Kurayami Monogatari

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GACKT – LAST MOON May 1, 2016

Filed under: GACKT — solarblade @ 9:16 pm

lastmoon

Track Listing

  1. ARROW
  2. Hana mo Chiyu
  3. RETURNER ~Yami no Shuuen~
  4. RIDE OR DIE
  5. Akatsuki Tsukiyo ~DAY BREAKERS~
  6. ZAN
  7. Kugutsu ga Gotoku
  8. ONE MORE KISS
  9. Mai BABY!! -WooHa-
  10. Koi no FRIDAY!!!
  11. Kimi Dake no Boku de Iru Kara
  12. P.S. I LOVE U
  13. Setsugekka -The end of silence-

1. ARROW

Opening the album is definitely the not surprising as ARROW was the last A-side he released prior to the release.  I was surprised that ARROW was chosen to open things up because it feels like a closer or somewhere in the middle.  Of course GACKT recently has been taking up more of the epic, grandiose rock tracks and as such is why I feel like this is a little strange of an opener.  I still do think it’s one of his better compositions since his last album for sure!  I love the battlefield-like theme for the tune and pretty much the rest of the song.  Still, a great A-side from him!

2. Hana mo Chiyu

As the lone digital single for the album, Hana mo Chiyu comes next and I’m starting to see theme as it seriously reminds me of stuff like “ZAN” and “RETURNER” with the shakuhachi being used behind the heavy rock arrangement.  What surprised was that the song sounds like an anime theme for some reason.  It’s a decent track and GACKT’s voice sounds so clear and cool and that high note at the end of the choruses was quite impressive.  It’s still a pretty good song though😀

3. RETURNER ~Yami no Shuuen~

Why would you bring a song that’s almost a decade old to this album?!?  I mean if it wasn’t tied to some storyline (the whole MOON saga series), I would easily question a song like this making the cut.  I suppose with the time split, RETURNER does suit the theme of the album and once again the shakuhachi has the intro lead with the rest of the song bearing a mysterious sound (on top of the heavy rock arrangement).  I do like the simplicity of the song an it has such a nice traditional sound going for it.  Despite how old the song is, it definitely worked out for the best.

4. RIDE OR DIE

Surprised that some of the B-sides made the cut (though said some A-side were left off).  However, that wasn’t the case here.  Being the B-side from “P.S. I LOVE U”, RIDE OR DIE at least changes things up to more of a straightforward rock tune that reminds me of stuff like “BLACK STONE”.  I definitely found myself enjoying the song a lot originally and on the album, really sticks out for having less of a dramatic charge behind it, it’s GACKT rockin’ out and I’m fine with that.

5. Akatsuki Tsukiyo -DAY BREAKERS-

Toning things down, we have DAY BREAKERS and after the dramatic punches in the previous tracks, it’s nice that the song opens up as lightly as it does.  Though despite its slow beginnings, the track does open up for a more heavier style.  I really like his voice when he does these kind of slower tracks and he’s got a lot of emotion behind that voice which makes songs like this leave a strong impression on me.

6. ZAN

I suppose as traditional tracks go, ZAN is definitely one of the stronger-tinted ones.  It’s a lot heavier than I expected with heavy guitars and a darker motif than other tracks.  However, it’s something I’ve heard a number of times already on this album already, so it does slightly struggle making impressions despite being 7 years old and the first to really cement this style (though I could argue “RETURNER” was the first).

7. Kugutsu ga Gotoku

FINALLY, a new track for the album.  Being the promotional song for LAST MOON, the first thought I had was how the song kind of made me think of “ZAN” from the similar bells and shakuhachi and shimasen throughout.  Then I heard GACKT start to sing and I was brought back to “GHOST” with the electronics and smudging of auto-tune here.  I like this sound though and brings some of the mysterious sound that made the former song work years ago.  Though, it’s definitely a memorable song and the one that sticks out the most from the album for such a different sound.

8. ONE MORE KISS

Moving into the B-side from “WHITE LOVERS -Shiawase na Toki-“, I was expecting the leading track to make the cut, but I guess apparently if the song was on “THE BEST OF THE BEST” then it wouldn’t make the album cut.  It does trick me like “DAY BREAKERS” did by starting with a setting befitting for a ballad, but then it opens up as an upbeat rock track and whike I’m not bored by it, couldn’t we have gotten a ballad?  Either way, ONE MORE KISS was one of the better track in this era for sure as it’s got a good melody and GACKT sounds great.  Pretty wild song, but I enjoyed it a lot!

9. Mai BABY!! -WooHa-

PHEW, at least we get a small string of new songs now!  With a title as such, I wonder what kind of track this would be and it’s a wild song that’s for sure.  The added chanting of ~WOOHA~ is kind of quirky and fun, but then I hear GACKT under such extreme auto-tune is a little surprising for a rock song, but at the same time brings me back to stuff like “Koakuma Heaven”.  Strange, but nice to see a song like this.

10. Koi no FRIDAY!!!

It’s strange because I thought the odd song would be saved for this one, just by going from the title.  Koi no FRIDAY!!! is pretty upbeat and has a lot of fun written all over it.  GACKT’s vocals are a little different sounding here and reminds me of stuff he released in the past, even if he does take his vocals into some strange places.  I have to say that I do like the song for the most part minus the speed drumming sections, but it’s a fun and powerful track, but I don’t see where it fits in this MOON arc…I mean at all…

11. Kimi Dake ni Boku de Iru Kara

The 4th and final new track, GACKT opens this with him singing by himself in what I think is a cityscape setting in the background.  After a minute, the song actually begins and it sounds so new and fresh from GACKT which is surprisingly nice.  Though, it sounds like it was made from a different band.  I quite enjoyed this, but the ending with that strings passage was a bit random to say the least.

12. P.S. I LOVE U

At least we do finally get into our ballad track with P.S. I LOVE U though it wasn’t high up on my list when I heard it on the single because it did sound like many of the other songs he was releasing (which most was left off luckily).  I do like the simple piano/strings arrangement on top of the rockin’ chorus, but the song went on for way too long being 6 minutes in length.  I’m just surprised it wasn’t the final track…

13. Setsugekka -The end of silence-

I mean I suppose it makes sense that Setsugekka would be the one chosen to close the album as it also has a nice closing kind of feeling.  Unlike the previous track, it does wrap the whole traditional MOON saga arc in a nice bow and being over 6 and a half minutes long, it was definitely a track to end things off.  Exciting song and definitely reminded me of how good it was 7 years ago!

Tracks Recommended

  • Kugutsu ga Gotoku
  • RETURNER ~Yami no Shuuen~
  • ONE MORE KISS
  • Setsugekka -The end of silence-
  • Hana mo Chiyu

Song of Avoidance

  • P.S. I LOVE U

It feels like it took forever for GACKT to put out this album (his last was 2009’s “RE:BORN” album) and boy it didn’t need 12 singles (in which most of them were omitted here).  LAST MOON is what GACKT is calling the final album of his MOON series and I feel like all the songs that were released through singles really show that ind of epic, true Japanese tradition or Samurais and all that which is cool, but then you have the new songs and they throw that bar off just a bit.  Also, waiting 7-10 years for certain songs to make an album cut is bizarre to say the least.  Overall though, LAST MOON was actually pretty good and GACKT really has come along with his music these days so the epicness is on full blast!  Just don’t take forever on the next one, man!

 

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