• Anarchy in Japan - A review of 冥無幻妖、「忌み双児」's 羽狭 (Hazama)

    冥無幻妖、「忌み双児」 - 羽狭 (2018)

    Every now and then, a Japanese band comes around with a controversial, unique and weird sound that stuns the rest of the world. This certainly is the case for this duo here as well. The band name apparently translates to Hidden God, Twinning Twin. I hope this translation is wrong because that doesn't make any sense. Then again, the band's music doesn't make any sense either. This extended play is called Hazama which apparently translates to Wingspan. I have no idea what this refers to either. Alright, then.

    Wait a minute, what's wrong with this cover artwork? The chaos we can see here actually represents the music quite accurately. It's hard to figure out what this band wants to be. One could describe it as melodic power metal with occasional Japanese folk metal elements and extreme metal sequences with chaotic sound effects, unchained screams and terribly executed guitar work.

    The musicians seem creative, motivated and productive but they should take some lessons. The guitar work is particularly horrible and sounds as if the musician involved had learned playing that Instrument one week prior to recording these three tracks. The final result is dadaistic and nihilistic if you have a positive attitude or nerve-firing and pointless if you have a negative perception.

    The programming isn't much better and seems to be inspired by extreme metal and noise music, adding uneasy soundscapes that don't blend in at all with the rest of the music. It doesn't provide any kind of atmosphere. It's just there and quite loud at that. If it was the group's intention to add a chaotic and detsructive edge to its music, then the duo succeeded rather well but if the two intended to actually write and record good songs, then the experiment failed terribly.

    One has to address the vocals as well. The female singer has a grounded and melodic voice that sounds a little bit generic but appeals more to me than the elevated number of exchangeable classically trained female vocalists. She reminds me a little bit of Deerhoof's Matsuzaki Satomi but while the latter's almost childish expressions fit the experimental Independent rock music style of the band, this approach seems somewhat unfocused in the context of this band here. The female singer still has some sort of talent which can't be said about the apparently male vocalist who screams uncontrollably in the background. He randomly appears, yells incomprehensible stuff and vanishes from one moment to the other. That's something one could call an Internet troll in a musical context.

    If there were a genre called anarchistic metal or anarcho metal, then this band would fit in better than any other group or project I have ever listened to. Even though the execution is quite mediocre, the final result has such a unique charm that I feel somewhat intrigued by this band and would certainly give them another chance in the future. This record is bad but in an interesting way. It has a punk spirit most punk bands will never achieve. I wonder what this duo sounds like on stage. Its music would be a perfect occasion for getting wasted in a shabby underground bar in some filthy Nagoya suburb. If it hasn't happened yet, please go for it. Cheers!

    Final rating: 60%

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