I know I said I would first write about a few pop and rockbands I have been listening to before switching back to the visual kei style. However, I just can’t ignore Nightmare, a band from Japan which has been one of my favorites to listen to for a few years now.
Credit: Nightmare band Japan
Nightmare has their roots in Sendai and was formed in 2000 (in January, so kind of like a millenium band). Yomi is their lead vocalist, and together with Sakito (lead guitar and backing vocals), Hitsugi (rythm guitar), Ni-ya (bass and backing vocals) and Ruka (drums and percussion) they have been together in Nightmare for most of their career. You might have heard of them already while listening to their songs The World or Alumina: Both songs were used as the first opening- and ending songs in the highly populair Death Note anime.
Why listen to Nightmare?
Nightmare is an interesting band to begin with if you have just discovered the visual kei style. Most of their songs are rock, hard rock or slightly metal and not quite as heavy as The Gazette for example. They also have songs that are populair with a large audience like The World and Konoha, which are more mainstream than songs like Dirty or Mimic. Oh, and definitely search for Nightmare band Japan on Youtube and Google, or else you might end up listening to the French power metal band Nightmare.
Listen to Nightmare
Below are a few music videos of Nightmare and I selected songs that are mainstream as well as songs that are lesser-known. If you want to see more music video’s of Nightmare: check their Youtube-channel (and buy their CD’s of course to support them. Scroll down to see where you can buy them).
I wanted to first show you a lesser-known song of Nightmare called Mimic. Compared to their well-known songs like The World and Alumina, this song is heavier and has a sturdy base of drums and guitar that accompany Yomi’s voice. Interesting is the change to the calm and serene verse at the end before they jam those guitars and drums right back in.
This song is special (at least, according to me 😉 ) because of the nice combination of bass guitar, guitar and vocals. The opening with the low and fast guitar play is very unique and I had never heard something like it before. Yomi then immediately draws you into the song with his voice. He has a vibrato vocal technique that just gets to you. Also, if you like guitars you’ll surely like this one. It has an amazing guitar riff that you won’t find elsewhere easily and the backing vocals are great. And if you’re an anime fan, you might recognize this song from Claymore? This song was used as the opening theme.
Of course I had to show The World since it’s so populair. The opening of this song is also quite unique since it just starts really fast with the guitars and drums slamming the first notes together, after which Yomi immediately starts to sing. It’s like you don’t have the time to ‘get into the song’, you’re already in it. It’s like the first ‘break’ you get is at 0.30, where Yomi uses a long (and great sounding) note to take you to the slightly calmer part of the song. Sakito’s guitar play adds some extra spice near the ending.
Nightmare band Japan live
So how does Nightmare sounds live? It must be hard to reach all those long notes…. not. Yomi clearly shows he’s as good on stage as he is in the video and both he and the other members make it sound like there is a cd playing. The comment-section on Youtube overflows with people commenting they couldn’t hear the difference between the live version and the cd, and that says a lot (youtubers are quite the critics 😉 ). In this video they play Alumina live.
Nightmare band style
Black, black and more black, that’s the best way to describe 90 percent of their clothing. Sometimes they wear a lighter color, but most of the times they all wear black. It’s cool, it helps to define their image in the wonderful world of visual kei, where bands are often so colorful and change their appearances so much you can hardly recognize them. Hitsugi is the only band member who dyes his hair a bright or funky color like red or blue, the others mostly stay in the blonde, brown and black tones.
Where to buy their music?
If you liked these songs and want to buy the music of Nightmare band Japan, here are a few links to their music. Ultimate Circus has Aquaria, HATE, Over and also Kabuki Logical, Believe and Mind Ocean on it. Killer Show has Dirty, Konoha, Raison d’être and Pandora in the list of thirteen songs. Carpe Diem has their song Siva, Tao, Quints and Fade on it, as well as Nameless and Demand.