the GazettE – “Beautiful Deformity” (review)

the gazette

Japanese alternative Metal band the GazettE are back with another full length album. “Beautiful Deformity” is an album that comes following the steps of 2012’s “Division”. The band’s trademark metal sound and the heavy synths mixed with dubstep influences make this album a versatile one. “Beautiful Deformity” is one of those albums that, besides the fact that it won’t ever be at the top form of “DIM”, it still is a relevant album full of great songs.

Info regarding the album:

Album: "Beautiful Deformity"
Genre: Visual-kei/alternative metal
Label: Sony Music Entertainment
Date of release: 23/10/13

Tracklist:

01.MALFORMED BOX
02.INSIDE BEAST
03.UNTIL IT BURNS OUT
04.DEVOURING ONE ANOTHER
05.FADELESS
06.REDO
07.LAST HEAVEN
08.LOSS
09.THE STUPID TINY INSECT
10.IN BLOSSOM
11.鴉
12.黒く澄んだ空と残骸と片翅
13.TO DAZZLING DARKNESS
14.CODA

Track by track analysis:

1 – Malformed box

Intro to the album with heavy influences of dubstep to begin with. the GazettE seem to start off the album with an interesting track but not too befitting to their usual genre. Not bad at all though. 4/5

2 – Inside Beast

Heavy riffs and heavy electronica lead this pretty aggressive song. “Inside Beast” is an amalgam of genres. Once again the band resorts to the use of heavy synths and sequences on their sound and that seems to work out well if not exaggerated which is the case. Ruki’s vocals are top notch as usual, Reita’s bass playing is as mesmerizing as ever. To some fans this song might come out as a drop in the band’s quality but in my opinion it’s good to see the Gazette incorporating other elements on their sound and making their heavy rock richer. “Inside Beast” is a good song to really start off the album. 4/5

3 – Until it burns out

Speedy drums, heavy bassline and the raging guitars make this instrumental one of the best on the album. Ruki’s vocals are strong and Reita’s screams/strong background vocals make this piece a pretty heavy headbanger. The outro leading to the chorus has excellent drumming with Kai making use of the whole drumming kit. 4/5

4 – Devouring one another

This song just keeps reminding me of Marilyn Manson’s 2003 album “The Golden Age Of Grotesque”. The synths, the intro and even the vocals are so reminiscing of MM’s work on that album. “Devouring one another” is not a very fast paced song until it reaches the chorus where it really goes big with strong vocal work and heavy riffs. Ruki’s vocals when he sings “Do you want to eat me?” are as deep as we’re used to. The guitar work by the on duty guitarists Aoi and Uraha is once again as impressive as it could get especially in the slower parts of the song. Overall good job by the band on this song. 4/5

5 – Fadeless

This song quickly will remind you of “Filth in beauty” maybe because of the female chorus. Ranging guitars, strong vocals, what I think it’s the best in this song is the instrumental, the drums are incredible as usual and Reita’s bass amazes me time after time. Great solo by the end of the song and a strong outro. This song almost fails to impress because of the slightly annoying female chorus but nevertheless is an interesting song. The song ends by the bass of the amazing Reita which is a treat to the listeners. 4/5

6 – REDO

the GazettE make with “REDO” a song quite reminiscing of SID’s (シド) work. The slower, quieter rock with hints of jazzy guitars and bass playing along with Ruki’s vocal work make this song one pretty interesting listen. The guitar solo is strong and delicate at the same time, a good addition to the album and an interesting change of pace regarding the previous songs. Maybe it’s just me but I actually love more of GazettE’s less aggressive style rather than the alternative metal side to them. Their “ballads” are incredibly good and always turn out to be one of the album’s strongest points. 5/5

7 – Last Heaven

The acoustic guitars lead another slow song pending more for a ballad. “Last Heaven” is an incredibly beautiful song with top notch vocal work together with a simple yet an instrumental full of emotion. Such a beautiful song and an excellent addition to the album. 5/5

8 -Loss

What a song this one is! “Loss” is another song that drifts off from the band’s usual heavy sound and shows a rock sound with a soothing pre-chorus. Instrumental-wise the song is flawless, the song is heavy when it needs to be and is slow when necessary. The speed of the song raises in the chorus when drums, guitar and bass go completely berserk. Strong song and quite possibly a good choice for a future single. 5/5

9 – The Stupid Tiny Insect

Back to a heavy electronica intro “The Stupid Tiny Insect” quickly gets way from the electronica and it present us with a heavy song with commendable drumming work. On this one Kai really exceeded himself with the double bass drums, regarding the rest of the instruments the guitars are ranging between heavy riffs and the bass goes completely berserk on this one. Ruki’s aggressive vocals fit like a glove in the song. If you’re into GazettE’s heavier songs this one is for you. 4/5

10 – In blossom

Another heavy song to completely break the slow pace dictated by Redo, Last Heaven and Loss. “In Blossom” is an incredibly well structured song with good guitar riffs and top notch drumming work. Ruki’s vocals are on top of his game in this song, when he reaches those high notes it’s like hearing an angel sing. 5/5

11 – 鴉

The bassline! This bassline is incredibly amazing. Reita always deliver us the best basslines but the guitars also follow up in quality. The riffs are consistent, aggressive and technical. The mix between the background vocals and Ruki’s vocal work is well made sounding well throughout the song. Strong, heavy song, definitely a good song. 5/5

12 -黒く澄んだ空と残骸と片翅

And it seems that, the closer we get to the end of the album, the best it sounds. “黒く澄んだ空と残骸と片翅 is a heavy metal song through and through. The vocals are aggressive, the riffs are addictive and the drums along with the bass go incredibly nuts in the chorus. A headbanger from start to finish. 4/5

13 – To Dazzling Darkness

Impressive intro with the guitar and bass leading the way until the drums join in this slow paced song. A highlight in an album full of great songs. Flawless vocal work together with an interesting instrumental piece. The bass leads the way in this song full of emotion. This is one of those songs that is an instant favorite not because it is aggressive or a slow one, it’s because the instrumental is simply out of the world, it sounds right for that song and, like that, it fits like a glove to it. 5/5

14 – CODA

The ending instrumental piece led by an amazing acoustic guitar solo. A better instrumental to finish an album with is impossible. “CODA” adds the perfect ending to the album, without a doubt a piece to pay attention to. 5/5

Final rating: 4.5/5

On this album the GazettE show once again that they are on top of their game. Heavy riffs, incredibly beautiful acoustic guitar work, speedy drums, insane basslines and strong, sometimes sweet vocals delivered by the frontman Ruki make this album one to be on the lookout for. “Beautiful Deformity” stands as a great album in the band’s repertoire that almost makes us forgive the band for the excessive use of electronica in their last album “Division”, still it isn’t an album with complete lack of electronica but this time we have it timely and strategically used on the album without making the band sound completely different from their usual sound.

The album is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

Author: Vanessa Silva (midorin)

The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Metalhead. Gamer. Based in Cascais, Portugal. Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" was the catalyst to start writing about male seiyuu music.

7 thoughts

  1. I don’t agree with people giving ratings in general. Why? Because it all depends on the listener’s tastes. I would give Devouring one another a solid 10/10 while REDO a 5/10, who’s right and who’s wrong. There’s no right and wrong. I like hearing opinions about the songs though, what somebody liked and what they didn’t.

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  2. I think the more you listen to the album, the better it gets. On the whole though, I don’t agree with a lot of the ratings given. I think Malformed Box is kind of pointless. Inside Beast was a very solid track 5/7. Until It Burns Out isn’t bad, but it’s not great. The verses sound sloppy/messy, but it’s saved by the chorus 5/7. Devouring One Another is absolutely incredible. I don’t, nor have I ever listened to Marilyn Manson and I probably won’t in the future, so I can’t understand the comparison, but I wish they’d used more of Ruki’s vocals on DOA in other tracks as well 7/7. Fadeless… that’s a b*tch of a track right there. It’s not bad. The female chorus Ooh-ing and Ah-ing is really irritating, because there’s no point to it. Their isn’t much of a difference between the verses and the chorus and without the female vocals I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell. The only other thing that makes the chorus stand out is Ruki rolling his ‘R’. One of the 3 worst songs on the album 3/7. Could have made a much better effort of it and I was disappointed to see it on the album. Especially not fit to be a Single. Then comes Redo 7/7, Last Heaven 7/7 and Loss 7/7. All 3 tracks were absolutely incredible. Stupid Tiny Insect wasn’t bad and was a little badass. You hear some of those muffled vocals and some nice hard screams, sounds quite flat at times, but a good listen regardless 4/7. In Blossom – when I first heard this song I hated it. Then I heard it again and again and again and now it’s probably one of my favourite songs on the album. I don’t think it’s the best by any means though. I think in a lot of the tracks on the second half of the album, the GazettE sacrificed ‘tune’ with regards to Ruki’s vocals. They could have made so much more of the track which had so much potential. I don’t base my ratings on genre. Frankly I don’t care. Good music is good music. In Blossom is good music, but the verses could and should have been better. Nevertheless the Chorus truly IS like listening to an angel sing. Beautifully salvaged 6/7. The bass in Karasu was glorious, but the pre-chorus/bridge or whatever it’s called was flat again and I thought Ruki could’ve sung better, not just in this song, but throughout the entire album and that’s why I think it was really good but not amazing 5/7. Kuroku Sunda. I do not like this song. I do not think it should be on the album at all. It had so much potential in the first 30-45 seconds, then they wrote the chorus and f*cked it up. What a waste. Take it away or re-write it. the GazettE have so much talent and so much skill, they could easily reproduce an album of equal if not better quality than DIM. They’ve produced enough incredible tracks since then to fill an album full with track after track of brilliance, but no. Instead they give you the long-awaited… Fadeless. Pack an album full of tracks that are brilliant and find tiny ways in almost every one to lower the quality. People may not like DIVISION, but it was a brilliant CD. Not typically Gazette, but pitch-perfect and almost a complete album. Beautiful Deformity has what DIVISION is lacking and DIVISION has what Beautiful Deformity is lacking. I don’t really know how to explain it. They key lies with RUKI. When he sings beautifully, the song becomes beautiful – no matter the form. Every song in DIVISION was pleasant on the ear. Missing something that BD has, but pleasant on the ear. Every song on BD has that burst of inspiration that makes you think ‘hell yeah!’ but then they lack that beauty – with the exception of DOA, Redo, LastHeaven, LOSS and CODA 7/7. Those five are perfect tracks. The rest though… Hmmm, although Dazzling Darkness 6/7 is nearly there. Once he sings that hard long note in the chorus, slows down and you expect him to do it again for an epic climax but then doesn’t, my hopes were slightly dented. Music was beautiful though.

    Summary: 5.5/7
    Inside Beast – 5/7
    Until It Burns Out – 5/7
    Devouring One Another – 7/7
    Fadeless – 3/7
    Redo – 7/7
    Last Heaven 7/7
    Loss – 7/7
    Stupid Tiny Insect – 4/7
    In Blossom – 6/7
    Karasu – 5/7
    Kuroku Sunda – 3/7
    Dazzling Darkness – 6/7
    Coda – 7/7

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    1. First of all it’s nice to hear another opinion from a Gazette fan. Interesting review btw.
      Regarding you not agreeing with some ratings: well since these are reviews it’s always subjective. We’re talking about the reviewers tastes right?

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  3. Would you say this album is more like their “DIM”? Or closer to their last two efforts. (I really loved DIM and have been dying for another album like it)

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    1. I’d say that compared to DIM it is clearly a different album. DIM had little to no use of electronica and was more raw than “Beautiful Deformity”. “BD” is a good album but I personally think it’s close to their work on “Toxic” and “Division”. Still this new album is a pretty good listen and is even better than the last two albums I’ve mentioned.

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      1. I would say it was a mix of Toxic and Stacked Rubbish with a splash of Division here and there even the heavy songs reminded me of some NIL all in all its a great album.

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        1. It gives off that feel, especially Toxic and Division influences throughout the album.

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