Rock. Symphonic. Creative. Mysterious. Enveloping. Visual kei. Solid. Metal. Dark. Awesome! Just a few words that come to mind while thinking about this band. And I seriously can-not-believe that I haven’t heard of them sooner, since they’ve been around for quite some time now. Meet D, a visual kei-band which mashes genres in an original and interesting way to create their unique dark songs.
Credit: D visual kei band Japan
And yes, I am well aware that they are called D without the obvious visual kei tag, but I used it sparingly so you might find this article while searching in google or yahoo ;-). D was formed in March 2003 by Asagi (vocalist), Ruiza (guitarist), Shin(guitarist), Hiroki(drummer) and Lena(bassist). While Lena and Hiroki left, D got a new great guitarist and bass player in Hide-Zou and Tsunehito. Their most recent Single MASTER KEY came out in December 2015.
Why listen to D?
D is one of those Japanese bands that has perfected the art of mashing genres together to create an exciting listening experience. However, what really sets them apart from other visual kei bands is Asagi’s voice, which has incredible power as well as one of the widest ranges in the Japanese rock scene. The drums and bass from Hiroki and Lena are also top notch, both straying from conventional patterns and creating creative lines as often as possible. And those guitars… great! Ruiza and Hide-Zou got perfect chemistry while crafting exhilarating, imaginative guitar parts, whether it’s riffs or solos, they are as much the definition of D’s sound as Asagi. This band is something I feel that fans of Japanese rock, symphonic rock and metal in general would really enjoy.
Listen to D
Below are a few music videos of the visual kei band D. If you want to see more music video’s of D: check their Youtube-channel (and buy their CD’s of course to support them. Scroll down to see where you can buy them).
This song has such an incredible start: first the light and fresh piano, gently guiding the listener to the amazing guitarsolo that flows over into Asagi’s vocals. Such control, and so solid compared to some other male Japanese singers. He can easily change from a high pitched sound to a deep and low voice. Then the drums and bass kick in, to change the light and frivolous song into a darker and heavier melody, which seems to draw you in the longer you listen to it. And that guitar riff… Well, no need to say more right?
This song is completely different from the L’Oiseau Bleu, while it clearly has something of ‘D’ in it. Instead of a light and gentle start Tightrope kicks it off with a heavy bass, guitars and drums, to change into an up-tempo song which leans more to rock than metal. Why are they not like, extremely famous? I mean, that crazy drumming and bass-play is not something you hear in every Japanese band, and the guitars are definitely on another level as well. And that incredible voice that can go as high as opera vocalists, growl, scream and as low as any guy in the entire visual kei scene. The dark style is definitely here as well, but the up-tempo creates and entire new experience.
Okay, I don’t know if I’ve got the right title, so if I don’t please send me an email. This song is (again) completely different from the ones I showed before. The use of traditional Japanese instruments throughout the song, combined with the dark and heavy instruments is like D in that they use something unexpected and mix it with their sturdy rock/metal base. It makes this song surprising and interesting to listen to again, and it almost sounds like a little Nightmare-influence there?, although I don’t know if they got it from Nightmare or the other way around. It sounds cool.
So how does D sounds live? Very, very good. They clearly show that they have mastered their instruments, and Asagi’s voice is no joke either. Above is a live version (professional montage, so the sound quality is also rather good) of their ballad Snow white, which is (again) quite different from what I’ve showed you thusfar.
D visual kei style
D and fashion, what can I say? What doesn’t look good on these guys? They easily toss out a victorian dress on stage as they do leather pants with chains, and it just works. When their Vampire Saga was released their music became significantly heavier, with a symphonic and gothic metal as primary sound. This was also visible in their clothing, although their creative and seemingly chaotic blend of numerous styles and influences creates an opportunity to show a new look with every new song. My favorite is their outfits in L’Oiseau Bleu.
Where to buy music of D?
If you liked these songs and want to buy the music of D, here are a few links to their music. I couldn’t find much links to their cd’s, so if you know more places please leave a comment to help others get their music. YUME NARISHI KUUCHUU TEIEN has of course Yume Narishi Kuchuu Teien (Instrumental) on it, as well as Bara no Kioku, Danpen Asymmetry and Love Means Sacrifice. NEW BLOOD – SECOND IMPACT has Dangan, Eden and Lost Breath for example. For more CD’s and DVD’s you should definitely check their website.