I think what sets this album apart more than anything is the vision they had for it. It feels more like a complete experience than a cohesive collection of songs. DIM actually has character to it. - @CAT5 ......
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    Paraph

    Your last music-related buy!

    the kikyo cheki saved my soul and revived my spirit
  20. 1 point
    Ioto

    Your last music-related buy!

    JUDAS -白/Pain (DT) LA SIESTA (DANGER☆GANG⇒ Vo.わか Gu.ヒコ) -LA SIESTA (DT) mad A' sadist -失望 (DT ) MeMe -VIRUS OF THE MIND (DT) MUNK -「灰色の少女」 (DT) -LIVE at GUILD 1999.4.16 「ある地下室で・・・堕天使たちの宴」 (DT) -快楽殺人者の本能と倒錯、そして、・・・ (DT) -見つめつづけて せつなくて (DT) Radius -美愛片想 (DT) Solitaire -illusion (DT) Zeele -歪なる闇の妄想 (DT) 姫羅~Aila~ -思考回路 (DT) 爆裂DIE百科 -「Do根性」 (DT)
  21. 1 point
    the god and death stars held their free oneman gig【god god god】at Shinjuku Zirco Tokyo on 2019/12/27 where Mako joined them for 2 songs. 01.オカルト 02.焼失 03.good night my love 04.死神のルルル 05.出来事と偶然の為の媒体 06.藁の犬 07.aaron 08.ミンチ 09.ママイズジャム 10.母乳 11.薄荷 12.life is beautiful 13.君に決めた 14.love hole 15.真っ赤な雪 16.elephant in the room(with:眞呼) 17.夜を歩く葡萄(with:眞呼) 18.dawn of the god
  22. 1 point
    sleepy coffee

    Your last music-related buy!

    Technically not my purchases but these are christmas gifts from my best friend. Labaiser - Imperial Propaganda Under Fall Justice - 僕以外に何がいる? Really excited to check out the new UFJ release (they also got me shirts from UFJ and La'veil MizeriA)
  23. 1 point
    deedlitmurata

    Honest opinions on K POP?

    I absolutely love everything about Jpop and I don't like Kpop at all, so those arguments about being a rock fan and hating any forms of pop is a silly thing. Kpop is just bad, and that's it.
  24. 1 point
    Tracklist: 1. "絶縁体" (Zetsuentai) 2. "人間を被る" (Ningen o Kaburu) 3. "Downfall" 4. "Devote My Life" 5. "Values of Madness" 6. "Celebrate Empty Howls" 7. "赫" (Aka) 8. "Merciless Cult" 9. "Rubbish Heap" 10. "軽蔑と始まり" (Keibetsu to Hajimari) 11. "谿壑の欲" (Keigaku no Yoku) 12. "Ranunculus" 13. "The World of Mercy" Encore: 14. "Followers" 15. "朔-saku-" 16. "詩踏み" (Utafumi) After an unceremonious dinner of two donuts, I trudged my way through the rain and darkness to Gramercy Theatre for Dir en grey's TOUR 19: THIS WAY TO SELF-DESTRUCTION stop at New York City. I had concerns about the weather since it was raining all week, but thankfully the rain eased up by the time I reached the back of the line. The line wasn't the sea of umbrellas I had anticipated; other Dir en grey fans were less fazed by the weather and relied on the scaffolding to shield them from the elements. I made quick friends in line with the fans around me and we got to shooting the clay about different visual kei bands, which really helped to pass the time. Like I noted with my previous live experience at Playstation Theater, all types of fans rolled out to see the band; goth kings and queens, scene kids from high school and college, older metal heads, obvious netizens like myself, and everyone in between. One cosplayer impressed me with his "OBSCURE"-era Kyo outfit, while another gaggle of friends looked like shinobi. It's refreshing to know that Dir en grey's appeal is still universal. Unlike my experience in line at the GazettE, Dir en grey fans know their trivia. The organization was impressive until I stepped inside the venue, at which point it looked like a bomb went off. For those not in the know, Gramercy Theatre has a max occupancy of 499 people. There felt like way more than 499 people in line and in the venue. The security check was much more extensive - the guy went through my bag twice to make sure I had no recording equipment before searching me for weapons - but that part was organized. The true chaos was differentiating the merchandise line from the coat check line from the alcohol line. Everything and everyone was one vibrant, pulsating mass the minute I made my way down the stairs to the basement level. I fought my way to the merch line, which at this point was short because everyone was checking in their coats, and ten minutes I later I was greeted with disappointment. There were legit five pieces of merchandise available for sale, and the items I wanted were not in my size. Shirts were $40, the hoodie was $70. I spent enough money to pay down the karma debt on my years of downloading Dir en grey's music in one shot, and nabbed myself a sweet hoodie so big I could swim in it (as they only had small and extra large available). I'm shocked they didn't bring any copies of The Insulated World to sell, because I'm sure plenty of fans would have bought. Shoved the goodies in my bag, checked in all my stuff for eight dollars (definitely recommend buying a ticket with guaranteed coat check to ease the process here), then fought my way upstairs and into the venue. It's pretty narrow at first, but quickly opens up to two sections, one for standing and one for sitting. There were easily 400 people here by the time I found the alcohol bar, and seats were disappearing fast. Copped a Bud Light for $14, then ended up sitting off to the left side for the entirety of the show. For sonic balance reasons I suggest you sit or stand as close to the center as you can; Die stood to the right side and I could barely hear him, but Toshiya and Kaoru stood to the left and I could hear them clearly. BYSTS cancelled at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts, was no opening act for the New York show. This was not communicated to us beforehand, so I sat around for what felt like an eternity before the show actually began. Once the lights dimmed the crowd came to life. As the band members strode onto stage one by one backed by an SE I've never heard before, all I could see were the instruments faintly coming into the light as the strobe lights moved so fast one could catch a seizure, and the crowd heads bobbing with the occasional camera capturing the live. It was time. Despite Dir en grey performing both "絶縁体" (Zetsuentai) and "The World of Mercy", the show felt as if it passed even faster than the GazettE. Dir en grey gave a great show overall and performing the album songs live has changed my perspective on them. Kyo's Joker-lite face paint was a nice surprise for sure; I wonder how influenced he was by the eponymous movie released earlier this year. He tried to get us to sing along a few times and was obviously pissed when we didn't know the words, but what can you expect from a crowd whose first language isn't Japanese? I can recall he tried during "Rubbish Heap" and "The World of Mercy", and the second attempt was much more successful than the first. Photos courtesy of u/ raggedypan from Reddit. The biggest change are my opinions on "絶縁体" and "Devote my Life", tracks I didn't enjoy on disc but enjoyed greatly live. Unfortunately, "The World of Mercy" is still a big miss for me. Even understanding that the song is the thematic end to The Insulated World didn't shake my convictions, although I must admit that the music video for this song is unapologetically brutal, even for Dir en grey. It is hard to describe what I saw since the video was censored with a triangle overlay, but there was a bloody rampage that starts about halfway through. I don't understand what's so shocking that it needs to be censored live, considering they played the uncensored versions of the "朔-saku-" and "人間" PV's. Having said that, Kyo pantomiming disembowelment during "The World of Mercy" is one of the highlights of the show for sure. Aside from "赫" (Aka), most of the time the projects were little more than a lyrics video. "赫" (Aka) has a beautiful music video of burning baby dolls and piano with a red filter over all of it accompanied by some lyrics. It's tame so I hope they officially release it after the tour's conclusion. In comparison, "絶縁体"'s video is a more cryptic affair of flashing imagery, one that works better live than as a standalone music video. The way "絶縁体" ends stuck with me far after the show is over. At the end, the music video was revealed to be within the mind of a human, so thematically "絶縁体" and "人間を被る" are much more connected than I thought. It also ends on same "human slicing" technique that we saw in "人間"'s PV. The heavy use of projection imagery also explains why the set lists for each stop on the North American tour are almost identical, save for one song in the encore. I hope all of the visualizations and more come our way via the next installment of the AVERAGE collection of uncensored music videos (AVERAGE INCEL?). This was an album-heavy show, but we still got some throw backs in the form of "Merciless Cult" and "朔-saku-". The former came on halfway through the show where as the latter was part of the encore. The new version of "朔-saku-" - which is basically the studio version with gutturals replacing the screams - was pretty dope, but I felt that the new version of "Merciless Cult" live hit so much harder. "詩踏み", the encore closer, was also much better than the studio version. The extended distortion was the perfect way to end the encore. I'm jealous that Denver got "腐海" (Fukai 2018) and that Dallas got "理由" (Wake), but that's how it is sometimes. The New York crowd was a rough one. I sat in the back like the old rock geezer I am, but at one point during the show I saw security pull one person out from the crowd who was getting crushed. There was also a crowd surfer at another point during the show, which was also wild. I actually got to spoke to him after and he was a pretty chill dude. If you are of a smaller frame or have doubts about the ferocity of the pit, I would find a seat before the show begins. As the show winded down to a close, the band members disappeared one by one. Shinya and Kyo were the first to go, leaving the stage almost immediately after the encore. Shinya threw his drum sticks into the crowd and disappeared second; Kyo was first. Toshiya hung around for a bit but didn't engage the crowd much and left soon after. It was the two guitarists, Die and Kaoru, that entertained the crowd the most. They waved at the fans, threw picks and water bottles at the crowd, and took their leave after two minutes. We were treated to a bit more darkness before the lights cut on and reality came crawling back. The show was over and it was time to go home. If getting inside the venue was a pain in the ass, getting out was an even bigger one. I played my cards right and still had trouble getting around. The downstairs area was simply too small to contain all of us. I heavily advise buying merchandise before coat check. There's a wider assortment of goodies available before the show and a lot of people wait until after the show to buy, so more likely than not you will always be on the shorter line. I was on line long enough to meet up with @Ro plz and chat about our experiences for a bit, but the scene was too chaotic and we were quickly separated. I tried to wait outside, but there was another show for SURFACES lined up and the security were motioning for us to disperse. I stuck around for ten minutes, chatted with some random fans, and bounced. I had a blast and can definitely recommend seeing Dir en grey live if you have the money or can snag the tickets for a reasonable price. Money was the biggest contributing factor on my decision to go; buying the tickets from a scalper ran me almost $200! This was one of their better live performances judged solely off of all the live recordings I have seen and heard of the band, and Kyo is in good shape vocally for this tour. Go with friends if you can, and if not try to arrange to meet up with people from here! Fans are really friendly to talk to considering none of us knew anything about each other other than that we were fans of the same band, but that speaks to how deeply music can connect people. Until next time!
  25. 1 point
    Happy b-day Ambivalent! ❤️
  26. 1 point
    Title :『決意ゼロヒャクMAX!!』 Cover : TYPE A Tracks : 1.決意ゼロヒャクMAX!! 2.ABUSOLUTE.共鳴 3.決意ゼロヒャクMAX!!(instrument) 4.ABUSOLUTE.共鳴(instrument) DVD : 2019.7.30 TSUTAYA O-WEST公演 1.糞客粉砕CHANGE希望!! 2.無知 3.TRY OUT Type B : Tracks : 1.決意ゼロヒャクMAX!! 2.ABUSOLUTE.共鳴 3.LIMITED「スナイパー」 4.決意ゼロヒャクMAX!!(instrument) 5.ABUSOLUTE.共鳴(instrument) 6.LIMITED「スナイパー」(instrument)
  27. 1 point
    TheZigzagoon

    Deep Sanctuary VII

    I do wish Malice Mizer would come back fully it would be great, I do wonder who they could get to be their vocalist tho?
  28. 1 point
    R/O

    Deep Sanctuary VII

    And, it’s been announced. I really don’t know what to think... on one hand any kind of activity from them is welcome. On the other, to see such a great band stuck in limbo like this is heartbreaking. I’m torn. But anyhow, here I have reported the announcement.
  29. 1 point
    Brittany

    Dir en grey

    Found it on YouTube! It used to be on SoundCloud. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SwdiX3HyVQ
  30. 1 point
    where were you when visual kei was saved? i was at home drinking brian fluid
  31. 1 point
    anadentone

    Cheesiest Visual Kei PVs!

    i'm gonna say it: I like mydora but holy shit quiet,shy, lil timid Mahiro thrusting his junk in a bee costume is fawken scary
  32. 1 point
  33. 1 point
    colorful人生

    Last Thing You Bought

    Just cassettes 😎 Vaporwave/Future-Funk: Flamingo Funk Vol. 2 (White Shell) Luxury Elite - Blind Date/Rose Quartz waterfront dining & 猫 シ Corp. - With Love 愛を込めて PowerPCME - Kmart 1989-1992 (Translucent Blue Shell) Midnight Television - Self-titled Diskette Park - Reading Room Saint Pepsi - Empire Building If everything goes smoothly, I should have 中原めいこ (Meiko Nakahara) - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOVE FOR YOU. It's a bit more of an obscure release, b/c it's just a ballad compilation and it's not on vinyl. I'm expecting the tape to be in rough shape as it's 30 y.o, but I knew going in. I have a couple of 30+ y.o tapes myself that still function, so I'm cautiously optimistic.
  34. 1 point
  35. 1 point
    Yukami

    Chain×maiL new single "DOUBTER" release

    Chain×maiL 1st single "DOUBTER" will be released at 2019/09/24.
  36. 1 point
    Ro plz

    Dir en grey

    I feel like I should be more knowledgeable on music dynamics and such since I do write music for fun but tbh ...maybe my ear isn't as trained as everyone who has this HUGE issue with the production but to me, its nothing that drastic. I feel like I've heard worse. Musically its easily one of their best efforts in a long time and these lives are a great testament to that.
  37. 1 point
    psychonnect_rozen

    Dir en grey

    Shame. I think TWOM is amazing. IMO it’s up there with their best long songs, mine being Macabre (The OG and Remake) and Vinushka. Akuro no Oka is up there as well
  38. 1 point
    if you liked this, you should see the lyrics for DESTINATION. they don't beat around the bush on there, in fact lemme:
  39. 1 point
    omfg they literally sound like megaromania without an experienced sound designer
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    platy

    Let's talk about religion.

    I don't believe in any human notion of a god, but I'm open to the idea of a higher universal force. I was raised Christian and what I hated the most was being dragged to church. People getting exorcised isn't something kids should be exposed to tbh, so my relationship with religion is a bit weird. I love blasphemy and religious taboo stories even though it's scary, I suppose it's a thrill for me. I used to pray everyday in my early teens, when I realised I did it out of fear, I was freed. Worship out of fear of punishment just doesn't make sense, after all this God is supposed to be all loving. Another thing that makes no sense is a passage in the bible in which God says we shouldn't worship other idols because he is a jealous god. Is there anything more human and flawed than jealousy? Doesn't sound like an omnipotent, omniscient all powerful being to me. Not to mention how petty God is in the old testament, then someone just goes and changes the story like that into the new testament? So which is it? Lol no thanks. If people need religion to get them through the day, that's cool. But most use it to justify their prejudices. The teachings at heart are good, but humans of course, shit all over it. That's why churches are cesspools for some of the worst scum on Earth, its the easiest way to manipulate and use poor people who use faith to survive. See: Brazilian churches selling holy socks and holy brooms for hundreds of $, bullying those who can't offer their salary to the church. Still, I'm interested in religions and love learning about them. Some stories in the bible are actually quite entertaining.
  42. 1 point
    crossparallel

    MERRY (f.k.a メリー)

    Couldn't get the download to work, but guess what, I have a screen recording! If anyone wants to help me record it properly from nico, that will be so appreciated. If not, I'll put the screen recording up tomorrow. Edit: MERRY ONE MAN TOUR 2019 - For Japanese Sheeple - There were a couple of hiccups with the stream, but hopefully small enough that they won't distract from the experience.
  43. 1 point
    Axius

    Worst Band Names in VK?

    Okayyy >.< im laughing at this post Im adding a couple more: DONALD FUCK Living+Body+Experiment BLUE chocolate ×≠batsu TRNTY D;CODE <-- Surprised this wasnt mentioned li'll Glam grammer Delcola hopping Axesscory van9ish Tra Tra Tra nil delete heads CRACK ADDICT dr.tarantula Chocolat☆ @LGOS. ORTH†ёЯGE Ryoukitanteisha MACARONI xJIHADx SPICY DRY HOT MUSTARD
  44. 1 point
    Disposable

    Dir en grey

    A little report from Warsaw yesterday. After taking a bit of a lax approach in actually getting to the venue instead of just drinking, myself & the other MH representative meat and her husband finally manage to get to the venue about 10-15 short of the show starting. Doing dispo things I naturally que up to the line for drinks inside hall and about halfway through that morass the new intro kicks off and the band gets on stage to a strangely lukewarm reception. Going into a little bit of panic, I manage to convince a fine local man in front of me to get me my two shots and then right away I start shuffling towards the best spots I can find while Utafumi is only about a halfway over. The first thing me, and more or less everyone I talked to later on ( I must've chatted up to a good 20 people by the end of it ) noticed was the audience was very lame. A lot of the crowd that must've listened to j-rock five to ten years back, and now they've shown up as a contractual obligation to the past with their dumb boyfriend filming the show in tow. It was up until about Uroko that the audience just straight up fucking sucked, and the way this stuff works is that the confusion and lack of enthusiasm is just as infectious as the reverse, and it was only after that first genuine surprise when the actual fans decided to start disregarding the bores around them. The bottom was reached after Fukai when the band fucked off from the stage and staff started running around, and some people even wondered whether it was due to the reaction they received, or lack thereof. Anyway, the band comes back eventually and it was slow, but sure forward momentum after that and during Keibetsu Hajimari there was even an attempt at a moshpit which I joined instantly and thoroughly enjoyed as long as it lasted. The band definitely started winning the audience over as the show went on, and not even surprised because this is the best Dir en grey I've seen live. Kyo is absolutely killing it from beginning to end, like it's a marvel to actually see him in person and from fairly close as well doing all the theatrical stuff he has brought back/and from Sukekiyo where I suppose he was more free to do himself. Blossoming Beelzebub was something else with Kyo doing the same thing he did for the Mode of DSS live where his face is projected on the screen in real time, and he's just sort of drooling while giving the best rendition of the song I've hear so far. On all the ballads and stuff that might've been harder for him to pull off eight, nine years back he performs pretty much flawlessly from the start of the show 'till the end of it. It's mind blowing just how much he has improved and how many faults he's addressed even after seemingly permanent damage. If I have to find a negative here, my friend complained about Shinya sounding sloppy during the show in Finland, and even if I became inclined to agree due to self-suggestion or some sort, I'm still going with it. The lack of intensity on his part was made apparent also by the fairly quiet sound of the venue, which was definitely surprising after having been there a few days back and everything sounded great and hit fucking hard. I quite liked the new songs live, even Values of Madness that I don't particularly care for I enjoyed and the band seemed to enjoy playing as well. Keibetsu hajimari and Devote My Life should have had a pit, and shoulders and fists should've hit the idiots standing still and filming in the face; there was this one dude who looked super offended that I featured myself in his video by growling the To Die In part in Devote, like fuck off watch them off of youtube or something instead. Ranunculus got the people in my part of the audience hype, which I definitely didn't expect. Really good live tho. After the initial set ends your boi goes for more shots to be able to actually go through the entire fake encore routine that I still maintain is the most awkward thing ever, especially when you're in a country where people are struggling whether to pronounce the word encore either in their native way, the english way or the japanese one. At this point I'm finally getting kind of tipsy so I go along with it, and the band comes back to play The Final, Sustain the Untruth and Rasetsukoku. The first two were awesome with the all the audience participation and this made me enjoy Sustain the untruth for the first time in my life! So that's definitely something... and I mean obviously The Final always goes over well. While I might have wanted to hear Kodou instead, I can't say that would have been as good of a time as singing along to the The Final even if it has so far happened at every Deg show I've been to. Rasetsukoku got a good, energetic performance that unfortunately didn't have anything for me to do, lol. I was still clamouring for that pit that just never came, and you might find me doing three shots at once, but there are levels I don't stoop down to and that's swinging my hands up in the air like an asshole. Rasetsukoku has this weird rhythm anyway that doesn't really lend itself to jumping or anything like that, but a circle pit would totally work. The band leaves and the audience gets loud. They throw some stuff in the crowd and people cheer. I drink some more and then end up chatting to anyone with a pulse while waiting for the band outside (as an ironic nod to the weeaboo culture, just so you know) and wondering whether Kyo ate a giant pizza really fast because the box that went in came out in no time while it was just him there. Quite a lot of people travelling from other countries, with some even going to multiple shows, and of course some of the Japanese fans were there as well and we broke some cultural boundaries together trying to figure out what transport to take back to town. In the end I stumble upon this group of greek people and off we go for some beers, and one thing leads to another and now I'm here, hungover and writing this while wondering how I'm still alive living this lifestyle. Great show despite the initial difficulties from the venue and the audience. The band is undeniably in peak form right now, so if you got a chance to see them then I say go and hopefully the audience you get is a little better than mine. I'm too trashed to proofread this but i hope it makes sense for ya guize!!
  45. 1 point
    Gt.Aichi & Dr.Kouki will join GAUNTLET at their live at Tenjin HEART BEAT at 2015/03/22
  46. 0 points
    https://www.tiktok.com/tag/visualkei https://www.tiktok.com/tag/v系 ...
  47. 0 points
    vkei tiktoks, I'm telling ya
  48. 0 points
  49. 0 points
    suji

    KHRYST+ will disband

    jesus fucking khryst
  50. 0 points
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