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May 15

[review] exist†trace – VIRGIN

Veterans of the visual kei music scene, exist†trace are no virgins when it comes to churning out great songs. Though there’s not a lot of virgin territory on their third studio album (hint hint, it’s called Virgin); it includes five tracks from previous mini-albums. “WONDERLAND” starts out like the opening to a gothic horror flick; sliding guitar notes mimic an organ and Jyou’s contralto slinks along behind them. “Daybreak” is just as deliciously catchy and rockin’ as when we first heard it in 2011. “Honey” has a very American, hard rock feel. Jyou is carrying the melody, throws in an MC that will be great during a live show, and there’s a very definitive end as the guitar rides the melody out in time with the snap-close of a drum snare.

I don’t like “Ginger,” no offense to all the red-heads out there. It’s like a bad show-tune mixed with every visual kei musicians’ desire to play something jazzy. The remaining songs that weren’t previously released on a mini-album are neither too interesting nor too terrible. The one standout is a wailing ballad, “Anata,” which brings to mind a crazed mix of enka and goth-rock opera. Jyou is a banshee drifting amidst a forest of music, crying out for you to listen. And long time fans will answer that cry, even if it means they have to suffer through “Ginger” land to get there.

Tracklist

WONDERLAND
Daybreak – Jyusan gatsu no shikisai **
HONEY
GINGER
Keiyaku
Little Mary to Utsukushiki Nikushimi no Danube **
Signal
TRUE *
Futatsu no Koe
Anata
KISS IN THE DARK *
I feel you **
SORA

*originally on TRUE EP
** originally on THE LAST DAYBREAK EP

Official exist†trace website – http://www.exist-trace.com/
RESONANCE Media – http://www.resonance-mms.com/