Category Archive: Review

Oct 28

[review] THE LAST DAYBREAK by exist†trace

THE LAST DAYBREAK opens with a primal call from Jyou, but instead of singing in her trademark growling alto, she keeps her voice light and clear in “Daybreak ~Jyusan gatsu no shikisai.”  Unexpected moves like these are the highlight of exist†trace’s new album.  Guitarists Miko and Omi still grind out heavy riffs that complement Naoto’s …

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Sep 19

[live report] L’Arc-en-Ciel Makes “XXX”

Being an enormously popular band has its perks. For one, you can afford the massive screens, pyrotechnics, and an 18-piece string ensemble necessary for your epic cinematic live performances. For another, you may be able to single-handedly take back a sequence of letters that is synonymous with the porn industry. While I don’t think the …

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Jul 13

[live report] D – Dramatic Echoes @ A-kon 22

At A-kon 22′s Q&A session for the visual kei band D on June 11, vocalist Asagi revealed that they chose their name based on the feeling the letter evoked, which was akin to an echo. But from their previous night’s performance—their first U.S. performance, D might as well have stood for drama. Clad in black corseted …

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Jun 20

[review] TRUE – exist†trace

Exist†trace continues to defy traditional stereotypes with their major label debut, TRUE. As an all-female band, the slick cover art is anything but girly and while Jou’s alto growl is almost nonexistent, the music remains fast and hard with spine tingly melody shifts. TRUE opens with a heavy, rumbling promise to keep to their roots …

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Jun 10

[live report] L’Arc-en-Ciel or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Japanese Music (Part 2)

The second show brought us the 1999 to 2011 songs, a noticeably different atmosphere from the first half of their career. Gone was the need to bare their souls and in came the desire to please a general audience. Granted, this pop-music switch wasn’t out of nowhere; L’Arc-en-Ciel was selling albums in the millions well …

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