With many bands in the visual kei genre it’s sometimes hard to figure out which bands are worth listening to and which ones are your style. One of the bands that tackled different styles within the visual kei genre is the band MoNoLith.
Credit: MoNoLith official webpage
The band was formed in 2006 and consists of five members: Ryu (vocals, black hair), Keita (vocals, on Ryu’s left), Takafumi (bass, red-pink hair), Hayato (drums, blond hair) and Shuhei (guitar, dark brown hair with red streaks). As I said they also belong in the visual kei-genre, but within that genre they’ve been playing different styles.
MoNoLith disbanded after their last live at Shinjuku BLAZE in 2014.
Why listen to MoNoLith?
That they’re disbanded doesn’t mean you can’t listen to them anymore! Their songs are still available on youtube and you can buy their albums (see link below). And they’re definitely worth listening to if you like to try different styles like they do. Their music style varies from bright, chaotic popsongs (Candy Candle) to hard rock with heavy metal undertones (Aquarium). Even though the top layer of their music changes drastically with every song, they keep a classic visual kei foundation which you will recognize. And unlike most other bands, MoNoLith has two vocalists, who complement each other well.
Listen to MoNoLith
Below are a few examples of songs MoNoLith released, and I think they can give you a good idea of what people mean when they say they can bring something new to their fans with each release.
Okay, let this be clear: I don’t like screamo bands, not at all. I still can’t figure out which part of it is actually music, so when I heard it a little in this song I was afraid it would mess up the entire song. Strangely enough, I liked it. It just works the way they embedded it in this song, and the way Ryu and Keita seem to rise above the screaming is kind of cool. And it doesn’t take too long, which is (for me) something to be happy about. The vocals of Keita and Ryu are also a pleasant surprise. Their voices are obviously different but that works perfectly together in this song. And what’s also visibly clear and thereby a big plus: Hayato, Takafumi and Shuhei also get enough screentime/attention. Overall a solid song which you can easily listen on repeat.
Huh? You might be thinking something like that right now. What’s with the difference between Byakuya and this one? Exactly. MoNoLith isn’t afraid to explore both edges of the visual kei genre, which means they will look like typical oshare kei-guys in one song and typical heavy visual kei-guys in the next. The song above is a fresh and slightly (well, maybe not so slightly) chaotic pop song with bright colours and a lot of crazy jumping and squirreling all over the place. A big contrast with songs like Aquarium, which has a heavy metal undertone and falls in the screamo-category (a reason why it’s not in this post). But I think it sort of works. You might not like all of their songs (like me) because they have such a wide variety, but there’s a big chance you’ll like part of their repertoire.
Hearing MoNoLith live isn’t possible anymore, because the guys announced that they would disband in 2014. After eight years of playing together they decided to go separate ways. No real reasons were given, but I guess they were ready for another way of life. It always feels kind of sad when a band decides to call it quits, but luckily we can still find their songs and cd’s (see links below).
Of course that is not an excuse not to comment on their style, even though we won’t be seeing them in new outfits anymore. Just like their songs, their clothing also changes from cute, almost girly neon colours to dark leather with chains. Still, their best outfit (my opinion of course) is what they are wearing in Reversible Days (see above). It’s dark and the clothing has chains, but the colourful details on the collars and sleeves give it a light touch, which fits the song. The extra detail you’ll have to pay attention to in their style is Takafumi’s bandage on his cheek. Seriously, if they had those available where I live I would cover up even the tiniest scratch! Funny detail that definitely adds to the band’s individuality. And: if you want to buy the interior from Candy Candle and you live in Europe, go to the IKEA. A lot of their stuff from the video is available there.
Where to buy their music?
If you liked their songs and want to buy their music, here are a few links for you. The album Hajimete No Monorisu has besides Candy Candle also Fairy-tale and Fade out on it. Their other album MOSAIC features besides Aquarium also songs like the soft Mary and the wild Loving&Viscious Key.
Didn’t like to see you go MoNoLith, but good luck with the next step in your lives.