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#114: XIII by lynch.

#114: XIII by lynch.  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. What are your overall impressions after listening to XIII?

    • This is one of the best releases from lynch. in a long time.
      1
    • It took a few listens, but the album has grown on me.
      7
    • Eh, it sounds the same as their last two albums.
      3
    • I can’t seem to enjoy it as much as their other releases.
      3
    • This has to be one of their worst releases ever!
      0
    • I don’t even know what I just listened to.
      0


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KICS-3733.jpg?v=1

 

:_8/10_:| This leftover pizza tastes better once you warm it up.

 

Tracklist:

1. INTRODUCTION

2. THIRTEEN

3. GROTESQUE

4. EXIST

5. JØKER

6. RENATUS

7. AMBLE

8. SENSE OF EMPTINESS

9. FIVE

10. INTERLUDE

11. FAITH

12. OBVIOUS

13. A FOOL

 

With the return of bassist Akinori, lynch. has become a 5-member band once again. With tours 「13th ANNIVERSARY –Xlll GALLOWS- [THE FIVE BLACKEST CROWS], 『TOUR’18「THE NITES OF AVANTGARDE #2」“A BLØODY REVENGE”』, and the release of their compilation album SINNERS -no one can fake my bløod, the band has been on the move during 2018. While the announcement for their new album XIII had warranted excitement, it also brought along with it some skepticism from fans.  Seems reasonable since we have seen an abundance of mediocre re-recordings and mixes from lynch. How the band could have possibly had the time to put together an album, let alone what it was going to sound like, was something to be concerned about.

 

First impressions of XIII are positive. The album feels balanced, as Hazuki’s vocals are not the only prominent feature here but the chords and basslines of the guitars that compliment it, providing strength in the mid-range as well as an actual presence. Tracks such as "THIRTEEN", "RENATUS", and "FIVE" are perfect examples of these nuances, as well as some highlight tracks of XIII that are equally enjoyable. Taking note at one of lynch.’s only hindrances, we see that they've stuck to the same composition style as their last two albums, making a large portion of XIII  feel like a collection of B-sides. It failed to strike immediate chords with me, something that D.A.R.K and even AVANTGARDE  had no problem with. Adding to this is a variation in sound, something unfamiliar that I knew would take time to be accepted as the new norm. The balance in vocal and guitar strings, while being right up my alley, leaves the drumming much to be desired. There is reduced dynamic range, isolation, and maybe even a flat signature, ridding any “tail end” from the drums that could give the album more life. With arrangements mimicking the last two releases, and an unfamiliar sound, my first listen through XIII felt like one big blur.

 

However, after giving the album a couple week’s worth of listening, an appropriate break-in period that I felt was needed, XIII by lynch. has distinguishing attributes that separate it from the rest of their discography. The more I listen to it, the more my initial thoughts beforehand seem like fan uneasiness as lynch. has revisited their past work and refined it, throwing in inspiration from Visual Kei bands of the 90s like Kuroyume, Luna Sea, and Laputa. "RENATUS" has become a track favorite, with an astounding atmosphere that gives the aggression of those guitars a stronger bite. I’m a sucker for melodic tracks, and "AMBLE" sounds almost euphoric, providing many moments of elation that I wish could last forever. The versatility in musical instruments during "FAITH" is one to definitely check out. Lastly, the emotional cool-down track that is "A FOOL" brings XIII to a smooth close, without trying too hard to make it obvious.

 

XIII sounds completely different than it did a couple weeks ago, as the album takes on an empathetic atmosphere, driving a nostalgia trip that's going to be different for everyone. The album  is able to express its confidence here with an abundance of melodies and guitar solos, like a tribute to 13 years of lynch.'s past work, with a glint of 90’s Visual Kei thrown into the mix.  Whether this combination will make one feel something is up to the listener, but overall this album certainly has become a standalone release that I can easily stand behind, only after being given some time to warm up to it first. 

 

 

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I've listened to XIII a few times and can confirm that this isn't a new low in lynch.'s career. It's not a new high either. It's hard to do new things when your livelihood revolves around doing the same thing in a new way in perpetuity. With no immediate flaws that demand attention, It's not the stinker that GALLOWS was on first listen. I do have a lot of nitpicks about certain songs and choices made, which work together to take the album down a few pegs. I haven't listened to lynch.'s new material seriously in a year and a half because I got tired of the monotony of their heavier sound, but respected that willingness to push in new directions, fail a few times, and learn from those experiences. They've walked back on that experimentation here for the most part and in many ways have regressed to SHADOWS-era songwriting capability, but they walked it so far back I don't sense any of the lessons learned in the final product. I say "for the most part" because a large part of my burnout comes from how one-dimensional their heavier tracks are, and that is still front and center. XIII gets good when the band lets songs like "RENATUS" and "SENSE OF EMPTINESS" do all of the talking, and makes me realize how much I'd kill for a ballad mini-album from them. There are other deep cuts in XIII which indicate that effort was spent on the album; the guitar melody at the end of "GROTESQUE" is an easy example of new ideas put into production. Songs like "JOKER" illustrate there are still visual-kei motifs they haven't exhausted yet (although I feel like that carnival/jazz take on rock was done better on "GHOST"). But dear god, the amount of times I was listening to a new song and thought I was listening to something else entirely is too damn high, much like rent. And having two one minute interludes on the album to bulk up a track list that would otherwise look anemic is a personal pet peeve. There's not much left to say except that it's another album from lynch., it's at least better than half of their previous albums, and it's not doing anything to turn old fans away or to bring new fans into the fold.

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6 hours ago, YuyoDrift said:

XIII by lynch. has distinguishing attributes that separate it from the rest of their discography

 

3 hours ago, Zeus said:

There's not much left to say except that it's another album from lynch., it's at least better than half of their previous albums, and it's not doing anything to turn old fans away or to bring new fans into the fold.

 

Ok, so final verdict from you guys: as someone who likes Lynch. but doesn't love them (I've been happy so far just keeping The Avoided Sun and The Buried around whenever I hear a new album and think 'I'll just listen to the similar stuff I already know I like...') is there any reason to check this out??

Edited by The Reverend

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@The Reverend we’d be lucky if lynch. wrote music like they did in ‘07 haha. The avoided sun was part of an era of visual kei that has yet to ever be seen again. With that said, recommending this release is something I would not dare do if we were to compare. You’d be disappointed hard.

XIII continues this recent era that began with D.A.R.K., so I’d rather recommend that album before you got this one.

 

edit: there’s a little bit of the buried in this, but you really have to try hard to listen for it. Sounds more tedious than it should have to be.

 

Edited by YuyoDrift

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8 hours ago, YuyoDrift said:

XIII sounds completely different than it did a couple weeks ago, as the album takes on an empathetic atmosphere, driving a nostalgia trip that's going to be different for everyone.

 

That's basically my conclusion on this album as well, after giving this 2-3 weeks of hard listening. It's good, not excellent—but it can't be denied that it's slower numbers have atmosphere.

Hazuki's clean vocals really shine on this album, and I found the nuances in instruments nice when they broke away from their typical formulas every now and then. I don't quite understand how it hit #8 on the oricon, but it's definitely worth a few listens.

Edited by zombieparadise

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this was a 6/10 for me, found it to be a pretty poor album but with some good songs on it. will keep it around for the mid tempo bangers and faith+grotesque

 

wish they broke it up into a concept mini and accompanying single (or two)

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Lynch. is the only band this year that severely disappointed me. XIII isn't a horrible album because it DOES have like maybe one or two standout tracks but its pretty bad. There's nothing here that i can call a banger or says that "it slaps." In general this album is something that's just here and thats it. What's more infuriating is that you'd think with AK back, the band would kick it into overdrive and churn out something memorable. SINNERS, despite how meh it was, is more listenable than this. Normally I'm one of the people who stick up and defend Lynch. but i cant for XIII. I want next year's album to be better. 

3/10.

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