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Komorebi

[Album Review] The GazettE - Ninth

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So, Ninth is out and what I've mostly read online is that it is not at the same level as Dogma, it's generic, it's been heard before, bla bla bla... so I tried it out asap and wrote an overall review, (don't expect a song-by-song musical analysis).

 

I have to agree on one thing with the negative critics: Dogma was the shit on a technical level, but the more I play it the more it feels like a single long song. I distinctly remember playing it for the first time and asking myself "when is this song ending, sounds like a freakin' Versailles song", only to check the iPod and realize it was already on track three.

 

Sure, Ninth sounds like "shit we've heard before", but the album on it's own is more diverse, soundwise, and has ups and downs. I rated songs while I went through it with 4 stars and others with 2, 3's and a 5 along the way. Dogma was a flat three. All the way. For Dogma, none of the tracks sucked but none was outstanding for me either. Which is not a good thing because I honestly never even remember what the album sounds like (the album and the singles related to the concept). And every time I play it to see if I magically start liking it I get bored and switch to something else halfway.

 

Ninth, however, felt more... Complete? Catchy? Memorable? Your pick. It was definitely something else.
I can distinctly remember which tracks stood out for me and which ones I disliked. Whereas for Dogma I cannot even tell them apart. Sure, it's generic GazettE, it's stuff we all know, it's familiar. But more importantly: it works. Structures work together to make songs memorable, in good or bad ways. And, tbh, I feel if any other band would have released this it would have been probably praised. But since it's Ruki's distinct voice attached to those riffs people get a "déjà vu(heard)" feel. And, being the popular band it is, the bar is always high when it comes to them.

 

While Dogma was a good dive into darker, heavier waters, I always felt their execution of it was not as proficient or distinctive as it could have been. While, for me, Ninth nailed it. You can always try new things, and I'm all for bands attempting new styles, but sometimes it can be better to go back to a safer zone and kill it than keep attempting at something new and do it halfway. And Ninth is good proof of it. I get the more versatile feel I got from albums like Nil and Stacked Rubbish, in a more mature, polished and 2018-ish way.

 

The tracks that stood out for me were Falling, Utsusemi, Sono Koe wa Moroku and Unfinished (a banger, way to finish an album). 
I did not pay attention to the first version of Falling and I will certainly not do it now, but this version gave me a better impression (it could be the transcode-decent bitrate difference rather than the mixing itself). It's catchy and modern enough for a PV and the composition has Ruki all over it. I'm a sucker for good rock ballads and Sono Koe wa Moroku was melodic enough without going on a chopped-onion level of cornyness. Utsusemi and Unfinished were just straight up my alley; strong yet not overly harsh on the voice.

Ninth Odd Smell and Gush sadly blend together a bit too much for my taste yet both are solid tracks that will most likely grow on me and Babylon's Taboo was barely... bearable. The SE track was terrible, but their SE's rarely are my taste at all. The Mortal has a mystic feel to it and to me it carries on the atmosphere from the previous releases, with a pleasant twist. Abhor God is powerful and thankfully short, otherwise I'd feel it drags on more than necessary. I feel it will be a great song live. Two of a Kind felt like a "fresh old Gazette" and Uragiru Bero fitted the album nicely to, but didn't catch my attention that much, felt like a filler track.

 

The album showed both a heavier side yet was kept melodic and reminded me a lot of Division, one of their best releases imho. Like it, it was packed with both harsh and softer aspects and shows maturity and improvement.
Overall I give it a 4/5, and I will most likely buy it in Japan in a few months. Otherwise I'll get the iTunes version. It's a great release and if you felt lately that GazettE was getting stale you should definitely try this album. It is unmistakably The GazettE, yet fresh and modern.

Edited by Komorebi

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22 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

I feel if any other band would have released this it would have been probably praised. But since it's Ruki's distinct voice attached to those riffs people get a "déjà vu(heard)" feel. And, being the popular band it is, the bar is always high when it comes to them.

PREACH!!

 

 

 

great review btw

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