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A lot can be said, positive and negative about the legacy of MALICE MIZER, whether it's the abrupt departure of Tetsu after just one year, the GACKT years, the untimely death of Kami or the rise and fall in the Klaha years. There's no better way to understand how MALICE MIZER went from unknown to legends of Visual Kei than to start in the beginning. In the Beginning: The Era of Tetsu MALICE MIZER was formed in August of 1992 when former guitarist of Matenrou, Közi joined forces with the support bassist Mana and the two recruited the former Ner-vous vocalist Tetsu, former ZE:RO bassist Yu~ki and former DATURA (not to be confused with DatuRΛ) drummer Gaz to form MALICE MIZER (a postmanteau of Malice and Misery) with a concept based on the darker side of human nature. MALICE MIZER immediately began activities and released their first demo tape SANS LOGIQUE which had foregone vocals and released Speed of Desperate on the compilation album Brain Trash which featured acts such as ALUCARD, DIE=KÜSSE, THE PIASS and Gazelle. Shortly after Brain TRASH, Gaz departed and Kami joined; Kami being the only other drummer for the band until his untimely death. MALICE MIZER released a few more demos before releasing their debut album memoire on Mana's newly founded label Midi:Nette. Tetsu then left the band at the end of 1994 with a live performance titled Cher de memoire II on December 27th. Taking a Different Route: It's Gackt Time MALICE MIZER went into 1995 without a vocalist, but they didn't let it stop their surge as they performed without a vocalist for a sponsored event titled Dai Goya Higeki no Bansan Vol.5 (第五夜 悲劇の晩餐 Vol.5) before Gackt officially joined the band as the new vocalist with his first performance on October 10th Karei naru Fukkatsugeki. The music of MALICE MIZER took a drastic turn and was the catalyst for the rise of Gackt as a performer and set the stage for his continued success after leaving the band as the band went from a Gothic sound to a more upbeat sound; something that became a signature of Gackt's solo career. In 1996 MALICE MIZER released their second album Voyage sans retour and underwent a nationwide one-man tour culminating in a show titled Sans retour Voyage deux 1996. MALICE MIZER continued their stride in 1997 when they signed a contract with major label Nippon Columbia, a subsidiary of Columbia Music Company as well as undergoing a sold-out nationwide tour with STANDING TOUR '97 Pays de merveilles ~空白の瞬間の中で~ and a regularly broadcast radio show MALICE MIZER no Mayonaka no s'il vous plaît on CBC Radio. Merveilles, MALICE MIZER's third album and second featuring Gackt as vocalist is released in March of 1998, the band announced merveilles ~Shuuen to kisuu~ in which the tickets sold out in just two minutes as well as undergoing a new radio show MALICE MIZER no shisetsu hisho no chojutsu on Chiba's renowned bay-fm radio station. However, things would take a turn when in January Gackt decided to leave the band at the peak of their popularity to form own solo project that he continues to this day, simply called GACKT featuring a backing band appropriately titled GACKTJOB. As if losing their vocalist wasn't bad enough tragedy struck when in June beloved drummer Kami passed away suddenly from a subarachnoid hemorrhage, more commonly referred to as a brain hemorrhage. With the world crashing down around his shoulders, Mana underwent damage control and returned MALICE MIZER to his own label. Malice Mizer went on to release one song after Gackt left, a piano song called Saikai no Chi to Bara. Little did they know that their fortunes were about to change as their savior was right around the corner. From Rebirth to Climax: The Year of Klaha PRIDE OF MIND former vocalist Klaha joined MALICE MIZER on vocals on August 31st and would be the third and final vocalist for the group. MALICE MIZER proceeded to get back to making music right away with the release of their fourth and final album Bara no Seidou and Klaha had his first live performance one week later with Bara ni irodorareta akui to higeki no makuake - Dai icihiya saikai no bara. Sadly, nothing lasts forever and after several singles, a feature length, albeit silent film Bara no Konrei ~Mayonaka ni Kawashita Yakusoku~ and even a concert DVD in 2001, MALICE MIZER went on an indefinite hiatus at the end of the year. Each member releasing their own respective personal messages regarding the hiatus on the bands official website. Post Mortem: An Uncertain Future After MALICE MIZER went on an indefinite hiatus the respective members were quick to move on to other projects, except for Yu~ki who's only activity since the hiatus was contributing to a song on Közi's solo project. The aforementioned Közi went on to be in a managare of bands, first with HARUHIKO ASH in Eve of Destiny, then started a solo project as well as XA-VAT, ZIZ, VAMQUET and joined Ryo from 9Goats Black Out to form a nu-goth band called DĂLLE. Mana quickly formed his own solo project that is still running strong today called Moi dix Mois and launched his own fashion label Moi-même-Moitie as well as becoming a producer for the band Schwarz Stein and cellist Kanon Wakeshima. Tetsu formed several bands of varying styles of music after leaving MALICE MIZER with the most notable being ZIGZO and Nil. Gackt has been active as a solo artist since leaving MALICE MIZER and subsequently ventured into film and television while Klaha released a solo mini-album and full length album before disappearing from the scene in 2004, not to be heard from again. MALICE MIZER may be no more, but the pieces have come together several times since the hiatus, Közi joining Mana's Moi dix Mois in 2008 at Dis Inferno Vol.VI ~Last Year Party~ and again in 2009 for a two stop tour Deep Sanctuary; Deep Sanctuary becoming a staple event for Moi dix Mois from then on. Moi dix Mois and Közi went on another, longer tour in 2010, six shows aptly named Deep Sanctuary II which featured the return of Yu~ki on bass; the three reuniting on stage for the first time in nine years. The show featured MALICE MIZER classics such as Saikai no Chi to Bara and Beast of Blood as well as a cover of shock rocker Rob Zombie's What Lurks on Channel X. Moi dix Mois then held a tenth anniversary concert Le dixieme anniversaire Live 2011~2012 ~Tetsugaku no Hahen Dainana Shou Shinen naru Seiiki Deep Sanctuary III~ which saw Közi performing with his new band ZIZ with Yu~ki returning on bass. Sadly the original drummer Gaz passed away on December 22nd 2017, one year before the bands 25th anniversary and the subsequent reunion show last year Deep Sanctuary Ⅵ MALICE MIZER 25th Anniversary Special which featured the return of the trio as well as former roadies for the band performing their own renditions of classic songs, such as former LAREINE vocalist KAMIJO joining for his own take on the Gackt era songs APRES MIDI and Bel Air ~Kuuhaku no Shunkan no Naka De~, cali≠gari's Shuuji with a riff on the Tetsu era's Kioku to Sora and ILLUMINATI as well as Moran former vocalist Hitomi with Gackt's Madrigal and N.p.s.N.g.s. The show featured ZIZ and Moi dix Mois performing their own songs and MALICE MIZER covers with the show ended with a tribute to the departed Kami and all of the guest vocalists singing together for Ma chérie ~Itoshii Kimi E~. There have been teases for years and the band have come back in several shapes, but whether they will return with the likes of any of their three former vocalists is unlikely or at best up in the air with all of them seemingly content with their careers and lives and consider MALICE MIZER a part of their past. The future of MALICE MIZER is uncertain, but it's safe to say that the Visual Kei scene would be shaken to the core if the stars aligned and the malice and misery rose like a phoenix for a second time. Member History Current Lineup Mana - Guitar (ex-Matenrou, Moi dix Mois) Közi - Guitar (ex-GIRL, ex-Matenrou, ZIZ, XA-VAT, DĂLLE, Solo, VAMQUET) Yu~ki - Bass (ex-ZE:RO) Former Members Gaz - Drums (ex-DATURA, deceased 2017) Tetsu - Vocals (ex-Ner-vous, ZIGZO, Nil, THE JUNEJULYAUGUST) Kami - Drums (deceased 1999) Klaha - Vocals (ex-PRIDE OF MIND, Solo, retired) Gackt - Vocals (ex-Cains:Feel, Solo, YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz) Support Members Shue Sakai - Drums (ex-JACK BLUE, N.S.D.P., Everlasting-K) Kazune - Keyboard (Brain Hacker, Art Cube) Staff Members Hitomi - Roadie (ex-Moran, UMIYURI) MAYU - Roadie (ex-LAREINE, ex-NEW SODMY) MACHI - Roadie (ex-LAREINE, Chanton L'amour) Masanori Yabuki - Roadie (Datenshi Tokyo, Ant1nett) KAMIJO - Roadie (ex-LAREINE, ex-NEW SODMY, Versailles, Solo) Shuuji Ishii - Roadie (cali≠gari, goatbed, EX-ANS) Discography Albums (1994.07.24) memoire (1996.06.09)Voyage ~Sans Retour~ (1998.03.18) Merveilles (2000.08.23) Bara no Seidou (薔薇の聖堂) Mini-albums (2000.02.01) Shinwa (神話) Demos (1992.10.31) Sans Logique (1993.04.05) Sadness (1993.10.12) The 1th Anniversary (1996.00.00) Après Midi (1999.11.03) Saikai no Chi to Bara" (再会の血と薔薇) Singles (1995.12.10) Uruwashiki Kamen no Shoutaijou (1996.10.10) Ma Chérie ~Itoshii Kimi E~ (1997.08.06) Bel Air ~Kuuhaku no Shunkan no Naka De~ (1997.12.03) Au Revoir (1998.02.11) Gekka no Yasoukyoku (1998.05.20) Illuminati (1998.09.09) Le Ciel ~Kuuhaku no Kanata E~ (1999.11.03)Saikai no Chi to Bara (2000.05.31) Kyomu no Naka de no Yuugi (2000.07.26) Shiroi Hada ni Kuruu Ai to Kanashimi no Rondo (2001.05.30) Gardenia (2001.06.21) Beast of Blood (2001.10.30) Mayonaka ni Kawashita Yakusoku (2001.11.30) Garnet ~Kindan no Sono E~ OHP Moi dix Mois Közi Moi-même-Moitie -A huge thanks to @inartisticand the great team over at vk.gy for a wealth of information that without, this would not have been possible.