LUV PARADE includes only three of the previous D'espa members: Tsukasa, ZERO, and Karyu, and also sports guest vocalist Taka (defspiral). And Hizumi, while obviously unable to sing at this point, is still involved with the session band, producing merchandise.
Technically, this isn't even a session band, it's a cover band. They aren't even covering D'espairsRay songs. From what I've read (in reports from those who have actually attended a LUV PARADE live) they're performing covers of other rock songs including some American songs.
Truthfully, I find this a bit disappointing.
But they're playing and that's what really counts here.
HERE you can read a personal report on the LUV PARADE live @ Takadanobaba Area.
BLUE FLAME- I've loved this song since the PV was released, nothing much has changed since then. It's rightly the title track, as it's definitely the most commercially catchy on the single. I did notice that even though BLUE FLAME is the longest song off the single, it feels like the shortest, maybe that's due to the faster, poppy progression of the song. The instrumentals throughout are very well done, especially the guitar. I also very much enjoy the bass and rhythm sections, Ex: 3:25 to 3:33, I'm actually not certain whether this is the bass or rythm guitar, I'd like if it were the bass, I feel like I'm not hearing anything that really stands out from Saga. There are also a lot of background vocals through the slower parts of the song and pre-chorus. I especially like the vocal layers during the very last chorus, starting at 3:50.
My favorite part: 2:36 to 3:15, if you notice Nao has a bit of a drum solo here which is exceptional, the guitar solo is lovely as well, and underneath that is another example of that great bass and rhythm section I was talking about.
残響ホワイトアウト (Zankyou Whiteout)- I find the main riff to this song quite memorable, it reminds me of something I've heard before, unfortunately I can't quite place it, but it seems 80's metal-ish. The song itself isn't exactly amazing for me, however, the intrumentals refuse to let me stop listening! As a whole the music to this song has quite the catch but I can't get over the awesomeness that the guitar players present throughout the entirety of this song. Everything guitar related is superb! I enjoy the squeals and shorts licks that deviate from the mass of the song. Also, the rythm section is very apparent, which I like, Ex: 1:35 to 1:52. And of course who could forget Hiroto's guitar solo from 2:35 to 2:57, however, my favorite guitar part is more towards the end, 3:31 to 3:40 (short but very sweet). Also......kudos to Nao for the beyond excellent drum line.
G3- So, this is a remake of Gokusai Gokushoku Gokudouka, right? It sounds so different, a million times over! And I have to be completely honest about my anguish right now. If I were going to judge this as a remake of one of my favorite songs by Alice Nine then I.........*deep calming breaths*.........I HATE IT!!! I hate it soooo much! However, if I were to completely wipe that fact from my brain, and pretend this isn't a redo, I could see how G3 is a decent song. I still don't love it but I'll give Alice Nine some credit. First, I think the song is a little over done, almost like there is too much going on. And at parts the transitioning between tempos/ riffs seems a bit off to me, maybe a bit too abrupt.. Ex: at 33 secs and at 1:44. Even a vocal part or two are a little awkward. Once you get further into the song, I do think that the instrumentals are pretty great. My favorite part: obviously 2:44 to 3:00, the guitar solo and drumline combination here are really smooth and I like how this runs right back into the main rhythm of the song. And I really enjoy Shou's vocal section from 1:45 to 2:12. I'd also like to point out another great guitar segment: 3:39 to 3:42. this is both strategically placed and inventive.
My Grade:A, 4.5/5
Surprisingly, all three songs made it into my favorites list.......even G3.
Today, June 15th 2011, D'espairsRay have gone from being on hiatus to announcing, on their OHP, their official disbandment. All of the members have left personal messages to the fans (CLICK HERE TO READ!).......or I could just post them here, keep in mind the translation will most likely NOT be word for word, but I've done my best.
Hizumi's message is as follows:
For the treatment of my throat we have gone on an infinite hiatus and while having undergone acupuncture, chiropractic and Qigong, even now the restoration of it is not yet in sight. As a result of the talks with all four members and since we can't revive activities like this, it is like a natural extinction. We came to the conclusion that we should break this up with dignity.
Please, everyone, who had hoped for our return, forgive us this betrayal it has become.
Unfortunately we also can't be doing a final live, but I hope we can return something to you in a different shape.
With the beginning of this band, a number of meetings have come about and through joyful, sad and tough times, there hadn't been a single superfluous experience.
Thank you to everyone who loved D'espairsRay for these 11 years.
D'espairsRay in my dreams I finished in the middle.
To everybody who believed and was waiting for a resurrection
I'm really sorry to announce such a thing has happened.
The possibility of a live has also been dissolved.
Please understand where things end without any bad feelings.
I'm proud to have been involved in the creation of D'espairsRay,
It has changed me.
There is a hole in my heart Which I will only be able to fill little by little To see you smile again I'm going to live with that.
To all who love D'espairsRay
Thanks Thank you.
(honestly I'm having a little trouble deciphering verbatim what Zero is saying, so here is a short synopsis)
I'm sorry for the surprise announcement.
We had gone on an indefinite hiatus
We vowed to everyone that we would come back but
We are unable to keep our promise, I'm sorry guys.
I hope that everyone can understand our decision to disband
I don't know what is in store for the future,
but I hope to see all the fans and members smiling faces once again.
And I think to myself what we can do in the future.
I'm very thankful to the staff and all our fans.
We have announced our indefinite hiatus
I'm really sorry it has turned out this way
For everyone who waited for us to resume work, I'm really, really sorry.
We've been working together in the same direction for over a decade
It's difficult for me to describe my feelings
Because I really treasure this part of my life.
As everyone knows, I'm very sorry we will not be able to perform a final live.
Even after our dibandment I hope that you will be able to keep the memory of D'espairsRay in your hearts.
I'm proud to have been the drummer for D'espairsRay,
and I will live my life positively.
The rest of the band members and I will still see each other,
we are not disbanding on bad terms.
Finally, I want to sincerely thank all of our loyal fans.
OH! You have no idea how deeply saddened I am by this announcement. I'm not gonna lie, I cried a little and I'm ummm.....on the verge right now.
6/8 Acid Black Cherry- shoujo no inori III [Maxi-Single]
6/8 ensoku- manatsu no McEnroe [Maxi-Single]
6/8 Homosapiens- DEAD GIRLFRIEND [Mini-Album]**
6/8 TRIBAL CHAIR- Crows in the cloud [Album] 6/8 Byakura- Shinkirou [Maxi-Single]
6/8 Ninjaman Japan- Zan [Mini-Album]
6/8 Alice Nine- BLUE FLAME [Single]** 6/8 Anli Pollicino- Rondo [Maxi-Single]**
_____naught-The most memorable thing about _____naught is the drum line. It's the best part of this song and really pulls everything else together. The bass and guitar riffs in general are nicely done and I also very much enjoy the background vocal effects and growls, as well as the guitar squeals. My favorite part: 1:54 to 2:20, this 20 or so seconds really sums up everything that is good about this song. The rhythm of the bass, guitars, drums, and even the vocals, as a whole, rock. And we even get a little speed metalesque towards the closing stages of the segment. I am disappointed with the length of the song however. Three minutes and 40 seconds seems to be a sufficient amout of time but I would've liked to hear them delve a little deeper.
TRIGGER- This is of course the title track off TRIGGER, and it's a decent song, I can't say that I'm in love with it, but I can admit it has quite a bit of catch. More than likely it's the most marketable song on the mini-album. Indeed, I truly enjoy the instrumental introduction, especially the guitar riff and again the bass and drum lines. I was hoping that AND would present more vocally, don't get me wrong Ikuma's singing is more than sufficient, I just........where did AND's infamous screaming run off to? I am very happy with TRIGGER's play out though, one of the best I've heard recently.
dope- I love the introduction! The mixture of rhythm and lead guitar here is brilliantly done. I feel an intense need to compliment the bass work through out the song. Ex: 1:04 to 1:06, 2:02 to 2:04, and 2:57 to 3:11(Awesome!). As well as the subtle guitar pieces, which I wish were used as more than just an undertone. The added synth/ turn table elements are wonderfully placed and I even enjoy the vocals here though, as I stated previously, it is sans the screaming vocals that I'm used to. Dope is definitely at the top of my list for best songs on TRIGGER.
torch- Instrumentally torch is magnificent, definitely the best guitar playing/ solos with in this whole mini-album. All throughout the song there are these great little one or two time guitar riffs taking place underneath everything else, too bad they aren't a little more apparent, huh? My favorite parts: 3:00 to 3:27, and 4:30 to basically the end of the song. Unfortunately, I don't really have anything else to say about this song, good or bad, the rest is just kind of there.
basis- I've heard this intro somewhere before (the first 8 seconds), I'd swear it! I very much enjoy it, it's an interesting, catchy riff. Sort of eccentric agent like.........
The guitar solo has taken an interesting turn as well, very unique, I love it! Ex: 2:17 to 2:45, I would listen to basis for this alone. Other than that I find the drum line a bit boring, there's a little too much cymbal if you ask me, it certainly couldn't hurt to spice it up a bit, right? I'm not a big fan of this song. It's ok, the guitar riff and solo aren't done any justice by the rest of the song.
砕 ～cross border～- Wow!...so this actually is an album by And........this is the most absolutely perfect introduction this song could have. I'm very pleased! I'm glad we've finally got some screaming back, including the back up shouting vocals. Hear and feel that power!! Cross border!!! I also really enjoy the changes in tempo, going from that fast, pounding rhythm to the slowed down sequence, flows well off one another.Unfortunately, it seems as if the most And-like songs are the shortest. I would've enjoyed it more if it were longer.
Ok. I'm a substantially big fan of And, but what the hell happened? I would say maybe 2 out of 6 of the songs on TRIGGER actually sound like And. Not that this is a bad mini-album mind you, I'm just surprised. Are they changing their image/sound or trying pick up a larger audience by making themselves a little more commercial? Instrumentally they're actually great, so I guess what I'm really questioning here is the vocals. Even if you look at it image wise Ikuma seems "pure" compared to his previous looks. When the promo picture for TRIGGER came out I actually did a little research to make sure Ikuma was still the vocalist.
What happened to CODE「B」and Blackout? That's what I want to hear.
As I said, I don't think that TRIGGER, as an album, is bad. I actually like it. I also realize
that overtime a band's sound evolves, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can be very
good. All I'm really trying to get at here is that And doesn't sound the same. Much like Girugamesh or the Gazette or even Alice Nine don't sound the same. But what I want
to hear is the sound And put out then, that's just my opinion.