It’s been seven long years since major Visual Kei band, NIGHTMARE very successfully brough their two albums Libido and Anima to Europe, but they are finally back. Their new album, SCUMS, releases all over Europe today; available on iTunes, Amazon and (ding ding ding!) CD.
Just for one moment, let us have a little reminiscence of days gone by. Days when I used to scavenge CD stalls for Visual Kei. Barely ever lucky (never lucky), but always looking anyway. And then one day, behold! NIGHTMARE CDs! A shining light in the darkness for the impoverished teenage Visual Kei fan. Those two albums, Libido and Anima, still sit on my CD shelf now, valuable as the first European released Japanese CDs I ever owned.
Luckily, sentimental value is not the only value NIGHTMARE CDs have either, they also sound pretty good.
Nightmare have not been slacking in their time away from Europe. With 13 years experience at the top of their game, NIGHTMARE have some impressive credentials. Made famous internationally for their musical contributions to the anime Death Note, the band have become a serious institution, and in recent years they have continued to experiment freely. This album follows their usual path of baseline metal, piled on with funk and jazz elements along with gigantic vocals (ironic, as their vocalist stands a mere four feet in height).
The lead track for the album, ASSaulter, not only has a suspicious name, but also has some strange keyboard accompaniment, and an even stranger music video – which you can sample below if you really want to. However, once things get going, I promise they get better. In fact, they get better immediately with their single from this time last year, Mimic. This not only provides a much better music video, but also less weird synth and some nifty guitar. This up and down quality has existed on every NIGHTMARE album I’ve ever heard; brilliance and strangeness mix together to produce an album which is constantly changing direction.
It’s a very long album though, and there are a lot of very bright highlights. There’s Riddle, which contains some very interesting experiments with electro and ska elements. DISSEMBLE goes hard and fast with impressive rhythmic guitar and some super high-speed drumming. Amongst the softer, more toned down tracks, it really stands out. Deus ex Machina, which was a recent single, is another stand-out. There’s some great harmony between guitar and vocals and the melody is very uplifting. The track which stood out the most though, is 404, which is right slap bang in the middle of the album. Packed full of jazzy riffs and a load of electronic accompaniments, this song is the bounciest, most feel good thing on this album. Vocal participation by all band members is required and the overall effect is set off by an outstanding funk filled bass line.
NIGHTMARE use all their many talents to the full. If they have the faintest desire to make a song which sounds like it has jumped straight out a Disney movie, they will make it (and have, in fact, check out I’m not). If they want to make a pumping hardcore party metal track, they will also do that (Behind The Mask). This whole album has a cheerful sense of freedom about it, like they piled one project on top of another until – tah dah – an album appeared.
So if you need an album in your daily life which contains a great variety of music, lots of fun and no small amount of talent, you should probably buy this one. And who doesn’t need that album?
1. My name is “SCUM” (1:37)
2. ASSaulter (3:43)
3. Mimic (3:49)
4. Riddle (3:48)
5. Ame to Yoru ni Ochite (5:44)
6. DISSEMBLE (3:31)
7. ERRORs (3:41)
8. Owaru Sekai no Hajimari ha Kinari (4:22)
9. Droid (4:32)
10. 404 (4:35)
11. I’m not (5:12)
12. Deus ex machina (4:25)
13. Black Out (3:59)
14. Behind The Mask (4.03)
Release Date: April 12, 2013
Available from: Amazon (CD), Amazon mp3, iTunes