The DESTROSE Connection ~The Prologue~

file - 03.16.2016 20:01

An introduction to a series reviewing the fruits of DESTROSE's bittersweet legacy.

When Japan’s music scholars come to write the history of the ‘girls’ metal’ boom – a wave of all-female bands that has swept the Japanese metal scene – the Osakan band Aldious will likely receive the most attention. This won’t be undeserved, as it was they who gave ‘girls’ metal’ its commercial breakthrough in October 2010, when their debut album Deep Exceed topped the Oricon Indies Albums Chart. Still, hopefully the scholars won’t neglect to mention the part played by other bands in the growth of the movement, such as that of DESTROSE.

Formed in December 2005 as DESTROYA, DESTROSE were technically the first of the ‘girls’ metal’ bands, predating Aldious by almost two years. Alas, the band enjoyed only modest success in their decade-long career before going on indefinite hiatus in July 2015, hampered by a perpetually unstable line-up. In the ten years between their formation and hiatus, DESTROSE went through no fewer than 23 fulltime members.

It may be of little or no consolation to the band itself, but an upside to this line-up volatility was many departing members went on pursue projects of their own. In a series of reviews over the coming months, JaME will look at some of the fruits of DESTROSE’s bittersweet legacy to demonstrate why the band deserve to be remembered for more than just the dreadful luck they had in retaining members.

Below, you'll find introductions to the artists and projects The DESTROSE Connection series will cover...



EYE, ERI, Kayo & MARI – Mary's Blood

The stage for DESTROSE’s years of line-up woes was set on New Year’s Eve 2008, when singer EYE, guitarist Eri, bassist Kayo, and drummer MARI all left at once. They promptly reunited as Mary’s Blood, and were going strong until 2012 when ERI, Kayo - then known as NIBOSHI – and second guitarist CHIBA all left in quick succession. The guitarist vacancy was soon filled by fellow DESTROSE alumna SAKI, and besides this early wobble, Mary’s Blood has otherwise held steady. They made their major debut with Nippon Columbia in August 2014, moving to Victor in 2015.



Ami – VAMPIRE PLEDGE, AFTERMATH

Ami was the second of only three bassists to play in DESTROSE, and saw many members come and go during her two-and-a-half year tenure. She began other activities while still in the line-up, co-founding VAMPIRE PLEDGE in late 2010, with whom she stayed after quitting DESTROSE in 2011. Ami left VAMPIRE PLEDGE in 2012 and was soon followed by her co-founder Kyosuke. Remaining guitarist Tsukahsa attempted to revive the group with a new line-up, including a certain ERI on vocals, but it dissolved soon after. Ami returned in 2013 with all-female rockers AFTERMATH, leaving them in 2015.



SAKI – Re:MAKER, Mary’s Blood

Still a teenager when she joined DESTROSE, SAKI’s stay in the band was a short one, the highlight possibly being when they opened for American all-female Iron Maiden tribute band The Iron Maidens in January 2010. She further honed her talents in the ephemeral mixx before moving on to all-female Vocaloid rock trio Re:MAKER. The latter went on hiatus is 2013 due to her commitments with Mary’s Blood, for whom she is now the main composer.



AKANE – VELVET☆CHERRY

Though she fronted DESTROSE for less than a year, AKANE has the distinction of being the vocalist to sing on the band’s debut single, Hakai no Bara. However, her DESTROSE duties were always secondary to her activities with VELVET☆CHERRY, a hard rock band she co-founded back in 2007, so it came as no great shock when she took her leave in March 2011.

Free thereafter to focus her efforts on VELVET☆CHERRY, AKANE did so, and it soon paid off. In September 2013, the band’s debut album CRUSH ON!! was released by Black-listed Records. AKANE later briefly reunited with DESTROSE alumni Ami in the short-lived PINKISH CROWN.



hanako – Albion, Octaviagrace

Like AKANE, hanako’s stint in DESTROSE was rather brief. She was present for the recording of the third single Fenixx -to revive-, and left in April 2012 in circumstances said to not be entirely amicable. The roots of her next venture go back to a concert on June 3rd 2012 at Ikebukuro ADM, where she played guitar in Tengu-za, an Onmyo-za cover band named for the singer Yuri’s previous band and another early ‘girls’ metal’ band, Tengusakura.

Teaming up, hanako and Yuri formed Albion later that year. Despite a promising start, things started to go to pieces in March 2014 when drummer RINO left within days of the release of their debut album Campanula. A month later, hanako was also gone. She resurfaced in January 2015 as part of Octaviagrace.



Marina – Mardelas

After a tumultuous 2011, the arrival of Marina Hebiishi in November that year heralded the start of DESTROSE’s most productive period. During her tenure as vocalist, they produced three singles, and in 2013, the band’s elusive debut album finally saw the light of day. Marina was also on hand for their first overseas gig at Tokyo in Tulsa.

Marina bowed out of DESTROSE in early 2014 and instantly set to work on her then-solo project Mardelas. This grew to a quartet soon after the project’s debut, and the band was signed by King Records early last year. Album Mardelas I followed in April 2015.



Mina – FATE GEAR, ANIMETA Girl

As the woman who started it all, Mina was present for all but the final four months of DESTROSE's career. That said, by the time of her departure in February 2015, she hadn’t toured with the group for over a year due to health issues. While convalescing, Mina started work on her solo project ANIMETA Girl, producing heavy metal covers of anime theme songs.

After leaving the band, Mina made the surprise move of starting afresh, forming FATE GEAR with vocalist Nico. They were quick to put out their first album, A Light in the Black, and the duo soon recruited a rhythm section. Bassist Sakae lasted just six months, however, leaving last December.



Narumi & RISA☆RISA – Disqualia

Drummer RISA☆RISA was only in DESTROSE a matter of months, having replaced the retired Haruna in early 2015. Narumi, by contrast, was the band’s second-longest serving guitarist after Mina. She joined in July 2012, and was the last piece in the jigsaw that would make 2013 the first year in DESTROSE’s career without a change of personnel. She featured on all post-Fenixx -to revive- releases, and wrote Eutopia for the 2014 mini-album The Prologue.

Narumi and RISA☆RISA were both present for DESTROSE’s final live show on July 18th, where the group was fronted by support vocalist IBUKI, filling in for the out-of-action Lisa. The duo appear to have hit upon some chemistry with Lisa’s stand-in, as just a month later, they and IBUKI launched Disqualia.
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