Tokyo Dark Castle #17 once more showed why it is the biggest event in the Japanese Goth scene with more hot bands than you can point a sharp pointy thing at and a large crowd to push things into overdrive. While the sadness of Isola’s passing was not forgotten, the celebration of life was supreme.

Crowd As beautiful as ever. The dress was more style-oriented than fantasy-oriented tonight. There were more people than normal for TDC as it was in part kind of wake for Isola. Cheers to the guys who made it out, said hello, etc. There were quite a few gaijin from various corners of the globe about to boot.

Venue While I like Marz for the funky two-floor layout, it pales compared to Deseo, which had a nice foyer space to talk and more space in general. Marz works very well for smaller events, but once you reach a certain crowd size it just gets uncomfortable – tonight’s TDC was probably a comfortable size for Deseo, but not for Marz space. There was nowhere to escape to and talk (unless you’re “staff”) and if there is a fire, then you’re all going to die! Don’t get me wrong, it is a good mid-size place for events, and would be good for a quiet TDC (Golden Week for example), but regular TDC nights will be a bit of a squeeze. I hope they move the event for Halloween, which shall be most insane!

Music
Up to the usual high standard of TDC, there were no misses. The sounds ranged from the ambient, classical to extra industrial.

Auto-Mod
Slightly longer set with some Hindi-like riffs being added. The new direction works well for the band, bringing out a new accent for the band along with Selia’s addition in back-up vocals. Would I go to a gig just to see them? Goth/metal rock events Рfor sure.

Speed ID
Liked them a lot and strong Goth sound. I shall keep looking for their outings in future. Would I go to a gig just to see them? Yes – quite an interesting group I want to learn more.

Phantasmagoria
More ambient sounds with two sweet voices plus violin. The singers are very good (as usual) with an operatic style, but the performance seemed lack-luster due to a heavy reliance on taped sounds. I guess I shouldn’t complaint, but with the interlude live acts at previous TDCs (e.g. Vexation and Selia) had more power with straight live performance. Would I go to an event just to see them? Hard call. The voices are great and work well in Goth or ambient scenes, but I just feel they need one more musician…

Destruct System
Hard-assed all the way. Sounds to riot by – and people did with a bit of light moshing and surfing. Would I go to an event just to see them? Oh yeah, as long as I had some Japanese genki drinks (power drinks like Red Bull… except more potent with liquid nicotine and other stuff you wouldn’t believe).

Calmando Qual
Showing that a band from the visual kei scene can rip out some good dark, rocky, gritty sets. Would I go to a gig just to see them? Hmmmmm. Yes, I think they’ve got a good mix of sound and delivery.

Despair
As always the craziest, maddest industrialists around – more mosh-stuff, I just held the stage barrier and tried not to bounce back into the riot behind me! Would I go to an event just to see them? Absolutely! Yes damn it! Yes, yes, yes.

DJs
The addition of Jude, Wakana and Taizo to Chihiro and Violet made the DJ sets as zesty as the bands themselves.

Selia
Armed with his harp, the supremely beautiful sweet soprano provided a last farewell for the night. Smooth as honey the whole way through. Would I go to an event just to see Selia? Absolutely.

Overall, a very good event. In terms of the bands and DJs it was one of the better TDCs. However, venue size was an issue. While it was a sad closure for many, it also re-affirmed that life goes on and should be celebrated.

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