A [DIVISION] of thoughts
On the 29th of August, 2012, a Japanese rock band by the name of "the GazettE" released their latest album titled "DIVISION". It has been just a little under a year since their last release, which was also an album (TOXIC). Without the usual singles in between the two albums, DIVISION was highly anticipated by fans all across the globe.
The album comes in two editions – limited and regular, with the differences being quite in both price and appearance. The limited edition sells for a whopping ¥6666 (approx. $80US) while the regular priced at ¥3059 (approx. $37US) and for good reason – the dearer of the two is a five centimetre thick, hardcover bound art photo book with two CD’s and a DVD. Altogether, weighing at one kilogram, it is really worth every single dollar (or yen) that you pay for.
The pages have a lovely matte finish that accentuates the artwork. I find the style to be rather ominous, yet alluring – as if one were finding the beauty within the forbidden. Ruki, the vocalist of the band, is known to have a dark sense of artistry which is often reflected in his lyrics and the presentation of their music videos.
Since their last release TOXIC, it feels as if the band has taken the opportunity to further deepen their concepts from the previous album, developing their musical style to a new level. However, this is a band that should not be compared to their surroundings, but rather themselves. They are continuously finding new elements to include in their music, with elements of dubstep included in both TOXIC and DIVISION.
It has been recommended by the vocalist himself (via twitter) that people who pick up the album should listen to the songs in order. Or, in the case of the limited edition, listen to the first disc then watch the DVD with the music videos before moving onto the second disc of the album. I found by doing this, the album built up a momentum, setting a mood and atmosphere for the listener. The songs progressively became harder as I got further into the album, and by the end, I was left feeling renewed.
I am the type who tends to look into things with too much thought at times. I found it interesting that the first disc was mostly filled with songs with Japanese titles, whereas the second disc all had English titles. I can’t help but wonder if there is some implicit meaning hidden in the organization of the songs.
Overall, DIVISION is more than just an album – it is a piece of artwork. All of the elements blend and complement each other, raising the standards for artists and musicians alike.
If you are interested in heavy rock with a few edgy twists, DIVISION is an album that is definitely worth checking out.