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Kind of a bittersweet day around these parts, since it's the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy - which, for me personally, was the start of the Really Bad Year. My father went in the hospital with his first stroke two weeks later, and at least one of his doctors thought that the stroke was triggered by the shock of living through the hurricane. (The storm caused massive destruction around the New Jersey Shore and power outages of a week or more - I ended up having to take my parents to a hotel an hour away, in one of the few parts of the state that still had power, to wait out until their light and heat was restored). I'm going to a candlelight vigil for people who lived through the storm tonight at the boardwalk.

One thing about Sandy - at the far end of the Belmar boardwalk, where I have always gone walking on weekends while listening to an entire J-rock album beginning to end, there is a fishing pier on stilts that I have always called the Chizuru Pier, because it looks like the one in the PV. When the storm came, all of the boardwalk was completely destroyed (it has since been rebuilt) - except the Chizuru Pier. For some reason, that remained intact.

On a much more cheerful note, it makes me happy that the whole GazettE fandom seems to love the new album - and deservedly so, since it's their best work in years. Since I'm a latecomer (I found them with the Vortex single), I've never seen an album release that wasn't accompanied by wank, and I've always been kind of envious of the people who were around for NIL/Stacked Rubbish/DIM. The wank this time has been minimal, and has revolved around minor things - like Ruki smoking the hookah in the Inside Beast PV. (But it fits the Alice in Wonderland motif he started with the Rock and Read shoot - Rabbit, Mad Hatter now Caterpillar).

The album really does get better and better with every listen, and I think I've figured out one reason why it works so well - it encompasses the best thing about each of their classic albums. It has the melodic depth of NIL, the versatility of Stacked Rubbish and the epic sweep of DIM. At the same time, it avoids what were, IMHO and in retrospect, the pitfalls of the last two discs - Toxic's unevenness of tone (caused mostly by the fact it's half made up of previously released singles) and Division's over-reliance on electronic trickery. It's an album by an experienced band that has learned what works and doesn't through trial and error, and is now ready to conquer new territory - more than one person has pointed out that CODA sounds like the beginning of something else, not quite an end. (Notice that abrupt ending? Bet the SE of the next album picks up right from that point).

And on a much more shallow note, the Inside Beast PV has proven very fertile fanfiction fodder for quite a few people, it seems. XD My Kai muse has certainly gotten a lot out of it. XD

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
ldybastet
Oct. 29th, 2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
*offers hugs* It's really hard with these kinds of anniversaries, isn't it? :(

I have seen a few people (like a handful in an ocean of gaze-squee) that have said they don't much like the album, that there aren't really any guitar solos in it... and one person who said they had higher expectations so they felt disappointed. To which I thought "Dude, it's not higher expectations, it's different expectations. Just because you hoped it would sound different doesn't mean it's inferior or doesn't live up to some sort of Gazerock standard." But I kept silent, because urgh not wanting to start wank.

But most people seem to love it! And I love that people love it! I love that *I* am loving it!!! :D

Mmmmm. It is a good PV, after all. :D
puss_nd_boots
Oct. 29th, 2013 04:58 pm (UTC)
No guitar solos? I can't understand that. I mean, the guitar work in there is beautiful and nuanced. (We get dual acoustic guitars again!) Why not appreciate the way the guitarists have matured, rather than bemoan the lack of Disorder-era axe-grinding?

It's a wonderful thing to have LOVED the album at first listen, isn't it? No "Well, I need a few listens to really process it and let it start growing on me . . ." I've ended up loving most albums anyway, but it's nicer to know you have something SPECIAL right off the bat. I swear, the last time I felt that way about a new release was Alice Nine's Gemini, and that was all the way back in February 2011.

(The nicest thing about the Gaze lovefest? Seeing people on Tumblr saying, "I'm through with K-pop, I'm going back to the GazettE!" Yay, we're getting people back who'd left! XD)

Edited at 2013-10-29 04:59 pm (UTC)
misumaru
Oct. 29th, 2013 05:00 pm (UTC)
I'm going to a candlelight vigil for people who lived through the storm tonight at the boardwalk.

That is such sweet thing to do - I hope it goes well! :)

Yeah, it's been nice seeing all the positivity for Beautiful Deformity! It's definitely up there with my favourite albums, and I'm finding my top track changes daily. (Currently Karasu. Damn, Reita! Why don't you write more? XD) Interesting point about Coda, actually - the last last line of the lyrics is "The end and the beginning". Fingers crossed this means we have exciting this to come! :D
puss_nd_boots
Oct. 29th, 2013 05:46 pm (UTC)
I hope so, too. I think it's something the people around here need - I mean, there's a few in the hardest-hit areas whose houses STILL haven't been rebuilt. Even for those of us who only had power outages and some downed tree branches, you don't know how much you miss electricity until it's gone. No traffic lights plus not enough cops to direct traffic at every single one made for some tricky driving situations. When I drove my mother's car out of town to take my parents and myself to that hotel, I felt like we were refugees escaping a war zone, between the wreckage and the coned-off roads.

It's so hard to pick a favorite track off Beautiful Deformity, isn't it? They're ALL great! Any one of them could be your favorite at any given moment, or depending on your mood. And Reita DOES need to write more. The others need to encourage him! Maybe they should make "everyone contributes at least one song" a permanent group policy with the understanding that Kai's song might be donated to Alice Nine.
visualkeifreak
Nov. 18th, 2013 09:41 pm (UTC)
Inspired
After somehow coming across your blog post when I was looking for 'what-Ruki-was-smoking-in-Inside-Beast' for my story, having forgotten the Hookah's name, I noticed a rather honest and heartfelt opening and mentions of The GazettE later on. Curious and drawn in by the subject matters and the fact it was well wrote, unlike the writing on Asian Fan Fics, where I get most of my Visual Kei fandom fixes from.
Anyhow, I'm rambling slightly, I just wanted to say I'd never compelled to read or write anything of blog format before and I enjoyed reading this. It inspired me to start my own account. So, thank you for your inspiration.
On anouther note, I came to Japanese music and culture recently, but have since spent everyday obsessing... I came into it when Division had pretty much just been released- a month after I somehow found myself a fan of this beautiful music. The GazettE were my first band and Divison my first CD. In comparison to my old music of which I can never now turn back to, the album was mind-blowing, but now with several CD's, DVD's (including the Division live at Saitama), over 500 artists on my iPod in music and videos, millions of YouTube favourites, several signatures, posters and vast clothing collections later, it's one I have no strong opinions of.
After listening to every song loyally, I have gathered the conclusion that their old ones are my favourites. However, the album does contain a significance for me and despite it not being the best live either, it never ceases to stun me after endless repeats.
I get a more sort of False Dubstep type feel from Division and it's also a rather westernised concept. Beforehand, I did listen to English metal and Dubstep, so obviously, I was bought into it slowly. Pure Gazerock would have probably intimated me and mean I would not be here right now. Yet, I don't believe Division was worthy of the title Gazerock, although I have a lot to thank it for.
I'm also loving the Inside Beast Pv, which added a few paragraphs to a fanfic I had finished a week or so before and was working on typing up. I was glad, as it had matched the character potrayls and fitted rather nicely. Ruki's English is not the best, but it is certainly improving and I hope he sticks on with it.
Also wishes for your relations troubled by such an event and although an anniversary for such a glum thing, I hope you celebrated well. To live on is an honour in its self. I hope no one is too scarred by what happened. Fighting. :)
Sorry for rambling. New and talk a lot.
puss_nd_boots
Nov. 20th, 2013 03:00 am (UTC)
Re: Inspired
No worries about rambling at all! I'm actually very, VERY impressed that I was able to inspire you like that - I am actually quite humbled.

I kind of had a similar start in the GazettE fandom - my first album release was Toxic. It was the Vortex single that caught my interest. Much as I like those, however, I knew there was a big difference between them and the albums that I call the Holy Trinity (NIL, Stacked Rubbish and DIM). I felt kind of envious at the people who were in the fandom then, who were able to witness the birth of a masterpiece, especially when Division came along, and it was . . . well . . . damn good, but not another masterpiece.

And then, Beautiful Deformity blew me the hell out of the water. Every song on that album is a minor miracle. The more I hear of it, the more I can appreciate it, because I find new things buried in it every time. (I also had the opportunity to see them live in Munich this fall - an online friend invited me to come over for it - and it was an experience I'll never forget. There's nothing in the world like experiencing the beautiful madness of Gazerock in person - as charismatic and magnetic as Ruki seems on DVD, he's even MORE so live).

I'm so glad you found your way to LJ because of me! (By the way, you can join the community gazettefanworks - which I co-mod - and post your fic there!)
visualkeifreak
Nov. 23rd, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Inspired
Your welcome! And I entirely agree about what you said on the fandom of earlier days...
I have purchased a DVD of DIVISION live, but unfortunately, haven't seen them in person. One day... However, I am planning to see Miyavi in London next year, which should be pretty awesome!
And if I figure out how to, I would absolutely love to join!
I do apologise for not replying earlier, I have not yet properly figured out how to use this site... I should get the hang of it soon though!
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