Versailles: Rhapsody of Darkness, Bold but Blunt
Rhapsody of the Darkness, is another typically ostentatious title from Versailles with their trademark gothic/vampiric artwork and music resounding with indulgent flamboyance. Yet this single contains a surprise that shows Versailles may be heading in a different direction in future. It also goes to show that less is very often more.
The title song, “Rhapsody of the Darkness,” maintains the kind of grandiosity we have come to expect. Thoughts of dark stormy nights and mist-shrouded castles come to mind as harpsichord notes conjure a sinister melody. After drawing in the listener with these classical overtones, the full force of Versailles comes forth: HIZAKI and TERU mimic the harpsichord in intricate guitar melodies while a thunderous rhythm section gives power to the piece. The composition is on the whole balanced, with the darker bridge sections of particular interest, although the pop vocals of the chorus are an odd juxtaposition of style that create not so much a Rhapsody of Darkness, but a “Rhapsody of Vague Gloom.” The whole piece would be enjoyable were it not for one distinct flaw: overuse of the dual peddled drums gives a relentless, hollow backing beat. Without this noise, “Rhapsody of the Darkness” would be a decent, if a little pedestrian addition to Versailles’ catalog.
“Illusion,” on the other hand, takes Versailles right out of their comfort zone. The symphonic gothicism (which is the backbone of all Versailles’ music) is barely noticeable. It is as if they saved up all their daring on this single for these four minutes. Despite their bravery in leaping far out of the box, however, out of the box for Versailles is cookie-cutter visual kei. In their attempt to be so radically different, Versailles forgot to be radically interesting. “Illusion” starts promisingly with distorted static and piano notes, and continues to use this as an underlying effect throughout, and although the guitars are competent as expected of Versailles, the breezy pop melody and composition is so very predictable.
From playing it safe to risk-taking, Rhapsody of the Darkness shows two very different sides of Versailles and though neither song is particularly strong, it is apparent that they are trying to push in new directions. This is a good single to sell and buy digitally for the sake of experimentation.
Please note, this single is available in digital only format.
- Rhapsody of the Darkness