review - 08.05.2010 21:15

Visual band OZ creates fireworks with their first full album.

After five years of putting out brilliant singles, -OZ- brings you their first full album. It is not just a compilation of earlier songs, though there are some familiar numbers on it. Among the new songs are also a number of outstanding pieces that remind us why this group is so special.

In general -OZ- is very consistent in delivering enchanting chorus melodies over an urgent beat, usually with contrasting death vocals and head-banging segments of loud, dark guitars. With that as a given, there are still some surprises and interesting variations on this album. Outstanding numbers include Reservation, FILMY, IN RUBBISH and Breathe trees. For Reservation, the drums and Natuski’s vocals all have a great, rowdy rhythm different from what the group usually does, although the chorus is as we expect. While FILMY has an infectious and catchy chorus, IN RUBBISH boasts a smashing mosh pit sound and a refrain of death vocals. Breathe Trees has a playful, jazzy keyboard segment that’s surprising and a bittersweet, emotional chorus. If you’re a fan of ballads, LAST Shell is as close as it gets; Slower paced and grandiose, it’s a very intense balladic number.

As for the other songs, BLAZE is heavy, fast, and full of death vocals with some melodic parts in the chorus; in the slower paced Needle, Nao’s bass is very present in the somewhat wistful chorus; and M.D.M.A. has a great chorus that’s somehow unusual for the group. VENOM and DETOX, released earlier as singles, are strong songs that are included on the album.

Strangely, none of the songs really seem like fillers. Some are less than stunning, but all have complexity and enjoyable parts. Among the less impressive are MIGRANT and ATHENA, neither of which has a really excellent chorus. While MIGRANT offers a lot of death vocals and a raging vibe with some interesting melodies, ATHENA is basically standard - but good - visual kei.

Overall, VERSUS is a magical release that will captivate any visual kei fan and many general rock and pop fans. Visual kei has much to offer the music industry, and -OZ- is a luminary group in the visual scene, though they are not yet broadly known and have not performed abroad. VERSUS makes an excellent introduction to this diamond in the rough group, and we look forward to their music still to come. This is the first product they’ve done a European release for, so let’s hope they will continue setting their sights abroad!
related items
related artists
blog comments powered by Disqus

  • euroWH
  • Chaotic Harmony