The 69 of 2014

Review

by Leela McMullen, chi.yow, Aki, Amy, posted January 1, 2015

AlbumsSingles

SID – Enamel

ENAMEL brings visual kei and Jpop heavyweights SID and the ever popular anime Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) together once more in a successful pairing that supports the old idiom, “Don’t fix it if it’s not broken.” The band certainly play upon their anime tie-up, though, adding in a live version of their first Kuroshitsuji theme for good measure.

Enamel,” designated as the opening song for the 2014 installation of dark fantasy anime Kuroshitsuji, is a poppy sounding number that betrays the original lyrics. It has a contradictory nature to it that makes a fitting track for the black humor of Kuroshitsuji. It is also both compelling and catchy in its own right. The sample running throughout is simple and reminiscent of circus music that meshes well with the punchy chords. Owning a history with Kuroshitsuji, SID also included a live version of the hit opening “Monochrome no Kiss” on the single, which was used in 2008 for the first season of the anime. Blatantly catering to fans of both the band and the anime, there’s no confusion as to what makes this single such a popular highlight from 2014.

Completing the release is another B-side, “Kagee.” This tune is a lofty and grand spectacle that leaves behind the wish for the track to be a tad longer than it actually is. One can never have too much of a good thing. Beginning with soft, jingling guitars, the track culminates into something massive and comprehensive, complete with stunning backing vocals and complex shredding. All of this sound is held together by Mao’s beautiful vocals, which at times astound as to how he managed to hold such long notes. A brilliant B-side that is wonderfully distant from the main song of the single, “Kagee” has the added benefit of showing off the virtues of SID that are not limited to the band’s anime affiliations.

Regular Edition: 3 track CD

Limited Press: 3 track CD  (anime jacket)

Limited Edition Type A: 3 track CD + DVD (SID 10th Anniversary TOUR 2013 Digest)

Limited Edition Type B: 3 track CD + photo book

 Track list

  1. Enamel
  2. Monochrome no Kiss (live version)
  3. Kagee

Leela McMullen is a strong believer in the philosophy "no music, no life." Having traversed the range of Japanese fandoms, she found her home at last in visual kei and has made it her mission to share what she loves most with the world. Leela completed her B.A. in Japanese language from Griffith University in Gold Coast Australia. She now lives and works in Japan, striving to bring you the goods, hot from the scene. Follow her on twitter for juicy hints of upcoming articles if you've got a bit of Japanese language under your belt! http://twitter.com/#!/LeelaInTokyo

Chi’s interest in visual kei stems from her love of art. The unique aesthetics in combination with the wide range of musical styles within the genre have been what has kept her interest in the visual kei scene for over a decade. The main image her friends and classmates have of her is with a camera in hand, face behind the viewfinder or screen. This image is also occasionally combined with memories of running around her to avoid getting into her panorama shots.

Aki is an adventurous soul and an artistic jack of all trades who has followed her heart and dreams to Japan. Here she has found a way to combine her deeply rooted love for rock and metal with her ever growing love for artistic expression. She has long since confessed to being a helpless music addict with a strong preference for Japanese visual rock and metal, and writing for Rokkyuu has become another way for her to share what she loves with the world.

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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