Versailles - s/t 4/5
3. Rhapsody of the darkness
4. Edge of the world
7. Created beauty
8. Holy Grail - Amoroso
Versailles is back with their 4th CD, containing the simple 's/t' name, which is a bit unusual for a 4th CD. Thankfully, nothing has changed in comparison to their previous 3 CDs though - they're still maintaining the "visual kei" label, and musically they're still in the symphonic/neo-classical power metal realm. I think their previous 'Holy grail' is outstanding, and was pleased to get this CD spinning and quickly confirm that the band has stayed at a high level.
Vocally, Kamijo returns with his clear yet kinda unusual voice, which took some time to get used to (throughout my experiences of their first few CDs), and it could be the same situation for some of you. Personally, I've now gotten passed understanding and appreciating his vocals, and have really liked his voice and style since the previous 'Holy grail'. This CD, like their others, is mostly Japanese-language, and it's something that I prefer, though many metal fans might not feel the same way.
As expected, guitarists Hizaki and Teru (both also with the band Hizaki Grace Project) provide fantastic guitar work with the perfect amount of neo-classical flurries and plenty of speed, though I consider Galneryus' Syu the best musician currently from Japan. The symphonic elements are far from overbearing, and a nice aspect of this CD. There are a few slow songs and they're terrific (especially the beautiful instrumental track 8 "Holy Grail - Amoroso"), but the slow songs on the previous 'Holy grail' are truly magnificent, and what I like most about that CD.
As for the band's quality, all of their CDs hover around a consistent level of great to excellent, though I personally feel that 'Holy grail' and this 's/t' CD are just a bit better than the first 2 CDs. If you hadn't heard of this band before, they're definitely recommended, especially if you like Japanese lyrics with your symphonic power metal. For those who already have and enjoy this band's CDs, make sure you grab Hizaki Grace Project's debut 'Dignity of crest' from 2007 (that band is currently "on hold"), and also check out the band Skywings, as they're very similar to Versailles in every way.
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