the GazettE released its eigth studio-album on August 26th 2016. Titled ‘DOGMA’, the band does with it everything on a grand and beauty scales ! The record is incorpored within the framework of a global conceptual scheme named ‘Project : Dark Age’ which marks the thirteenth anniversary of the combo. The project, which was launched over the course of March 2015, is being developed purposely through a range of thirteenth sub-projects represented graphically by a logo, a ring-shape dodecagon. The circle added to the twelve-sided polygon symbolizes the thirteeth line. The graphic choice, driven by the age of the band, is without a doubt well-thought since a twelve-star polygon is culturally linked to the Earthly Branches, an ancient means through which time is measured (duration, age). These sub-projects, commonly titled ‘movement’ — the notion of time is a corollary of the notion of movement — yet dissociated by ordinal numbers, are then revealed in further details in dribs and drabs. Album ‘DOGMA’, being the very first movement (located at the far north on the logo), is the core piece of the puzzle which encompasses other audiovisual and text elements created in association with 18 artists (HERE). Music-wise, the album is a perfect blend of SlipKnot’s Iowa for its heaviness, DIR EN GREY’s Dum Spiro Spero for its atypical pattern and Marilyn Manson’s Holy Wood for its esoteric spirit.
On February 28th, the GazettE held a concert at Yoyogi National Gymnasium, a sports center famous for its suspension roof design, very impressive. Located in Yoyogi Park near Harajuku Tokyo, the arena holding around 14 000 capacity crowd (stand seats and arena seats) sold out early January. As a consequence, the Dogmatic Tour 2015-2016 finale, as the fifth movement of the Dark Age project, was highly anticipated. And there it was ! At 8:00 PM sharp, following the announcement of the security rules, the curtain finally fell : dark images as they are usually shown in the promotional trailers (meant to unveil the different movements off of the Dark Age project) appeared on the giant screen at the top of the main stage. In harmony with the night’s thematic, the deep-black color (shikkoku /漆黒), these images were soundtracked with the mystical song ‘DOGMA’. The articulation of the video, sound-performance wise as much as the film itself, coupled with the acoustics of the hall created an unexpected and very appreciated cinematographic dimension. Five bursting lights were then diffused from the ground towards the ceiling on both sides of the hall revealing the band members : REITA, RUKI, KAI, AOI, UHARA.
the GazettE performed the opening track all over the space of the hall : only was the drummer on the main stage, the other men stood on elevated mini-platforms located near the bleachers (two at the middle, righ/left, two at the back, right/left). The unusual pattern made the audience burst of joy. Nobody expected it. The surprise effect hit the nail on the head ! It’s singer RUKI who stood before the guest-area which included VerdamMnis — at three meters approximatively. The band was dressed in black from head to toe, as the black color was the key-word of the event’s concept. The song ended while the four members were swallowed under the platforms. Then, ‘the GazettE’ appeared on the big screen. The band played on the main stage of the Yoyogi National Gymnasium during the rest of the show. And what a show ! The staging was absolutely fantastic, flamboyant, and epic. We were totally immersed in an esoteric, almost satanic, atmosphere : beautiful, classy and cold at the same time.
The outstanding and visionary trait of the staging went even further : fireworks, smoke flares, stroboscope lightening sets and so on. — all the elements you can think of that give shape to a live-performance were present. This was a festival to the eyes ! The light show was truly surprising as it was unexpected : the combination of the colors, its changing rhythm patterns, its intensity and forms. It was never the same, everything changed very quickly. The lightening was a show in itself. The artistic team behind the Dark Age project didn’t cut corners with mediums ! Everything was meticulously neat, on control. When the terms ‘PAIN – GRUDGE – SORROW – FURY DELETE – HEADACHE – HANG UP- DIZZY ‘ appeared in neon-green on the screen, and moved in accordance to the tempo of the track they come from, VENOMOUS SPIDER ‘S WEB so to speak, the audience’s voltage rose up immediately. The screen then displayed beautiful and mesmerizing red water movements in slow motion on one of the lead titles of DOGMA, ‘BIZARRE’. Macro shots of blossoming flowers — each more beautiful than the last — were then being honored and succinctly alternated by water shots declined in its various forms (waves, currents, drops). Before the first set came to its end, cinematographic reminiscences were to be found again. Dreamy and dark atmosphere of the short film shown on the screen reminded us of the masked ball sequence of Eyes Wide Shut movie.
From the first encore to the end of the finale set of the second, the event got its party-mode on ! ‘Suck My Beast’ was displayed on the screen while the notes of the song from which these words are from, INSIDE BEAST, were being played. The audience got euphoric ! The rising tension grew crescendo non-stop towards the very end of the show. Everyone headbanged, moved, danced and sang. Knowing glances were exchanged ! When singer RUKI addressed words to the crowd, smiles were always followed. The event, masterfully orchestrated, ended with the releasing of confettis and the special thanks from the band members. The concert will be available on DVD later this year, a great opportunity to grasp at the Dark Age concept if you missed the event. the GazettE will be back in Europe on June (and all across the world). Don’t miss them !
See all dates HERE
Setlist | February 28th, 2016
Yoyogi National Gymnasium / 国立代々木第一体育館
- SE NIHIL
04 SLUDGY CULT
05 VENOMOUS SPIDER’S WEB
- EN1 INSIDE BEAST
EN5 TOMORROW NEVER DIES
- WEN1 kare uta (枯詩)
WEN2 shunsetsu no koro (春雪の頃)
WEN3 LINDA～candydive Pinky heaven～
See all photos HERE