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The Reverend

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The Reverend last won the day on October 14 2016

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  1. Also worth noting: As of earlier this month they have a bunch of stuff (Limited Collection & The Beautiful World Never Dies included) on Spotify. Sweet!
  2. Cool, I rather liked Catfist. (Vaguely unsettling name aside)
  3. One of the small joys of being a VK fan is the unique phenomenon of enjoying a band while having absolutely no idea how to say their name. And I don’t mean because a band’s name is in Japanese, I’m talking those band names that are ostensibly written in English but because of weird characters or punctuation you just have no idea how to properly pronounce or verbalize their moniker correctly (although most of the time the pronunciation just completely ignores the extraneous symbols). Let’s try and trace the history of these unnecessary symbols and letters in VK bands’ names and highlight the influence (or lack thereof) of these punctuation provocateurs. D’erlanger The band: One of the proto-visual kei bands that began in the ‘80s and had an outsize influence on the first generation of post-X visual bands. The name: D’erlanger kinda makes sense as a French word, so they themselves are forgiven, but it is apparent a lot of teenagers in the 80s who would go on to become players in the golden age of visual kei saw that apostrophe and thought “oh cool!” for entirely unintended reasons. I said D’erlanger makes sense as a French word… but it’s not a very ‘band name’ kind of word. Can’t imagine throwing up the metal horns to a band called ‘from Erlangen’. See also: L’Arc~en~Ciel, La’Cryma Cristi, La’Mule L’Arc~en~Ciel The band: No introduction necessary really. Almost certainly on the Mount Rushmore of VK bands, whether or not you like what they’ve done since the start of the new millennium (and I don’t). Pretty and melodious songs with just enough edge to appeal to a wide swath of fans. Not to mention a sexy frontman. The name: Another word that makes sense if you’re French, but L’Arc~en~Ciel up the ante by adding some tildes for no reason other than young Tetsuya and Hyde probably thought they added an even more magical feeling to the word ‘rainbow’. L’Arc~en~Ciel’s (making their name possessive *does* add a certain balance to the word…) popularity in both VK circles and a mainstream audience meant that adding dumb punctuation in the middle of your name for no reason was now completely tolerated. Tetsuya has specifically denied he got the L’Arc~en~Ciel moniker from a cafe near where he worked as a teenager with the same name. It may have also been stolen from the D.H. Lawrence book ‘Rainbow’, but even that story is tainted because it includes the *movie* version. See also: a million song and album titles with tildes in them, E’m ~grief~ cali≠gari The band: Either groundbreaking, experimental rock that revolutionized and kick-started the ‘eroguro kei’ genre, or dissonant-sounding weirdos; depending on your tastes. The name: Obviously lifted from the groundbreaking German silent horror film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”; an admittedly cool source of inspiration for an art-y VK band. The name even has a cool rhyme and visual symmetry when written/pronounced in Japanese (カリガリ). See also: a ton of also-ran bands that have stuck unnecessary equals signs in their names: Loz'a≠Veria, D≒sire, Kar+te=zyAnose, Eyes≒Mirrorge, PARANOID≠CIRCUS ZI:KILL The band: Early VK rockers that burned out too quickly to be mentioned among the all-timers. The name: Originally formed as G:KILL, which doesn’t shed any light onto the inspiration for the name, but is an interesting fact. G/Zi:Kill both *kinda* sound like Jekyll when katakan-ized, and Visual Kei has no lack of love for that story. You may be noticing a trend so far; early VK bands apparently hated having blank spaces in their names. See also: La:Sadie’s, ru:natic,【_Vani;lla】, ha;qch, DAS:VASSER, L'yse:nore Aliene Maφriage The band: One of the harbingers of VK starting to get really dark and almost certainly offending the middle-aged parents of the teenagers listening to it. Lots of leather and hair... and in Aliene’s case; some good songwriting to back it up. The name: In the book Freakonomics the authors cite a study that shows, all other things being equal, people are more likely to be asked to interview for jobs if the interviewer/hiring manager can pronounce their name. I have to believe this is why even Kyoka & Co. started writing their name simply Aliene Ma’riage eventually; they were probably tired of having to pitch things to record label execs who looked at their name and thought “pass” before they even heard the banshee wails. I couldn’t find anything about the origins of their name. It is a vast improvement over their original moniker Autism though. See also: √eight, ∋elf gravity∈, ZETSURIN⚡HAGUKI Kagrra, The band: The undisputed kings of beautiful neo-japonisme in VK. The name: Even Kagrra,, who peddled a very classic Japanese aesthetic, weren’t immune to an unnecessary flourish such as a comma at the end of their name which, when spoken, led to a kind of hesitant mumble as if you were supposed to continue a train of thought which was still at the station. I mean, revisit that previous sentence I wrote, should it really have been written “Even Kagrra,,”? Kagrra,’s name certainly gave the editing staff at Shoxx a headache. Kagrra,, originally called Crow, took their name from 神楽 (Kagura), a Shinto music and dance tradition. See also: Thankfully the comma didn’t catch on much. +DéspairsRay+ The band: One of the rare examples of a band who can pull off unabashed zetsubou unironically and follow it up with soaring choruses and catchy melodies without sounding disjointed. The name: Another band that dropped some of the more superfluous parts of their name as soon as they started to gain some popularity. If I had to guess, their name is probably one of the most mistagged in VK. I know for sure if I opened iTunes right now I’d have songs by +DéspairsRay+, DéspairsRay, D’espairs Ray, Despairs Ray and probably more in my artist lineup. The members of the band haven’t commented specifically on how they chose the name, with Zero even saying “It's nothing special.” I interpret this as ‘we know it’s dumb, don’t ask about it please’. See also: VAL+IX+LIA, MARRY+AN+BLOOD, Ti+Dee Nuvc:gu The band: Nobodies. The name: I honestly was pronouncing this “nuv-ka-goo” until I heard @Biopanda say “New vogue” in a Rarezhut stream and the lightbulb went off. I almost want to give them credit for using the *shape* of punctuation to emulate letters, but then I realize that’s incredibly stupid unless you’re working with some seriously custom fonts. See also: VΩID, k@mikaze, SHAD∞W, XOVER Exist†trace The band: Probably the most successful all-girl-kei band ever (which unfortunately isn’t saying much). Started out very gothy and have gradually transitioned to a more mainstream sound. They let the pretty one sing and it makes me sad because Jyou has come up with some flat out beautiful, haunting vocal melodies. The name: Miko said in an interview that, And let’s be honest, that explanation makes no sense. It sounds cool though, and really that’s what you need in a band name (and something unique that can be Googled). My biggest problem with their cross symbol is that it probably shows up as a question mark or some other placeholder punctuation 20% of the time because who the hell has the time to look up the unicode symbols? (although I’m sure people who write about Witch-house bands have the code for the cross symbol memorized.) See also: Serpentine†Ghost, Jail†Breaker, Vice†risk xTripx The band: A surprisingly endearing mix of oshare kei and numetal. The name: Weirdly, I always pronounce the first ‘x’ in xTripx’s name but not the last one (ecks-trip). I actually think more bands need to come to terms with the fact that eventually the world will run out of new band names and everyone will have to resort to having a moniker that looks like a circa-2002 emo fan’s AIM screenname. See also: xジハードx, 【TRiANGLE▼SONiX】, Noi’X 12012 The band: Undercode stalwarts that started out lo-fi and disjointed and nu-metal influenced but very charming, and graduated to poppier fare when they decided to take a stab at becoming famous. The name: ‘Ichi ni zero ichi ni’ if you’re Japanese, ‘twelve-o’-twelve’ if you’re me. Allegedly named after a section of the California penal code that deals with illegal weapons… and that actually kind of tracks. It’s an extremely boring section though (besides we know Wataru prefers hand-to-hand combat): Not a cool law for a band name. I think we’ve got a retconned term a la 420 and 311. See also: Plenty of other band names that need a pronunciation guide: 0801弐209XX6* (zero hachi), …。(silence), 6→7 (upper) *The guitarist of zero hachi should get an unnecessary punctuation in band names lifetime achievement award. He was in all these bands according to vkdb: †Zaide†, Diod'honneur, カレヰド, re:Make, 0801弐209XX6. Be sure to add your favorite band name with unnecessary punctuation!
  4. Excited for some new music.... dreading tracking down some of their live-limited shit.
  5. Awesome work @hiroki! I always find a couple new gems from your year-end lists (going to check out Lagless and Love Lock asap!) Loving that Free Aqua Butterfly topped your singles list... the more love they can get the better.
  6. Happy birthday bro!

    1. chemicalpictures


      yasss thank you, my fellow good taste jrocker! looking forward for more of your reviews!

  7. I'm torn... I miss Kameleo/Hikaru for sure... but I'm not sure I've ever actually liked a VK solo project. (I'll be in Tokyo during that show... kinda tempted)
  8. Damn, not like they had any chance of 'making it'.... but I enjoyed them.
  9. Thanks for sharing stories from their last live you two! Re: the instore.... what is 'satsuei'?
  10. Shoutout to @indigo(I think!) for turning me on to Asthenia in the plug session yesterday.... they fit nicely beside HiHA in that kinda atmospheric metal space.
  11. Welcome! Digging the new YT series.
  12. LOL. Wait the "Do Your Ears Hang Low" bits are in the song on the album?? I'd have thought for sure they were just in the music video. Anyway, checked them out recently and Vexent doesn't really do it for me, they're one of those bands that sound like you put 10 VK bands in a blender and ended up with a bowl of not bad but not good VK porridge. Had some cool bits but not enough to make me follow them.
  13. I hadn't seen the music video for the title track yet when I made this... where's the rest of the band (the guitarists are still in the band right???)
  14. @CAT5I'm digging this Daoko song a lot, I like her voice over music that sounds so 'nighttime'. Is her new album mostly previously released songs? Or do there just happen to be two that I recognize as being old?
  15. Yo! I'll be in Japan the second half of June. Holla atcha boy if you'll be around and want to catch a show (Especially considering my friends I'm going with probably won't be convinced to go to more than one VK show with me...)

    1. Komorebi


      Damn, I have plans to go in late october :/

    2. yakihiko


      Get into Tenten lives if LACK-CO are still in activities in June :D

      Who are you planning to see btw?

    3. The Reverend

      The Reverend

      @yakihikoNot a lot of bands have their schedules posted that far out yet... so I don't have any specific shows in mind yet.


      But for sure, if Lack-co are playing then I'll try to be there! I've never seen Tenten live and need to change that if possible.