Yousei Teikoku – PAX VESANIA

PAX VESANIA

Tracklist:

  1. Jo
  2. Astral Dogma
  3. Solitude
  4. Kyouki Shinden
  5. Kokoro Sanctuary
  6. Gekkyou Hangon Cinerarium
  7. Siege Oder Sterben
  8. Missing
  9. The Creator
  10. Herrscher
  11. Kuusou Mythology
  12. Soushi
  13. Kikai

———————————

1. Jo

I was rather surprised when an old lady (man??) started talking. They continue over some heavy DIR EN GREY-esque riffs, with menacing noises and occasional chants in the background.  It ends with Yui saying “Pax.. Vesania”. Nice intro.

2. Astral Dogma

I would challenge anyone to find a song title as wicked as this. Astral Dogma begins creepy sounding chants before heavy guitars enter. Of course the song is very fast as is typical of the group, but there is also nice slower bits as well. The backing choir really makes this track sound imposing and epic. In short, Astral Dogma is brilliant and surely one of best album openers so far this year. Check out the PV too. It’s pretty cool.

3. Solitude

A drum roll and light, whispery vocals start off the next track Solitude. Again, greater emphasis is placed on drums and guitar than in previous albums, and some harpsichord or something features during the song. I do feel that the there is a bit too much drums in the verse going on during the song, it could be mixed a little quieter. Despite the heaviness of the song, Solitude is not as dark as Astral Dogma. Overall, a good track.

4. Kyouki Shinden

The beginning of this song remind me of Kikai Shoujo Gensou from Gothic Lolita Doctrine. This track is lighter than previous track, and the percussion even sounds slightly like a dance beat (only slightly). The drums don’t have as much emphasis this time, and actually being able to hear the bass guitar moving underneath the arrangement is a nice touch. Yui does sound a bit thin in some places, but I did enjoy this song.

5. Kokoro Sanctuary

It’s nice to get a mid-tempo track once in a while. Kokoro Sanctuary starts with the choir chanting over a harpsichord, with strings and guitar added later. I enjoyed that the bass guitar gets a bigger part this time in the first verse. Yousei build well on repeated themes played in the verse and instrumental parts. I do like the arrangement of this song but unfortunately Yui’s sounded pretty weak in places throughout the song.

6. Gekkyou Hangon Cinerarium

Quietly tolling bells and unsettling chimes provide the introduction to this slow and very gothic track. The choir takes a back seat to light synths, dissonant chords and occasional an plucked instrument. Yui’s vocals are soft, filtered at times and completely suit the creepy atmosphere of the song. What an epic song here, pity it’s only 3:44

7. Siege Oder Sterben

Next up is another another slower song, but this times it’s metal and more band-oriented. Unusually for Yousei, this song uses triplet time, which gives it a rather light, swing feel, even kind of mainstream. I will say the lalalas in are pretty random though, did they have to include them? The vocals are fine, but there isn’t anything really interesting in the arrangement.

8. Missing

Wow, they got heavy! Bassy metal riffs punctuated with dissonant chords, along with a strong percussion presence, goth chants and harpsichord make for a memorable opening. The awesomess continues through the song, a standout being the heavy guitar part in the slow bit just before the chorus, and I also love the call and response part between Yui and the choir at the end of the chorus. And the bridge/guitar solo is great as well, with the solo playing on earlier themes in the song. Yousei have composed a great song in Missing!

9. The Creator

And now we get on to previously released songs. The Creater’s style is more reminscent of their Gothic Lolita Agitator songs, and uses strings, which we haven’t seen to much of this albums so far. Actually when the single was released I thought this song was kind of forgettable and my opinion hasn’t changed too much. They should have put Zetsubou Plantation on instead. At least Yui sings well in this song.

10. Herrscher

This track is originally from a Mirai Nikki image album. A mid-tempo song, it adopts a style somewhere between gothic rock and industrial, and has a more digitalized drum beat. A few highlights are Yui’s aggressive vocals in the verse, and the operatic wailing dispersed through the song. And those creepy screams in the bridge! A nice change here.

11. Kuusou Mythology

That opening of bells and both male and female choir singers is pretty epic! As the second A-Side of the era, Kuusou Mythology still stands out as a dark and aggressive track, driven its pounding drums and complemented by ethereal violin floating over the top. Again, Yui’s vocals are a strong point. I wonder why their older stuff has the better singing? Mm, great track!

12. Soushi

Distant, gloomy piano plays along to a ticking clock in the penultimate song of the album. There is an excellent contrast between the quiet and bare instrumentation of the verse, and the louder chorus which introduces distorted guitar, strings, and harpsichord. I suppose this could be called a power ballad, anyway they pulled it off nicely.

13. Kikai

The combination of strings, piano and guitar works perfectly in this song, and it’s to see the violins get more of a lead part in one their new songs. Kikai has an anison-like feel with the attention-grabbing opening, and then shifting to a a quieter verse. Yui sounds stronger than in previous new songs, but still a bit stretched at times in the chorus. She sounds downright scary when doing her harsh, whispery parts though. A solid goth-rock track to end the album.

Well this was a pretty good release. Yousei Teikoku have changed from a two member unit to a full band with two guitarists, drums and bass as well as Yui on vocals and it’s definitely noticeable as their sound has changed in a great way, with a more metal-oriented focus! Stylistically, they used more of a “band” sound with less strings, almost no synths and focus was put on drums and guitars. The choir was still there though, and it was interesting to see harpsichord play a part in quite a few songs. Their arrangements were strong as well, maybe this was due to different members helping with compositions. The only downer was that Yui’s vocals were weaker than normal for quite a few songs. I was also surprised that they didn’t include any songs from their mini that they released earlier this year. Overall though, this is their strongest album yet. Keep up the good work Yousei Teikoku!

Top Tracks:

  • Missing
  • Astral Dogma
  • Gekkyou Hangon Cinerarium
  • Kuusou Mythology

Rating: 8/10

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2 Responses to Yousei Teikoku – PAX VESANIA

  1. Yuki Nagato says:

    It’s quite weird how Pax Vesania is actually their first full album under Lantis, after all of those Gothic Lolita compilations. I just hope they will get to releasing real albums after this kind of success.
    And yes, the person narrating is female, and her name is Hiroko Uchida. She mostly does dubs for non-Japanese shows.

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