Pre-Europe Double Review: Born & Lycaon

Review

by Amy, posted June 13, 2014

With the announcement of a European twoman tour by BORN and Lycaon this September, what better time to take a look back at their latest releases? Both were released in April this year and offer much to anticipate.

First up is BORN’s mini-album, -THE STALIN-666. Playing with images of power and dictatorship is the title track, which got an MV shortly after the mini-album’s release. It’s a catchy melody with a pre-chorus destined to get stuck in your head for days. Second track “SKINis heavy with the autotune which ends up taking a little away from the song butDIARY” is a real sing-along anthem; blending both heavy and rousing vocals. The bouncy guitars in particular make this another memorable tune. After an interesting instrumental, “Haisou no Chou” lulls with more dulcet tones that soon pick upa touch of frenzy. The mini-album then comes to a crashing end with “Haritsuke” and “BREAKTHROUGH.”

-THE STALIN-666 is a great collection of tunes and something enjoyable about BORN is that you can’t always be sure of how the song will turn out. Sometimes ferocious guitars lead to poppish vocals and other-times softer vocals descend into chaos. Overuse of autotune in parts detracts from the overall effect, most noticeably inSKIN but not enough to undermine enjoyment of the release.

Next up is Akujo no Hohoemi, the latest single from Lycaon. There are, of course, less tracks to discuss but the material is no less impressive. Lycaon seem to share the same penchant as BORN to rapidly change the directions of their songs. The title track begins with gothic tones that are cut off by the sound of a cracking whip before Yuuki’s familiar vocals creep in. The chorus is the real hook of this track; mixing together all the aforementioned elements. It’s then time to get infernal with “Dorei to Kubiwa.” This track feels a lot darker than “Akujo no Hohoemi.” Things get a little hectic in the middle but, overall, it’s a superb song. Last, but not least, is Lycaon’s rendition of “Ah Mujou, originally performed by Ann Lewis who enjoyed popularity in Japan in the Seventies and Eighties. Yuuki’s vocal range suits this track particularly well resulting in,all in all, a fantastic release from Lycaon.

BORN and Lycaon are different enough to both bring something fresh to the stage and it will be interesting to see how the two mesh. In terms of concept and image, the two bands seem to have a preference for all things leather and bondage, so who knows what’s in store for their upcoming rampage through Europe?

BORN

 Regular edition

Track list

  1. THE STALIN
  2. SKIN
  3. DIARY
  4. ↑HUMAN HOLE↓
  5. Haisou no Chou
  6. Haritsuke
  7. BREAKTHROUGH

 Limited edition type A

Track list

  1. THE STALIN
  2. SKIN
  3. ↑HUMAN HOLE↓
  4. Haisou no chou
  5. DIARY

DVD

  1. THE STALIN MUSIC CLIP
  2. THE STALIN MUSIC CLIP (Making of)

 Limited edition type B

Track list

  1. THE STALIN
  2. SKIN
  3. ↑HUMAN HOLE↓
  4. Haisou no chou
  5. DIARY

DVD

  1. LIVE TOUR 2014 ALL NUDE SATISFACTION Documentary

Lycaon

 Regular edition

Track list

  1. Akujo no Hohoemi
  2. Dorei to Kubiwa
  3. Ah Mujou

 Limited edition

Track list

  1. Akujo no Hohoemi
  2. Dorei to Kubiwa
  3. Ah Mujou

Amy happened across Dir en grey on a used computer and became enamored by the aesthetics and androgyny of visual kei. Amy studied Japanese at university, including a year studying abroad in Tokyo. Interests include anime and manga, reading, learning languages, playing guitar, and holding on to the futile dream of one day meeting Johnny Depp. Amy hopes to bring the overseas fans closer to the bands they love by translating material related to them.

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