Sound — 10
For anyone who doesn't know them Mucc is a hard rock/metal band from Japan. They have been around since 1997, mostly touring Japan, however in 2005 Mucc had begun to tour Europe and in 2008 they toured the U.S. in the form of Taste of Chaos Tour. They have 9 studio albums and a litter of singles and DVD's. On March 4th, 2009 they released the album Kyuutai (which is Japanese for Sphere). The band is not the easiest to label, they do tend be tremendously heavy at times, as well as soft. As of late they have also done some Discoish type songs as well. But through all this Mucc usually keeps a level of heaviness. Being that Mucc never really sticks to one sound or style, I believe they are really quite versatile. Like I said, they may jump styles, but it's always heavy. The album Kyuutai is no exception. Mucc's last album Shion was filled with a very industrial sound. With Kyuutai they seemed to incorporate an almost power metal style in a few songs. Sometimes when you listen to CD's you tend to hear the same song's over and over. But with Mucc every song has a completely different feel to it, which surprisingly enough, flows very well on a album. There are some songs here and there that don't quite flow as well, which isn't to say those songs are bad, with such a variety in styles you come to expect it. I have always been blown away by the guitar work, as well as the drums and bass. In some Japanese bands it sometimes feels like there isn't enough bass, which the same could be said of old European death metal bands. However the bass is there, and is very heavy hitting. The distortion the guitar player uses is just down right brutal sounding. The amp he uses is a Deizel VH4. So the sound quality is amazing. And I will cover each song individually.
Lyrics — 9
In this CD I wasn't quite as blown away by the lyrics as in past albums. The lyrics touch on things such as the inability to see your future, so your afraid to fly, love, just everyday stuff. The vocalist Tatsuro is definitely one of my favorite singers. Even when the music gets heavy, Tatsuro always sings. He screams here and there, but he really is a singer. In the past, he used to sing off key, I feel he probably did it to emphasize certain parts, seeing as he doesn't scream. Recently, he has begun to sing a more cleaner style. In all honesty, he is probably one of the best Japanese metal singers.
Overall Impression — 10
Every album they have released has such a progression in sound that it's very hard to compare them to each other. But one thing they all have in common is downright awesome musicianship and vocals. 01.Kyuutai: just an intro, pretty much every one of there albums starts with one. Not the best, the best one is definitely on Gokusai. 7/10 02.Houkou(Howling): talk about starting with a bang, this song goes right into it with pounding drums and a racing riff.I would say this song is probably closest to metalcore.The solo is freaking sweet.9/10 03.Ageha(Swallowtail Butterfly): the first single from this album. The song starts with an acoustic line overlayed with a little intro solo. Then it goes straight to brutality. The chorus becomes a little poppy, but it works pretty well with the song. A little electronica for an interlude as well. Another awesome solo. 10/10 04.Hide and Seek: the only word I could think to describe this song was Epic. It's heavy and very driving. The drums are superb. Throughout the song there is a layer of synth underneath, which again works very well with the song. One of my favorites. 10/10 05.Kagerou(Heat Devil): the first soft song on the CD. After the other 4 it is definitely a change. But it still keeps a very driving beat. The chorus has a very dramatic feel to it. Another good solo. Very good bass work at the end too. 9/10 06.Lemming: I hate the opening riff to this song. But once that's past the song is freakin sweet. Kind of a punk style, just heavier and mixed with X Japan sounding riffs. Holy crap, another good solo. I'm lowering the score because of the opening riff. 8/10 07.Oz: this song some people don't like. But it has a very disco feel to it. You could definitely roller skate to it. However, there is heavy parts, one could say inter-spaced breakdowns. Decent solo. It is a very weird song, but since I like weird music. 9/10 08.Fuyuu(Flotage): this song also has a disco feel to it, however it is softer than the previous. It really would've probably worked very well in the '70s. The chorus is very catchy. A little bit of a harmonica solo. Guitar solo right at the end, fits the song. I actually really like this song. 10/10 09.Sanbika(Hymn): slowest, softest, and longest song on the album. Good opening clean line, I really like the bass underneath it. At the 2:30 mark the distortion is kicked on, however it remains slow. It then gets a bit more driving. There is a weird drum timing switch that for some reason caught my attention. At which point the song has a very atmospheric feel to it. When the vocals come back in it sounds like there is a female back vocalist behind the singer. Not the best part, but then it gets awesome again. I would probably normally skip this song, unless I was high, then I would love this song. So 8/10 for sober and 10/10 for high as a kite. 10.Sora to Ito(Sky and Thread): this song is by far my favorite on this album. It is also the second single. It is a pretty heavy song, if not heavy then at least driving. The vocals are so haunting, that they just get driven into my head. The chorus is very catchy. Good breakdown. Best guitar solo of the album. 10/10 11.Hanabi(Fireworks): starts off a bit slow. But when the drum build up comes in, it is setting you up for an epic punch in the face. It's not very heavy, but it's dramatic and very epic. Very good vocals. The double bass here is probably the most epic thing I've heard. Instead of being used to make it heavy and fast, it's there for dramatic effect. The last song always needs a good solo, luckily it is not lacking. 9/10 The only thing I hate about this album, is that it only has 11 songs. Almost all of Mucc's previous albums had 13-14 songs on them. Other than that, if this album was stolen from me I would not hesitate to destroy the person that took it.