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12012 - XII 12012 have been rolling with a new style since one of their guitarists left them before the release of their self-titled. Overall, it's been a hit-and-miss with every new record since then, but the thing that remained constant in this transformation is that their music, regardless of whether or not it was bad or good, featured some very memorable content. I'm not too familiar with 12012's earlier years or even their mar maroon & Seven eras, but I will say that, within the context of these newer albums, I believe XI to be their best release yet. I will start out by saying that this album does not feature 12012's current heavy style (minus red). The album starts with vicious of absolution, which begins with an intro reminiscent of their last album The Swan. It quickly picks up into a slick guitar line and Wataru later joins in with a smooth and flowing melody. This pattern continues throughout the song until its short yet efficient ending. If I were to describe the track in two words it would be simple and eloquent. story of a different dimension kicks things up a notch with heavier fast paced drums and features some tight and distorted guitar playing. Even with this upbeat change, the song features a melancholy string solo and, almost, Gothic choir sequence. The best thing about the track though is definitely the guitars: They're charismatic and also played in a variety of styles keeping things interesting. The album finally gets more into the band's recent hardcore sound with the red. It's what you'd expect from a recent 12012 heavy song except that it's much cleaner in execution and Wataru's screams are done much better without delving into ridiculous loud shouting and vomit noise territory. There's even a short acoustic Spanish guitar break that's oh so sweet. It does begin to feel too long near the end with the song being just 3 seconds shy of 6 minutes. A lot of this, I feel, is contributed from a weak second melodic chorus. It gets especially sigh inducing the second time around when it transitions/becomes the climax of the song but just kinda stays the same. Still, this can be forgiven because of the catchy main guitar riff. alone is a sweet upbeat ballad that's somewhat of a throwback to their mar maroon/Seven era (at least in terms of the more poppy nature of the song). I find the bridge and chorus to be one of the more catchy melodic lines they've thrown at us in a while and just can't get enough of it. One thing I never really noticed in other songs but did in this one is the deep and rich tone of Wataru's voice. I usually don't notice this because he sings so high but alone really makes his voice shine. We now come to the final and longest song on the album, aqua. The first thing I'll say is that it's way too long. This song did not need to be over 9 minutes. Basically, it's the main chorus repeated again and again. The chorus is sung softly at first until the climax when everything is played at full force and then slowly fades out. I don't like the way the song fades out on this part because nothing is really happening in the music; it makes for a weak and unmemorable ending. Couple of suggestions: -If the song went into the climax after the piano break, I think it would've been much more tolerable. -Take out the bass solo (too flat and adds too much time) -Place the guitar solo at the end of the song to create a much more interesting fade out and keep the listener engaged. I think its fine as the closer to the album, but these few qualities really take away from the impact the track could have had. The songs individually are fairly strong, but I don't feel like that's where the strength of the album lies. Rather, I remember XII as a whole. I find it to be a fairly solid album from the start to finish having a smooth flow between songs, a uniform sound despite all songs being written by different members, and overall strong compositions. This is something their last few mini-albums lacked. Yes, the album doesn't have that recent hardcore and intense 12012 sound, but I'll trade a softer more refined album for a messy execution of a style that doesn't really match with them. I feel like this is a stable balance between their heavy and poppy sides. The album is brighter than Decida of Silence and The Swan but still retains a serious dark tone. I'm glad they're going on hiatus so they can take a break and perhaps think about what direction to go next, but I definitely don't want them to disband. I hope that they'll return with a fresh new release that continues to build on this style. [Kudos if you can guess where the skeleton image is from]
RULES & INFO Shipping from UT, USA, will ship worldwide. ALL SHIPPING IN THE USA IS FREE. All Prices in USD. For shipping quotes to locations outside of the USA, please message me here or pm me. NOTE: If you're outside of the USA, I may take a couple extra days to ship it as I need to go to the post office Leave me a message here or pm me if you're interested in anything. Payment Methods: Paypal (fees may apply), concealed cash (at your own risk) CDS Alice Nine Stargazer: regular edition single, like new, $6, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. BLUE FLAME regular edition single, like new, $6, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. D=OUT CARNIVAL Ukiyo Euro Special Edition (DVD&CD, region 2 dvd), good condition a tiny bit of scuffing, $5.50, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. SOLD ONE Regular edition single, like new, $6, Pictures: 1, 2. the GazettE BEFORE I DECAY first press regular edition, very good, $13. Pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4. Sadie Kagerou regular edition single, like new, $5.50, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. Cry More Regular Edition single, like new, $5.50, Pictures: 1, 2. OTHER 12012 - The Pain of Catastrophe (limited type b ), out of print, very good, $6, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. ClearVeil - Black Velvet single (Limited type b ), like new, $4.50, Pictures: 1, 2. D - in the name of justice (regular edition single), very good, $6, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. DELUHI - VANDALISM, out of print, very good, $25, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. DuelJewel - Vamp Ash single (type A , DVD&CD), out of print, like new, $10, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. SOLD Kagrra, - Hyakki Kenran (Limited Edition, DVD&CD), out of print (clear file, trading card and photo included), very good, $47. Pictures: 1, 2, 3. SOLD lix. - Seimei no Shuuen (limited edition single), out of print, very good, $5.50, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. Nightmare - VERMILION. single (type A, DVD&CD), like new, $7, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. MAGAZINES Arena 37c (all out of print) Vol. 284 May 2006 Gazetto, good (poster not included), $11, Pictures: 1, 2. Vol. 343 Apr 2011 Acid Black Cherry, like new (poster included), $7, Pictures: 1, 2. Vol. 344 May 2011 Uverworld, like new, $7, Pictures: 1, 2. Rock and Read (out of print) Vol. 038 Aoi & Hiroto, very good, $9, Pictures: 1, 2. SOLD SHOXX (all out of print) -------(one free with any order over $60) Vol. 206 April 2010 Alice Nine, like new (poster not included), $8, Pictures: 1, 2. Vol. 207 May 2010 Nightmare, like new (poster not included), $7, Pictures: 1, 2. Vol. 208 June 2010 Yomi x T.M.Revolution, very good (poster not included), $7, Pictures: 1, 2. Vol. 209 July 2010 Ayabie, like new (posters not included), $7, Pictures: 1, 2. Vol. 213 Nov 2010 the GazettE, like new (poster not included), $7, Pictures: 1, 2. Vol. 214 Dec 2010 SuG, like new (posters not included), $7, Pictures: 1, 2. Vol. 216 Feb 2011 ViViD, damaged (posters not included), $4, Pictures: 1, 2, 3. [Damaged when I received it, the 2nd picture is of the tear in the side.] Vol. 219 the GazettE, like new (poster included), $7, Pictures: 1, 2. POSTERS Aoi Calendar Page from the official 2010 Calendar, like new, $13, Picture: 1. [Can be folded by request] Arena 37c Vol. 284 May 2006 Gazetto, like new (laminated), $12, Pictures: 1, 2. [Note: cannot be folded] Cure Vol. 014 Nov 2004 Gazetto, good (issue during the laminating process), $8, Pictures: 1, 2. [Note: cannot be folded] SHOXX Vol. 141 Nov 2004 Gazetto, very good (laminated), $10, Picture. [Note: cannot be folded] SHOXX Vol. 206 April 2010 Alice Nine, very good (laminated), $10, Picture. [Note: cannot be folded] FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE (free with each order until they're gone, choose one magazine or 2 of the flyers) From left to right: gab jan 2011 vol. 49 lolita 23q vinyl syndicate vol. 22 club zy mag vol. 002 arimura ryuutaro from plastic tree music pleasure digest july 2008 vol. 004 from left to right: flyer: gpkism / suicide ali filt vol. 38 may 2009 sticker: visual kei dvd magazine famina plus 1 jan 2010 bandage special flyer: blood flyer: blood film flyer with lucy liu