review - 03.30.2019 20:01

It’s going to be hot!

To begin, let’s dive into a bit of musical history: DEATHGAZE was never quite as popular as lynch., even though it was founded by the ex-vocalist, Hazuki. This did not prevent the band from pleasing listeners with their heavy and powerful music. Rich metal, dark energy, and fast transitions – ranging from harsh and extreme vocals to a clear voice – DEATHGAZE’s sound was (and still is) recognizable from the very first riffs. After the band started their hiatus, this exact style moved first to AI’s solo project, and then to the new band named DARRELL, created by the former leader of DEATHGAZE. It took about a year for DARRELL to move from a debut single to their first full-fledged album, called DARXNESS, and this work is a total blast.

From the very beginning, long-time fans can easily recognize the familiar atmosphere. GARBAGE FREAK is not just a powerful instrumental intro – at only a minute and a half long, this is one of the most memorable tracks of the entire album. Simple, explosive guitar riffs constantly changing places with the speedy drumming, quickly warms the listener up for the next twelve pieces. The intense opening lives up to expectations, and after the musical introduction the album becomes a lot more aggressive.

With RENDEZVOUS simply following the tempo of the intro, the next song, DARKNESS, leaves the listeners with no chance to stand still. Moreover, thanks to the heavy riffs, this track begs you to jump right into the mosh pit, while soft vocals in the chorus continues to switch between the powerful, extreme screams during the verses. However, even that can’t compare to the pure rage of JOKER IS FUCKER A GO GO, the best and fastest track on the album. Who knows, maybe it was named in honor of the bassist, Joker, as his bass opens the song? Nevertheless, grab onto something and buckle up, otherwise this three minute adrenaline-inducing craziness will tear you apart – we’re warning you! I HATE YOU is another really angry sounding track, but it lacks a little of the same drive to conquer as some of the other songs featured.

Among what could be considered the slower songs, UNFORGIVEN offers a mix of melancholic vocals and aggressive music, while the central part of HAZEN BLOOD surprises listeners with the transition from a louder sound to a gentler voice. The change of pace is totally unexpected, leaving the audience feeling confused for a few seconds.

For the conclusion of the album, DARRELL has CALLING in store for listeners. After the crazy madness of the previous tracks, this touching and sad ballad, which is reminiscent of SINNER and forsaken by DEATHGAZE, works like the ending credits of an action-packed movie. Wrapping everything up, the poignant sound of this song helps listeners catch their breaths after such an intense journey.

The mix of vulgarity and gentleness, adrenaline, crazy drive, all while contrasting with the more soothing sounds of DARXNESS is a great gift for those who are missing quality nagoya kei music in general, and AI’s work in particular. DARRELL continues to move in the direction chosen by the other group; they are doing great as both DEATHGAZE’s successor and as a new and interesting independent band.
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