» D'espairsRay 2007 07 03  
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Reviewed by Niklas
Band: D'espairsRay
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Klubben
Date: 3 July 2007
Set length: 90 minutes


Of all the Japanese bands I've seen perform live, D'espairsRay stands out as the only one with a serious chance of entering the Western market and making an impact there. Klubben is well attended and the noise when the band enters the stage at exactly nine pm is close to ear-splitting. That Hizumi, Karyu, Zero and Tsukasa are looked upon as practically Gods by the spectators (who mostly consists of young females) is soon established. After the ordinary set, there is a big tussle between five girls over one of Tsukasa's thrown out drumsticks - a drumstick! - that ends with a security guard breaking them up. Not something you see every day.

But there is more than hysterical girls in the audience to look at during the show. D'espairsRay may have strayed away slightly from the Visual Kei-look that they started their careers with a few years ago, but they still are an entertaining band to watch. The vocalist Hirzumi isn't afraid of the big gestures, especially in bombastic tracks like Kogoeru Yoru Ni Saita Hana and Squall. If U2 were a Japanese metal band, this is probably how they would sound.

For a newbie like me, who have only heard bits and pieces of D'espairsRay earlier, the running time of one and a half hour seems a bit long. But then again, since the band has travelled from halfway around the world, it's understandable that they want to give the fans value for their money. It certainly would have helped to listen to the recently released album Mirror prior to the show, from which the band plays all thirteen tracks. The overall quality is definitely high, with Trickster and Angeldust being the peaks, but something that is lacking in their industrial-influenced modern metal is a big, fat hit. Give them time, though, and it will come.

The song with the most hit-potential is actually an old goodie, namely Forbidden of the debut album Coll:set. An awesome track that deserves an even bigger audience. And when D'espairsRay rolls out the encores in the shape of the old tracks Garnet - which sounds like a Japanese version of Marilyn Manson's classic The Beautiful People - and Reddish, I surrender completely. When D'espairsRay come back in a year or two, after they've released their third album and embellished their repertoire, they will most likely present a colossal show.

7 chalices of 10


Sixty Nine
Lost Scene
Closer To Ideal
Kogoeru Yoru Ni Saita Hana
Reddish - diva version

See also: interview with D'espairsRay conducted prior to the gig

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