The 69 of 2014


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


D – Tsuki no Sakazuki

Arguably D’s strongest release this year, Tsuki no Sakazuki hit the shelves in July. It made a strong impact both on the merit of the single itself and the accompanying B-sides.

Tsuki no Sakazuki” is a typical D track; filled with layered and constant riffing over Asagi’s distinct voice which executes everything from operatic chanting to smoother, melodic vocals for the chorus. This track is but a small piece of the giant patchwork of the story D have been telling through their music these past twelve years and as such, it will sit comfortably with fans of the band.

Versions A, B, and C of the single include the B-side “Crystal Crown,” a composition penned by guitarist Ruiza which heavily expresses his musical influences from the world of Western rock and metal. It’s terribly catchy and made complete with arcs of vocals from Asagi and unmistakably identifiable growls and shouts of backing vocals that are unique to D’s style.

Both versions B and C feature their own separate B-sides; the former offering up “My Unborn Baby” and the latter “Little Adventures.” “My Unborn Baby” sees D stepping into slightly newer territory only briefly explored before in “Mad Tea Party.” However, where that whacky old rack opted for trumpets and jazzy pianos, “My Unborn Baby” has a darker vibe that belongs more in a smoky 1920s bar in Europe than an Alice in Wonderland-esque fantasy. With Asagi opting for his female persona of Dahlie for this number, there’s a distinct lack of growling to the composition. “Little Adventures,” on the other hand, is an uplifting and heart-warming track urging listeners to overcome their fears and to be brave. From the outset, it is rousing and positive and even without knowing a lick of Japanese, the mood of the song can be discerned rather easily.
Tsuki no Sakazuki made for a triumphant return for D after a seven month wait following 2013’s Dark Wings. Ultimately, this single shined brighter than the subsequent release, KINGDOM, which marked the end of D’s activities for an indefinite period until Asagi recovers from a joint disorder affecting his jaw. With much to recommend it, Tsuki no Sakazuki keeps the spirit of D alive in the meanwhile.

Version A Track list

  1. Tsuki no Sakazuki
  2. Crystal Crown
  3. Tsuki no Sakazuki (Instrumental)
  4. Crystal Crown (Instrumental)

Version B Track List

  1. Tsuki no Sakazuki
  2. Crystal Crown
  3. My Unborn Baby
  4. My Unborn Baby (Instrumental)

Version C Track List

  1. Tsuki no Sakazuki
  2. Crystal Crown
  3. Little Adventurers
  4. Little Adventurers (Instrumental)

Version D  Track List

  1. Tsuki no Sakazuki
  2. In-game music ([Quartet-Mayonaka no shijuusou] Version)
  3. In-game music ([Silver acorn bullet] Version)
  4. Tsuki no Sakazuki (Royal Blood Orchestra Version)

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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