Sup guys, Flamer here. Let's see... where to begin. I'm an avid anime fan for more than 15 years. While I don't remember the first anime title I've seen, the genre I was exposed to was mecha. I've seen all of Gundam and Macross as well as many others.
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As for the blogs I'll post, they'll mostly be Japanese music related.
Good day fellow readers. Here, I would like to give more exposure to this community when it comes to Japanese music outside of anime. This will focus on quality Jrock bands I recommend and songs for beginners.
When it comes to rock bands in the 90s, LUNA SEA was one of the top and highly influential visual kei bands when that culture style movement was strong. Even to this day, many new Jrock bands were inspired by LUNA SEA. Formed in 1989 consisting of 5 members, these guys quickly rose in popularity because of their signature sound. Their music style is based on the 80s hard rock with some progressive songwriting approach that combines elements from other common genres, all accompanied by a mysterious atmosphere in which can be described as artsy music. Like X Japan, they performed in the Tokyo Dome multiple times. It's a shame their existence within the anime community has very little presence due to the fact none of their songs have been used in any animes whatsoever. The first time I gave them a listen, it wasn't my cup of tea. I couldn't stand the vocals and wasn't mature enough to appreciate the scope of rock genre. But then when Complete Best was released which had all the well known songs remastered, I decided go for a 2nd try. My mind was blown, this was what I was looking for - 80s rock style that balances out the soft and heavy. I always find their music to be timeless because comparing it to today's music standards, it never gets old. The song Desire is more than 15 years old and it still holds up as my favorite. I urge you people to check them out. Start with the Complete Best album just like I have. Do not worry about their visual appearance, in the recent years, it's been toned down to more casual.
If you're into metal or just started listening that genre, you ought to check out D'espairsRay. Their music mainly focuses industrial/alternative metal that's usually dark sounding accompanied by catchy melodic tunes. Many of their songs heavily uses synthesizers to enhance the effect of their music without overpowering the raw sound of their instruments. Plus, those screams/growls are so satisfying to the ears. Their discography doesn't only consist of heavy music however, pop rock songs like HORIZON and HEAVEN'S COLOR (which sounds quite similar to L'arc~en~Ciel) is a nice contrast. What's really interesting is they were one of the first Jrockers to perform overseas before they got their major debut. 1999 is when they formed. Unfortunately, they disbanded in 2011 due to Hizumi's throat condition. Like Luna Sea, no songs were used in anime. A good album starting point would be MIRROR then make your way onto others. Before I list out recommended songs, I have to note that their DEATH POINT PV is without a doubt the best PV I've seen.
I'm not sure where to begin with these guys. First off, Dir en grey's music is often difficult to describe due to genre hopping in each album making them very hit or miss. They went from pop rock all the way to progressive death metal. Because of that, this band is also notorious for having such a divided fanbase. All 5 band members amazingly skilled but hats off the vocalist Kyo especially. That man has the most insane vocal range. It's impressive enough he could sing well but on top of that, produces inhuman sounds such as animal shrieks and demonic death growls that can really give you the shivers. Different Sense is a perfect demonstration of his vocal capabilities. Shinya also should be noted for being such a complex drummer. I should definitely mention the controversial lyrics are filled with disturbing content but I guess for us foreigners who don't understand the language, it's no issue. The same could be said for their music videos. Just beware it's highly NSFW. In recent years, Dir en grey went on tours in America and Europe multiple times. It's worth attending to their performances at least once. I've been to their concert twice and both times were a blast. It's always nice to see a growing fanbase. Let's just hope these fans can put aside their differences and be thankful for traveling overseas to entertain us. Recommending songs will be difficult all thanks to their diversity. I'll list from soft to heavy.
SIAM SHADE, the band most famous for 1/3 no Junjou na Kanjou which was Rurouni Kenshin ED6. I'm sure many veteran anime fans know that song. It's disappointing that not only the band lasted for a short time but they're not getting the recognition they deserve. Inspired by Luna Sea, some of their songs share that atmospheric similarity. Eventually, they evolved their style intro something that's truly 90s rock sounding. One thing I find them unique is they have 2 vocalists. Hideki is the main vocal and Kazuma, who's the rhythm guitarist, provides backup vocals. Both of them have excellent singing and I put them in my top 5 vocalist of Jrock. My favorite track from is Kumori Nochi Hare. It's one their best songs in my opinion that in one end, it embraces a wonderful nostalgic feeling around it while other gives you a bittersweet sense. Plus, it's generally a well written track. Definitely check them out if you haven't.
Lastly, can't go wrong with abingdon. They should be no stranger to anyone since a third their discography was used as OP/ED songs for various animes and games. These 4 men have professionalism written all over them. Props to T.M.Revolution for choosing the right band members. I always thought T.M.R had potential as a rocker than a pop star. But this band he created totally exceeded my expectations. Nearly all their songs are grade A quality. Song writing, composition, production, and oh my... those sexy sounding guitar riffs. Can never get enough of those. The best part though, is without a doubt their live performances. It's rare for a live versions of the song to be better than recording. Lately, they've been quiet for about year, most likely due to T.M.R focusing on his solo work. Either way, I hope they don't disband anytime soon. 2 full albums just ain't enough.
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