Album Review//the GazettE - DIVISION

If you're looking for a bit of smooth music to spend the night with then we'd recommend not choosing the GazettE's UK release of DIVISION. It's loud, energetic and the complete opposite of the image that comes to mind when you consider their place of origin, the serene Kanagawa, just outside of Tokyo. But whoever said geography was an indicator of sound? It may not be for quiet evenings but it is worthy listen.

Anybody who's ever taken in the Japanese music scene will be familiar with the genre of Visual Kei. The Gazette fall well into this genre and since forming in 2002 have produced a wide catalog of work. Division finds them taking an industrial metal route and by and large it succeeds. As stated, it's not quiet listening and that's the point. The block of capitals of the album's title are indication enough of something heavy this way coming and the marching static beats of the turbo charged industrial metal opener [XI] are the proof.

Many will say that this kind of music has the tendency to homogenize; the energy of one power charged anthem riding into the next with no way to tell the song has changed. And, in honesty that's no bad thing. In fact, that's the overwhelming feeling from listening to the album in one sitting. There are definite highlights, the gloomy Gabriel in the Gallows and Hedro being just two of them. The latter has the raw power and fast delivery of the best metal and catches you moshing unawares easily. 

The crunching chords and melodies of the rest of album are also notable, Kago no Sanagi in particular impressing with it's subtly slower pace showing the bands melodic gifts well. Although Division is on the face of it a Visual Kei release, with all the replete dark theatrics and feedback, it has the melodic strokes of the best of Japan's sprawling music scene. You may have thought that music from Japan is different, but underneath it all The Gazette know how to rock you both visually and aurally!

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan. 

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