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    Greetings, fellow Monochromians! Yall doing, alright? I certainly hope so! As we close out the year 2019, some of the Official Reviewers and Staff members thought we'd take a look back at some remarkable (and one or two remarkably bad) J-rock albums that turned 10 this year! So whether you were around 10 years ago or not, let's discuss! What do you think of the entries on our list? What are your favorite J-rock albums that turned 10 this year? Did they age well for you? Let's talk about it! 9GOATS BLACK OUT Black rain The sophomore release that followed their iconic debut album Devils in Bedside, Black Rain gave the fans exactly what they were waiting for, more of that hypnotic, bluesy nagoya kei abyssal void to lose ourselves in. While the album never seems to get the fanfare of the releases before and after it, it stands on its own all these years later just fine. Ryo's guttural roars in "SALOME" still pierce the soul just as deeply, Hati's walking, rhythmic bass "in the rain" still stirs all of the vivid imagery it ever did, and Uta's echoing guitar strumming for "ROMEO" still haunts the dark corners of the mind. When you go back to revisit all the amazing albums of the last decade, don't you dare forget this one! - @doombox Devils in Bedside was shrouded in mystery. This melancholic band had literally no space in a scene that was filled with pop rock vibes and colourful looks. Nevertheless, 9GBO continued down their own path and released Black Rain. It’s a blessing that they never followed the trends surrounding the scene, or we might have never gotten one of the most dramatic creations in vk. The band is still a mystery at this point as no PV graced our eyes with this album, all we know now is that these guys are *not* a one hit wonder. I believe that because of the lack of visuals and their mature sound (way ahead of their time) 9GBO never reached the success they deserved. Listening to Black Rain is like opening a fantasy book and losing yourself in a beautiful rainy landscape. The topic of rain has been explored a million times in visual kei, but Black Rain captures the feelings and nuances of its title very effectively. ‘Romeo’ and ‘In the Rain’ are still some of my favourite tracks ever and I remember playing them over and over back in the day (I still do, but I try to limit myself). Whereas Devil in Bedside was drier and raw, Black Rain is simply dripping with emotion. It's escapism at its best. - @platy While most fans of 9GBO fell in love with their debut album Devils in Bedside, it was Black Rain that made me a fan, as this was also my first time listening to them. I was convinced 9GBO were going to be remembered for years to come as this album to me has depths of artistic expression not relative to other acts of this time; they reminded me so much of deadman, they were in a league of their own. It did indeed feel like each track told a story, some clinging on to life, with others full of warmth and energy. “In the Rain” would be my favorite song from them to this day, as the harmony of light and dark, simple chords and the complexity of how they’re interpreted, left a respectable mark on my listening experience of them so many years ago. - @YuyoDrift SUICIDE ALI 第4のwaltz Give SUICIDE ALI a plaque next to the likes of √eight and Werkmare and Deluhi in the Visual Kei Hall of 'We Captured Lightning in a Bottle Exactly Once and the Rest of Our Releases Really Kind of Suck'. Nothing should be taken away from 第4のwaltz because SUICIDE ALI weren't able to recreate its magic however. 第4のwaltz is all over the place in the best possible ways. Songs with goth midi-satyr-flute, acoustic guitar strumming, nu-metal tinged bass guitars and gang shouts behind rushed lead vocals shouldn't work at all but oh my God "笛吹童子" is one of my absolute favorite songs from 2009. 第4のwaltz would get my vote as the best album released by Starwave Records/ Darkest Labyrinth. Often when Kiwamu gets involved I find releases simultaneously over- and under-produced but the combination of studio effects and just letting a band be who they are collided in a magnificent way for this album. There isn't another album in all of Visual Kei that sounds exactly like 第4のwaltz. Let it stand as a monument to glory for both a band and record label that often disappointed otherwise. - @The Reverend D’espairsRay REDEEMER Ah, the posterchild for our website lol. For those of us around then, it was REDEEMER that divided the D'espa fanbase. If you were just getting into the scene during this time, you’d marvel at how great the album was in the wake of Visual Kei’s exposure internationally. It had pop, rock, and melodies that made it very easy to embrace by western newcomers who weren’t familiar with the history of D’espairsRay and the current trend in Visual Kei. For fans that were around since the band’s formation, however, this album felt like a far cry from their dark and gothic VK days. I never realized how creative the approach for this album was, as you don't see this level of dedication to the music, to which D'espairsRay were no strangers to. They were always known to place their music as that symbol of expressive emotions that suited their name and I felt that REDEEMER upheld their ideal while keeping the VK aesthetic close by. While I understand the album underwhelms to some, it still retains that creativity that none can deny was what really mattered during this age, and with Hizumi’s way of singing being otherworldly, their arrangements were an art form itself. “Heaven’s Color”, one of my favorite songs of the album and the last decade, has lyrics portrayed beautifully in Hizumi’s singing along with the instrumental chords that kindle an ethereal feel, eternally associating the colors of heaven to a song that continues to give me an ephemeral rush of emotions today. - @YuyoDrift 凛として時雨 just A moment Back in the day, long before TK ever whispered on any anime songs or produced for any Jpop artists, when people were still spelling their name "rin toshite shigure", ling tosite sigure were to J-indie fans what DIR EN GREY or the GazettE are to visual kei. The band's musical acumen and trend-setting innovation pretty much guaranteed that each new release would be a spectacle met with critical acclaim. Naturally, that was the case with just A moment too. ling had just struck a deal with Sony Music Japan, so this was their first major label album. There may have been concern that they'd be plagued with the dreaded major-label curse and fall off like their contemporaries 9mm Parabellum Bullet, but this album quickly put all those worries to rest. just A moment definitely reigned in ling's sound a bit and established more structure in their songwriting, but the quality of their music did not suffer at all. In fact, ling remained just as intense, emotional, and creative as ever. Plus, this was the first time that we got to hear ling's music with actual state-of-the-art production!...and DAT BASS!!! W000!!!! But I digress. Including this album was a no-brainer for me. It was bangin' then, and it's bangin' now. ling has always been in their own lane, and in my book, they wouldn't go on to release anything sub-par until after 2013. - @CAT5 -OZ- VERSUS VERSUS turns ten this year and it does not feel like the album is that old. It feels five to six years old, tops. I still spin this album regularly, more than I can say for subsequent -OZ- albums. This is the definition of an album aging well and a lot of credit must be given to how cohesive VERSUS sounds and how well it flows. It's an effortless listen that is also very rewarding, two compliments I rarely give out at the same time. -OZ- had one sound with a few minor variations, but that doesn't matter because this album hit on all of the things that made this band an unstoppable juggernaut of a metalcore ensemble. Album opener "LAST SHELL" is worth admission price alone, and album singles "FILMY", "VENOM", and "DETOX" are all fun bangers that work surprisingly well in the studio knowing they were composed for lives. This is the distillation of -OZ-'s essence into a bite sized package that's great for recommending when their complete collection album proves too daunting to tackle all at once. - @Zeus lynch. SHADOWS Before this album released, I had very little exposure to lynch. as I found that their growls/yells were a tad too off-putting and raw for my tastes and other bands in the Nagoya Kei scene caught my attention. Once I heard about SHADOWS and the shift in musical direction that included vocal tweaks, I gave it a listen. The distinct guitar chords that I remember liking had more lead roles this time, all while overhauling their method of growls/yells with a new form of aggression that could better suit the new atmosphere that was apparent as you listened. Truly, there were a lot of new ideas thrown into making the album a prolific release, one that even I could admire. SHADOWS, from what I hear, was one of those in-between albums for the band, and this could be true because musical concepts from this album are still existent with their current work. - @YuyoDrift Crossfaith The Artificial Theory For The Dramatic Beauty Arguably, TATFTDB is Crossfaith's most electrifying album. It got the attention of the global metalcore scene almost instantly. Even if the band has drifted away from their experimental roots, TATFTDB is one of those staples that refuses to be forgotten. Crossfaith blended electronic elements and hardcore in such a way that the former never lost its ability to slice through the utter brutality of the latter, effectively contrasting and spotlighting all of the band's strengths at the time. Times change but this album still kicks ass. - @doombox Psysalia psysalis psyche Matin Brun Back in the day, when actual J-indie communities still existed online, casual hate/distaste for VK was a common sight. Meanwhile, on VK boards, the fans were generally oblivious to the J-indie world and mostly just tended to their own interests. But every once and a while, you'd get a band like Psysalia psysalis psyche that existed on the fringes. A band that would simultaneously capture the interest of members from both communities. (ppl on last.fm were jokingly calling them "normal kei" back in the day lol) By 2009, two EPs and a single had placed PPP on the radar of a decent amount of J-rock fans. Up until this point, they'd released a few standout tracks like "SUBWAY KILLER" and "Butch & The Sundance Kid", but the rest of their output was just solid and nothing more. Basically, they were the kind of band that were cool enough to check out, but not one that you'd set your expectations too high for. So when they dropped Matin Brun, their debut full-length, I don't think anyone was ready! This album just completely eclipsed their previous output. It's like they entered into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from DBZ because their sound matured by leaps and bounds in the one year since their previous EP. Their dark and edgy brand of alt.rock was still in tact, but it was far more refined here. In fact, everything was better - the songwriting, the musicianship, and even the production. Hell, they even threw in some shoegaze for good measure! Sadly, the band's flame flickered out just a few years later and they disbanded in 2012. Their 2nd and final album felt more like a rushed and shoddily put together parting gift in comparison. However, Matin Brun remains standing tall in its own splendor. It's a testament to a band that was, perhaps, not done exploring their potential. - @CAT5 Plastic Tree ドナドナ I remember clearly when Plastic Tree's Dona Dona album came out. It was right around Christmas and I must have listened to the album during my entire winter break. It holds many memories for me and the title track was one of the biggest standouts. Ryutarou sings as if he's about to break apart, which brings me almost to tears, but it's very beautiful at the same time with the sweet swaying guitars. From the album cover, one can sense that Dona Dona gives a darker mood, but not necessarily heavier. Although if you're looking for something a bit heavy, "sunset bloody sunset" and "Gagaji" does take the spot well. But overall, with the forlorn and bitter "Dona Dona", the remorseful lyrics of "1999", the tender and playful "Etcetera", and the cold and lonely "Sanatorium", the album conveys a dreary and soothing sadness. Dona Dona is also the first album to feature an instrumental track that shows more of their post-rock influences. And as a little plus, the album ends with the silly track "Yasashisa Kurabu", that easily brings a smile to anyone. - @plastic_rainbow vistlip PATRIOT Yes vistlip released a different, full album this same year, but in addition to thinking PATRIOT is simply a better distillation of what makes the band great I also have to give the nod to PPATRIOT's amazing cover art (especially compared to Theater's complete lack of cover art.) The members of vistlip said in an interview with JAME just before the release of PATRIOT that they don't have a band concept because, in part, "we might be trapped in it, so we do whatever we think is good... we are quite flexible." It's exactly this kind of attitude that makes PATRIOT a VK classic. There's a diversity in the eight songs of PATRIOT even though they all would fall under the wide umbrella of 'bright Visual Kei'. The vocalist Tomo takes some chances and screams a bit, but mostly understands what his range is and maxes what he *can* do (which is write some incredibly catchy refrains) rather than try to make his voice do things it wasn't designed to. The band isn't afraid of a crunchy riff but also want to write songs that are accessible and fun. PATRIOT deserves a spot in your collection a decade after its release because it's a crowd-pleaser that isn't pandering. Love fun Oshare Kei but want something a little less squeaky and cute? This mini-album fits the bill. You're into heavier music but want something you could play for your mom to introduce her to VK that isn't scary but also isn't milquetoast? vistlip have been doing that for more than a decade now. - @The Reverend exist†trace VANGUARD -of the muses- You guys remember the hype for this EP? For those that weren't around, exist†trace had already claimed a spot in the top-tier list of bands in such a short amount of time and their PV for “VANGUARD” was a real teaser, being praised all over the web while providing even more exposure for the band. It was fitting because exist†trace had filled in the gap of gothic and darker rock fans yearned for, as this sound was already being left behind by bands like D’espairsRay and even Girugamesh. The shift from screaming and growling from their previous work was a surprise because it was how they gained recognition by old fans and somehow, they managed to keep that intensity going with more involved instrumentation and Jyou’s vocals being the new driving force. I’m a sucker for melodies in sync with the drum’s pacing and they did not disappoint. My favorite tracks on repeat were “花の咲かない街” and of course “VANGUARD”, possibly being the first song that will ever come to mind when someone asks for a song by them, so I highly recommend you give this release a spin. - @YuyoDrift exist†trace Ambivalent Symphony Ambivalent Symphony was big step for exist†trace mixing their early raw sound with updated production elements to smooth out their rough edges and it makes for an excellent album. Certainly one of theirs I find myself returning to more than any of the others. From "RESONANCE" to "VANGUARD" you can see the band put every drop of their blood, sweat, and tears into making this album a top tier visual kei offering that would stand the test of time and get some much needed visibility for women in a music scene over-saturated with their male counterparts. - @doombox You thought they were done for this year with just one EP? Try a second one! exist†trace continued to blow the doors off the male-dominated scene by releasing Ambivalent Symphony only a few months later. Just as in the previous EP, Jyou decided to tone down the screams and growls, as I recall that at the time she was straining her throat at a very fast rate, but what we discovered was that she was an even more amazing singer once she focused her longer notes, bringing more life and contrast to their arrangements. I still herald Jyou as one of the best female singers of the vk scene and this album is a benchmark of what she contributed to the archives of old. Tracks I still play to this day are “Wrath” and “「終わりのない世界」”, and they are so synonymous to my memories of them. exist†trace may have also been the only band that still retained a gothic appearance in the visual kei scene, carrying over the heavy and dark basslines one last time in an era for them that would be short-lived, as the sound of exist†trace would soon change. - @YuyoDrift MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS ワールドイズユアーズ I'd argue that MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS are one of the most iconic indie bands to come out of Japan post 00's. Despite their original line-up consisting of all females, they somehow managed to avoid being typecast as just another "girl band", and I think that speaks volumes about their music. Frontwoman Natsuko Miyamoto (affectionately called 'Natsukon' by fans) has been a fierce & bold presence from the start. She's an absolute beast on the bass (known to always perform barefoot), and her signature croon is striking, yet pure. Of course, the other members are competent in their own right, but I think MassDre's appeal lies not in their technical ability, but in the raw sincerity and authenticity of their sound. WORLD IS YOURS perfectly exemplifies this and, in my opinion, is their best album to date! - @CAT5 Megaromania Prophetic Faction - the Universe - All of my favorite songs and recollections of Megaromania are from 2009’s Prophetic Faction - the Universe -. There is a lot of effort put into this album, from the tonal length and coordination of the guitar chords, to the timing of the riffs that enter and exit throughout the length of each song, and of course the intensity of the solos. Many fans from back then would say that they were one of the best bands to ever exist within the UNDERCODE label. Megaromania's musical arrangements were worthy of that Kote Kei distinction, as there was a youth and involvement from the band to create music full of harmony and expression that suited their visual aesthetic. That said, I’m definitely not going to forget to mention their amazing looks and outfits that you can still see in the PVs of “APOCOLYPSE” and “God of Megaromania-純血ノ刻印-“ as they are pretty iconic. - @YuyoDrift kamomekamome / DEEPSLAUTER / FUCK YOU HEROES 放送事故現場 split This split was bad-ass. The end. ahaha, in general, I think split releases are a cool idea, but it's often the case that one band out-shines the other(s) and the split just isn't enjoyable as a whole. Thankfully, that's not the case here. All three bands brought their a-game, although they all represent different shades of hardcore. kamomekamome offered two tracks that are more on the post-hardcore side of things, with killer riffs and frantic, spoken word-ish vocals. DEEPSLAUTER is pegged as "power-violence" with a much more chaotic and progressive sound, and FUCK YOU HEROES is more or less your traditional hardcore punk. Splits are an especially common thing in the punk world, but this one is essential for Japanese H/C fans! - @CAT5 the studs alansmithee Once more we had the pleasure of enjoying yet another masterpiece from Nagoya Kei’s veterans with alansmithee. I feel this album best represented Aie’s talents, as his composing style heard today was born in this album, and being able to collaborate with Daisuke must have been a big factor as well. Beautifully paced tempos and lively guitar chords, the themes throughout the album were throwbacks to their earlier careers, as well as their progress up to this point. Gosh, nothing sounded more amazing than hearing Daisuke's voice resonate through your ears during long notes. As memorable as Nagoya Kei alansmithee was, it was nothing but a bittersweet moment for fans of the studs, as we found out that this was their last album. Not even a week after the release, the studs announced an indefinite hiatus due to the future direction of the band and creative differences that led to the departure of 2 of their core members. Even more crushing was Daisuke, who I consider one of the greatest singers in VK history, passed away the following year, and with him any hope we had for a comeback. - @YuyoDrift FACT FACT If I had to pick an album for 2009 that I still cherish as much as I did when it was first released, it has to be this one. It single-handedly launched me to expand my musical horizons deeply into the Japanese punk and indie scene outside of what I was finding in the vk realm. FACT was THAT band that found the perfect mix of punk aggression with extremely catchy melodies that lived seamlessly in both the pop-punk and hardcore ends of the spectrum. Even though most of them still have strong projects going since they split, I'll always find their music together as FACT what sticks with me the most. If you have never listened to the original album version or remix of "A Fact of Life" you absolutely have to go do that right now! - @doombox 百蚊 花園 Hyacca was one of many bands that I came across in my J-indie exploration heydays via their 2006 album. It was good, but failed to leave a lasting impression. Fast-forward to 2009. I was reintroduced to them by Steven Tanaka (Founder of Next Music From Tokyo), who was raving about this album (which was new at the time), and long story short - Hyacca left a lasting impression this time! I think the band had finally found their sound on this album - noisey and spastic post-punk with angular riffs and warped distortion. If I remember correctly, I think Steve once described the guitar tone in one of their songs as 'sounding like broken glass'. This album is a blast from start to finish! Fans of melt-banana and limited express (has gone ) would love this! - @CAT5 DEATHGAZE THE CONTINUATION THE CONTINUATION did exactly what the title implied: carrying over what worked for their last album which were clean and strong growls, versatile yet heavy guitar play speed, and melodic choruses. Several of the songs are re-recorded tracks from their early-era material , this time with different guitar structures and Ai behind the mic. This album was the perfect little metal package for fans new and old. The popular consensus online at the time was that THE CONTINUATION was on par with lynch.’s album SHADOWS, that I’m sure gave birth to the running joke/confusion on which album was who’s, making each band one and the same. Take a listen and let the others and I know from 10 years ago if we’re just crazy haha. Personally, I think that between the two of them, DEATHGAZE took the crown for 2009. - @YuyoDrift アルカラ BOY NEXT DOOR Although Arukara has been around since 2004, this was the album that really put them on the map for most western J-rock fans. The PV for "夢見る少女でいたい。", featured below, made the rounds online and quickly garnered comparisons to 9mm Parabellum Bullet, who were on a sharp decline at the time. In fact, I'd say it was 9mm's downfall that really made way for bands like Arukara and cinema staff to step in and fill that void. BOY NEXT DOOR definitely showcased some of the indie-rock explosiveness that 9mm was known for, but it also proved that Arukara were very much their own band. Much like cinema staff's Mizuki Iida, vocalist Taisuke Inamura also has a strong singing voice which stands out in the J-indie world (where high-pitched and effeminate male voices are common and there really are no singing standards ). Taisuke's voice, the band's technical ability, memorable melodies, and compelling songwriting all make BOY NEXT DOOR a fantastic record. One of the best of 2009, with some of my all-time favorite Arukara songs! - @CAT5 ClearVeil RE:BORN ClearVeil’s RE:BORN is one of the many staples to this era of VK and even ten years later, still has many songs from this album in my music playlists. What made the band noticeable to many of us back then were the full-bodied basslines, clean and harmonized vocals, and if anything, the extra effort made to retain the visual sound from back then - I think was the most impressive to me. If I were to compare them, roughly, they were a combination of Rentrer En Soi, early-era D’espairsRay, and a dash of early-era Kagerou. Due to musical differences the band’s career was short lived, just shy of 3 years, but man did they tour a lot, so there’s plenty of video of them online. Since then, I believe that some of the members have moved on to more current projects like ORCALADE (they still around? Lol), so if you already listen to that band, check out where their sound came from with ClearVeil. - @YuyoDrift Far France AHYARANKE ^ This promo pic actually does a fantastic job of summing up Far France's sound: wild, crazy, and tons of fun! They're fuckin' bananas! In fact, vocalist/guitarist Shinya actually garnered quite the reputation in Tokyo's live scene for being both a raucous performer and audience member. But beyond the band's silly demeanor, these guys actually boasted some serious musical chops, as clearly illustrated here on AHYARANKE. The entire album is one non-stop ride of spastic, psychedelic outbursts and proggy twists & turns. Even the seemingly unassuming tracks end up in a sprawling jam-fest, yet the band balances their chaos with groove and accessibility. Unfortunately, the band went on what seems to have been an indefinite hiatus after this, but they left us with a record well-deserving of praise even a decade later. - @CAT5 VAMPS VAMPS It’s odd to look back on this timeline because HYDE was already an established solo artist, back with L’arc en ciel and their return to music, composer for a ton of popular songs, even doing some acting gigs, and so just when you realize that he’s at a very high point in his career, he goes and unveils his new musical project. VAMPS is seen as a duo project with Guitarist K.A.Z, who had worked with HYDE for years on his previous solo releases, and so the music itself was already recognizable, yet their self-titled album went even further to bring in fresh ideas that have aged very damn well for what they are. The album combines previous singles that hyped the release (my personal favorite is the song “Time Goes By” in the Love Addict single) giving the album more variety to what I already thought was an impressive collection. If you’re a fan of his previous solo releases like 666 or Faith, then VAMPS will remind you of those throwbacks and some new delights for keeps, so check it out. - @YuyoDrift Z 新今日 Z is....Z is something else. They formed from the remains of legendary hardcore punk band There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (whose members also formed bands like As Meias and Hununhum) I've seen them described as "Pharoah Sanders meets late-period Black Flag" and "post-avant-jazzcore" - WHATEVER THAT MEANS. They're definitely experimental, and they definitely have elements of jazz and hardcore. Their sound is also sinister and unsettling, often striving between free-form chaos and menacing grooves. I definitely wouldn't call this album accessible, but Z incorporates all of these different traits in the most sprawling and immersive, yet captivating fashion. Almost all of their tracks take time to really build up, but the payoff is always worth it and the journey is a fulfilling one, especially with frontman Jun Nemoto's frantically animated vocals in tow. A truly noteworthy effort from vets of the Japanese underground. - @CAT5 圭 silk tree. Anything related to the members of Baroque/Kannivalism, I was always excited about, so Kei's solo album silk tree. was one of the things I was looking forward to the most. Compared to Baroque and Kannivalism, Kei's solo work brought more of an ambient and electronic sound, which I was fairly new to and was not often the kind of music heard in VK, but I've grown to love the album with every visit. I even had a newfound love for the track "barred door." a few years ago, which for whatever reason didn't move me as strongly as it does now. There are many great tracks here, some featuring lovely strings and pianos, and some giving an energetic color. silk tree. is both whimsical and sorrowful, and is an album worth visiting over and over again. - @plastic_rainbow LIGHT BRINGER Tales of Almanac The origins of how I discovered FUKI were birthed right here with Tales of Almanac, coincidentally being their first full-length album. I came from a long history of listening to female JPop artists, so when I discovered that there was a metal band with a tiny and bright-colored woman as their vocalist who sung EXACTLY like acts such as Every Little Thing and Day After Tomorrow, I was hooked. Their PVs for “Upstream Children” and “Diamond” show a combination of hardcore guitar riffs and upbeat synths that provide the same satisfaction as deep growls and screams, something I didn’t think would sound great together but it did! FUKI’s highest voice tones were around this time, so if you’re a fan of hers, you need to see what she sounded like before to appreciate how dedicated she’s been to master her vocal range. LIGHT BRINGER’s existence might be before any other successful attempts to bring a lighter and cute tone with idols to metal like BABYMETAL and the whole wave of Kawaii-Metal throughout the next decade. - @YuyoDrift cinema staff Symmetoronica Technically speaking, cinema staff debuted in 2008 with their EP titled document, but personally, their follow-up Symmetoronica has always felt like their first real outing for me. Don't get me wrong, their debut was decent, but there wasn't much propelling them beyond your run-of-the-mill indie-rock band with pop leanings. And trust me, Japan is over-saturated with those types. However, this EP saw the band strengthen their song-writing with an emotional heft that had been missing previously. Although cinema staff has gone on to refine and even out-do what they've done here, this was an outstanding release in '09, and some of Mizuki's vocal lines are still memorable to this day. - @CAT5 Unlucky Morpheus Jealousy When you listen to Unlucky Morpheus now, you would never imagine that they would sound any different than they do, but they’ve come a long way during their indie/touhou days from 10 years ago. It was Jealousy that introduced me to them, with none other than the tiny woman that could belt like no other as their frontwoman, FUKI. This album contained songs that paid a sort of tribute to metal legends like X Japan (the album cover is a nod to them too) and Onmyouza. Similar to her other band LIGHT BRINGER, FUKI provides a lively and energetic contrast to the various forms of metal like Speed, Neoclassical, and Power. So, while I can spend hours telling you how much I like Unlucky Morpheus and how insanely remarkable FUKI is as a singer, I’d rather you give this album a listen. Funnily enough, if FUKI’s current vocals are more your cup-of-tea than the vocals in this specific release, Unlucky Morpheus actually rerecorded the entire album for 2018, so you can sample that one as an alternative. - @YuyoDrift Sadie MASTER OF ROMANCE 10 years is long enough to quit comparing Sadie to DEG, right? As difficult as it was for the album, MASTER OF ROMANCE eventually ended the nonstop comparisons to DEG’s music, as there really weren’t many to be made in the first place. It was easy to forget back then but DEG no longer sounded the same, leaving a void that Sadie had perfectly filled in its place. MASTER OF ROMANCE was something familiar yet so fresh, an easy-listening experience for those fans that couldn’t stomach current era DEG and instead could listen to “what could have been”. A great blend of hardcore riffs, bridges, and lively tempos, you couldn’t mistake Sadie for anyone else. Mao’s vocals were amazingly as versatile as Kyo’s, which I feel most comparisons were made from, yet more dynamics in his singing is what brought more originality to Sadie, as it gave more life than their monotonous counterpart in my opinion. - @YuyoDrift SCREW X-RAYS As an early fan of SCREW, it was nice to still see their early-era aesthetic was still around even during the turn of the decade as most bands had dropped them. SCREW still retained that hardcore rock and punk music style in X-RAYS, along with the melodies and solos that only upped their flair. Also retained was Byou’s vocal experimentation with growls and crooning and so their music direction by this time had become synonymous to the band’s image. If you were a fan of or listened to Sadie, 12012, or even The GazettE during their mid 00’ eras and never listened to SCREW, then you should definitely give them a listen. This release represents a throwback for me as I was madly into these guys 10 years ago, and was easily a top album for me in 2009 as SCREW’s early years are definitely when they were their most creative. - @YuyoDrift Hailing sometime from the awkward era where the instrumentals were good but vocalist Byou still couldn't sing, X-RAYS is one of the black sheep of visual kei albums for sure. I never thought that I'd catch myself recommending anything from this era ten years from now, but things change. Dodge anything that sounds like a bad attempt at metal - which includes songs like "DRASTIC SLAVER", "VII CARDINAL SINS", and "void box" - and you'll find a more than competent rock band yearning to be set free. Go back any further than this and I find the vocals unbearable. Go any further than this and I find the instrumentals dull. "FIREFLY" is my jam and "RUIN AND DREAD" is a surprise carrying a tone completely unfitting for the name, and "answer" has one hell of a kick ass riff that almost makes you forget people liked to clown on SCREW ten years ago. As with most of the things I review, this would have been better off as a mini-album. - @Zeus alice nine. VANDALIZE Ohhh man, I love this album. If any band was able to successfully make that musical transition without getting crap for it, it was alice nine. (This name sounds better than A9 honestly, and it was around this year that they changed to it from their previous name). I think the band members had a clear image of what they wanted to do musically, with high rankings on the music boards being proof of the good reception the band was getting from their musical change. VANDALIZE continued the bands’ success, as the album was very energetic and so musically rich that it could make you sing along even if you weren’t a fan. It seemed natural that you’d enjoy it. How they were doing it, I couldn’t tell you, but did it matter? It was the golden years for them and VANDALIZE was the most accurate representation of it. This album is easily one of my top 3 albums from alice nine. to date, and if you are new to them I’d check this release out because it’s a must-listen. - @YuyoDrift ViViD The ViViD Color ViViD was a band that perfectly bridged the colorful, lighter side of VK with enough edge to be palatable for me, especially back in 2009 when I was stepping farther away from the typical VK pop-friendly bands. But The ViViD color had the right energy and hype to stand out that year among a very strong era for VK. They were a new face that PS Company desperately needed to carry the torch from their previous generation settling from rookie to veteran status. The guitar riffs from Ryouga and Reno on this album are just as flashy as the fashion choices, Shin's voice is bright and clear (and I was already a big fan from his work with 秋葉原少年団☆電脳ロメオ), and the tag team rhythm section and dj of IV and Ko-Ki topped the whole album off to give a grounded but exciting backbone. - @doombox ハイスイノナサ 街について Every once and a while, the stars align and the Gods see fit to bless us with a band that simply seems too good to be true. Haisuinonasa falls into that category. I remember hearing a demo version of "happy end" (the song featured below), and thinking that these guys would be something special. A few months later, they debuted with this EP (through the formerly esteemed Zankyo Records), and my premonitions proved correct. You could say they played a form of dreamy, math-rock with female vocals, but that would be denigrating at best. I've even seen some describe them as "piano-driven breakbeat" with elements of post rock, prog, minimal, and electronica, but whatever you wanna call it, machi nitsuite offered an entirely new sound that is just as singular now as it was then. I can honestly say that this was a flawless debut. - @CAT5 toe For Long Tomorrow toe's first album from 2005 was (and still is) regarded as an instrumental/math-rock classic in Japan and all over the globe. So naturally, there was a ton of anticipation for their sophomore effort, For Long Tomorrow. I dare say, they exceeded expectations. This album is not only an evolution of toe's sound, but it's an evolution of math-rock in general. Unlike most bands of this genre, they're not content to just aimlessly noodle your face off with meandering riffs. Not at all. toe actually plays with intent, and their songwriting is full of character. Mino and Yamazaki aren't simply playing guitar - no, they're waltzing together on the fret board. Seamlessly. Gracefully. Kashikura isn't just an excellent drummer. nah, dude is narrating percussive epics in dis bih!!! 🤣 Basically, the band's chemistry is so stellar that anything they do is guaranteed to be high quality. And with their soundscape expanded to include keyboards, kalimbas, horns, and guest vocalists, this album truly put toe in a league of their own. They pretty much set the bar for math-rock. (btw, the song featured below has been my ringtone FOR YEARS!!! ) - @CAT5 miscorner/c+llooqtortion view for voices Don't even ask me how to pronounce their name! I can honestly say that this is one of the most unique records I've ever heard out of the vast world of J-indie. miscorner themselves were a pretty unique band, though. Essentially, they were two drummers playing to pre-recorded loops, and while their usual output was instrumental, they took a different approach on this EP by featuring a host of guest vocalists. To my knowledge, miscorner were a pretty obscure band, both in Japan and abroad. (I can actually count on one hand the amount of J-music fans I knew who actually knew this band as well.) Yet somehow, the vocalists featured on this EP are all J-indie O.G.'s like Takahisa Gomi from LOSTAGE, and Seiki from NAHT. Hell, they even managed to feature a J-pop vet like Misako Odani! Easily one of the best things about 2009, and one of J-indie's hidden gems. - @CAT5 12012 mar maroon By far my least favorite release by 12012, and quite possibly one of my least favorite albums ever, mar maroon did not improve with time. mar maroon marks the beginning of the end for many of 12012's earliest fans. It's one of the prime examples of heavy and hard rock bands going soft and losing sense of what defined their sound in the first place. There's very little appealing or even convincing musically, as if the band was almost forced into playing this kind of music. The direction they took afterwards isn't giving them any excuses either, pretty much emulating Dir en grey until their indefinite hiatus. The album folds quicker than a house of cards, revealing a surprising lack of inspiration and variety. It's almost impossible to get through in one sitting. In this case, even though the change in sound correlates with them going major, I do not think that it was the cause. Rather, I think the cause of them abandoning their roots is due to vocalist Wataru's scandal. It would not look good for 12012 to continue their old theme while still under the scrutiny of the public eye, and mar maroon even sounds like a musical apology that no one asked for. When considering 12012's entire discography, both before and after this album, this one easily comes in last place. "GOSSAMER" from their album SEVEN puts this entire album to shame. This can easily be skipped and forgotten. - @Zeus the GazettE DIM Where do I even begin? 2009’s the GazettE brought Visual Kei to hype levels that were so ludicrous, I remember music from this album spent YEARS circulating on music boards online. Who could blame them? The basslines bared so much weight and gloom, the melodies so melancholic and desolate, the lyrics were so wonderfully complex and dark, the entire atmosphere of DIM was so thick and compositionally sound that many who were around back then would agree that this was the album of our lives. *Breathes* The tracks could be cut & pasted into anyone’s mood and I feel that was due in part to the ideas and inspiration they took from other bands we adored throughout the past decade. “泣ヶ原 (Nakigahara)” for example was no more than a few simple chords and a Koto yet spoke volumes relating to current events, more so than one could put into words. The album’s last track “DIM SCENE” must be one of the heaviest message-driven compositions I have ever heard, flawlessly correlating the entire playthrough once more in the form of a message, maybe even an anthem, to other bands and fans of the VK scene alike. I can’t deny that the DIM era represented the GazettE at their prime, setting a bar so unattainable for the next decade that many would contest today has yet to be broken, even by them. I don’t think there’s a single VK fan alive today that has not listened to a song from this album. It doesn’t even feel like 10 years have gone by since its release, perhaps because I’ve grown far past a simple admiration and relive the nostalgia of “what was” every time I play DIM. - @YuyoDrift DIM is an album defined more by what it isn't than what it is. When examining the release of all the GazettE albums in chronological order, DIM rises head and shoulders above album neighbors Toxic and the eponymous Stacked Rubbish. It's almost impossible not to do this comparison. This is viewed by many as one of the GazettE's best albums, but time has not been kind to this album. With the initial wow factor out of the way, one can clearly see how the progressive leanings of Dir en grey's 2008 masterpiece Uroboros heavily influenced DIM. The album is very disjointed and features a lot of SE's to try and fix that - which it doesn't. When it's good, it's good. When it's not good, it's blase. Some tracks like "Shiroki Yuuutsu" and "IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS" are very forgettable experiences. One of the best songs "HEADACHE MAN" is a recycled B-side. "OGRE" is a bad Slipknot cover. "A MOTH UNDER THE SKIN" feels unfinished. Some pruning is required to bring the best out of this period, but it's there waiting to be found. This is an ambitious attempt by the band to outdo themselves and they really nailed this darkness concept the first time around. The lead singles are catchy without resorting to pop hooks and banal visual kei tropes. Good album, bit overrated, better than most of their full lengths, but I think that DOGMA and NINTH are better, more enriching overall experiences. - @Zeus Also known as “the first time I noticed the GazettE had a drummer”. DIM has arguably left the biggest mark on the band’s career, not only had Ruki improved as a vocalist, Kai also seemed to level up enough to finally bring life to their music. Before, sure, he kept the rhythm in check and played his role in the band, but from DIM onwards Kai’s own style started to shine. This album was the draft for what would later culminate in DOGMA, that is to say, Gazette’s style took a turn into darker corners with a heavy, tangible concept that was not only musical but visual. "13stairs[-]1" is a slow burner that I still find myself going back to and it pairs perfectly with "HEADACHE MAN" and "OGRE" — great songs to headbang to in a live setting. And yet, despite the heaviness of DIM, we were given one of the GazettE’s best ballads, “nakigahara”. It'd been several years since they had released a long, emotional trip like this (old fans will know) and they did not disappoint, despite its simplicity and instrumental minimalism, the heartache of "nakigahara" leaves you hanging to every note. Although DIM does feel like a slog to get through despite these great gems, its legacy is undeniable. - @platy Wait...DIM is on this list???? ahaha. I'm sure absolutely no one is surprised to see this album here. But there is good reason for it! Most people here know that I'm a casual VK fan, but a lover of J-rock and Japanese music in general. During my beginning phases of exploring J-rock, I dabbled in a bit of VK from like late 2004 - 2006, and then started getting into J-indie in 2007 and focusing my attention there. Basically, i'd heard and enjoyed NIL, but skipped STACKED RUBBISH. By the time 2009 rolled around, I was neck-deep in J-indie and only getting deeper, but DIM and all of the singles leading up to it were the only things that made me stop and pay attention to the VK world again. People can say what they want now, but almost everything about DIM was magical, during and prior to its release. The videos, the music, the general aesthetics...clearly, the GazettE had tapped into something special! Now in retrospect, DIM has definitely started to show some rust in areas. Certain tracks like "THE INVISIBLE WALL" and "A MOTH UNDER THE SKIN" just don't hit like they used to, and I think their whole 'dark/heavy' sound was later refined and employed waaaay better on DOGMA and NINTH. But with that said, I think all of the single/PV tracks are still particularly strong to this day. But I think what sets this album apart more than anything is the vision they had for it. It feels more like a complete experience than a cohesive collection of songs. DIM actually has character to it. - @CAT5 ......
  2. 20 points
    Well, it is what the title says. コロナウイルス is forcing people to stay home in Japan and the japs have a nice philosophy of spreading hope in times of despair, so they went there and performed anyway and are being nice and posting the gigs that got cancelled online for all to see, including us, poor gaijin. No live audience, no staff, etc. These are the ones I've seen so far: Let's make this collaborative so do share other links here if you know of any. I'll keep updating this list. Previously unreleased lives uploaded for viewing due to the Corona situation are also to be freely shared in this thread - MH Staff And bear in mind most of these gigs will be available for a limited time only, so hurry up and watch or download the ones you're interested in watching ASAP.
  3. 19 points
    monkeybanana4

    12012 restart activities

    12012 will restart activities. Further details on future activities will be announced later. 宮脇渉 (Wataru) https://twitter.com/wataru_12012 酒井洋明 (Hiroaki) https://twitter.com/hsakai12012 齋藤紳一郎 (Shinchirou) https://twitter.com/s_mokichi 塩谷朋之 (Tomoyuki) https://twitter.com/tEnya_solioquy 須賀勇介 (Yuusuke) https://twitter.com/yusuke_suga 川内亨 (Tooru) https://twitter.com/12012_toru
  4. 19 points
  5. 19 points
    Takadanobabaalien

    Show Yourself (again)

    Me and my homie Ai from gulu gulu
  6. 18 points
    Alkaloid

    gulu gulu new look

  7. 18 points
    Zeus

    Worst To First: Dir en grey

    Love them or hate them, almost everyone's got an opinion about Dir en grey. The scene stops to listen whenever Dir en grey announce a new single or album. As a long time fan of the band, I think it's the perfect time to express how I feel about all of their albums. My feelings will differ from album to album. Some albums have had the benefit of twenty years and others only a few months, so that's always going to be a factor in how I rank things. I will cover this from my least favorite album to my most favorite album, but by no means take this as a definitive list for Dir en grey. Everyone will have their own rankings and their own suggestions for where to start. I happen to think that this also a great order to introduce someone to this band. This is a perfect topic for those that don't listen to Dir en grey or don't know where to start, current fans looking for spicy opinions and a pot to stir, or even old fans looking for a reintroduction into their new era. Not only have I included a PV for each album as a sampler, but I also put together suggested playlists for each album. The playlists are the order that I would have arranged the band if I were them. The songs are the songs that I believe are the best from each period. Some will require more effort than others to construct. To make it simpler, I have included my favorite three tracks and one music video from each album. I will not consider the mini albums MISSA and six Ugly in this analysis, but some of those tracks will appear in the playlists I create. DUM SPIRO SPERO Album No: 8 Released: August 2, 2011 Length: 67:31 鬼葬 (kisou) Album No: 3 Released: January 30, 2002 Length: 69:57 THE MARROW OF A BONE Album No: 6 Released: February 7, 2007 Length: 50:05 ARCHE Album No: 9 Released: December 10, 2014 Length: 68:01 🎖️The Insulated World🎖️ Album No: 10 Released: September 26, 2018 Length: 50:27 🏅Withering to death.🏅 Album No: 5 Released: March 9, 2005 Length: 51:14 🥉MACABRE🥉 Album No: 2 Released: September 20, 2000 Length: 72:57 🥈GAUZE🥈 Album No: 1 Released: July 28, 1999 Length: 64:47 🥇UROBOROS🥇 Album No: 7 Released: November 11, 2008 Length: 58:54 👑VULGAR👑 Album No: 4 Released: September 10, 2003 Length: 57:02 That's everything folks! Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Did you like it? Did you agree? Do you have your own rankings? Leave them below! I'm interested to know what everyone's opinions are, especially since Dir en grey is one of my favorite bands ever. So many people are passionate about this band like no other. If enough people liked this, I may follow up soon with one for the GazettE. Until next time
  8. 17 points
    For the next 2 weeks I will enjoy my very first Japan-trip. As I will visit 4 concerts in this period I thought you may be interested in a report of the shows. February 15, 2020 - Buglug, Arlequin, Kizu (Man only) - Meguro Rokumeikan So this will be it: My first concert on Japanese ground! I was beyond excited. The concert was scheduled for 5:30. We went there early to avoid any troubles. In front of the venue a nice guy from Israel spotted us and gave us some useful tips for attending a concert in Japan (the entrance system, behaving etc.) Thanks for that man! He also told us that this venue is legendary one. Especially known for X Japan shows in their indies. We entered the venue after climbing some stairs down. It was much smaller then I expected. I would say it has a capacity of 150~200. There were no boundaries in front of the stage so the atmosphere is really intimate. Arlequin (アルルカン) started the evening. Of course I am familiar with the name of the band but never dared to listen to them. But wow - they were great! They really really had fun with the man only gig. Aki pumped us with shouting Otoko!! several times. He even grabbed his guts lol. He did some stage diving between one song. I really liked his stage performance and the rest of the band was great too! I will definitely get into their discography. They played around 45 minutes. I can‘t report a setlist, sorry. Second band was (finally) Kizu (キズ). They were the main reason for choosing this concert as I really ship them! So this report will be very long. 😁 As not being the headliner you could see that most of the fans came for Kizu. So as their intro started the venue was pumped! Lime‘s outfit was a mix between a vampire and the Joker. He had a long black cape, joker makeup (the Heath Ledger one) and hair extension. Reiki looked as usual with his short trousers. But his hair is grown much longer. Yue had a very dandy look with his hair combed back. He wore a black suit which was open so you could see his upper body. Kyonosuke had an interesting look with combed back hair too and a black ruffled indefinable top. They started with Heisei which is so much better live! Lime played a second guitar. Next song was Buta also a very nice live experience. Then Jugo - and omg what a madness. So much headbanging and Furi. Same with the following Elise. I‘m not a big fan auf Kuro ame but I have to admit the song is beautiful live. Lime sang the first verse without microphone and that gave me shivers. You could also see that the song is very emotional for the whole band. The silence after Kuro ame was short as they played Oshimai - fuck yes! It was wild. Reiki did his guitar flip and the crowd was insane. Last song was Kizuato - forget what I was saying about Oshimai... this song was insane! That breakdown in the end. 😱 I hoped that they play it and I was so happy. And this was it. A 45 minute concert which felt like 10 minutes... If you have any chance to watch them, do it! Setlist キズ: 平成 豚 十五 ELISE 黒い雨 おしまい 傷痕 And last but not least BugLug entered the stage. They were the headliner for the show. I‘ve never heard one song of them so I was excited to see what they may deliver. Light went out and a SE started to play as someone tiped my shoulder. It was the lead singer lol. They surprised us and came from the entrance straight through the audience to the stage. They shouted something with a megaphone. That was really cool. Next surprise: Before they started to iniateted a wall of death. Neat! They did a really good and entertaining show with stage diving, moshing, fan service etc. While the last song the singer came right into the audience and sang the whole song there and even started to mosh. Great band but their music is not my cup of tea. (Please don‘t kill me dear BugLug fans!) They also played 45 minutes. I don‘t know their songs but I took a picture of their setlist if someone is interested. So this was it! A great concert with left us all with smiling faces. next one is the Meme Oneman on February 18. I hope you liked this review and didn‘t fall asleep while reading. I will soon write again after the next concert.
  9. 17 points
    Wow - it's been a long time since this happened, but I remembered mentioning I'd write up a report and life has finally slowed down enough for me to try and do just that! This was a show I felt really lucky to be able to attend while I was there - it was the night before I was scheduled to leave Tokyo and had multiple acts I had hoped to see while I was in Japan. I'll get right to it (though this might be a bit "stream of consciousness" so bear with my antics and anecdotes) On this afternoon my wife and I were wandering Ikebukuro before we were going to go to 高田馬場AREA for this live. She doesn't have much interest in VK and we were nearing the end of our trip, so she planned on watching a band or two and heading back to our accommodations in Shinjuku. When we arrived, she saw the line (on an incline going down a hill) and basically said "yeah, no" so I took her back to the train station (where there was a ginormous R指定 banner hanging over the staircase) while we had time to spare. Funnily enough, I went to the restroom before returning to the venue and in that time she realized she left our wifi box in my bag, so she walked back to the venue to track me down. Somehow everyone was already inside and she assumed I had gone in, too -- but I also had her ticket (I wasn't thinking much this day...) She then attempted to track down "blonde gaijin" in broken Japanese with the gentleman running the door who reluctantly (yet surprisingly???) let her run into the live hall and find me. At this point I am walking back to the venue and see her on the sidewalk. I am very confused so she explains the whole silly scenario and basically says "fuck it, I'm here, buy me a drink and I'll hang out for a little." As we enter and declare our "favorites" to the doorman (DIMLIM and gulu gulu) we enter and hear music playing while we buy beers. I see video on the screen but I am a newbie and thought it was a recording. Turns out the opening band (billed as Aster) was actually finishing their set already. (the listed showtime hadn't even hit yet - I thought we were early, but oh well!) We wandered into the live hall to see them play about half a song before stepping off stage. There were still quite a few people watching them, though, especially for an early opener I had never heard of (and can't find any info on???) I discussed this with someone before going to the live and speculated this might actually be the band GLEN, who was set to release a maxi-single called "Aster" later that month and after hearing GLEN/seeing their visuals, I am now convinced this was in fact the case. They sounded very similar from what I experienced and the visuals strike me as the same or similar to the look in their video. Anyway... After curtains closed and reopened, we were greeted by some fairly heavy visuals -- a vocalist wearing a cloak covered in creepy white masks and a guitarist with the classic medical eye-patch. From what I knew, this appeared to be MonstlloW; I had watched a few of their videos to prepare myself as I wasn't too familiar. I was immediately taken by how...cool they looked. Very heavy visuals, just really professional from visuals to sound. Their instrumentals were extremely tight and the audience was really engaged, headbanging and dancing and shimmying from one side of the room to the other (probably my favorite thing to experience at a VK live in terms of audience interaction as I had never seen anything like it before.) I'll admit that I didn't find the videos I had watched to be too memorable so I wasn't sure what to expect, but they definitely won me over by the end. Definitely the kind of band that is worth seeing live to really appreciate. (My wife was quite taken with them, commenting on how strong the singer's vocals were and how impressed she was by their overall performance. She has some familiarity with VK from DIR EN GREY and my general interest, but she seemed much more drawn in than I anticipated.) They played a total of 5 songs and handed out setlist cards from their merch table after they finished. Monstllow setlist 1. 嘘泣キ少女 2. KERBEROS 3. ビッグマウス・マーチ 4. WE ARE LIAR 5. 劇薬U.S.O After this we grabbed a few more drinks and took a seat while we waited for the next act. We were very close to the back, right in front of MonstlloW and DIMLIM's merch tables. I was surprised to see that MonslloW's guitarist and bassist had actually come out and were hanging out behind their merch table. They appeared...very tall? Probably a combination of costume, hair, and the fact that they were on a platform above us, but it felt a bit imposing! (Haha.) After their merch sales concluded for the moment, I took a second to inventory enough of my Japanese language knowledge to basically say "I really like your band" and they seemed amused and appreciative. They handed us the setlist cards and actually hung around back there for the majority of the night. (I don't know why this shook me so much, I guess VK has been at such a distance my entire life that I never really expected them to be so casually...there??) The curtains opened again revealed the next band -- another four person act, guitarist in a white dress (iirc) and bassist with a long, spotted fur coat. It was their vocalist that clued me into who they were, though -- very slim, shirtless under an open jacket, strutting directly to the center of the stage. This was definitely Hueye. (Upon seeing them, my wife immediately exclaimed "oh, they're girls!!" I had to apologetically advise otherwise...) At this point, I had no real familiarity with their songs other than "優しく殺して," as I really hadn't listened to anything else at that point (and I don't think they had much else to listen to?) Nonetheless, I was very impressed once again. The first thing I noticed was their vocalist's harsh vocals compared to what I had heard on recordings -- they seemed much, much stronger live. Like, noticeably so, even to someone who had only heard one song. As their set continued on, I noticed exactly how proficient their guitarist was, too. I mean really, he can shred. My wife was laughing at the fact that my jaw kept dropping just watching his fingers, but she agreed with me either way. Again, I only really realized "優しく殺して," and I believe they closed with that track, but after going back and listening to more of their releases I'm pretty confident they played the other tracks from that single alongside a few others. Not sure what their other songs were, but I think they also played five like MonstlloW. (My wife commented she didn't like them as much as MonstlloW, but partially because she "had to keep looking at that man's body the whole time." 🤣) At this point, we once again grabbed some more beers and she asked me about the other bands that were playing (since she told the doorman she supported a particular one and realized she had no clue who they were). I explained that DIMLIM was my favorite, gulu gulu was a new band with familiar members. I wasn't sure the order of the performances at this time, but I was cut off at that point as the curtains opened again. As the electronics of "GROTESQUE" began twinkling, I stood to immediate attention and noticed the crowd filing in very quickly. I excitedly stated that this was DIMLIM and as the band appeared, I took note of their visuals compared to their most recent photos at the time. Sho was not in his "clown" look from "離人" and instead was wearing something much more similar to the suited look from their more current appearance, glasses on his face in a look that reminded me very much of DIR EN GREY's Kyo circa "ain't afraid to die." Retsu wore face makeup similar to that of the photos, but rather than the pleather bodysuit he was wearing a very long trenchcoat. Taishi and Hiroshi appeared to match their photoshoot looks, while Ryuya wore the same outfit but with his hair tied up in a messy bun. Halfway through the first song, my wife turns to me and just says "ok, yeah, these guys are fucking good." One of the most immediate things I noticed about DIMLIM in this setting compared to the other bands that had played, is that their performance felt quite a bit...rawer than what we had seen so far. From someone who grew up going to punk/metal shows in the states in a scene that heavily frowned upon any type of backing tracks or sounds outside of "just the instruments in front of you," one of the things I found immediately standout was how many bands used obvious backtracks to fill in their sound at this live. It doesn't bother me, I can see the purpose and the value in it as it does add a certain "fullness" to these bands' sounds, but it definitely stood out. This is not to say that DIMLIM did not also use these things, as their sound does incorporate a number of electronics and multiple tracks, but I will say that it felt much less prevalent during their set. They continued straight out of "GROTESQUE" into "Malformation," which is probably my favorite song on CHEDOARA, so I was very happy. Every member seemed confident and "dialed in," but it was very difficult to divert my attention from Sho. (My wife made a comment about Sho, stating "I believe this blonde boy was on the train with us???" - I didn't notice, but I suppose it's possible? Haha.) His vocals were rougher than they sound on recording, but not in a way that felt bad or like he was incapable, just much more emotive. He stood on a riser for the majority of the set and really gave it his all from beginning to end. I know many have stated that he inhales his screams, which is troubling from a health perspective, but I really feel like he was exhaling a lot of them during their set as some stood out as very loud and impassioned. If I had one criticism, it would be that Ryuya's guitar felt too quiet for most of their set (something I had also noticed in live videos?) and I think they would have sounded even better if he was a bit louder, but they still played a very strong set. I did notice that the room was quite full for them in comparison to the previous bands, with a noteworthy number of males in the audience specifically for them and girls literally throwing themselves over the barriers while headbanging. (Another thing that I had never seen before -- they were straight up pulling all the way back and like...launching their bodies. That's dedication and western audiences could learn a thing or two!!) Their set was intense and entrancing and everything I could have wanted -- I feel really lucky to have seen them with their full lineup, though I wish their set was longer! It felt shorter than MonstlloW and Hueye, though maybe because there was no MC, just song after song with no interruption. DIMLIM setlist (to the best of my memory) 1. GROTESQUE 2. Malformation 3. ...物狂ひ...なりて 4. vanitas 5. 「人」と「形」 (it was this or D.Hymnus, but I believe it was this if I recall correctly) At this point, we're technically four bands in (and coincidentally four drinks in, so we continued that trend -- the drinks were really light!!) I kind of tried to explain who the remaining bands were, but GRIMOIRE started shortly after DIMLIM was done so I stood back up to watch them. I like GRIMOIRE a fair bit and have listened to most of their releases. I think their heavy songs are really well composed with cool guitar work and I was excited to see them for this reason. Oddly enough, they emerged with a very toned down visual look -- essentially a suit look for most of the members. RyNK wasn't even wearing his signature blindfold which I was kind of shocked by. The audience seemed to have quite a few very dedicated fans at the front, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit worn out at this point after DIMLIM's set, which was a very different atmosphere. GRIMOIRE played a fun set that had a few of their "heavy bangers" with mostly lighter songs. That was a bit disappointing to me, but I still found them enjoyable overall, just a bit low energy compared to the other acts that evening. Unfortunately I don't remember their setlist! Things are starting to get blurry to me at this point, but I'm pretty sure MAMIRETA played next. I had told my wife that they were a pretty wild band and that she might like them (though in truth, I was kinda surprised she stuck around this long! She seemed to be pretty into every band that played save for GRIMOIRE who she didn't really watch.) I planned to buy some DIMLIM merch, but then realized I was almost out of cash after drinks so...I just bought more drinks instead. I will cut straight to the point before getting into detail, but MAMIRETA is hands down one of the best live bands I have ever seen. They tripled the energy of the previous acts (somehow) and played one of the most fun sets I've ever seen. I've argued this point a few times, but I really don't think MAMIRETA would be out of place in a western hardcore festival (except for the whole makeup thing, lol) Their music reminds me a lot of some of the nu-metal tinged western hardcore that has been a thing these past few years (Vein, Knocked Loose, etc.) Their look was pretty "low-visual" or "boy mode" as my wife started calling it through the evening. Just hoodies, jeans, and big hair. (basically the same as they wore in their "もしもし" PV) I have heard some less than savory things about Batsu, their vocalist, but all of that aside I'd be glad to call him one of the best frontmen I've seen perform. An absolutely unstoppable force of pure energy from the first notes played -- he stole the show and just went absolutely hog-wild the entire time. By the end he was breakdancing, jumping out into the crowd and running around, then he borrowed someone's purse and hairbow and pranced across the stage before their set ended. (Which looking back may have been part of the reason people have issue with him -- the audience member seemed fine with it, but I could see that going less than okay in other scenarios...) I've listened to a fair bit of their music, but don't really know their song titles other than "お邪魔します." This song was a ton of fun live, the entire crowd chanting the "お邪魔します" line on command. I started raising my beer for this point in the song and Batsu immediately singled my out and pointed, yelling "hey!!" I'd be lying if it didn't make me feel a bit special...(but I am a fairly tall blonde dude, so I maybe stood out a bit...) My wife and I were both very taken with their performance and if we were to go back to Japan I'm confident we'd go out of our way to catch them again. I really can't speak highly enough of their live show!! Before the next band we tried to scope out the merch booths a bit in between bathroom breaks (and more drinks...?) I noticed that DIMLIM's merch attendant was already packing up their goods while all of the other bands were out with their items at this point. (Guitarist and bassist of MonstlloW were still behind their booth, pretty much all of Hueye were behind their booth or watching the other bands near the back exit, and MAMIRETA's guitarist was back there now, too.) As the curtains opened, the audience was greeted by a giant "ぐるぐる" banner and the members of gulu gulu entered the stage to great fanfare from a packed crowd (maybe the biggest crowd of the night?) Their opening SE came to a close as Ai entered the stage and they blasted into "変なメリーゴーランド," which I immediately recognized from the PV teaser they had launched a few days prior. They wore their exact outfits that had been used to promote the single up to this point and this was one of their first shows as gulu gulu (they were actually billed as 烏名 鳴と不愉快な仲間達 only to be updated a few weeks prior coinciding with their announcement to begin activities as gulu gulu). They were also extremely high energy, with Ai slinging around a megaphone and shoving the entire microphone in his mouth. Lanju swayed his hair back and forth and drew a lot of my attention as my most immediate favorite from their lineup. ("This bassist fuckin' slaps," according to my wife and I absolutely agree.) Their set felt very much like a "headlining" set in every sense of the word -- whether that was intentional or not (and I don't really think it was). They felt very professional, but still fun and goofy. The audience for them was probably the most intense of the evening -- they all seemed really devoted and it was clear they had been waiting for them most of the night. They followed Ai's commands religiously. Musically I was glad to hear just how heavy they were, as this was the first time I had heard anything other than the sample of "変なメリーゴーランド." Their overall guitar/bass tone was really thick and despite the "fun" nature of their set, they still had a dark atmosphere that made them really stand out. They played "嗅覚障害" fourth for maybe...twice as long as the actual song? They held out a number of the sections, particularly the "la la la la la" parts what felt like an extra long time, Ai prancing back and forth on the stage as the band played the bouncy riff on repeat. Overall, their set cemented them as "the band to watch" and it's clear that they've maintained that reputation for very good reason. Of all the bands I saw this night (and in VK right now as a whole) they are probably the band I'm most interested in watching grow. After their set they were giving out "red paper" (which I believe later turned out to be a link to their first PV) to those who followed them on Twitter, but my wifi box was dead and I didn't even realize what was happening until it was too late. They posted the setlist that evening and now I recognize all of the songs except for the second, which I believe is still unreleased? gulu gulu setlist 1. 変なメリーゴーランド 2. 汚れた豚 3. 左手はスナッフフィルム 4. 嗅覚障害 5. 不味い麻酔 The last band on for the evening was The Guzmania. I'll admit that I was pretty exhausted at this point and had pretty much no vested interest in them (plus my dead wifi box was beginning to make me a bit nervous so I started to shuffle around the venue to see if I couldn't find an outlet to charge it for a few minutes...). My wife was pretty insistent on staying, to my surprise, and said she'd feel bad leaving these "nice boys who were trying hard" to play to such a small crowd. I agreed and we watched the rest of their set from the side of the hall. They had very few fans in the audience so it did make me feel a bit bad, but they are a very new band (I believe had just played their first live a few weeks prior). Their sound wasn't terribly memorable in my opinion, kind of jumped back and forth from pop-rock tunes to a few slightly heavier numbers. Their bassist did almost all of the MC and the rest of the band felt a bit shy. They took a bit of a long MC pause after two or three songs and almost made it seem like they were done for the night before they played three or four more, which surprised me as it made their set pretty long in comparison to some of the other bands. (Or maybe it just felt that way because it was the end of a long live?) After this we hit the road, hailed a cab back to Shinjuku to save some energy, ate some late night KFC, and passed out for the evening. Sorry for the super long post!! Like I said, it was kind of stream of consciousness and probably included a bunch of unnecessary details, but it was fun to "relive" the event in my head. I'm hoping I can swing more than two lives next time I make my way to Japan! Thanks for reading!
  10. 17 points
    Not sure if anyone has told y'all this today, but I love ya'll. You're all uniquely individual, and you all have something special to offer the world - if you so choose to do so!
  11. 16 points
    Jigsaw9

    New band inThe has disbanded

    "Hi, we're inThe." "In the what?" "Just inThe." "Just in the WHAT???" Thank you, I'll be here all weekend.
  12. 16 points
    Takadanobabaalien

    Kyo's girlfriend?

    Yeah, this is the one famous pic. Although it's taken inside a store kyo still looks very surprised. The bangyas at tanuki mainly hated on his girl for being a kuso gaijin uwu
  13. 16 points
    It might sound weird from a western perspective, but visual kei is like the straightest and most homophobic music scene in Japan. We tend to look at visual kei with western eyes and mix its cultural aspects with things that belong to the western culture. Fanservice and provocations used for shock value put aside, the androgynous aesthetics of visual kei band rarely expressed anything related to gender identity and especially sexual orientation. After all, it started with people like X Japan who admittedly were inspired by glam rock bands and way of life, which I would find hard to connect to sexual orientation. Visual kei early bandomen were mostly chinpiras, bosozokus (bikers) and the likes. They really incarnated the somewhat glamrock aesthetic of riding bikes getting drunk, banging girls, etc. Of course X had their own decadent/romantic taste that made them different, and a lot of influences changed the scene over time. However, visual kei is still remains 99% driven by social outcasts looking for pussy and very rarely by something else. In Japan we also have onnagatas, who are kabuki actors specialized in female roles that are again 99% straight. Bandoman with feminine looks call themselves onnagata, not josou (crossdresser), implying that the cultural source behind their looks is not connected with crossdressing but just playing a female role in a band, but again this something that might be hard to completely understand it taken outside of Japanese culture. For example Izam, the king of all onnagatas, married more than once and has more tha one child, and outside of his role in Shazna he rarely did anything ambiguous, just like the kabuki onnagatas out of stage. Both media and fans are everything but respectful of privacy, but I've rarely seen Japanese articles or message board questioning bandomen sexual orientation. That's because the number 1 reason people do visual kei is because the girls like it (well, liked it, I am not sure this is the trend with young girls anymore). Soft Ballet/Ken Morioka are closer to Soft Cell/Marc Almond so I would not even count them as visual kei even though they had some influence on it. And of course, there are exceptions as you mentioned. The chinpira bandomen of the 90's almost extincted and younger generations bandomans are usually anime/game otakus. They grew up with different influences and values, and it would make sense if the current incarnation of visual kei instinctively appealed to more people with sexual orientation/gender identity concerns, especially after Japan started talking about these issues in a less obsolete viewpoint.
  14. 16 points
    YuyoDrift

    MH JRock Awards 2019 RESULTS

    RESULTS! On to the Results! ______________________________________________________________ Best Overall Artist/Band Best Album Best Single/Maxi-Single/EP Best Cover Art Best Look Best Newcomer Best Veteran Best PV Saddest Disbandment Most Overhyped Band Most Overhyped Release Most Underhyped Band Most Anticipated Release Band that Changed their Sound for the Best Band that Changed their Sound for the Worse Band that you spent most of your money on in 2019 What the hell were they thinking!? Award Best Revival/Returns Now I know what you're thinking: 2019 sucked for VK 😅. I agree lol but thank you to those who voted this year! Let's hope this new decade will be a return to form for the scene!
  15. 16 points
    WhirlingBlack

    Show Yourself (again)

    From when I hosted my VK club in Warsaw, Poland in July.
  16. 16 points
    They will also release their 2nd full album in December. No details yet though.
  17. 15 points
    Linh-san

    Returned from the dust (O.O ! )

    Hey everyone! It's been a while! (Probably 5 years since I stepped down as moderator here, damn!) I'm kinda back into VK/J-Rock and stuff, so I'm probably trying to start hanging out here more like the old days. I hope everyone is still doing fine and well! I wonder who are still active here from the time I was active on this forum. Anyways, like old days, hope to get a chance to talk through the chat! Also, I'm open to any band recommendations, hit me up with links as spotify and such. Maybe my lastfm will help with some recommendations ^^ I'm currently still into MEJIBRAY and I also like bands such as ACME, HAKLO, Versailles, Diaura, Nocturnal Bloodlust, Royz. Hope to see my old friends again as meeting new friends! Yoroshikuuuu~~
  18. 15 points
    CORONA-RELATED LIVESTREAMS + CONCERT VIDEOS ARCHIVE [LAST UPDATE: 2020.04.07] KEY: ∎ DO NOT POSSESS ∎ UNAIRED LIVE SHOWS CONCERT VIDEOS The links below are just archives of the videos in the normal thread. My archives are being added to arbitrarily, but I'm trying to get to as many as I can: My MEGA Folders: CORONA-LIVES [PART 1]: https://mega.nz/folder/FvgHkYTa#iS1aRkVsryaFOp4myOjyJA CORONA-LIVES [PART 2]: https://mega.nz/folder/BShCwQjZ#cObkFTCalnxEw4DZSPLCRQ CORONA-LIVES [PART 3]: https://mega.nz/folder/OdkUlarI#y04yVI0c2EZVcf7eFwLm5Q - If there is anything missing or anything you want to add, please inform us via the normal thread below. I will try to update the list daily. Thank You. [NO COMMENTS BELOW]
  19. 15 points
    Zeus

    i love you guys

    i love you guys
  20. 15 points
    Tokage

    DIMLIM - MISC. [Discussion Thread]

    Here u go
  21. 15 points
    enyx

    DIMLIM new album, "MISC." release

    Not really sure how y'all could enjoy tracks like Rijin and Vanitas but somehow hate this. Sure they're emphasising the mathy elements more while downplaying the heavier side somewhat, but it's hardly a complete 180 from their last couple of releases or anything. Anyway I'm basically a math slut so I'll let this song have its way with me. All hail visual math kei etcetc.
  22. 15 points
    Hi. I’m one of the really old fans. I visited Tokyo in 1995 and came back to the US (NYC) with a pile of Luna Sea CDs and VHS tapes. At that time there was nothing about Luna Sea or visual kei on the English-language internet. Actual nothing. Well, the internet barely existed, it was just transitioning to websites from bulletin boards. I made some mix cassettes and handed them out to my friends. Around ’96 or maybe ’97 I checked the internet again, and now we have something: California sisters Freda and Joannie’s website Rockin’ Heaven, and the X Japan ML on cohprog. It was tiny at first, like maybe 100 people. This was the entire Western VK fandom. We had all discovered Japanese music either on a trip to Japan, or through a Japanese friend. A few of us were so noisy about talking about other bands who were not X that the Jrock ML was formed, so we took our OT over there and it exploded. There was no file sharing or international online stores at that time. I created a page to bring something like tape-sharing classifieds online, a manually updated list of people who had stuff to trade and what they were looking for. We copied cassettes and sent them by postal mail. It’s laughably low-tech compared to nowadays, but suddenly we were all listening to multiple bands instead of just our one gateway band. The Jrock ML membership and traffic was exploding week by week. There was one loud and cynical French guy who was really into super-obscure bands and claimed that he went to Japan and was friends with bands, but nobody knew whether to believe him or not. Word of mouth was definitely a thing — I gave my little sister a few mix tapes when she went to college and she came back for break cursing me out for those tapes, because all her friends had fallen in love with them and now she had to listen to VK all the time. I think it was around ’98 that we started to see some improvements in bandwidth and webpages that let us take it to the next level. There was a guy in Singapore (Paul? maybe?) where they had better wiring, who first started putting up a few tiny RA and RV files on a site, and he had one of the early message boards too. By this time I was out of school and my circle of friends and I were working in the early internet, which gave me access to equipment, software, and bandwidth that almost nobody had at that time. My friends were installing the actual wiring and servers to build the NYC internet, and uh… while they were at it, they stashed an old computer somewhere to be our own FTP server. We put up my files (I had a ton of stuff because I’d been running the tape-exchange listing, and also I bought stuff from the Japanese stores in NYC) and allowed other people to upload their own. I added a message board which was originally supposed to be for requests or whatever but it took on a life of its own as a discussion place. Maybe ’99 or 2000, CD Japan opened. The fandom was growing exponentially and everyone was trying to explore new bands, and even tiny indie bands were getting fan bases. Lots of people were putting up file sharing sites, using multiple GeoCities accounts to create these huge octopus sites. We started to have meetups IRL. Go (JrockNYC) and his friends had a cover band and put together some meetups around NYC. Cameron was in Tokyo and writing on Glam Japan, and some of us were traveling to Japan too. A few people went to that huge concert that Luna Sea did, Dir en gray had fans going, me and a bunch went to Lareine’s last tour in August 2000. (I met Cameron there for the first time) By maybe 2002-ish most of the file sharing was happening on the P2P networks, and Livejournal was becoming popular. I moved to Tokyo in early 2002. Go was living in Tokyo too and documenting the scene on JrockNYC. It would be nice to read it again but I don’t think his old stuff is on line any more. This is getting to the time period where there are lots of people who were around to remember, so I’ll leave it.
  23. 15 points
    ambivalentideal

    Show Yourself (again)

    Why not, so y'all can put a face to a username I guess. :'P Here's me normal mode and VK mode lol everyday look serving lewks (at the GazettE concert in Dallas)
  24. 14 points
    Well that ends the era of Jrockdrama/JRD. Someone else can take my mantle and run with it if you have the money. They make Golden Bomber masking tape. Wtf. Also got surprised with Jin-Machine rarez I didn't know existed. It's like you have to go to EVERY tour final to get a CD with unreleased songs. Some of them are really good, some of them are like them fucking being dumb. Also MiMiC loves giving me merch and chekis with MiO. It's like they know. Also MiO writes all of their songs.
  25. 14 points
    vkgy latest interview, with a famous vkei writer! Also I worked hard on this one so it's a cross post with JROCKNROLL Nagasawa Tomonori (長澤智典) is a music journalist of note, having written for most major visual kei magazines and bands. We had the chance to ask him questions over several weeks, and so we explore his career, and his decades-long view of visual kei from the inside. Choose your favorite platform vkgy or jrocknroll If there are people who still have any questions about the "visual kei" history, we can do another round So if you do have any questions, throw them to me and I'll will ask them!
  26. 14 points
    "hmm haven't checked MH news in awhile wonder if anything interesting has happened"
  27. 14 points
    Hey, vkgy's John here 👋 Today we have an interview with the current reigning kote kei revival band, La'veil MizeriA! It's just as full of ellipses and strange phrases as you'd expect, but there's some good content too. If you were † born under a tragic blood-red moon... I think you'll love it. Available in English and Japanese. ➡ https://vk.gy/blog/an-interview-with-la-veil-mizeria/ We post exclusive vkei interviews every Tuesday at vkgy, so be sure to check back every week. Previous interviews include Astaroth, luvielle, and Shuuen no Rasetsu. Check vkgy's interview archive for more.
  28. 14 points
  29. 13 points
    Anne Claire

    Show Yourself (again)

    Gratuated college today
  30. 13 points
    CAT5

    Show Yourself (again)

    Me and my 15 yr old nephew (on the left) at one of my homeboy's weddings a few days ago
  31. 13 points
    it was announced at their oneman live "No.13" at 2019/12/01 at Shibuya club asia that アクメ (ACME) indies best-album "WE ARE VISUALKEI" will be released at their live and through their official webshop at 2020/01/22 (3000 yen) [tracklist] 01. マグロ解体チェーンソー 02. 激ヤミセレナーデ 03. ROTTEN ORANGE 04. Barguest 05. CALL MY NAME 06. 絶唱謳歌 07. RUN 08. ADVENTURE TIME 09. ラストワンショー 10. 激ヤマセルロイド 11. 放課後の飼育 12. モノノケレクイエム (Album Version) 13. 腐敗蜜柑 their new maxi-single "嘘顔" (Usogao) will be released at their lives and through their official webshop at 2020/03/04 (1000yen) [tracklist] 01. 嘘顔 02. You are my LOVE they will hold their 3rd anniversary oneman live tour "WE ARE VISUALKEI" since 2020/03/15 to 2020/05/10 at Takadanobaba AREA they will hold their US tour "ACME US WEST COAST COLLISION TOUR" since 2020/01/05 to 2020/01/12
  32. 13 points
  33. 13 points
    nostalgia

    How to make Visual Kei popular again?

    this may be off topic but this topic reminds me of what i always wanted to say about mh. idk what we overseas fans can do to make vk more popular than what it is, but one thing i think doable is to make mh become more popular. vk may be dead one day but mh should live on after that. personally i always see mh as a very underrated japanese music forum that has high potential to grow bigger. if the stats on similarweb aren't lying, it's very impressive that we have around 1.3m page views monthly (from 200k total visits * 6.6 page views per a visit). what i mean is mh already has a huge user base in hands but the engagements of the content on the forum are a lot less compared to it. for example, we have very few concurrent registered users online as you can see from the image below. it's only ~20 members online. (700 guests are mostly crawlers i believe). i know that it's taken at a random time of a day but usually it's still not significantly more than this either considering we have over 9.6k members registered. additionally, we can have more followers on facebook and twitter from our daily visitors if we want to. (it hurts to see that mh which is the source of almost everything japanese rock related has far less likes than random j-rock pages on facebook even demon android's one.) moreover, traditional forum software like IPB is kinda 2000-ish, but i'm just saying. i have nothing against it. IPB is not bad though. it regularly gets updates and bug fixes. but nowadays there are a number of better open source alternatives as well; e.g. discourse and nodebb. converting the database from one to another is such a pain though if we ever do it. sysops are one of the most important roles that almost nobody notices the effort they put behind the scenes. we have had only 3-4 sysops since the inception of mh and now there is only one left. it's a vital position that needs to recruit too. what'd we do if they're all gone? it'd even mean the end of mh. (not sure about how recruiting a new sysop is going, but it seems difficult to get one to begin with.) at the end of the day, staff are all volunteers. finding a suitable staff member who is willing to spend their free time is hard already but finding one who is dedicated to the community is even harder. one day the current staff members will be rotated as well. so we're not going anywhere if we don't expand the user base. we can find more talented people from a bigger one. this is my two cents: it's time for mh 4.0. sooner or later mh has to change too. otherwise, the community will be gone if we don't do something beforehand. if i were the founder, i'd rebrand "monochrome-heaven" to something else shorter, easier to type and pronounce, and easy to remember esp for non-english natives. having a dash (-) in a domain name looks unprofessional for a brand imo. just like when "thefacebook.com" becoming "facebook.com". the former is not a professional brand name compared to the latter. they bought it once they had the money to afford it and became the "facebook" we know nowadays. rebranding mh may be too much for those who're familiar with the name but it'd be a big step to be known better. by rebranding i mean changing the look of the forum too whether it be a new skin or even new forum software that's more modern. we can still stick with vk just like before and be more open to the general japanese rock scene which is more lively and has a wider fanbase like ruling it all online not only on here but also on other social networks. yeah, i know that it's easier said than done. it takes a lot of effort and is very challenging to accomplish, but knowing the potential mh has not being used is wasting as well.
  34. 13 points
    Jigsaw9

    How would you define Angura?

    if your band meets at least two of the below criteria: - have your cover artwork be drawn by Suehiro Maruo - perform short skits during gigs - use melodies reminiscent of kayoukyoku in your songs - design your outfits based on school uniforms - have at least one song about (pre-/post-/mid-)WWII and/or nationalism That's it, I cracked the Angura Code™, thank you for coming to my TEDTalk.
  35. 13 points
    Gesu

    Show Yourself (again)

    Me again, this time featuring a hat. Images may be somewhat mahoosive as they're the first ones I've uploaded here that were taken with my fancy-ass camera, so I put them in a cut.
  36. 13 points
    Anne Claire

    Show Yourself (again)

    It's been awhile, eh? Welp, got a new haircut two weeks ago.
  37. 12 points
    少女椿

    Show Yourself (again)

    Please love this baby.
  38. 12 points
    Nazare was all we had of this style since retsu ruined dimlim
  39. 12 points
    Karma’s Hat

    VK Fan Turnover rates

    I think a lot of that feeling of people coming and going stems from the western boom years and like other people said, from the fact that it has somehow been hogtied into the same brain rot caravan with Kpop and therefore people tend to become aware of both simultaneously, allowing for lateral movement between the two. Then there's that other breed of us getting into our 30's finally coming to grips with mortality and that this is a very fruitless endeavor, so now there's also these existential crisis' going on with the older guard. This basically goes a long way to explain why everyone in this scene is so fucking stupid, you were either into a dumb fad when you got in or you were dumb enough to stay for too long. But like, about the psychology of people who come and go, being gya one day and rastafari the next — I never got that. I have, my entire life more or less, liked the same things and I never really dropped out of anything. There's some faux pas you'll find from the times when I was like exploring stuff like western metal when I was 16, but everyone goes through that one way or another when you build your frame of reference and refine your taste and ideas of what music should be about. The people who change every word in their bio on an yearly basis with only the words "I stan" remaining in place can't be counted on for anything. How do they even finish meals is beyond me let alone stick with something when everything they do is so dependent on if the weather is fair. They're the same people who'll abandon their folks into a home, but take a taxi from another city once the inheritance is on offer; just picking the carcass of cultural capital that other people worked for, that other people laboured to put out there. I'm in this shit for the long haul and this relationship will end only when one of us dies, either me or the scene. No matter how reprehensible I think the scene operates or what I think of the fucking people in it, it's still important to me.
  40. 12 points
    Tokage

    VK Fan Turnover rates

    This has already been kinda touched upon earlier ITT, but one thing I've noticed within the VK fandom more than within basically ANY of the other music spheres I've dipped my toes into is that a ton of people who get into VK seem to act as if the only bands that exist are the ones that are currently active, and any group that's disbanded/on hiatus/whatever just vanishes into oblivion as soon as the new looks and singles stop popping up. There's this tendency for people to basically treat the scene the same way tons of anime fans treat anime - "if it's not part of the current season then i pretend not to see it". Considering the ridiculous turnover rate that most VK bands themselves tend to have, this can easily lead to situations where people suddenly find themselves left without their faves even within the span of just months.
  41. 12 points
    cullucoo

    VK Fan Turnover rates

    I think one of the reasons VK might have such a high turn over rate is that a lot of people who listen to VK seems to listen to VK only. That's not an healthy way to approach an "hobby", and one is bound to get tired of it. It's also hard to follow bands for a long time since the lifespan of a vk band is shorter than average, so that might be turn off for people after a while. Also the way VK is "marketed" is closer to idol music than it is to """normal""" music, and just like how people stop following idols at some point, the same happens with VK. I dont consider the visual kei > kpop passage to be moving from one thing to another, but moving to a different version of the same thing.
  42. 12 points
    道化て鴉 appears to have formed in August of 2019, and are from the Kyuushuu area of Japan. They just released their first music video "怖い譚" (Kowai Hanashi) a couple of days ago: Twitter Vocals: Takuya (twitter) Guitar: Rito (twitter) Bass: Raike (twitter) Support drums: Daru They will be playing at the Kyushu event "S.T.G PRESENTS 神世界創造 -白昼夢-" on October 15th, at Fukuoka INSA, along side Kizu, Lucifer, and Chicktak (The MV kind of sounds like 9goats, no?)
  43. 12 points
    chocobuzz

    DIMLIM

    I found some ~essence~ for retsu
  44. 12 points
    IMHO this is yet another the case of the "NOT HEAVY = HORRIBLE" tired trope, similar to what happened with DEZERT. And yes, while I was also expecting more, there's also a lot of raw good ideas here, that could definitely have used a couple months more to flourish. After Rijin there was Kidoairaku, so I'l treat it as what it is: a conceptual release, an experiment to further polish the identity they are looking for. highlights: What's Up?, Lament, MIST, Tick Tak, out of the darkness
  45. 12 points
    Ultra Silvam

    Show Yourself (again)

    Dressed up for Halloween as a cheap Ai from gulu gulu. I actually felt really beautiful lol
  46. 11 points
    ex-DAMY Vo.椋 (Ryo) solo project "鴉-カラス- (Karasu)" has formed. http://karasu-web.com/
  47. 11 points
    suji

    🐸 new band "RANA" has formed 🐸

    ["蛙の詩" tracklist] 1. 蛙の詩 2. Lluvia 3. 耳カラ脳ヘ 4. ハルガサク 5. オタマジャクシの詩
  48. 11 points
    I think there are still people who don't know about what's going on in Hong Kong. What's going on is not just happening in Hong Kong, but all over the world. Hong Kong is facing China's suppress on stripping off of our freedom and democracy, from little by little to finally revealing its fangs. This is happening to all the places where China's money is involved. The most noticable are China's control on the limitation of creation like Hollywood movies, games, literature, etc.. If we don't fight for it now, we don't want to imagine how it's like to have China fully controlling our city. China's leader, Xi Jinping, is already throwing out bibles from China's churches and replacing them with the book he wrote himself. Please take a look at this newspage to see what's happening in Hong Kong: https://edition.cnn.com/specials/asia/hong-kong-protests-intl-hnk Please stand with Hong Kong. Even only your words matter and we are more than grateful for them.
  49. 11 points
    Zeus

    How to make Visual Kei popular again?

    You can't make something popular again if it wasn't popular in the first place. Everyone looks back at 2007-2010 as the heyday of the scene, but I think we know more about the scene now than we did back then. A lot of it was people trend riding Dir en grey, the GazettE, and a whole host of other popular bands until they jumped ship for K-Pop. Even when I go to shows abroad, people in line hardly know as much about the band or the scene as people here on MH do. We are in our own bubble and we have to learn to look beyond that bubble to see the scene as a whole. It's a sad fact that the scene is small and will stay small, but I rather like it that way. Visual kei is the definition of anti-mainstream. Think of how many bands are subjected to the stigma of "going major" and losing their identity. Now, imagine that happening to the entire scene at once! That's basically what it would be like to "get popular" again. Not a good look. I don't know what it is that makes visual kei tick, but I'm fine with leaving things the way they are. I'm aware this reads like a gigantic gatekeeping post but that is not my intention. Let people find visual kei naturally is what I say! The site continues to find and support both new members and old, so the hooks to get drawn into the scene are still out there.
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