Only a month after the release of their first album, LALALA, back in April, MARCO (マルコ) have announced a new single!
Tasogare Sunshade (黄昏サンシェイド), their first official single release since "Henjin Kikou" from last year, will be released on August 29 and will include 2 new songs for the price of 1,200 yen. Check out the short sample below:
With the release of their first collection album only 5 days ago, Mamireta (まみれた) have announced that they have another 3 singles coming down the pipeline.
Unlike their previous single campaign, this time they are not doing a consecutive-month release schedule. In stead, the first single drops this September, and then another two are going to be released on the same day in December.
The first single, Kushami, is due to be released on September 26th, and will contain 3 tracks.
The second and third singles, Funsaisuruzo! and Ore o Hitsuyou to Suru Hito wa Kono Yo no Naka ni Inai yo, respectively, will be released on December 3rd. Both singles contain 3 tracks, but will come in two versions (each with different B-sides) for a total of 10 new songs.
Hi all! Just wanted to give another monthly update about changes at the visual kei library, vkgy.
(Cross-posting this to Monochrome-Heaven, so only some of it will be new to regular visitors.)
New and updated features
Collect releases: show that you own, want, or are selling a release. Collections display on your profile, along with an estimated total worth. You can download your collection (or just the items you're selling) in .csv format, for easy import into Google Docs.
Comments: users can comment on news, artist pages, release pages, and VIP posts. The main page has a feed of all recent comments.
Flyer of the day: a random exclusive flyer scan is uploaded each day. Many have never been seen before, and we have enough lined up for the next ten years(!).
Exclusive artist info: many artist profiles feature new information that is not present at other sites. Use the “exclusive” filter on the artists index to see them.
Exclusive images: if you've uploaded your own scan to vkgy, mark it as “exclusive,” and it will be watermarked with “vk.gy” and your username. Only VIP members (and the original uploader, regardless of VIP status) can view the full-size, unwatermarked version.
MP3/music tagging: users can now use vkgy as a data source within Mp3tag to automatically tag their music files with artist, album, song titles, date, and cover. Both Japanese and romaji tags are supplied. To install this feature, sign in at vkgy, go to your user profile, then navigate to Edit Account.
Artist popularity (beta): a graph of live activity has been added to artist profiles. And based on the size of each livehouse, an estimation of popularity has been assigned to each band that has live data.
Tag artists and releases (beta): artists and releases can now be assigned tags, such as “oldschool” or “rare,” from a predefined list. Releases can also be searched by tags (search by artist tag will be available in the future). Note: please feel free to suggest tags that should be implemented!
Twitter@vkgy_: where I'm most active; also includes news, artist of day, flyer of day.
Facebook at vkgyofficial: includes news, artist of day, flyer of day.
YouTube at vkgyofficial: occasional unboxings, VIP-exclusive videos, and other random content.
Signature banner: use your custom banner link to display the latest news, flyer, and artist updates, plus your username and collection size. (To get yours, add this link to your forum signature, blog, etc, and change the username at the end to your own: https://vk.gy/sig.jpg?inartistic)
Earlier this year, Jupiter lost their vocalist after half of their core ex-Versailles members already seceded. Today, the band officially announced the details of their upcoming single, Theory of Evolution, as well as their new vocalist: Kuze.
The single comes out on August 8th and will contain 6 tracks: 3 new songs and then 3 instrumental versions of each song. It will cost 2,000 yen and come with a music video DVD. See the link below for further details.
Their new vocalist, Kuze, is actually from a non-visual power-metal band named Concerto Moon. They have been around since 1996 and have put out 10 studio albums in that time. Kuze is their 3rd vocalist, and has been with the band since 2011 (and featured on what looks like 4 albums). His non-visual background is why his vocals may be a bit unconventional for those who are more used to how Zin, Sono, or Kamijo sing, but they are par for the course in the power metal scene.
Here is an example of one of Concerto Moon's songs:
While it is always a bit surprising when people from already established bands somehow fall into a visual-kei band, it has actually happened several times before (specifically regarding the power-metal scene, in fact!). Here are a few examples:
MATENROU OPERA (摩天楼オペラ) is actually a melting pot of several rock sub-cultures. Former guitarist Mika (未伽) is from ANCIENT MYTH, who are not exactly a visual-kei band but do use a lot of costumes to fuel the fantasy (think Ali Project). Additionally, several other members were from the neoclassical-metal band Masterpiece.
DELUHI's Leda was also the bassist of popular metal band Galneryus at one point, but later left to join Grave Seed with several other dudes that would later make up 摩天楼オペラ.
There are also cases of non-visual bands joining the visual-kei scene because they couldn't sell tickets "most of their influences were visual", such as Deviloof and NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST.
A few questions about popularity in visual kei, as inspired by a chat with cultic.
First: for visual bands, which statistics indicate popularity? Obvious ones are “ticket sales × release sales,” but what else matters?
Capacity of livehouses at which they play?
Capacity of livehouses at which they hold oneman lives?
Number of sponsored/oneman lives held?
Number of CDs released?
Number of tanuki threads?
Price of releases at second-hand stores?
Length of activity period?
Second: without raw sales data, how can we approximate popularity?
We don't have ticket/release sales, but we do have lots of other data. My hope is to compile/weight that data and automatically assign a rank to each band (as we overseas fans are notoriously bad at judging actual popularity).
Here's what I have so far:
Average capacity of livehouses at which the band plays. (Could be improved by weighting sponsored events/oneman lives, but how?)
Number of releases (excluding free releases?).
Number of releases which vkgy users own. (Anyone with a vkgy account can add releases to their collection to make this stat more accurate!)
Number of releases which vkgy users want.
Average livehouse capacity is already pretty promising (see Syndrome vs Cell no.7 vs ARLEQUIN (アルルカン)), and will become more accurate as more data is added (let me know if you'd like to contribute). But I think those other statistics could be useful if weighted properly; I'm just not sure how to do it yet.
Before I make some monstrous algorithm that magically gives all of KISAKI's bands an S rank, I'd love to get some input from you guys!
(By the way, VIP supporters got alpha access to the live capacity feature on artist pages, and early access to this discussion in the VIP section.)
Surprisingly, the CEO of HERESY is none other than Ozaki Tomomi (尾崎友美), a.k.a. the president of PS COMPANY. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your personal view of the band's management up until this point (though none can dispute that NINTH is a certified banger).
But what does this mean for PSC?
It's no secret that THE GAZETTE was basically keeping the label afloat. Imo―and mind that this is conjecture―the band is being transferred to HERESY so that Tomomi can retain their rights while PSC is dismantled. Again, conjecture, but I expect to hear an announcement of PSC's closure within a year.
If Kra announces disbandment or a label change (maybe, say, at their 17th anniversary live in September), I would consider my conjecture all but confirmed. If I'm correct, I expect to see the solo artists signed to PSC―none of whom do anything of consequence, that I'm aware of―to be shuffled off to a new company or just disband altogether.
Edit: oh, and I didn't quite spell out why this move is being made, but this tweet explains it:
This kind of move is not unprecedented. Right before famous indie label Soleilclosed its doors in 2002, most of its remaining artists were moved to a new label called inner dream group, which happened to have the same manager as Soleil.
Again, conjecture, but I don't expect HERESY or any other Tomomi-founded company to start signing new bands; it seems to me that all of Tomomi's efforts will be focused on THE GAZETTE from here on, until that band also runs out of steam.
DEZERT will release their new album, TODAY, in August.
The 10~12 track album will be available in a CD-only type, and a CD+DVD+DVD “today” type. The latter features one DVD with nine live recordings from their tour final last year, and an additional disc with documentary footage of the recording of the album.
Interestingly, the publisher for the albums is MAVERICK DC GROUP, which is the management side of DANGER CRUE. As far as I know, DEZERT has been self-managed up until now, so I wonder if they're joining DC...?
The band previously appeared on the MAVERICK DC GROUP MUCC tribute omnibus.
DEZERT's next tour, What is “Today”?, will begin in august.
Have you heard the ballad of Maria's†Despair? Gather around, Suicide-Murder-Children...
Maria's†Despair was spontaneously formed by vocalist SHUN in late 2003, with a band concept of “Suicide-Murder-Children.”
Also, he was totally not at all ripping off Deshabillz vocalist SHUN.
These images are not at all related.
At the beginning of 2004, he recruited guitarist WAKA and bassist XXX. The bassist's name was never actually revealed, because:
The trio began recording their first maxi-single in June, and it was so bad that the bassist seceded during recording. Friends from the band Purple,Hey's (one of whom is named MAYO, which is an issue) stepped in to help.
The maxi-single was initially slated for an August 2004 release, but was delayed a full month, because of reasons. It seems to have sold poorly―I remember buying my copy at a very reduced price shortly after release―but it has since gone on to become legendary among true, intellectual vk fans.
The release has been lauded for its monotonous drumming and nasal, off-tempo, and abstract vocals―the background-coughing in Satsuriku NO Mori is especially complex.
Here's an excerpt straight from the band's BBS at the time, in which a local fan praises them:
“I was surprised to see a flyer [for Maria's†Despair]! The vocalist and I lived in the same neighborhood, and I remember him well. He was known for hanging out with a bad crowd. He was fighting with them, and got beaten up! His personality is the worst!!!!”
The band was so inventive and ahead of their time that the CD's self-titled first track and its third track are exactly the same, except that the vocalist sings different lyrics (but to the same melody). And despite the single basically featuring two songs, main composer SHUN needed help from the guitarist of Purple,Hey's to compose them.
Although the maxi-single's three songs alone would be enough to cement the band's place in the anals annals of vk history, I should mention the incredible graphic design, which was spearheaded by vocalist SHUN.
First, the booklet features an innovative white-text-on-black-background motif. The white text is contrasted against terrifyingly real drops of blood dripped all over the place. The disc itself continues this theme: the outer rim is completely translucent and has drops of blood dripped all over it.
And finally, the signed photograph included in every copy features the vocalist in blinding white facepaint, with a drop of blood dripped on his face and a ghastly drops of blood dripped all over some painted cardboard backdrop.
The CD that dripped blood.
MoMA spring exhibit.
Privilege photo on the right. I know I reused the same image, shut up.
At the time of the maxi-single's release, guitarist WAKA was forced to switch to drums, and a new guitarist joined. A few months later, the band planned to change its name, but guitarist-cum-drummer WAKA seceded, and the band instead paused activity.
The band revived as a two-person unit in June of 2005, and then in September a new bassist joined. (The band never gave his name, which is not at all suspicious.) Despite claiming that they would continue as a brand new band from then on, those plans seem to have collapsed.
Vocalist SHUN, real name Arai Shinya (新井 信也), seems to have retired from music after his brush with stardom(?). His last known activity is a series of Ameblo posts which were to apparently become a novel―for which he was looking for collaborators, since he apparently can't do anything alone.
Edit: Oh wait, I forgot, the vocalist formed a new band with WAKA later: the Regred. They released a full album, which I bought, because I'm a masochist. I don't think I've been able to get through it once.
Here's a sample of their longest song. Note the accidental drum track clipping at 02:35. Also note that the vocalist probably had to ask his fucking sister to record the “guest vocals.”
Selected tweets praising the band:
Now you too know the Despair which Maria's†Despair Despaired when Maria was Despairing...
CANIVAL announced on Twitter that they are releasing a new CD, followed shortly by an announcement that they will disband this coming November.
The good news first: the "new" mini-album is actually a rerecording of their first large release, BLACK THEATER (ブラックシアター). Since all of the songs are going to be remade, this is a bit better than a flat-out second pressing. The CD will be released on July 16th, and will cost 2,000 yen.
The band tweeted this morning that they will breaking up on November 4th. Their last live will be held at Shinjuku Holiday. As a brief history of the group, the band formed as Hiz back in 2013, then changed their name in 2016 once their drummer Luvia joined and their old bassist seceded. Since their name change, the band has released two mini-albums and 3 songs, as well as a few music videos with fairly high production value.