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To Be or Not to Be

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All Music Guide - John D. Buchanan
After a bit of a misstep on 2013's rushed-sounding Scums, this ninth album from the visual kei veterans is a real return to form. They've significantly toned down their hardcore-funk-metal madness and thankfully ditched the dubstep elements from the last album, and this time out seem to have deliberately striven to meld the best of their pop-savvy songwriting with a more gutsy, crunchy sound, as the production has a pleasingly raw, gritty feel throughout. Much of the album has a slightly gothic, melancholy bent, such as opener "Gallows" with its minor-key riffing and ornate keyboard flourishes, and the dark rocker "Tokyoto Rasetsuku" ("Tokyo Prefecture, Demon Ward"). ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John D. Buchanan
After a bit of a misstep on 2013's rushed-sounding Scums, this ninth album from the visual kei veterans is a real return to form. They've significantly toned down their hardcore-funk-metal madness and thankfully ditched the dubstep elements from the last album, and this time out seem to have deliberately striven to meld the best of their pop-savvy songwriting with a more gutsy, crunchy sound, as the production has a pleasingly raw, gritty feel throughout. Much of the album has a slightly gothic, melancholy bent, such as opener "Gallows" with its minor-key riffing and ornate keyboard flourishes, and the dark rocker "Tokyoto Rasetsuku" ("Tokyo Prefecture, Demon Ward"). Even the catchy and propulsive singles "Dizzy" and "Relight" have a touch of darkness to them. Nightmare have always written great choruses, but have sometimes stumbled when it came to the verses. Here are not just great choruses but whole songs, some of the most melodic they have recorded in years -- "Melt into Blue Sky" is a pure pop
ock nugget from start to finish and the hushed, jazzy, minor-key "Lullaby-bye" is simply beautiful. The soaring, hopeful anthem "Terminal" is another of the most tuneful songs here, and is certainly the most upbeat. Main promo track "Drastica" is powered by astringent, almost industrial riffing strongly reminiscent of early Angelo, and closing instrumental rocker "Kenka Drive" ends the disc with a bang. This isn't to say that the album does not occasionally slip into filler territory, especially toward the end. The title track is a strange beast that seems rather bolted together, and the cheesy brass and gang whoops on "Truth" are wholly unnecessary. And Yomi's voice is perhaps suffering a bit from overwork, as at times he sounds disappointingly flat and nasal. Overall, though, this is the best album Naito have recorded in a long time, certainly their best since signing to Avex, and arguably contains some of their best-ever songs. It's both tuneful and mature, and is both comfortingly familiar and sufficiently different to grab and hold the listener's attention throughout.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/1/2014
  • Label: Imports
  • EAN: 4542114103445
  • Catalog Number: 1222633

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Gallows
  2. 2 To Be or Not to Be
  3. 3 Dizzy
  4. 4 Tokyoto Rasetsuku
  5. 5 Relight
  6. 6 Melt into Blue Sky
  7. 7 Truth
  8. 8 Lullaby-bye
  9. 9 Terminal
  10. 10 Drastica
  11. 11 Gokujou Noushin Rengoku Isshiki
  12. 12 LLB
  13. 13 Kenka Drive
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nightmare Primary Artist
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