Required Reading

After just receiving three more CDs, I’m back to mention some highlights from them.

L’Arc~en~Ciel – The Best of L’Arc~en~Ciel c/w
As you may know, I rather enjoyed L’Arc’s newest album, AWAKE. So, I figured I would enjoy a ‘best of’ album from farther back. This is the first one of two ‘best ofs’ I got and I don’t know what it is about this album, but almost all of the tracks here don’t do anything for me. As I type this, I can’t remember what any of the songs sound like from the titles alone. Not a good sign for someone’s supposed ‘best of.’
Favorite Tracks: none, perhaps?
Video: Sayounara

L’Arc~en~Ciel – The Best of L’Arc~en~Ciel 1998-2000
Maybe ‘c/w’ is something that means ‘best crap,’ but this was far better and actually had some tracks I enjoyed. Could be that their sound/style has changed quite a bit in the last six years, but I am sure I will only be looking forward to new releases since I like their newest stuff far more than their past releases.
Favorite Tracks: DIVE TO BLUE; HEAVEN’S DRIVE; trick

Dir en grey – Vulgar
My favorite band from Japan so far as I mentioned previously and this album delivers the goods almost as well as the other one.

And, in case you missed it (and you know you did)…there is a scantly clad babe in the linked Miyavi video in the previous post. Check it out!

Later, people! I feel asleep!

ラルク アン シエル


Rock On!

Recently, I decided to check out some Japanese bands to see what they were like. I found a few already that I am definitely going to continue to listen to in the future. My recent purchases of CDs included:

L’Arc~en~Ciel – AWAKE
This one was the first one I tried and along with the next one, I actually found them in local stores, the rest were bought online. This is their latest album and I found I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is more on the lighter side of rock, but pretty good anyway.
Favorite Tracks: New World; LOST HEAVEN; AS ONE; Jiyuu eno shoutai
Video: New World

Dir en grey – Withering to death.
As with the above album, I found this one locally as well. So far, this is my favorite album of them all and my favorite band of all of the ones I have heard so far. This one came with a DVD of some of their music videos and tour footage from 2005. If you like hard rock/heavy metal with a singer that can emit screams as well as a very impressive falsetto, this is the band for you. I also recently ordered the previous album to this one as well, Vulgar.
Favorite Tracks: KODOKU NI SHISU, YUENI KODOKU; Merciless Cult; C; SAKU; THE FINAL
Video: Merciless Cult

Miyavi – Miyavizm
This one was a fairly random pick, but I am liking it quite a bit. The sound is notably harder than L’Arc~en~Ciel, but not quite as much as Dir en grey. Some of the tracks clearly favor a more pop-rock sound and those were the ones released as singles.
Favorite Tracks: Sukkyanen MYV (Zenpen); Pop ‘n Roll Koshien (Baseball); ROCK’N’ROLL IS ‘NOT’ DEAD; Koi wa Push Phone
Video: Freedom Fighters

Gackt – MARS
I had to try Gackt out because he is probably one of the most famous musicans from Japan and the person that was the supposed inspiration for several Final Fantasy characters, such as Squall from Final Fantasy VIII. I made the album MARS my choice because reviews I read claimed it was regarded as one of his best albums. I enjoyed a few tracks from it, but mostly it just got a ‘eh’ from me. If nothing else, Gackt certainly has one of the best singing voices I have ever heard.
Favorite Tracks: Vanilla (MARS Ver.); OASIS (MARS Ver.); Mirror (MARS Ver.); Kono daremo inai heya de
Video: Vanilla

Rammstein – Rosenrot
Last, but not least, we come to a band I am not new to. I have enjoyed Rammstein since their second album, Sehnsucht. This is their newest album, but it isn’t as good as their previous ones. I still like it, but that is probably the fanboy in me talking.
Favorite Tracks: Rosenrot; Mann gegen Mann; Hilf mir; Te quiero puta!
Video: Rosenrot

Thanks for reading and if anyone has any other non-U.S. bands they would like to recommend, do so in the comments.