Ito

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Ito last won the day on December 16 2016

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About Ito

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  • Birthday 05/26/89

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  1. Thanks for the kind words! The Gibkiy album is excellent - I think I would have been pushing for it hard int he ChristMHas list, but I didn't get a a chance to listen to it until after we did the voting. Kodama may be the prettiest album I'be heard in a long time - like seriously, every time I spin it I am just floored. Glad I am not the only one who find Rheia to be that way. I really want to make it to an Oathbreaker show now, I just have to imagine they are insane live. And yeah, some of the runner ups were SO close to making it - but I really did want to limit it just a top ten. I think narrowing it down to just 10 took me a lot longer than writing and formatting this whole post lol.
  2. Thanks Reverend! And I've seen Emma live, though it was with Marriages as an opener for Russian Circles - she was great. I am also looking forward to seeing her with Deafheaven.
  3. Finally got around to post about my top albums of 2016.

     

    1. Seimeisen

      Seimeisen

      I still need to work on mine >.>

  4. I wanted to keep things really straight forward this year - only 10 albums and keep my blurbs short. I know this is a bit on the late side, but I hope that some people can find some new music they enjoy out of it! 10) gibkiy gibkiy gibkiy - Fujouri Shugeki Those of you who know me should already know that I am a sucker for nagoya kei. The formula for this band is a no brainer - vocalist from Merry Go Round, guitarist and bassist from the god and death stars, and the (original) drummer from L’Arc~en~Ciel all bring a long pedigree of talent. A brooding atmosphere that permeates through the album, leaving the album feeling bleak in the best way possible. Though different styles, gibkiy brings that same “unhinged” feeling that I enjoy so much in DEZERT’s work. The 14 minute closer is an avant garde piece constantly uncomfortable and on your toes, with long unusual pauses and strange guttural growls, wraps the album on a truly memorable note. 9) girugamesh - chimera I’d be lying if I said that this being Girugamesh’s final album didn’t push this up a bit on my list. But I’ll be damned if Giru hasn’t been on of the most important band in my Jrock journey, and them hanging it up still feels like a huge deal to me. I’m just so happy that I can say that they exited on a high note, with chimera being a fasted paced and hard hitting album that does a great job of blending their electronic style from the and their energy from their earlier musical day into a more modern metalcore/djent package. It’s just sad that we don’t get any more out of this band as they were trending majorly upwards over their last few releases. 8 ) downy - dai roku sakuhinshū 『mudai』 I flat out did not like this album the first time around. Something about it just felt off and it took me a couple tries to completely make it through the album. Perhaps my brain just couldn’t comprehend the complexity of these tracks on the first time around. While there are still some parts that feel a bit off, and I find the nasally tone of the vocalist to be slightly off putting, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this albums odd blend of atmosphere and rhythms. 7) GoGo Penguin - Man Made Object GoGo Penguin feels like it might be a sister band to Mouse on the Keys, with their exceedingly beautiful fusion of downbeat classical and jazz. The piano, bass, and drums seems to flutter across the album, landing gently and quickly at times just to quickly fly away again. It all just feels so light and airy...and just damn pretty. 6) Emma Ruth Rundle - Marked for Death I find it hard to label the music on Marked for Death. It is like some amalgamation of post and gothic rock, with a hint of southern added for flavor. What I do know is that Emma has crafted a powerful album of mourning that managed to feel both sad and uplifting at the same time. Its been a long while since I felt like an album has served up a complete story that was worth telling, but Emma’s presentation of a doomed relationship feels relatable and heavy. Her voice brings nuances to the story, whether she is letting the words just lightly escaping from between her lips or soaring above. The wonderful production does the final piece in wrapping a bow around this solo album. 5) the god and death stars - after the addle apple In 2011 the god and death stars put out their first release, addle apple, and with that fully solidified in my mind that aie was a master of his craft. Fast forward 5 years and we have the band's attempt to 'remake' that wonderful mini-album. While the song names are the same, sonically this transformation like that of when a caterpillar builds a cocoon and comes out of it a whole different creature. When you listen closely, you can pick out some of the riffs, textures, and lyrical homages to the original work, but other than those small bits this mini is something completely new. There is an air of complexity to the band's flavor of Nagoya Kei that gives me that same feeling of freshness that addle apple originally brought. It's a bold claim to say that this is the band's best release, as I feel that the god and death stars haven't ever put out any weak material, but I think that it might just edge out its way to the top of their discography. 4) Oathbreaker - Rheia I don’t know that last time a song by a band I had never heard before has left such a striking impression on me. The way the chilling opening of the album falls away into a pit of rage left me stunned. This hardcore/black metal group balances that line of beautiful and brutal much in the same way as Deafheaven, though perhaps in a way that makes the lighter bits feel more haunting than gorgeous. The album is a ride and I often find myself feeling a little bit emotionally exhausted at its conclusion. 3) Russian Circles - Guidance I am convinced that Russian Circles can do no wrong. Guidance is probably one of their worst albums, but here it is sitting near the top of my list. The band are masters of the instrumental metal genre, managing to evoke feelings in their tracks in ways that bands with vocals can only hope to do. Emotion is weaved through, spanning from mourning tinged in anger to reserved hope. I can’t help but feel like this feels just right to have been released in 2016. 2) Obscure Sphinx - Epitaphs The middle ground between too disparate sounds and moods, that wonderful juxtaposition, brings some of the greatest joys music has to offer. The atmosphere of Epitaphs is downright crushing with how heavy it is, but yet the album is full of such beauty. The female fronted mashup of doom and post metal that is Obscure Sphinx seemingly came out of nowhere just to punch me in the gut. 1) Alcest - Kodama The ethereal sound that Alcest has honed is down right breathtaking. I’ve always been a fan of the band, but I have never been as blown away by their work as I was with Kodama. Their black metal and shoegaze style manages to take some of the best elements of both and create a sound that just feels heavenly. Somehow the songs manage to feel both sad and hopeful at the same time - perhaps it's this duality that aids to the otherworldly feel of the album. All I can say is that Kodama is downright gorgeous. Runner Ups This is the stuff that just missed the cut TAMTAM - NEWPOESY The band feels like it has landed on the perfect combination of its jpop and dub stylings. DEZERT - Saikou no Shokutaku A throwback to the numetal phase of visual kei which feels equal parts fresh as it does historic. Silence - psycho:lens. This album would have made it if gibkiy hadn’t edged it out on the emotional Nagoya Kei front. Saor - Guardians Beautiful Celtic infused black metal. The only downfall is that it feels a little “same-y” over its hour long run time. kokomo - Monochrome Noise Emotional instrumental post metal - great stuff but it’s damn hard when you are going up against the masters of this genre in Russian Circles M-Koda - Workings If it weren’t for a few outlying tracks that feel a bit out of place, this ambient electronic album would have likely made its way on to the list. Easily my favorite album of the year to chill out to. Boris - Pink Since half of this album is a re-release, it felt like cheating to give it a full spot. That said, this is still one of Boris’ finest releases, and the new material doesn’t feel lacking at all XAA-XAA - chuudoku shoujou This band is carrying the mantle for modern visual kei. The album feels like a bit of a mixed bag, but it’s easy to see the promise they hold. Siraph - siraph This band picks up where School Food Punishment left off. The vocalist is the only factor holding them back. JYOCHO - inori de wa todokanai kyori Jpop fused with math rock and it’s glorious. I was sad to see Uchuu Konbini go, but now I am not so sure that was a bad thing.
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  6. Sounds about right. Like that part was dumb to begin with, but the amount that they dragged it out was down right awful. I can only imagine 15 year old boys enjoy that, and even then that is probably an insult to 15 year old boys. Whelp, guess I am either going to drop it or just suffer through so I feel full validated in calling it shit XD
  7. Started watching two shows, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar and Onihei only one of which is currently airing. Watched the first three episodes of Grimgar and I think I will likely drop it - the art style is great but man the story is going nowhere and a fair amount of the humour is playing in to that low brow ecchi shit which I have long since grown tired of. Onihei I've watched the first two episodes, and while it hasn't done all that much, I am holding out hope for it.
  8. Visual-Kei

    That was some ASMR shit going on. I am so ready.
  9. featured list

    But HOW?!?!?! -______- @CAT5, you need to fix this ASAP
  10. Hit me up in a message - I've been running a Jrock panel for MH at Anime Central for what, 7 years now?
  11. I really want to know your thoughts on our end of the year list! What did we miss?
     

     

    1. Spectralion

      Spectralion

      WHERE IS KIRYU!

       

      Haha, I'm joking. It was a great list.
      Quite a good year for VK bands.

  12. I've been waiting till everything was out to give some more thoughts to some of the picks. Versailles - The Greatest Hits 2007-2016 I still feel like this was an odd choice for our list - a best of just ends up feeling a little out of place. I know that it featured rerecordings, so that gives it some merit, but man I just don't feel like they are -good- rerecording. "The Love From A Dead Orchestra," which is my favorite Versailles song, just feels over produced and lifeless to me. I will take the marginal production on the original any day of the week. the god and death stars - after the addle apple I'm honestly shocked people didn't enjoy this more. I think this was one of the best Japanese releases this year, so I am not sure what is not clicking to people that are normally aie fans. KEEL - raison d'etre et de sang The response to this one I can get behind a little more - I feel like this release was fairly underwhelming compared to KEEL's previous releases. Like, don't get me wrong, I really dig this mini, but I am hoping they step it up for 2017. Also, I can't stand "May Your Life Be Always Fullfilled with Love." ザアザア (XAA-XAA) - 中毒症状 (chuudoku shoujou) This one was soooo close to making it in to my voting choices. I chose to cut it in favor for DEZERT, but it is still a good album. I think they still have a few weak songs on here, but also a lot of promise, so I am really interested to see how they develop as a band in 2017. Really hoping this isn't the last we will see of XAA-XAA on our end of the year lists. the Novembers - Hallelujah Man, the Novembers are so hit or miss for me. I went from really liking zeitgeist, to not caring for Rhapsody in beauty, to liking Elegance. Hallelujah comes of as their more "okayest" album yet - it was enjoyable, but ultimately pretty forgettable imo. THE BLACK SWAN - OUSIA I probably gave this album one listen when it first came out and put it back on the figurative shelf. Jin's vocals, while certainly an improvement from his stuff with Nega, is still one of the weakest links here. This band would be MUCH better if they didn't have someone fronting who sounds like he is singing with his nose plugged. Perhaps if I felt like the rest of the album was good enough, the vocals would be less of a point of contention, but as I listen to it as I type this, I find it rather unimpressive. Not bad by any means, I would even say good, but not enough to leave much of an impression. downy - 第六作品集『無題』 (Mudai) I flat out didn't like this album the first time I listened to it. It felt like it was just trying a bit too hard to make some parts work. Yet, since it was so highly regarded, I forced myself to give it more tries. Somehow, over time this one has really grown on me. With every listen I find myself appreciating this more and more. I still think downy's vocalist travels between ok to annoying, and some spots in song still feel like they are really trying to force these odd rhythms to work, but overall those parts ended up falling to the way side and I am really enjoying it now. ギルガメッシュ (girugamesh) - 鵺-chimera- This isn't the best Japanese album of 2016, but I still think these isn't a better release to have taken top honors. Kind of odd how that works.
  13. Since the list is finally complete, I want to hear your thoughts on it! Do you agree with out picks or the ordering? Are there some albums that we really should have on here? Do you like the formatting and the way it is posted? This is such a huge project for the staff, so I really hope you all enjoyed it!