The 69 of 2014


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


Some powerful albums have hit the scene in 2014, making for a year of catalytic music. With emotional, inspirational, and forceful releases, it’s as if the visual kei scene is gearing up for war. In some cases, phoenixes have risen out of the ashes of struggle, stronger than ever and ready to take on new challenges, while in others, strong contenders have triumphed over adversity or purely upped their already solid game and brought something new to the table.

The 69 of 2014 highlights what ROKKYUU discovered to be the 6 best singles and 9 best albums of all the music sampled by staff this year from a variety of bands and styles. While personal bias is always inherent in reviews, the strengths of these releases tend to speak for themselves. Some have been highly inspirational such as exist†trace’s WORLD MAKER, or fascinatingly experimental such as girugamesh’s GRAVITATION, while some have pushed the boundaries and made new things possible such as the miraculous release featuring a vocaloid rendering of hide in the album and iTunes single, Kogyaru.

By no means is this list 100% comprehensive but it offers a place to start for those wishing to reflect on some of the better releases in 2014. It was truly a good year for music! Please do have your say and share your own recommendations in the comments section. What releases is your personal 69 of 2014 comprised of?


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!!/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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