Tag Archives: Gacktpause

“EVER” – GACKT

I definitely prefer this cover to the other.

I’ll let you guys in on a little secret. This is probably the most excited I’ve ever (pun intended) been to write a review. Everybody knows by now that GACKT is my favorite artist in el mundo and I have been bursting at the seams to get my hands on this single. After being pushed back repeatedly and sending GACKTophiles like myself into a cold sweat-laced panic, I began to think that G’s move to Avex was a poor choice.

Though this isn’t his first single with Avex (recall that the “Journey” trilogy was released with them, even if G didn’t write any of the songs) I was interested, nauseated, and incredibly nervous to see how he would fare with such a mainstream company. Could GACKT retain his character and uniqueness we all love about him by switching to the most draconian, evil, corrupt, baneful, heinous, vile, pernicious, loathsome, repugnant, sinister mainstream record company in Japan?

You bet your bottom dollar he could.

EVER begins with some hard drumming, and of course the trademark you-know-it’s-a-GACKT-song guitar noise. Is there some kind of story behind that sound? I can think of at least three other GACKT songs with that exact same noise in it somewhere.

Let me say that I can understand why this single was released during the Yellow Fried Chickenz tour. This is the kind of energetic, crowd pleasing song that would be incredible to see live. It’s only natural that G would release and promote it during the tour. (the parts of it when he isn’t unconcious/hospitalized 😦 …)

What I liked most about EVER is that it never slows down or releases its grip. GACKT sounds fierce and empowered in the chorus. Perhaps the move to Avex wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. If his next single comes out on time, then I’ll totally be okay with the label switch.

In all, EVER is outrageously catchy and brilliant. I barely noticed that the song was over five minutes long, because it just keeps blazing through. I loved it.

EVER’s PV carries on the live-house theme of the YFCz tour. The premise of the PV is simple but I found it poignant. Basically, it tells the story of a youngster who experiences and is affected by GACKT’s performance. I would be just like that kid if I saw G live. Unable to speak, only able to gravitate towards him. There is also a bouncer dude (I guess) who seems to really enjoy saying the word “ever.”

GACKT is stellar in this PV. He separates himself from reality by playing the role of a sort of deity. He’s magnetic, captivating, and it’s so hard to believe he is a real, breathing human. He just seems so far above the rest of us. Trust me, you’ll be feeling the same way the little kid in the audience does when you watch this. G’s dancing is a little strange, (not as odd as the dancing in the Vanilla PV though!) he removes and replaces his fedora numerous times, and of course..

Do I really need to say anything else?

We are also given UNCONTROL ♂Kyoukiranbu edition♂ which features.. guess. That same guitar sound! Seriously, am I the only one who pays attention to or notices that? This song is wacky and dissonant. It has a heavy techno sound, but I can understand why this song seems to be popular at lives. It’s a crowd-pleaser and that’s what GACKT is all about: making the fans happy.

In Conclusion: GACKT is a freight train with no intention of stopping. EVER is a fantastic single as a whole, and I could not possibly be happier. I am sure this review is riddled with bias because I’m so hooked on GACKT that… well it’s just not healthy, okay? VERY highly recommended. Excellent work, G.

~Alisa~

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“Defended Desire” – Aldious

THESE ARE WOMEN, kthx

Look what I’ve found! ANOTHER VK band where the people who look like chicks are chicks! No guessing! No pondering! No uncomfortable moments!

Aldious, like exist trace, is a Visual Kei band consisting entirely of females. I’d put their sound in between the brutal exist trace and pop-rock group SCANDAL. They can rock out, but their vocals and melodies aren’t as grating or violent as exist trace.

Defended Desire, besides having a cool name, is a fast-paced rock song with some incredible drums. They remind me of the machine-gun-sounding drums that you hear in Deluhi songs. But, the vocals sound a little apathetic and the lyrics are slightly repetitive. I’ll give these girls an A for effort as the song is pretty good. Maybe after a while they will come into their own and produce some stuff that will blow me away. Or I could totally jinx them and force them to disband/lose members, as I have seemingly done to XodiacK, Luzmelt, and Canzel. If this is the case, I will give gacktpause license to mock me for all eternity.

灰の雪 is a slower song and reminds me of older-style j-rock. Its nice, and the vocals are the best in this song. Her voice reminds me of Mika Nakashima in parts.

Ultimate Melodious has a killer opening and the drums get to shine once again. I just couldn’t get into this song because the vocalist sounds like she could care less about the song.

In Conclusion: The winning attribute of Aldious is its drums. The vocals need work. If I don’t sense emotion in any aspect of a song be it the voice, the guitar, whatever, then I don’t feel emotion either and I turn the song off. Still, give it a listen because these girls seem like they’ve got potential.

~Alisa~

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“7th Rose” – D

At least the cover is pretty

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.

~Alisa~

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