exist†trace – Royal Straight Magic
Jen: Jyou’s androgyny is on point, as there is no indication of her gender here. The card is flying straight at us, as if this mysterious person is issuing a message to give the album a listen.
D – Wonderland Savior
Nhu: D continues their love of Alice in Wonderland with a steampunk makeover on the cover of “Wonderland Savior”. The smash up is a welcoming addition to the visual kei scene where steampunk has yet to be executed properly.
L’arc-en-Ciel – Don’t Be Afraid
David: With their positions as J-Rock elite firmly in place, it would have been easy for the members of L’arc-en-Ciel to back off this campy homage to zombie life, but they went full throttle instead, bringing ultimate never-seen-before-style to the undead.
Onmyouza – Karyoubinga
David: Onmyouza’s deep dive into mythology yields yet another majestic creature, the immortal Buddhist diety Kalaviṅka, with a golden voice to match vocalist Kuroneko note for note.
BAND-MAID – YOLO
David: Iconic rock images make a statement, and BAND-MAID’s steely-sharp headphones (complete w/ Saiki’s trademark blue rose) tell you everything you need to know about this band’s combination of hard-rock shredding and ferocious beauty.