山口百恵 - 二十才の記念碑 曼珠沙華

二十才の記念碑 曼珠沙華 is a beyond sublime album by the flawless 山口百恵 (i posted her GOLDEN FLIGHT album a while back, for those who haven't checked the archive). this album kills me on every level. i am devastated by the delivery, the flow, Momoe's breath-taking vocals, absolutely everything. it is a perfect album, by every means. while she released a staggering number of albums throughout her ten year-long career which began at the age of thirteen in 1970, none of them ever managed to be anything but great.

her dedication and commitment to the music is what, i think, made her such a breathtaking powerhouse of a vocalist and a performer. a long time ago, i remember watching a video of her final performance. she comes out on the empty stage in a poofy white dress, with a crown of white flowers upon her head for the last song (the crushing さよならの向う側), and the lights are down low. Momoe looks to the crowd, and they cheer her on as tears roll down her face. she begins the song, and struggles at first with keeping her voice even as she weeps. but, soon she empowers herself, and ends up giving the single most majestic and awe-inspiring performance that i have ever witnessed. the lights blaze behind her as she sings the last words of the song, and i feel like i've been witness to a goddess.

every song on this album is filled with the most exquisite emotional depth. she sings from her very heart, and you can feel it as it rips through you on every ballad and rousing epic. because of this, i have a very hard time listening to this album while doing anything else, because i end up losing interest in the task. essentially, this album can never be background music for me. the affect it has on me really is that strong.

the highlight of this album is track six, 曼珠沙華. it builds up slow with Momoe accompanied by an acoustic guitar, but soon enough an electric guitar and an entire string orchestra joins in as Momoe's voice builds and builds. it is everything that i love about this incredible woman.

1. いい日旅立ち
2. シュルード・フェロー
3. 惜春通り
4. ジェラシー
5. 夢のあとさき
6. 曼珠沙華
7. 横須賀サンセット・サンライズ
8. プリティー・ハーロット
9. ひとふさの葡萄
10. 十五の頃 (紅梅集)
11. ひといろ足りない虹のように
12. 横須賀サンセット・サンライズ



パイナップル4.9 - YAWA YAWA

YAWA YAWA is an album by the fantastic パイナップル4.9. they were an eerie psychedelic post-punk band that Stalking Duppi's C.PATERA described as being "almost like a no-wave band with all the nervous tension drained, leaving them diffused and skeletal". i'm not entirely sure if i agree with that or not, but i certainly see how it's possible. sometimes it does border on the sort of sound that bands like Non Band were working with; a fairly mellow, relaxed sort of no-wave.

this band deserves much more attention. if you enjoyed the likes of ウニタ・ミニマ and ルナパーク・アンサンブル then you'll probably like this. fans of LIBIDO might enjoy this, too, as it has the same sort of atmosphere.

p.s. i can't remember where i found this EP . . . i downloaded it a while back, but i wish i could remember.

1. Diamond Crack
2. 猿の山(幽霊は私の頭の中)
3. サバンナ
4. 神様
5. やわやわ



Madame Edwarda - ヒステリックな侯爵夫人

at long last, i am able to share with you this brilliant album by Madame Edwarda. this album is beyond perfect. i am convinced that this is one of the most important goth rock albums ever made.

from the first track to the last this album is a force to be reckoned with. this has much more experimentation with sounds than the average goth rock album (but, then, Madame Edwarda were never "average"; every song that they ever released is masterfully crafted, particularly the epic nine minute long "Lorelei" and its sister track, "Arabian Nights"); there are only passing and very brief resemblances to any sort of pop sound on this album, unlike a great deal of japanese goth. every track on this album can stand alone perfectly fine, but they really deserve to be listened to as a whole.

if you like goth or post-punk then you must have this album in your collection. nothing else can quite compare to the splendid majesty that is Mme Edwarda.

(supplied by elias of evil-en-lucifer. he recently purchased a copy of the album, so he suggested that i share it here.)

1. Introduction
2. Opéra
3. Nosferatu
4. The Horror Cave!
5. Nostalgie
6. Le Sabbat
7. Trench Coat
8. 悪の華
9. メッキ II
10. White-Darkness
11. Never Say Good-Night


not all that interesting for a cover . . .

nonetheless, SODOM's cover of "Cry" by The Birthday Party is certainly an interesting root of how the band's constantly changing sound came to be.

annnnd, here's the original:

i say it's not particularly interesting because it is, besides the intro, an exact remake of the original. all the same, SODOM's cover is superior.


井内賢吾 - 犬神と家畜

i'm not sure why the first album that i posted by 井内賢吾 wasn't 犬神と家畜. it may have been because of the sheer revulsion that i have experienced when listening to this album. it is perhaps the blackest album that i have ever heard. it's very difficult for me to write anything about this album because of that.

to give you some idea of what you're about to hear (even if you did download the previous album by this madman that i posted, nothing will prepare you for this; the two albums are quite different), i'll explain to you the folklore behind at least part of the name (which reads as "Inugami to Kachiku", or "Dog-spirit and Livestock"). in shinto belief, an inugami was a dog spirit which would do your bidding if you summoned it. or, more specifically, if you made it; you see, an inugami is made by tying up a dog (or burying it up to its neck in the ground) and then placing food just out of its reach. the dog starves (or its head is cut off), and it returns from the dead as a ravenous servant which will bring about violence at its masters commands . . . if it chooses to. the inugami could just as easily turn on its "master". just as the inugami would be unforgiving for the cruel nature of its death, this album is also completely unforgiving in its delivery and its vision.

this album will eat you alive.

1. 序章
2. 半男の独白
3. 苦音の鐘の鳴
4. 紫色に沈むからだ
5. 愛の屠殺場
6. 四国巡礼、帰り道
7. 犬神と家畜
8. 肉魂菩薩
9. 自我喪失桃色牡丹
10. 四国・地獄・時刻



Géométrie D'Un Assassinat is an album by belgian industrial act État Brût. this band played a very distorted form of ambient industrial in the style of S·CORE or White Hospital; very slow, meandering music, with underlying themes of mental retardation, strangulation, and murky claustrophobia. i always feel so disoriented when i'm listening to anything by this brilliant band.

most certainly check it out if you liked Dross.

1. Hélicoptères
2. Intro
3. J. Michaux
4. Hertz
5. Pôles Du Cerveau
6. Dealey Plaza
7. Karol Simon
8. 7 H 30
9. Allright




早瀬優香子's breathtaking LOVE YOUR LIFE has consistently been one of my favorite albums for about a year or two now. the music she makes here is delightful. it feels like a walk through a rainy jungle. though superficially it might sound a bit like quite a bit of idol pop, if you listen closer you can hear a certain quality that sets it apart; there is a fertile, lively feeling here that is very hard to explain. you really just have to hear it. the best comparison i could make is the modern musician KOKIA. it has that same mountain spirit quality to it.

i think my favorite track is the ambrosial seventh track, "lost in early summer".

1. チャイム
2. プロローグ
3. 夢の花園
4. 雨、窓辺、声
5. 36℃の記憶
6. Scene
7. lost in early summer
8. sleepless
9. M・T
10. ルート16
11. エピローグ



here is an art book by the brilliant Kasai Ayumi. her art is completely unrivaled in the shounen-ai scene. everything this woman pens is magnificent and completely luscious. it makes me think of early BL works like Kaze to Ki no Uta by Takemiya Keiko. each line is perfect, and the art never loses its quality. simply sublime.




April is the cruellest month (the spelling is Takayanagi's, not my own) is an album by the legendary 高柳昌行 and his New Direction Unit. The title of this album is taken from the first line of the 1922 poem The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot (written before his ridiculous conversion to Anglicanism in '27). but where that poem (or groups of poems) was more stark and bold, this album is bloodcurdling and violent. every scrape of the guitar, every whine of the saxophone, every crash in the background feels like the soundtrack to a breaking mind. every once in a while it even borders on noise à la 非常階段 or 灰野敬二. and the violence and destruction just escalates as the album goes on, coming to its climax on the vicious final track, "My Friend, Blood Shaking My Heart".

in my personal opinion, i think this is most likely 高柳昌行's opus.

1. We Have Existed
2. What Have We Given?
3. My Friend, Blood Shaking My Heart



DIE-ZW3E - AZITO~空カラノ手紙~

AZITO~空カラノ手紙~ is a really great album by post-punk band DIE-ZW3E. they were heavily inspired by heavy metal and hard rock, but their sound is still very post-punk. this of course was a very common sound in the early visual kei scene (with other bands like VOIS having a very similar sound). tracks like "空からの手紙-From your friend-" have that undeniable post-punk and borderline goth sound to them.

1. AZITO-少年の日-
2. FUCK-拝啓世間様-
3. For My Tomorrow-現実の中で-
4. 空からの手紙-From your friend-
5. 夢のいた頃-路地裏の風-
6. DOCTOR-修正不能?-
7. PRIDE-昨日までの自分を超えて-