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defspiral’s CARNAVAL stop in Himeji

One of the most experienced bands of the visual kei industry today, defspiral celebrated the 15th anniversary of its members’ debut into the music industry (originally as TRANSTIC NERVE) with a show full of fan favorites on March 17 at Himeji Beta.

Chika Yoshizawa

Following their two days of onemans in Tokyo during January, amber gris held another two days in Osaka on March 1 and 2. Each day with its own theme; Shouten no Kane (the bell of focus) and Setten no Kane (the bell of connection), amber gris’ mesmerizing world unfurled.|1月の東京2デイズに続き、大阪にて2デイズワンマンが3月1日、2日と行われた。それぞれ、1日目「焦点の鐘」、2日目「接点の鐘」とテーマを掲げ、amber grisの独特な世界が繰り広げられた。

Chika Yoshizawa

Despite high expectations, the all-star band Rayflower have continued a cessation of activity since their first event live, however, the band finally appeared at Shinjuku BLAZE on March 9 for the final of their first oneman tour of Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka.

Chika Yoshizawa

Awoi’s Futekigou na Ringo brings six fresh interpretations of the darker side of the current state of humanity for fans to sink their teeth into. This mini album release deals with the concept of non-conformity, as well as the transformation from ‘pure beings’ into ‘human beings’; spinning a creative tale of chaos with bits of psychological thrill.

chi.yow

Throwing straight into high gear, girugamesh hit off their national tour with a charged gig in Tokyo on April 1 at Shibuya CLUB QUATTRO. With opening act MAKE MY DAY emulating Western rock and metal styles, circle pits and headbanging were the “warm-up” of choice for the night.

Chika Yoshizawa

The recent zeitgeist for metalcore, and indeed the practice of suffixing any sub-genre of metal with a –core on the end (emocore, electrocore, Nintendocore…) has led to some wondering about whether it wasn’t about time Japan produced a band which would embody “Visualcore” and how exactly that moniker would go about being definined.

Chika Yoshizawa

MY little HEARTS. Special Edition Vol. 5

Sendai based store little HEARTS brought together a fiery arsenal of bands for their 5th anniversary celebration at Zepp Tokyo.

Kate Havas

Tonight promised to be special with not just one, but three big names in the line-up: MORRIE had invited SUGIZO and Kiyoharu to share the stage with him, and on his birthday no less. These three influential VK artists together – two whom were in turn influenced by tonight’s gracious host – ensnared the senses within Akasaka BLITZ, but tonight would mark one more sensational reunion. Fans of Visual Kei and 80’ies hard rock alike would get their wishes catered to.

Diana Tome

Tonight promised to be special with not just one, but three big names in the line-up: MORRIE had invited SUGIZO and Kiyoharu to share the stage with him, and on his birthday no less. These three influential VK artists together – two whom were in turn influenced by tonight’s gracious host – ensnared the senses within Akasaka BLITZ, but tonight would mark one more sensational reunion. Fans of Visual Kei and 80’ies hard rock alike would get their wishes catered to.

Diana Tome

IKUO Solo Live Tour “R.E.D. ZONE”

An additional show for the solo tour of IKUO (BULL ZEICHEN 88, Rayflower) was held at Hatsudai DOORS on March 26, 2014. Different aspects to and of the career bassist’s band activities were shown in his solo performance by which the audience was overwhelmed and irrevocably drawn in.

Chika Yoshizawa

h.NAOTO Plus Shows Fusion Fashion Day 1

At the end of March fans of the various brands housed in Harajuku’s h.NAOTO Plus store gathered for two days of special floor shows that offered mix and match coordinates.

Kate Havas

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This March, girugamesh dropped their latest release LIVE BEST, a collection of songs pulled largely from girugamesh’s back-catalogue of songs most often played live. LIVE BEST is a powerful album that appropriately flaunts girugamesh’s distinct style and flavor.

Leela McMullen

On Christmas night, the gods and death stars held their last one-man of 2013 at Shimokitazawa Shelter. As the clock hit half-past seven, the lights dropped and the members appeared one by one, welcomed by applause from the crowd.

Chika Yoshizawa

Umbrella Opens New Doors in Osaka

For the last stop of umbrella’s first Tokyo/Nagoya/Osaka oneman tour, KNOCKIN’ ON THE NEXT DOOR, Osaka Gou, the crowd gathered at Osaka MUSE for a show full of grungy and rough visual rock. As the opening track of a digitized and eerie rainstorm played, the audience immediately began to clap their hands and the curtain opened to a misty, blue setting for the members to step into.

chi.yow

3rd Anniversary Giveaway Results

Now for the part you’re all been waiting for… Congratulations to all of our winners!

Leela McMullen

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On March 5, GREMLINS hosted “Goodbye AX, Happy Birthday Hits” as a dual farewell to the iconic live house and a birthday party to project co-founder and guitarist/vocalist Hits (NIGHTMARE’s Hitsugi).

Kate Havas

Yeti 2nd Oneman, Privacy no Shingai

Yeti celebrated their 2nd oneman with a performance full of surprises. Applause and cheers welcomed the band and each of the members was armed with a big smile for the crowd. They started the show with “welcome,” an unreleased track.

Chika Yoshizawa

Over the Edge 2013 – 2014 Countdown Live

The venue suddenly grew dark and everyone awaited with anticipation to learn who would start the marathon event. As the energy-pumping intro music began, strobing lights emerged and the audience began screaming as they recognized the emblem in the background…

Chika Yoshizawa

Moran presented the colorful palette of their mesmerizing world at Akasaka Blitz on January 18. A sheer, white curtain hung in front of the stage behind which the set could be seen, resembling a temple with columns set on the back wall and a white canopy surrounding the drum kit.

Chika Yoshizawa

DuelJewel held their customary shows to celebrate the birthdays of guitarist Shun and drummer Val on February 2 and 3 at Takadanobaba AREA. First celebrating was Shun with his “Gekijo-ban ~Sayonara no Akage.”

Laura Cooper

After Shun’s heavy set the day before, Val went with something different: “Val-ensai,” a school festival themed-show with band, crowd, and staff all in school uniform.

Laura Cooper

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GREMLINS’ [Yue,] features cover art that hints at traditional Japanese music experimentation for the title track, while the other two original tracks tilt back toward more standard rock with interesting innovations. In purchasing the regular edition, fans are treated to a cover of hide’s “HONEY BLADE.”

chi.yow

NoGoD, Shikisai Exclusive Interview

Dancho and Kyrie of NoGoD delve into the sentimentality of the four seasons and fully explore their musical influences. Among some typical Dancho comedy is an undertone of deep thought and cultural respect that reveals the nature of the band in full.|「四季彩」のリリースを前に、ROKKYUU はNoGoDの団長とKyrieの四季の感傷的な部分を掘り下げ、さらに2人の過去の音楽における影響などを探りました。典型的な団長の面白さの中には、バンドの本質を明かす思慮や文化の尊重が潜んでいました。

Leela McMullen

J-ROCK A GO! GO! Volume 5: DuelJewel & Kra

The J-ROCK A GO! GO! live and web program series continued at Shinjuku Loft on October 18 with DuelJewel and Kra. The two bands are well known for being natural comedians and good friends outside of being musicians who play together often together.

Chika Yoshizawa

ROKKYUU Magazine 3rd Anniversary Giveaway

In commemoration of the 3rd anniversary, of ROKKYUU Magazine, we are holding a giveaway with prizes from Acryl Bones, Duel Jewel, girugamesh, hide, METEOROID, Moran, MU:, NINJAMAN JAPAN, and  THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S for 24 lucky winners!

Leela McMullen

jealkb’s unique charm lies in the fact that all of the members are comedians. As a result, their live at Shibuya Koukaidou on January 4, was a highly entertaining event of singing, dancing, and shouting that really heated up the brand new year.

Chika Yoshizawa

Shikisai: an exciting, nostalgic NoGoD

This is, without a doubt, a lovingly crafted album perfect for NoGoD fans. It is, at the same time, fascinating in its ability to show three sides of the band: their old sound, their live sound, and their reinvention.

Sarah Jones

LM.C Tour Kick Off at BLITZ

The stage of Akasaka BLITZ overloaded with LM.C’s personality on February 7, 2014. Aiji was the first onstage, walking in coolly to the sound of “Neo Fantasia.” A white-clad Maya soon followed and grabbed the mic, ready to kick off their Spring tour and introduce the band’s newest album, Perfect Fantasy.

Chika Yoshizawa

Amid preparations for their first ever European tour, heidi. sat down with ROKKYUUfor a charming reveal.|初めてのヨーロッパツアーの準備の渦中、heidi.が4人揃っROKKYUUのインタビューに登場です。

Leela McMullen

Amid preparations for their first ever European tour, heidi. sat down with ROKKYUUfor a charming reveal.|初めてのヨーロッパツアーの準備の渦中、heidi.が4人揃っROKKYUUのインタビューに登場です。

Leela McMullen

exist†trace’s ONE MAN SHOW -EXISTENCE- brought the feisty quintet to Shibuya CYCLONE for their tour final on January 19. The show kicked off with the memorable “Diamond,” lights twirling in a rainbow of colors while Mally got the crowd clapping in unison, arms high in the air.

Leela McMullen

Kaya’s Gothic Elements

Kaya finished his Gothic Elements tour with a dark show at Shinjuku Blaze on February 23. Always one for a striking entrance, he appeared seated on a throne in a red velvet gown studded with rhinestone and diamante plate, fitting to adorn the queen of hearts.

Kate Havas

Riku’s Birthday Festival at OSAKA RUIDO

Osaka-based ZIN’s concept deals with creating “sorrowful Japanese pop” but for the second live event they sponsored at OSAKA RUIDO on February 16, the band chose to embrace the celebration of a happy occasion: the birthday of their vocalist, Riku. The sold-out event featured a variety of currently independent bands, all clamoring to show Osaka that it doesn’t matter when they started in the music scene; all who played that night have the qualities needed to make it to the next level of the industry.

chi.yow

It was snowing heavily on Valentine’s day which was a rare occurrence in Tokyo. Meanwhile, SHUN., ZERO, and TSUKASA from THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S held their 9th DJ event at Shibuya Club Crawl.

Chika Yoshizawa

DuelJewel’s first single of 2014, Chronos, is an explosive release that offers three radically different sides of the band and incorporates fresh sounds and styles from not only different genres but also eras, ranging from Japan’s tumultuous military past to a future where time travel is possible.

Kate Havas

On the cold eve of St.Valentine’s Day, LOST ASH brought heat to Shibuya REX in order to melt some hearts—and not just chocolate ones. Dressed in smart black suits and ties, the band took the stage and welcomed everyone to their show.

Leela McMullen

Some things are worth waiting for and this photo report from SIXX FOURTEEN’s set at NINJAMAN JAPAN’s December 2013 show lets us see a rather elusive band in action. It also happened to be Takayoshi’s birthday, so the band celebrated with a cake and candles.

Laura Cooper

Annie’s Black, fronted by Sarino, were second on the bill for NMJ’s Boxing Day show.  The singer retained much of his exuberant stage presence and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play to the fans with his other musical project.

Laura Cooper

Awoi, LIQUID ROOM Overlords

Awoi did an admirable job of filling out their biggest venue yet for their tour final on January 12 at Ebisu LIQUID ROOM. The band set a dark atmosphere from the start with tolling church bells and blinding red lights. “Are you ready?” vocalist Otogi growled. “Give us everything you’ve got!”

Leela McMullen

A heidi.-like Final at LIQUID ROOM

An invisible cocoon was blown apart to reveal a never-before-seen heidi.—full of vibrancy and radiating with energy. The band performed a grand total of 33 songs but came out of the thirty-third number even stronger than they had begun the first.

Leela McMullen

Panorama Kyokou Xenon chose a rather ironic name for their first Tokyo oneman at Ikebukuro EDGE on January 19. However, BLACK HAPPY END was not only a tie-in with the show being the first of a two-part conceptual one-man tour but also a play on words for another event worth celebrating that week. The Kansai-based band put on an entertaining and enthusiastic show that left the Tokyo crowd begging for more.

chi.yow

ViSULOG Celebrates 3rd Anniversary

On January 25, visual kei news and entertainment site, ViSULOG, hosted an event at TSUTAYA O-EAST to celebrate its 3rd anniversary. A number of bands and fans turned up to show their support  and the suit clad presenters gave the proceedings an awards-show atmosphere.

Kate Havas

DIAURA’s 2nd Album FOCUS

DIAURA’s 2nd album FOCUS entertains listeners with 11 songs, including the band’s prized tune “SIRIUS” which was released last summer. Containing a soulful journey, the album starts with lighter songs and guides listeners into the deeper side of DIAURA as it progresses.

Chika Yoshizawa

defspiral Center of the Spiral

Shinjuku BLAZE swirled with blue light and with arms flashing high in the air, the crowd welcomed defspiral to the stage for the long-awaited December 20 show, CENTER OF THE SPIRAL. Claps resounded while the electro tune intensified and the band assumed their positions, TAKA’s outfit giving him a somewhat goth, aristocratic flair. “Let’s go!” the vocalist yelled out as “VOYAGE” took off.

Chika Yoshizawa

DIAURA tackled their largest venue yet with a oneman held at Shibuya Koukaidou on December 29; putting an end to their 2013. It is certainly safe to say that DIAURA spent 2013 working towards that day and that all of their feelings were suitably packed into the live.

Chika Yoshizawa

DIAURA tackled their largest venue yet with a oneman held at Shibuya Koukaidou on December 29; putting an end to their 2013. It is certainly safe to say that DIAURA spent 2013 working towards that day and that all of their feelings were suitably packed into the live.

Chika Yoshizawa

Indie Introductory Series – sForzato

Our first band in the Indie Introductory Series for 2014 is sForzato.  ROKKYUU has been keeping an eye on this young band for a while, and we think it’s about time we introduced them to you with an interview, photo report, biography, and review.

Laura Cooper

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sForzato Biography

sForzato formed in 2011 when the members met while at music school in Tokyo. With music leaning more toward the heavier end of the spectrum, the band admittedly call themselves “metal-style” among the VK genre.

Laura Cooper

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When ROKKYUU caught up with sForzato for an interview, we also took some shots of their set that night, when they opened before Astrid Crown and the Elite Survey Corps session we covered last year.

Laura Cooper

Introductory Interview with sForzato

ROKKYUU recently met up with young band sForzato for an introductory interview. With vocalist Cedo hailing from Singapore, the band has an international outlook and a fresh V-metal sound. Read on to learn more about the five members!

Laura Cooper

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