Kurayami Monogatari

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Versailles – Versailles October 1, 2012

Filed under: Versailles — solarblade @ 7:07 am

Track Listing

  1. Prelude
  2. ROSE
  3. Rhapsody of the Darkness
  4. Edge of the World
  5. Illusion
  6. ayakashi
  7. Created Beauty
  8. Holy Grail -amoroso-
  9. Brave
  10. Truth
  11. Sympathia

1. Prelude

Ooo, a dark and haunting arrangement acts as the introduction to the album and it’s pretty much awesome!  I mean the strings and the chanting swirling about…it’s foreboding and just awesome of an intro.

2. ROSE

As the only physical single released, ROSE comes in full force (and works so much better with the intro added) and continues to be quite strong.  Like I said on the review, ROSE is pretty dramatic and it’s got furious and quick riffs from everyone (including the drummer who is doing machinegun hits).  I really like KAMIJO’s vocals for sure and he sounds so epic.  Yeah this is a good song to come first on the album.

3. Rhapsody of the Darkness

As the digital single released (even before “ROSE”), Rhapsody of the Darkness opens with harpischord before blasting out in furious explosions of sound.  I like the lines before KAMIJO takes over for the verses because they sound chilling.  Once things get going though, it kind of feels like a toned down “ROSE”.  Heavy, hard-hitting and powerful…it just sounds good, but I liked the previous track more.

4. Edge of the World

I guess the band wanted to do a song without the symphony behind them.  I have to say that I’m impressed with this song because while it takes out the strings, we get more focus on the band’s style and it’s god some funky riffs.  I guess I said too much because the strings come in the chorus and slows the song down a bit.  It’s a little more mainstream of them, but this song isn’t totally bad.

5. Illusion

Part of the digital single with “Rhapsody in the Darkness”, Illusion comes up and was surprised that it started up with synths and strings instead of the band coming in in full force.  Once the band comes in, they come in with a pretty strong guitar melody thanks to HIZAKI and TERU.  The song itself isn’t as heavy or furious like the previous tracks which is a good thing.  It might be a little plain to people, but I like that they slowed it down a bit and made things clearer. One of the better tracks on the album ^_^

6. ayakashi

Interesting that they added the B-side from “ROSE” onto the album.  I know that I really enjoyed the track quite a bit since it was edgy and very powerful.  I have to say, if there was anything that surpasses “ROSE” in awesomeness, this might be the track because this has so much more intricate things going on it, but keeping up with the hard riffs and such.  Add in flutes and KAMIJO’s deep vocals and you just have this really awesome song!

7. Created Beauty

It isn’t a Versailles album without one uber long song to deal with and this album actually only has one with Created Beauty.  At least it’s not too long at only 10 minutes.  At the start, KAMIJO opens with him quietly singing.  After that, both guitarists come in and they take over the tracks with a nice lengthy solo.  Unlike their previous long tracks, this one doesn’t going into god speed so it stays at it’s mid-tempo speed the entire time.  Not a bad thing actually since the song focuses on KAMIJO and both guitarists so it’s not like it’s boring or anything.  It still might take a while to grow, but it’s not bad.

8. Holy Grail -amoroso-

Uhhhh…wait their last album was “Holy Grail” so we get the title track here?  I’m not sure if it ties with/or shares the melody of the “Theme of Holy Grail” but it could be possible.  It starts with a lengthy violin solo before the band joins in the act.  Though I start to learn that there is no singing present so it really acts like an interlude of sorts.  It’s pretty cool, but I don’t exactly remember it otherwise.

9. Brave

I guess it’s OK, because Brave brings us back to the furious and wild style of Versailles.  It’s pretty good that they brought the energy back at this point of the album since Brave makes good use of KAMIJO’s vocals and YUKI’s drumming.  I feel like the song could’ve been a little more faster, but this is pretty good otherwise ^^

10. Truth

Makes sense that another would follow it up.  Truth is like most of the other songs, powerful in execution.  I kind of enjoyed this song a little bit more than “Brave” due to YUKI’s controlled drumming here and it doesn’t sound as abrasive to the ears.  Basically, it’s a pretty damn good song and stands out for this album.

11. Sympathia

As the final track on the album, it opens with HIZAKI playing a solo and then KAMIJO joining in for this rather sentimental track.  It shared the same mid-tempo feel like “Created Beauty” but condensed and had more guitarwork.  It made for a pretty good closing to the album (and more…)

Tracks Recommended

  • ayakashi
  • Truth
  • Illusion
  • ROSE
  • Sympathia

Song of Avoidance

  • Created Beauty

Well if you haven’t heard, Versailles is disbanding and they’ve released their final album to bring closure in.  To be honest, this was a LOT better than “Holy Grail”.  All of the songs were pretty good for the most part, my least favorite was the longest of the tracks.  For a finale, this was really good ^_^

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Versailles – ROSE July 14, 2012

Filed under: Versailles — solarblade @ 3:17 am

Track Listing

  1. ROSE
  2. ayakashi
  3. Love will be born again (Japanese Version)
  4. THE RED CARPET DAY

1. ROSE

Versailles has always been dramatic with their songs and ROSE isn’t any different from their past releases.  A lot of heavy riffs and percussion alongside Kamijo’s vocals which still sound very powerful to listen to which is pretty sweet!  I mean it’s nothing extremely new to the band but I found it very heavy and exciting to hear from them. 

2. ayakashi

Moving into the B-sides of the single, ayakashi has more of a Onmyo-za kind of sound to it which is enticing to hear from the band since there’s flutes present and all that!  It’s just as hard-hitting as “ROSE” but this has a little more flair.  Nothing more to really say about this song itself but it’s a good track!

3. Love will be born again (Japanese Version)

What I was most excited about on this single however was this song which was originally my favorite track off their last album, “Holy Grail”.  One of the thing I did say was weird was Kamijo’s English in the song but now we get one in their native tongue and I love it even more than normal!  It’s moving and then it explodes into this great rock ballad…ahhhh I love it!

4. THE RED CARPET DAY

Closing the single out is the hardest track on the single with THE RED CARPET DAY.  I was surprised at how fast and hard it sounds with pipe organ playing some of the tune as well.  I usually don’t go for these songs because the amount of percussion can be a problem but it didn’t seem to phase me much since Kamijo’s vocals were cool and stood out in the instrumentation.  The chanting section did also get a little bit annoying but otherwise it’s another good track.

 

 

Good to see Versailles back to release a new single with ROSE and it turned out well for the most part.  The new version of Love will be born again was the stand-out song but the fact it is an older song is a little surprising that it turned out the best.  The three other tracks were pretty much your normal Versailles sounds with THE RED CARPET DAY is hard to enjoy.  Still, good release overall.

 

Versailles – Holy Grail June 23, 2011

Filed under: Versailles — solarblade @ 5:16 am

Track Listing

  1. MASQUERADE
  2. Philia
  3. Thanatos
  4. Flowery
  5. Remember Forever
  6. DESTINY -The Lovers-
  7. DRY ICE SCREAM!! [Remove Silence]
  8. Threshold
  9. Judicial Noir
  10. Love will be born again
  11. Vampire
  12. Faith & Decision
  13. The Theme of Holy Grail

1. MASQUERADE

Kickstarting the album off, MASQUERADE was pretty epic of an opening because of the strings and everything with the arrangement from the band because I’m enjoying this song quite a bit.  Of course KAMIJO sounds awesome as well holding a pretty deep tone throughout.  There’s parts where the band was just going at it and having a grand time with the arrangement.  Got to say, epic song to introduce the album with.

2. Philia

The second A-side released in the era comes up next and while to me it isn’t as jaw-dropping or as interesting as “MASQUERADE” it does feel better on an album than a single.  KAMIJO’s vocals are more or less the same but the music is a bit faster-paced but I still couldn’t remember the song if you told me to hum the melody.

3. Thanatos

I’m happy that we shortened the songs up since the previous two were 6 minutes each.  Thanatos is definitely one of the more dramatic songs on the album, but it also sounds different since I can hear new bassist, MASASHI, in the foreground now.  Another dramatic song from the band, Thanatos is pretty dark but awesome to listen to as well.  Hmmm…this is quickly shaping up to be a good album.

4. Flowery

For such a goofy title from them, I wasn’t expecting Flowery to be as hard-hitting as it is.  It really feels like I’m listening to a more upfront Sound Horizon song because of the arrangement and the way it flows throughout.  It’s kind of shocking and yet pretty cool.  After a while it does slightly drag, but it’s a good song for any person into J-rock really.

5. Remember Forever

Another 6+ minute song?  Remember Forever actually is the first song on the album that sounds relatively different from the others simply because it’s a rock ballad.  With the reintroduction of strings added to the slow arrangement, I found this song to be kind of memorable and I loved KAMIJO’s performance since it was emotionally charged.  Great song here!

6. DESTINY -The Lovers-

It only makes sense to make DESTINY the next song because it starts out with strings and piano and keeps at a slow pace like the previous song.  At least for a little bit because after a while, the band quickly speeds up the tempo and YUKI really goes wild on the drums.  I’m still kind of unsure which A-side was better, but I think I’m leaning more towards this one because it had different sections that really worked together.  Good track I guess ^_^

7. DRY ICE SCREAM!! [Remove Silence]

I love the band’s more experimental tracks like DRY ICE SCREAM!! since it brings out more colors from the band and since this is more towards death metal than the previous songs it’s one of the more powerful songs.  It does feel like some of the tunes off of “JUBILEE”, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to have one on here right?

8. Threshold

As the album’s interlude, Threshold is a dark and creepy lil tune with unsettling strings, bass from MASASHI, and some synths as well to make it dark.  HIZAKI also has some guitar parts but they aren’t as important as the other stuff….oh yeah chanting too XD.  It’s kind of weird as an interlude into “Judicial Noir” but I guess it works in the end. 

9. Judicial Noir

To be honest, I would’ve preferred to have seen a different B-side like “Glowing Butterfly”, but I guess this’ll do since it’s quite good and my feeling towards is much better than “Philia” by far.  I’m not sure why I like it so much because it sounds like a lot of the hard songs from earlier on the album, but I digress.  It’s basic, but hey why not?!

10. Love will be born again

Two ballads?  I must say, KAMIJO in English is slightly questionable because the accent is clearly there but I can understand most of it.  Love will be born again is definitely more of a ballad than “Remember Forever” since this has light guitars and has more prominence with the strings and piano and it’s seriously a pretty song.  Best song off the album!

11. Vampire

As the other track to have gotten a PV for the album’s release (the other was “MASQUERADE”) Vampire is a little strange coming after the ballad, but I felt like this was also a fun song to listen to especially with the harpischord at the beginning.  This felt like something off of “NOBLE” and I liked it a lot!

12. Faith & Decision

Of course it isn’t a Versailles album without some god-long track and with Holy Grail comes Faith & Decision which is at a whopping time of 16:28.  Sadly, the song doesn’t feel like their other epic ones where it was powerful and fast.  Faith & Decision is oddly mid-tempo and not really that dark from them and that surprised me quite a bit.  There’s places where the band really does kick ass…but it’s kind of boring for such a long ass song. especially if the intro for the song is 7 minutes long.  After that KAMIJO does come in and tried to save the song but by then I was just not wanting to hear anymore.

13. The Theme of Holy Grail

After such a long track, it’s nice to finally get into the outro of the album and since it’s just strings playing a melody…it does make for a great closure to an album…but to a Versailles album?!?  It’s a little out of left field since it’s the only track to feature JUST strings so it’s unusual to me.  At least “Threshold” made sense.

Tracks Recommended

  • Love will be born again
  • Vampire
  • Thanatos
  • MASQUERADE
  • DESTINY -The Lovers-

Song of Avoidance

  • Faith & Decision

After the disappointing “JUBILEE” well (I think it was because the band was still pretty depressed about the death of their bassist) I can happily say that Holy Grail is pretty awesome of an album.  Even though the experimental levels weren’t as viable, what we got was great.  Now to me they should stay away from uber long songs since they’ve been getting worse and worse with each one.  Great album!

 

Versailles – Philia March 16, 2011

Filed under: Versailles — solarblade @ 2:43 am

Track Listing

  1. Philia
  2. Judicial Noir
  3. Desert Apple

1. Philia

I don’t find myself finding anything really amazing about Philia that can be said about the previous A-sides they’ve had, but I love the progressive metal sound from the band and it’s still present.  KAMIJO’s vocals sound odd this time around, it’s like he wanted to be a whole lot more deeper for some reason.  Are we trying to be ASAGI from D?  Either way, it’s a good song, nothing totally amazing, but it passes.

2. Judicial Noir

I can’t tell if Judicial Noir was meant to be harder than the previous song, but I feel like this one has a much stronger melody and also because it’s not as long.  KAMIJO’s vocals are a whole lot more expressive to me with this song for sure and while it’s naturally similar to the last track, this one doesn’t feel so weird.

3. Desert Apple

I actually thought of “Zombie” when this song first started, but not as heavy as said song.  I kind of love the arrangement out of this song the most and there’s a noticable amount of bass heard in the song which made me happy as hell.  However, after a while I noticed that this had no lyrics at all and was a solo case for the rest of the band.  It’s actually one of the best solos I’ve heard from the band yet so that’s good!

As the second single of the era, Philia isn’t quite as strong as “DESTINY -The Lovers-“, but it shows consistency and that’ll make their next album strong hopefully.  I do think Judicial Noir was better, but that was because it wasn’t as vocally off as Philia was.  The instrumental was a nice treat though since I think it’s their best since Jasmine You’s passing.

 

Versailles – DESTINY -The Lovers- October 26, 2010

Filed under: Versailles — solarblade @ 8:32 pm

Track Listing

  1. DESTINY -The Lovers-
  2. Glowing Butterfly
  3. Libido

1. DESTINY -The Lovers-

While I still think Versailles is still kind of dealing with the loss of their bassist, Jasmine You, DESTINY doesn’t exactly scream epic Versailles in first listen.  I mean there’s tons of rock to be found, but it’s more of a rock ballad, especially with the way the music flows and the way Kamijo is singing.  Though after the beginning it does switch into a really fast metal song and with the blaring guitars and fast riffs, it’s like the song took to ideas and smooshed em together.  It still isn’t as good as their early stuff, but it’s passable.

2. Glowing Butterfly

Being just as off the wall as the A-side, Glowing Butterfly is a tad more orchestral and pushes Kamijo to sing even stronger than before, this was more of what I was expecting Versailles to release after “JUBILEE”.  Still not as epic as they once were, but Glowing Butterfly has the best sound off the single so that’s good.

3. Libido

I don’t know what it is about Libido that sounds rather plain to me, but it somehow does.  Besides the opening guitar chords and opening lines, there’s nothing much to really comment about the song.  It’s not bad, but wait, there is a lot of bassist from new guy, Masashi.  I am surprised he stood out as much as he did in the song.

Being as DESTINY -The Lovers- is the first single released without Jasmine, it’s not bad, but I think like one of my friends said, they kind of lost that spark that made their first era so great which is sad of course, but I’m giving them time to get over their loss and get back to great music, I can tell Masashi will fit very well with the group!

 

Versailles – JUBILEE January 20, 2010

Filed under: Versailles — solarblade @ 3:41 am

Track Listing

  1. God Palace -Method of Inheritance-
  2. Ascendead Master
  3. Rosen Schwert
  4. Ai to Kanashimi no Nocturne
  5. Amorphous
  6. Reminiscence
  7. Catharsis
  8. The Umbrella of Glass
  9. Gekkakou
  10. PRINCESS -Revival of church-
  11. Serenade
  12. Sound in Gate

1. God Palace -Method of Inheritance-

We begin the album with a 10 minute song.  Jeeze, I know Versailles has done this before, but jeeze 10 minutes is just pushing way too many limits, even for a V-kei group.  At least it’s really good for being this long because of all the different areas God Palace hits, it intrigues me with every area they enter.  I mean HIZAKI and TERU really get their points for all the guitar work, KAMIJO for his singing, Jasmine (R.I.P.), sounding really good on the bass and YUKI slamming on the drums, I mean epic could descibe this song, but even then no words could be really be effecient enough to describe it.

2. Ascended Master

The 2nd single released for the era, Ascended Master got cleaned up for the album to sound more better, clearer, and basically more kickass and it worked.  I mean I loved it on the single and when I hear new things besides the orchestral BKGD and the band, I hear small brass parts.  Very aggressive and very cool, awesome song.

3. Rosen Schwert

So far, Rosen Schwert is probably the closest thing to regular J-rock the group has touched on this album.  It still screams Versailles of course and there’s the darker guitar riffs that appear in the after-chrous.  Not that it takes anything way, but I thought it was nice different from the group and it’s not that bad of a song…I thought the piano/strings solo leading into the guitar solo was a bit jarring, but still a good song otherwise.

4. Ai to Kanashimi no Nocturne

One of my favorite songs off the album, Ai to Kanashimi no Nocturne opens up with one of the coolest riffs I’ve heard Versailles pulled off in this album.  I instantly take notice that YUKI is being drummer overload in this song and I thought that was pretty awesome.  You know I’m all for guitar solos, but do we need one in every song?  I think it’d be nice to be without one for once.  Maybe if I seperated it from the album I’ll love it further. 

5. Amorphous

I guess it’s time for the more experimental side to the group and Amorphous would be definitely that song.  By the opening, it’s got a different feeling going on and I liked the almost pop/rockish sound going here.  Maybe a little like an anime opening actually.  KAMIJO sounds really nice in the song as well sinc ehe’s not utilizing his real deep vocals for this song.  I didn’t even mind that there was a guitar solo in this song because it actually worked in this kind of setting.

6. Reminiscence

I guess this would be the album’s interlude since it’s under 3 minutes, Reminiscence is really pretty for an interlude since all it is is strings playfully moving along with HIZAKI and TERU playing along with them as well, it’s quite of regal in a sense and really brings the mood up on the album.  Plus you can’t deny that the guitarists are sounding amazing here.

7. Catharsis

We continue with some more experimental Versailles and Catharsis has a pretty opening and when the band enters in, it just sounds like something I’d expect from an action movie like Pirates of the Caribbean.  That is before the band starts going into their speed metal sound.  I really liked KAMIJO in this song for some reason, he gave life to the song and even the fast guitar, drummin, etc. might be too much and possibly overplayed at this point in the album, it wasn’t too bad

8. The Umbrella of Glass

I kind of thought the title was a clever one, but I didn’t expect the opening would be pretty too.  At least I can say that the song is a ballad, well a rock ballad, but nonetheless one.  I think this is the first time I’ve heard them utilize acoustic guitar in their music and that solo was pretty awesome of them to include.  It’s actually one of the best songs off the album to be honest with you.

9. Gekkakou

Also cleaned up for the album release, The B-side from “ASCENDEAD MASTER” and first major release.  On the single I said that this was the better track and honestly it still is the better song.  I still love the hard edge this is and YUKI is on overdrive which is epic.  It’s cool that KAMIJO is getting into a frenzy on his vocals cuz he’s definitely showing off his stronger vocals.  I don’t know but edgier songs like this from Versailles are amazing.

10. PRINCESS -Revival of church-

While I don’t know if this is the same “PRINCESS” from the “PRINCE & PRINCESS” single.  If it does then it probably is an album version of the secondary A-side.  It’s also the second longest song off the album, being over 8 minutes.  So here we are again we the speed metal again.  Though unfortunately I’m not really thinking this song stands out on the album since it’s kind of like the other songs and it doesn’t have the epic factors that helped the other long track to be relistenable.

11. Serenade

Being at 6 minutes straight, Serenade is another ballad from the band, but even moreso because half the time, the band minus KAMIJO is taking a break, but the band does come in for some of the more additional sound for the song.  They sound nice and the band adds enough to not be overwhelming so they are just right.  I like it. 

12. Sound in Gate

The ending interlude, Sound in Gate is kind of an ethereal ending to an album that’s been overall hard.  Though, there’s a story with this ending with a guy talking about something KH-ish because of hearts, light, and doors, and darkness…I was like….really? You’re just playing with our minds Versailles!!!!!

Tracks Recommended

  • The Umbrella of Glass
  • Ai to Kanashimi no Nocturne
  • Gekkakou
  • Amorphous
  • Reminiscence

Song of Avoidance

  • PRINCESS -Revival of church-

Versailles debut major label album JUBILEE was nice, but I consider NOBLE more actually.  I’m not sure, but there’s just something that got me to enjoy NOBLE more, maybe it was the experimental side that I liked…Then again, JUBILEE was the final album with Jasmine before his untimely death last year, so I’m pretty sure that affected the progress and overall mood of the album.  It’s not bad though, it’s a good release from the band, just it isn’t better than “NOBLE” 

 

Versailles – ASCENDEAD MASTER July 2, 2009

Filed under: Versailles — solarblade @ 3:16 am

ascendead master

Track Listing

  1. ASCENDEAD MASTER
  2. HALLWAY (First Press I only)
  3. PILGRIM (First Press II only)
  4. COVENANT (First Press III only)
  5. GEKKAKOU (Regular only)
  6. DESCENDENT OF THE ROSE (Regular only)

1. ASCENDEAD MASTER

Could it be more exciting that Versailles always make epic A-sides?  Well, this time I’m going to have to agree again, clearly because the song is a like love for Visual-Kei.  The music is aggressive and full of the band and orchestral sound.  Kamijo’s vocals also stand out in the song as they are deep and shmexii.  The crazy ass guitar solo also won me over pretty quickly…Hizaki has great guitar skills.  Amazing.

2. GEKKAKOU

Not letting up on their aggressive sound, The B-side also shows the band of even more harder than “ASCENDEAD MASTER”.  If you really think about it, GEKKAKOU is even more harder and darker which surprised me good.  I love Kamijo’s growling/yell in the bridge.  I think this track made a better impact on me than the A-side actually.

3. DESCENDENT OF THE ROSE

It is an instrumental of course so Kamijo doesn’t make an appearance here, but this short single ender sounds like it has future potential to be a full track from the band someday.  It’s got a lot of build-up at the start then cools off into a band orchestral solo which was cool. 

 

 

I’ll do those 3 other tracks once they leak out.  Versailles debut under a major label was actually quite awesome for them because they showed how hard they can play.  GEKKAKOU was amazing though so I pretty much considered the rest of the single to be below it.  ASCENDENT MASTER is good as well, not quite as epic like GEKKAKOU but close enough and well the rest of the single is basically instrumentals…so who knows but DESCENDENT OF THE ROSE makes me wonder what the others are like.