sukekiyo’s debut album, IMMORTALIS

Review

by Amy, posted June 6, 2014

sukekiyo emerged mysteriously in 2013. After opening for Sugizo of Luna Sea, an EP entitled the daemon’s cutlery was released but was sold at lives only. sukekiyo is, and will probably forever be referred to as, Kyo of DIR EN GREY’s side project. One thing listeners should also be aware of is that the band consists of four other members who are not without their merits. On guitar and drums are Takumi and Mika formerly of RENTRER EN SOI, on bass is Yuchi—who still holds his position in kannevalism—and finally, Uta—who was once part of 9GOATS BLACK OUT—is also on guitar.

sukeikiyo’s debut album IMMORTALIS, released on April 30, is a beautiful  album that explores some musical directions that Kyo may not been able to attempt with DIR EN GREY, particularly as they move ever more towards a heavier sound. That’s not to say that fans of DIR EN GREY will be disappointed though, as Kyo satisfactorily shows off his  ever-impressive vocal range through this project.

The album opens with “elisabeth addict,” the first taste during this release of guitar work that brings to mind moody images of sea-faring pirates. It’s a strong opening and there would be great merit in making this a single. Rather unorthodoxly, this is then followed by the piano-heavy instrumental “destrudo.” IMMORTALIS is laden with such instrumentals but works because they are all so beautifully constructed. It’s back to vocals for third track “latour” and while it is hard not to draw parallels to DIR EN GREY when Kyo is singing there are some noticeably different melodies coming from Takumi and Uta. “Nine melted fiction” meanwhile, could have been pulled from a quirky romance film score with its unusual introduction and sultry undertones.

There isn’t much screaming and growling to be found on IMMORTALIS but Kyo’s vocals are immensely powerful  in a different way, as displayed in zephyr” and “hidden one.” The rather doleful “aftermath” is one of two tracks to get an MV release, featuring work by Hajime Kinoko—an artist acclaimed for his work with ropes and bondage. “Uyū no sora” is where Kyo’s work with DIR EN GREY really begins to show with an instrumental that chimes in from a large bell before incomprehensible muttering and shrieks ensue over a steady guitar chug. As mentioned, the next track “the daemon’s cutlery” already saw the light of day before IMMORTALIS’ release. It features some interesting riffs and more intense vocals than previous tracks. The, the fascinatingly titled “scars like velvet” is quite a lofty track that is followed by “mama.” This is one of the more surprising tracks on the album when you look at previous titles in this vein associated with Kyo. “Mama” is not the desolate track it could have been and even features an uplifting-sounding chorus. The helter-skelter of “vandal” follows and again is comprised of some heavier vocals.

There’s something rather celestial about “hemimetabolism,” a term which refers to an insect that has not yet reached completion of its full physical form. The vocals are few and far between but this is a gorgeous track all the same. “kugui” is also somehow otherworldly but feels lighter than “hemimetabolim.” The disjointed “madara ningen” precedes final track “in all weathers;” a sort of forlorn farewell that brings this fantastic release to an end.

If you are fortunate enough to pick up the limited edition, you’ll be treated to some remixes from IMMORTALIS. The contributors include some real heavyweights. Not only do J-rock and visual kei stars such as Hisashi from Glay feature, but also Jonathan Davis, vocalist of American nu-metal outfit KoЯn, who has also lent his skills to the release under the name Devilslug. Though perhaps not as satisfying as the main album, this second disc is definitely worth a listen and it is hard to choose a track that disappoints.

All in all, this is an album that simply blows you away. It’s an incredibly strong debut and fans are eagerly awaiting more from sukekiyo. With DIR EN GREY’s activities looking set to start again in November 2014, it’s hard to say where sukekiyo will go next but for now, at least this release offers a slice of perfection if not the whole pie.

 Regular edition

DISC 1

  1. elisabeth addict
  2. destrudo
  3. latour
  4. nine melted fiction
  5. zephyr
  6. hidden one
  7. aftermath
  8. uyuu no sora
  9. the daemon’s cutlery
  10. scars like velvet
  11. mama
  12. vandal
  13. hemimetabolism
  14. kugui
  15. madara ningen
  16. in all weathers

 Limited edition

DISC 1

  1. elisabeth addict
  2. destrudo
  3. latour
  4. nine melted fiction
  5. zephyr
  6. hidden one
  7. aftermath
  8. uyuu no sora
  9. the daemon’s cutlery
  10. scars like velvet
  11. mama
  12. vandal
  13. hemimetabolism
  14. kugui
  15. madara ningen
  16. in all weathers

DISC 2

  1. aftermath Collaboration with KIRITO (Angelo)
  2. kugui Remixed by PABLO (P.T.P)
  3. zephyr Remixed by TK (Ling tosite sigure)
  4. in all weathers Remixed by Devilslug
  5. nine melted fiction Remixed by SHUJI ISHII (cali≠gari, GOATBED)
  6. hemimetabolism Remixed by SUGIZO (LUNA SEA, X JAPAN)
  7. scars like velvet Remixed by Shin Murohime
  8. the daemon’s cutlery Remixed by Hitoki
  9. hidden one Remixed by HISASHI (GLAY)
  10. mama Remixed by Takaha TACHIBANA/Yousei Teikoku
  11. aftermath Remixed by acid android

 Kyo official online store limited edition:

DISC 1

  1. elisabeth addict
  2. destrudo
  3. latour
  4. nine melted fiction
  5. zephyr
  6. hidden one
  7. aftermath
  8. uyuu no sora
  9. the daemon’s cutlery
  10. scars like velvet
  11. mama
  12. vandal
  13. hemimetabolism
  14. kugui
  15. madara ningen
  16. in all weathers

DISC 2

  1. aftermath Collaboration with KIRITO (Angelo)
  2. kugui Remixed by PABLO (P.T.P)
  3. zephyr Remixed by TK (Ling tosite sigure)
  4. in all weathers Remixed by Devilslug
  5. nine melted fiction Remixed by SHUJI ISHII (cali≠gari, GOATBED)
  6. hemimetabolism Remixed by SUGIZO (LUNA SEA, X JAPAN)
  7. scars like velvet Remixed by Shin Murohime
  8. the daemon’s cutlery Remixed by Hitoki
  9. hidden one Remixed by HISASHI (GLAY)
  10. mama Remixed by Takaha TACHIBANA/Yousei Teikoku
  11. aftermath Remixed by acid android

DISC 3 (DVD)
2013.12.29 SHIBUYA-AX

  1. SE destrudo
  2. elisabeth addict
  3. aftermath
  4. in all weathers

2013.12.30 rockin’on presents COUNTDOWN JAPAN 13/14

  1. SE destrudo
  2. elisabeth addict
  3. aftermath
  4. hemimetabolism
  5. nine melted fiction
  6. in all weathers

Music Video

  1. aftermath (IMMORTALIS Ver.)
  2. in all weathers

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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  1. Toyona

    Lovely review~ C: