Being a loyal D fan, I kept up hope that this album would be surprisingly good, despite the lackluster singles. Since I do love D more than sliced bread and a few other food items, I don’t have the stomach to call this album “bad.” I can’t say its “good” either, and it would just be patronizing to call it “phenomenal.”
If you’re keeping up with Secret Garden (which you should! Its a brilliant blog!), you’ll know that lately, D has adopted more of a Versailles style. Can’t say I hate Versailles (the fact that most of their songs are, like, 9 minutes long is just a touch annoying but that’s another story…) but D should be D. This is why we fell in love with this band; because they had their own flavor. Now that flavor has just become stale.
7th Rose is a hot mess of Versailles/Malice Mizer/generic gothic rock cut-and-paste songs and a couple happy-go-lucky songs (Day by Day and Kaze ga Mekuru Page) that seem out of place altogether. Then you get tracks like Crimson Fish that drift in and out of the gothic and classic visual kei genres. I had no idea which direction they were going with that song and I don’t even think the band knew either.
The only song which sounds remotely similar to the original D is Tightrope, the first single released since the previous album. I’ve called it a watered-down sister version to the outstanding pulse-pounding Nocturnal and I stand by that description. Another somewhat good track is 絡繰り絵巻, which is nice for about two listens and then is quickly forgotten.
As with several other D albums, 7th Rose contains plenty of barbaric growling and whatnot, but its emotionless and almost robotic, if that’s possible. The problem with the album is that the tracks don’t build tension like some of the better D songs. They are flat-lined from the start and you get plain bored. I didn’t listen to most of the tracks in their entirety because they evoked no response in me, other than yawning. Older D songs used to quicken my pulse and make me unconsciously clench my fist from the power of the songs.
In Conclusion: Spare yourself the heartache and pick up a copy of Genetic World instead. Perhaps you can find some gems in this album, but its more a matter of personal taste than actual quality. I felt that this album was weak and makes D as a band seem like a worn-out concept. Here is hoping they take a small hiatus and reflect on their true image instead of desperately clinging to that of other bands.