Sunday, December 13, 2009

Album Review: DIM - THE GAZETTE

I wrote this for the Lolita E-zine (I'll link you when it's out). I may do a condensed version of this, but so far, this is what I'm going with.

Dim - The GazettE

Gothic lolita is, along with Victorian times and Alice in Wonderland, inspired by the aesthetics of Visual Kei. The GazettE are one of Japan's established internationally famed bands of the genre who went in a new – moodier, heavier and more concept based direction with their seventh album…Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Complementing the idea of a concept album, Dim is full of interludes. From the cold and haunting「剥離」to to even feature a crying baby in 「子宮」. The GazettE really know how to elicit emotion and invoke curiosity with such simplicity and distortion.

Previously released Leech and Distress and Coma fail to disappoint. Leech is a hard rock song with female vocals that feels like a live song fans would jump up and down to. The scream in the middle appears to be the song’s peak, but it does not die off after and ends louder with explosive life. Distress and Coma is a track that is predictable, but ensures the standard formula is done the right way. 紅蓮 is a shorter J-rock ballad, also previously released, that sounds similar to Burial Applicant and/or Baretta. The drumming stands out most to me at its quietest and the guitar solo fits, though I feel the lyrics were intended to be the most significant part.

Headache Man is probably my favorite song off Dim with it’s metalcore sound – heavy and made for headbanging, in your face and includes an Unholy Confessions-esque breakdown. It might be volume over intricacy but still the most enjoyable. If you didn’t get a headache from it, you’ll like Ogre, too. The slowed down grunge-like 13STAIRS[-]1 retains its heaviness and speeds up in the middle with protesting vocals that alternate screaming, shouting and whispering plus dueling guitars wonderfully fit in the “bad connection” effects that refuse to hear ignorant judgment of those who criticize the genre. In the Middle of Chaos would be great to see live. Though simplistic, it’s more cheerful and fun.

The Invisible Wall is average. They could have chosen a better track to kick off the album with, but even the song improves as it progresses through the sorrowful and desperate emotions it exudes. I like the Metallica-like A Moth Under the Skin, due to Reita’s bass-led intro. The rhythm seems like it would be excellent live, but ended with a boring fade out.

Dim balances the fast with the ballads, though. 泣ヶ原 is a 7-minute long one that is worth overcoming impatience for as it is a beautiful break from the previous Leech; or perhaps the mosh pit when seen live. Maybe Dim was written in the live concert frame of mind after all. A slower tempo, however does not mean a decreased intensity that has an impeccable construction as the bridges and breaks are in all the right places. 白き優鬱 has violins, acoustic guitars and a solo where it should be. It’s calm and mellow but ends very nicely.

The album ends way better than it started, with one of its best songs. Dim Scene seems influenced by Dir en Grey and starts off slowly, this time with an orchestra. The way the echoing violins fade off into rolling drums that get bigger, the guitars burst louder and the vocals come to life. Dim Scene could have been a long epic song, I suppose five minutes is enough, and the conclusion faded off nicely. Overall, Dim is sinister yet brilliant.


Saturday, December 12, 2009


Due to my observation that every blog needs a niche, a central topic to go about to make it easier on the blogger's own life and reader's.

Then I realized I don't have one. Sure, I'm allowed to like a whole lot of things, but it seems simpler to focus on one.

Inspiration (those quote/photography/positivity/art/tumblr types)?

I'm a little lost. Any suggestions?