Let me ask you a question. Do you like theatrical power metal in the vein of Kamelot, Avantasia or Nightwish? Okay, well do you also like electronic pop music and hard rock? Not so much? Well, this odd act decided to throw both of them on the same album, so you get a heavy Kamelot inspired number called “Behind These Eyes” only to follow up with some weird industrial pop track by the name of “Silent Darkness” which lasts around eight minutes and should really throw listeners off balance. Then we have another slightly heavy moment on “In The Silence” which rolls into “Tonight” a full-on ballad. Now if this formula sounds familiar, it should. The band cite that they’re going for the cinematic performance nature of X-Japan, but I just don’t think there’s anything out there that can compete with such an act. One of the characters even goes by the name of Tsukime, even though I keep thinking that it is supposed to be Tsukihime which would go with the Type Moon title of the same name. In truth, it’s not a terrible idea and would work well on the stage if done with the all the props and costuming required of such a performance, but I just don’t think that the album itself sells the concept as well as something like X-Japan. I’m surprised that something like BabyMetal made it over here to be honest, but to sell people a western version of X-Japan is just going to be so difficult. I guess I could compare it to the western live action anime adaptations that have been getting so much praise from the anime community as of late (sarcasm). Even some of the composition seems to look to the east, which is a bit striking. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this concept, I just don’t expect it to work as well as X-Japan did over there. Though those were much different times. X-Japan struck when the iron was hot and I just don’t feel that the iron is hot anymore, especially considering how otakus and weebs feel about western approaches to Japanese culture.
(12 Tracks, 54:00)
Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)