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5 Sounds I'd Like To Hear in 2017 Visual Kei

It's THAT question again  

82 members have voted

  1. 1. You can only have one back for good. Which one would you take?

    • D'espairsRay (1999-2007)
      32
    • Kagrra,
      18
    • Aicle.
      11
    • RENTRER EN SOI (up to Sphire-Croid)
      16
    • A
      5


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A universal truth about visual kei is that it is forever changing. The tiniest of bands can grow into an influential force given a few years, the largest of bands can end a legacy with one tweet, and there's an ever-growing catalog of unique and defunct bands lost to time whose talents will never be truly replicated. However, since nothing is original anymore, I'd love to see someone try their hand at it. I've listed a total of five bands or musicians who at one point had a unique, definitive sound I'd love to see come back.

 

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D'espairsRay (1999-2007)

Sound: Dark, depressing, gothic industrial metal

Quote

No one does darkness and depression like D'espairsRay. Interviews more or less confirm the sadness was real; from personal struggles to band personalities clashing, these musicians knew how to channel their feelings into music. 2005's [Coll:set] and 2007's MIRRORS are both seminal albums in the neo-visual kei scene, with the former universally touted as one of the best albums of that decade. We even named the forum after one of their songs! After MIRRORS, they disappeared for a year as they were wont to do, but around this time I believe guitarist Karyu discovered antidepressants and vocalist Hizumi contracted a serious vocal illness. This prompted a stylistic shift which marked the beginning of the end for this band. I'd give anything to have that genuine despair and depression from 2005 return. Unlike other artists on this list, their influence is still felt in newer bands today. I can say that early exist†trace at least tried to emulate them, I already ripped visual kei nobodies Valluna a new one for completely biting off "「タトエバ」キミ...ガ...シンダ...ラ" ("Tatoeba" Kimi...ga...shinda...ra), and DEZERT retains elements of their sound while putting their own spin on it, but it's not the same.

 

 

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Kagrra,

Sound: A classic rock sound with a cultural twist

Quote

For a country who makes a killing exporting its culture, I find it more than strange that few bands incorporate traditional Japanese themes and elements into their music. Instead of embracing commercialism with western ideals, visual kei band Kagrra, looked to their own culture for musical inspiration to add to their style of hard rock. Kagrra, was a unique blend of eastern and western styles that brought great diversity to the scene, and they consistently pumped out quality rock music until their disbandment. The passing of one-of-a-kind vocalist Isshi means this band will never resurface, so another band coming along to pick up the torch is more than welcome.

 

 

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愛狂います。(Aicle.)

Sound: Quirky, turn of the century rock and metal

Quote

Visual kei band Aicle. were a tough pill to swallow both visually and musically. Existing at the height of the oft maligned oshare scene - treated with disdain even by fans of visual kei who associated it all with Antic Cafe - it was easy to dismiss them as another one of those bands. You couldn't be more wrong. Underneath all the "psycho-happy" visuals was a deceptive musical depth, unusual guitar melodies, and a penchant for splicing styles together effortlessly. This kind of personality died off with the style completely as oshare morphed into EDM rock. 2009 me would never be caught dead asking for oshare to make a resurgence, but if another band could master Aicle.'s sound, that'd be a wonderful start.

 

 

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RENTRER EN SOI (up to Sphire-Croid)

Sound: undescribable

Quote

No band with such personality and grace has entered the scene since RENTRER EN SOI. They were the darling child of the scene and everything everyone wanted out of a visual kei band at the time: a return to the aesthetics of the nineties with a modern sensibility, a wonderful vocalist, and a complex art rock sound that stood apart from everyone else. They weathered the storm of change when other bands went with the flow and found modest success for it. When they disbanded, everyone cried. 2004's Sphire-Croid was and still is a beastly classic that has withstood the test of time. This was the apex of their sound; their second album was disastrous as they eventually decided to graft more metal onto their sound. It was never worked out fully before their disbandment and while THE BOTTOM OF CHAOS was acceptable, it already shows its age. It's hard to believe that it's almost been ten years since their disbandment and no band has even tried to emulate them.

 

 

 

 

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A (Anonymous Confederate Ensemble)

Sound: Rock with a cultural twist

Quote

I haven't been interested in anything visual kei since A disbanded. They were the second darling band of visual kei in my eyes; their brand of "world rock" came at a time when the scene was losing a lot of flavor. They brought influences in spades and with a full-time violinist on board, it was easy for them to stand apart sonically. In the face of austerity, with no permanent drummer and a guitarist on a visa, they managed to put out some clutch tunes. They covered Latin influence before BUCK-TICK thought it was cool. "Grafton Calling" is possibly the only visual kei song in existence with an Irish feel to it. They even alluded to their own disbandment with their last single "Phantom of the Snow" (spoiler: everyone dies in the PV), due to what I guess were monetary issues. Before they left, they gave us a forty minute epic in "ELEMENTA ALCHEMICA" and a pretty decent debut album. They are one of the most innovative bands I've ever had the pleasure of listening to, and I hope other bands take notes from them and use some non-standard instruments in their music.

 

 

That's all for me! Given time, there are plenty more bands that I would love to see reincarnated in some fashion. What bands do you want to hear again?

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Grafton Calling is such a BEAST of a song! And ELEMENTA ALCHEMICA is the only song that earned its right to exceed the 15minute mark.

 

On a personal note, I'd like to see more rap/mixture infused vk bands, like early baroque, xTRiPx and bis did masterfully in the past

Edited by chemicalpictures

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40 minutes ago, chemicalpictures said:

 

 

On a personal note, I'd like to see more rap/mixture infused vk bands, like early baroque, xTRiPx and bis did masterfully in the past

 

Being a somewhat fan of J Rap (Suiken, Kick the Can Crew and older stuff) I'd be all for this.

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Rentrer

 

bottom of chaos is one of the best albums vk speaking. Despairs ray collset album was good but I never cared to much for any of their other albums. Seeing them play garnet Live was amazing though

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As much as I'd like Rentrer en Soi and D'esprairsray return, I'd like to see some vk bands go in completely different directions. After Dir en grey released Dum Spiro Spero capitalizing on deathcore and other various metal trends, I was hoping they would hop on the 'overly complex dissonant core' trend catapulted into the metalsphere by Deathspell Omega and other DsO rip off bands. Something similar to this but mixed with clean visual-kei like vocals.

 

 

 

It was a pipe dream then and pipe dream now but It would be cool to see this happen.

 

I'd also like to see another primary ambient/electronic/industrial vk influenced band. Something like a more modern Tim Hecker influenced Medue'obscur would be really cool to see. I know there's still industrial rock vk bands around but its not the same.

 

 

 

An idm-kei band would be cool as well, but either way we're probably just gonna get another year of metalcore and DIV-lite bands.

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as much as i like aicle., gonna have to go with d'espairsray on this one. we've got the quirky-sound covered already with dezert. they're still different from aicle. (and darker visually), but i think they're pretty comparable in some ways.

i'd much prefer to hear the old sound of d'espairsray brought back. it has been dearly missed.

 

3 hours ago, chemicalpictures said:

On a personal note, I'd like to see more rap/mixture infused vk bands, like early baroque, xTRiPx and bis did masterfully in the past

 

SAME. i miss ryo's old singing style so much......

 

on another note, i think it'd be nice to hear lower voiced vocals with great screams for once, namely those like kyotaro (black:list, eight) and satoshi (girugamesh). the scene seems to be really lacking them in these past few years.

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10 hours ago, chemicalpictures said:

On a personal note, I'd like to see more rap/mixture infused vk bands, like early baroque, xTRiPx and bis did masterfully in the past

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

LM.C is probably the last band standing doing this style, but I haven't been able to watch a video of theirs in quite some time because Victor ent. hate my country. So I'm not sure what they are doing these days. But I'm hearing more and more throwback mixture bands in Jrock, I'd love to hear it bleed into vk some more. 

 

I voted for D'espa in the poll, though. Because they're just my personal favorite from the list, so I miss them the most. Going against the grain again, I don't like old RES pre-Sphere-Croid, I'd rather have them back in their most recent form, for me their final releases were their best. 

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I should clarify that I don't want any of these bands to return. I want new bands to pick up the slack and start taking notes from good bands of yore. There's so much untapped creative potential left in the five bands I highlighted and I would love for the scene to make a resurgence by emulating the sounds of the boom days. This new stuff isn't doing it for the old heads or the new and it needs to change sooner rather than later.

 

In the case of D'espairsRay, RES, and A things wouldn't be the same no matter how much they forced it to. I don't think HIZUMI will ever recover from his vocal condition enough to sing like he used to. Also their direction post-MIRRORS lacked serious focus and if they can't be dark anymore I'd rather they not force it. Rentrer en Soi just...quit? They mumbled excuses about reaching their creative apex but I think the real reason was that Satsuki thought he could do better with a solo career. They can stay dead since sukekiyo is a very interesting project I wouldn't want sacrificed for a reunion that's not going to target their earlier sound. No shade to anything post Sphire-Croid, but it's the run-of-the-mill 2008 JAY-RAWK sound every other band and their grandmother was pounding out riffs for in the basement. They did it a little better than their competition, but Satsuki's harsh vocals ruins a lot of THE BOTTOM OF CHAOS for me (still a good album). Also, MEGIDDO is a very unsatisfying send-off and years later I still can't shake the feeling the band never reached the new incarnation of their sound before calling it quits.

 

Something similar happened with A; if I recall it was the violinist Rookie Fiddler who composed the majority of the tunes for the band and when he walked away the band was done. With all the member difficulties and low funds I don't see this band coming back, but they were very much loved and I don't know why other bands haven't been leaning on cultures for ideas. I loved what Royz did with Vishnu on their latest album. More bands need to do that.

 

Kagrra, will never come back for obvious reasons but there's a dearth of visual kei bands using specifically Japanese elements in their rock and metal. Wagakki-Band comes close but it's not the same. Unforgivable, really.

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From the list I choose D'espairsRay although if there were a MUCC (1997-2004) option i would've had a hard time choosing. 

 

My dream is a vk band that can fuse the raw despair and occasional quirks of the old MUCC sound with the refined somewhat frail darkness of emmuree combined with the atmosphere of old burzum or other mid-tempo Black Metal. Throw in some shoegazing reverb for good measure. Please give me that for 2017.

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For 2017 I want less riffs like this and this and this too

 

In this climate I think we are liable to get a decent success to mid-period Aicle. The sort of juxtapositions that they did have started to make more than just cursory appearances in a lot of band's styles. We're seeing good interplay of color and extravagance lately in the outfits too. I don't think I'm crazy for holding my breath for such a band to appear. 

 

What I'm realistically hoping for is that all those Amber Gris, Moran and etc. arCOUGH kei  members settle down into projects that could, please, be around a couple of years and develop in peace. While at it, I'm hoping for more indie rock influence to leak over to subvert all the core. In a perfect world they'd look toward the early period of Rentrer en soi for influence too. 

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I'd definitely be glad to get D'espa back. I miss the kinda force their music had, and I don't really care about how they'd sound. Just want to hear Hizumi again.


It would be great if Kagrra, could return as well, but I'm afraid it's impossible. Wouldn't be the same with another vocalist.

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out of the ones you mentioned, i want more bands that sound like D'espa and more vocalists that sound like Satsuki or Yasu(ABC)

Edited by seurong

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Making me choose between my three favorite VK bands (excluding LUNA SEA because they're in another level) is NOT OKAY.

 

That being said, I'd take a new Kagrra, any day. Neither Wagakki Band or Kiryu come close to what Kagrra, once was. They were an one-of-a-kind band, even during their heavily criticized major period.

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6 hours ago, saishuu said:

That being said, I'd take a new Kagrra, any day. Neither Wagakki Band or Kiryu come close to what Kagrra, once was. They were an one-of-a-kind band, even during their heavily criticized major period.

 

Yeah both bands are ok, but their style is so very different and generally IN YOUR FACE all the time. Kagrra, had a different feel and an elegance to it. I wish more bands tried going for that. PLUS, the whole japanese sound thing makes it easier to appeal to a wider audience abroad, who WANTS to listen to something EASY BREEZY, JAPANESE-Y with a rock edge.

Edited by r...

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One sound I'd really like to hear in VisualKei again was the thrash-influenced Alternative Metal that started to appear in the late 90's, and was especially done by Dir En Grey during their indies, Gauze and Macabre eras. 

Really, I'd like to see more thrash metal in Vkei in general, like Aion. There was a short lived Thrash Metal trend in heavier Vkei bands in the late 80's and early 90's, and I feel like with all the Metalcore bands out there, I'd like to see a band expand on the original mixing of Heavy Metal and Hardcore Punk. 

There definitely have been some Thrashy bands out there though, usually mixing the style with Metalcore, like Deluhi, and to a small extent, Avelcain. (I say small, because really only the riffings were Thrashy. The vocals, while I loved them, weren't the shouting you'd associate with Thrash)

 

I also really missed Ace. They were one of my first Vkei bands, and really gave me a taste for what Vkei was like. I think more bands should have full time members who play unusual instruments. Or at least if the member preforms that instrument, use it in a song live. Like, Takemasa from Kiryu plays Violin (At least I think he does. A lot of the songs he writes use Violin and Cello) and there isn't much stopping him from playing it live in the song Sakuyoi, since both guitar parts are practically the same. 

 

Also, I really think there should be more Vkei bands that use traditional instruments. The only ones I know that really use them, and not synthesise them, are Kagrra and CrowXClass, and we all know what happened to Kagrra, whereas CrowXClass, well.. no one really knows. All we know is that their lead singer abandoned them for the over commercialised pop rock band that is Wagakki Band. I used to like Wagakki band when they did vocaloid covers, with an authentic metal twist, but they went generic pop rock pretty quick, and probably don't have the creative freedom they deserve. Also Ikusa sounds suspiciously similar to Masquerade by Heartless, but that's only speculation, and way off topic.

I think it would be cool if Kiryu had a special live where they had 3 guys play the Koto, Shinobue, Shakuhachi and Shamisen (Preferably using the former members of CrowXClass xD), but some of their Shamisen parts can get a little too fast, even for Tsugaru style Shamisen players xD. 

Sukekiyo and Ningen Isu do occasionally use Taishogoto though, but Ningen Isu doesn't use it live, and IDK if Sukekiyo does it live.

 

Also, and this is my last paragraph, I think we should have more Punk rock in VisualKei. So far, it's really only limited to Eroguro and AnguraKei bands, and old school NagoyaKei bands, but it would be nice to see a revival in regular Vkei bands that do Punk Rock. In the 80's and 90's, there were a lot of Punk Rock Vkei bands, like Color, and early GazettE played around with it in the early 2000's, but with the decrease in popularity of EroguroKei, which is mostly based around Punk Rock, and GazettE going mainstream, it's kind of only done by a few bands, the only ones I can name are GossiP, which only do it occasionally (And don't go on about how they're apparently a GazettE clone, or I WILL block you), Inugami Circus Dan, and Sex Android. 

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I love Emiru being all chill and stuff, but I miss aicle. so much. They had so much potential to explore. I don't hate oshare, but they made the genre easier to swallow and always kept me surprised by the next thing (until they started going soft). Now that they're not in the scene, it's always like "oh, here come another song with amai/chocolate/princess/christmas/love" in the title.... zzzzz  

We need oshare bands to start getting creative, think outside the small box of generic themes for once  otherwise the genre will remain dead.

 

I'll be checking out everyone else mentioned in the post! Just hope I don't get too attached.

Edited by Platy

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On 1/1/2017 at 2:36 AM, r... said:

Yeah both bands are ok, but their style is so very different and generally IN YOUR FACE all the time. Kagrra, had a different feel and an elegance to it. I wish more bands tried going for that. PLUS, the whole japanese sound thing makes it easier to appeal to a wider audience abroad, who WANTS to listen to something EASY BREEZY, JAPANESE-Y with a rock edge.

I have to agree on this 100%, and with everything Zeuz said.

 

Whereas the other bands had nice sounds (and a band sounding like A is most needed), I NEED something with Kagrra,'s atmosphere back. None of the bands playing traditional instruments come even close to what they did, and probably don't make us feel the same way either.

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My vote goes to Aicle. They took the oshare sound championed by the likes of Lolita23q and ramped up the technicality to levels rarely seen in "pop rock" or whatever genre you might think they are. Maybe we can consider Dog In The PWO as spiritual sucessors of their sound, but it certainly isn't the same. Come on, just listen to this math-y rock clusterfuck and try to tell me it isn't perfect:

 

 

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Rentrer en Soi, D'espairs Ray and Kagrra are like, my main trio, so the choice is tough. I miss them all, but I think my voice goes to Kagrra.  I know there's Kiryu around, and argument could be made that they have a band going into their steps but.... colorful kimonos isn't what made Kagrra awesome. Kiryu went completely different way musically. What I miss about Kagrra is that unique elegance in blending beautiful singing voice and melodies incorporating traditional japanese elements.  I'm probably getting old, but their "softness" is also what I miss and can't find anywhere.

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