Agent Murder :: Gizenrou/Earth of HypocrisyGizenrou/Earth of Hypocrisy is a hot dark metal album (ha, I got my copy at Murder TV last weekend!). It plays hard and fast with instrumentals loud and crisp and Awi’s eerie vocals coming on nice and strong. This release takes you to the core of Agent Murder and is one of the most satisfying recordings I’ve picked up in the Goth/underground scene – no joke. If you like your metal fast and dark, or your Goth hard and fierce, or just something that freaking rocks then give this album a try. Seven tracks plus four remixes gives you a good balance of the true Agent Murder sound and the more electronic versions of the band’s songs.

Sure, they are friends, but this does not sway my mind (okay, maybe a little, but I’m being honest here). I liked their first album a lot too, but the new release is a quantum leap – the sounds are more mature, more balanced and more focused on the essence of the band. It is just a fantastic piece of work.

Production quality is high with everything coming through crisply and having Awi’s voice right up the front of the songs gives the songs a lot more power. The drums, guitar and bass are played with fury and to perfection. The members know where to let rip and when to lay off the rage holding all the songs together well. The move towards Japanese vocals seems to have freed Awi to focus on impaling the lyrics the way they were intended and it just powers up the tracks.

There has been no skimping on the recording, the disc production or the printed matter and case. It looks and feels like a bought CD should be. For 2,000 yen/US$23.49 on import Gizenrou is very good value with production and creative quality both very high and a sound that has popular appeal.

Igor’s final call: Agent Murder have been the dark princes of the Goth scene for a long time, but this time they have thrown down the gauntlet and emerged as one of the true lords of the realm. Whether you buy the album or not, keep an eye on this band, because with the new sound and focus Agent Murder is looking hot.

But don’t take my word for it. I wouldn’t trust gaijin as far as I could throw them! Have a listen to a couple of tracks yourself on the Agent Murder Myspace site (Agent of Murder and Lucy’s Blue Birdcage are from the new album).

Agent Murder :: Gizenrou/Earth of Hypocrisy偽善楼/Gizenrou ~ Earth of Hypocrisy (March 23, 2006, 2,000 yen/US$23.49)
Agent Murder :: Myspace

Track list
1. nと云う虚数 ~ imaginary number “n”
2. 姦淫 ~ adultery
3. Lucyの青い籠 ~ Lucy’s blue birdcage (Hear on Myspace)
4. 卵の殻をつけた愚者の踊り ~ ballet of the unhatched fools
5. 身代 ~ Agent of Murder (Hear on Myspace)
6. 無言の石 ~ at the edge of your death
7. 幻想即興罪 ~ my Fantasie Impromptu
= Bonus Remix Trax:
8. 偽善楼 ~ earth of hypocrisy original remix
9. 姦淫 ~ adultery 2 Bullet remix
10. nと云う虚数 ~imaginary number “n” original remix
11. 幻想即興罪 ~ my Fantasie Impromptu original remix

Where to buy:
This is another reason for the review. Unlike most releases from Japan’s underground, Agent Murder has got local and overseas mainstream distribution through AMAZON.COM, AMAZON.CO.JP, HMV.CO.JP (Global distribution for a fee).

Options
1. Pick up at an event (2,000 yen)
Agent Murder is expected to play a few events around the place so locals can pick up a CD at an event. The next event at the time of writing is Tokyo Dark Castle #18 @ Marz Shinjuku on April 1st.

2. Buy through Amazon.co.jp
Gizenrou :: Agent Murder

3. Buy through Amazon.com
Gizenrou :: Agent Murder

4. Buy through HMV.co.jp (2,000 yen)
Gizenrou :: Agent Murder

« »