Moi dix Mois - Beyond the Gate

review - 07.03.2006 23:00

Moi dix Mois - Beyond the Gate CD review

I was introduced to Moi dix Mois by a store clerk in a local CD shop (On Church St. in Cambridge MA), and I asked him to recommend me some evil, heavy visual kei. He quickly pointed out the Moi dix Mois albums, and I asked him which one I should pick up for starts, to which he replied their
at the time latest (Nocturnal Opera). So, after putting my blind trust into someone whose job was to strictly pump money out of suckers like me, I forked over the cash and hopped on the train to go home to listen to my new find.

By the time I got home, I couldn't wait to rip open the album and test my luck. And from the moment I hit play, to the moment the album ended, I was in shock. Their sounds were heavy yet melodic. Their music was otherworldly, yet strangely familiar. They were, to me, as brutal as a smash with a sledge hammer, but as soothing as a mothers kiss. Suffice to say, shortly after picking up Nocturnal Opera, I hunted down every piece of Moi dix Mois audio and video I could get my hands on. And just when I think to myself "This has got to be one of the best bands in the world!" they try to throw me for a loop when they announce that several members of the band have left to pursue different projects, bassist Kazuno, drummer Tohru and, most importantly to me, vocalist Juka, who was the main reason I enjoyed the band. I know, Moi dix Mois is Mana's project, and he writes everything, blah blah blah. But their was something about Juka's vocals over the dark yet heavy music set by Mana that banded perfectly together and created a peaceful type of brutality I had never heard up to that point. So, with slight hesitation, I decided to pick up the new Moi dix Mois recording, Beyond the Gate, to see what the groups next move was. And boy was it a step in the right direction.

First thing I noticed is that the music is overall mixed better. The keyboards no longer take the fore-front, as they are mixed evenly with the rest of the music. Second thing that stands out in this recording is the new vocalist, named Seth. He brings a new, darker dimension to Moi dix Mois. Although his voice isn’t as melodic as Juka, he brings a more fitting mood to the music.

This mini-album is more in-your-face then both previous bodies of work from Moi dix Mois. The new unit has decided to shed their previous visual kei skin, and replace it with one of pure and unadulterated Metal. Their are still melodic vocals in this EP, however, they are presented with a softer, almost sinister vibe, which makes you wonder if the person delivering these vocals is crooning to you, or is sinisterly laughing inside because he has a knife behind his back and at any given moment could lunge out with it.

Here is a quick review of the EP, track by track:

Track One: The Other Side in Blood - The typical Moi dix Mois intro track. As usual, it sets the mood for the forthcoming onslaught, and you can already picture this track being played over the speakers before a live. 8/10

Track Two: Eternally Beyond - What a way to start off the album! This track is the perfect introduction to the new sound of Moi dix Mois. This track could possibly one of the best, if not THE best Moi dix Mois track ever recorded. It has has something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of K’s backing vocals... or should I say growls, or the melodic singing. 10/10

Track Three: Dues Ex Machina - This is a departure from past Moi dix Mois, in the fact that this is more of an industrial song then your typical Moi dix Mois song. The drum machine and keyboards take the forefront in this song and you can -once again- already see this track being played at lives, with Mana-sama running all over the place and head banging like there is no tomorrow. However, this song may take a few listens to get used to, seeing how it is a departure from the Dix formula you may already be familiar with. 8/10

Track Four: Vain - After the departure from their usual sound, Moi Dix Mois returns to their old melodic metal side in the fourth track on the EP. But, unlike past songs, the backing music is tighter and contains more pauses in the music, as to where in the past their songs have just been non-stop trips from point A to point B. The only problem I have with this song is the vocalist tends to stay in one vocal range for most of the song, except for a melodic interlude near the middle. If you want a sample of this track, you can check out the new Invitation to Immorality tour DVD, I believe it is played on that set. 7/10

Track Five: Deflower - A melodic piano interlude kicks off this song, which is a slight throw back to older Moi dix Mois tracks, with the opera-like backing vocals and harpsichord taking the forefront once again. This shows Seth’s ability to do the melodic vocals a la Juka, and like I said previously, their is something sinister behind the melodic vocals. This track is a good half way track, and should do well placed in the middle of lives. 7/10

Track Six: Unmoved - Another track that was featured on the Invitation to Immorality DVD is presented on the new EP, with a slight new feel to it. Juka's melodic shouts featured on the DVD are replaced with Seth’s evil vocals. The song really shines on this recording, more so then it did on the DVD. 8/10

Track Seven: The Other Side of the Door - The final track on this mini-album starts off with a dark loop with Seth whispering over it, then kicks into some gothic industrial drum loop and doesn't stop from their. Although the beginning of this track could be something found on Beatmania or some rhythm game at your local arcade, this is a solid way to end the album (I can't see them ending the EP with a typical Moi dix Mois song for some reason). 8/10

This EP is a step in a new direction for Moi dix Mois. I think, with the parting of Juka and Co, Moi dix Mois are able to shed their post-Malice Mizer sound and come into a whole new era of awesomeness. Although this is an EP, it is only 15 minutes shorter then their last album, so if you were holding back on buying it due to its length, do not let it effect your decision! The first pressing of the album also comes with instrumental versions of most of the albums tracks, so you can do your best Moi dix Mois impersonation! Moi dix Mois fans everywhere owe it to themselves to buy this gem of an album!
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