Tag Archive: Japan industrial


2BulletLocation: Tokyo, Japan – Genre: Industrial, Electro, Techno

Combining a unique mix of thumping electronicka with thrashing guitar-led industrial rock makes 2Bullet’s a very addictive and enjoyable record even three years after its initial release. 2Bullet began in 2003 in Tokyo. The term 2Bullet refers to power balance or pointing a gun at each other, a metaphor of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction). The album, Democratic Violence was released in August 2004. They have uploaded a new EP that is free to download here, but for today I am focusing on their 2004 album Democratic Violence.

The lyrics of most of the songs carry a strong political message against totalitarianism and empire that makes it as relevant today as when it was initially released. Considering the U.S. government’s strategy to subjugate Afghanistan and Iraq (and possibly Iran) through military action, the current monitoring of civil society, rendition programs and the like, this thumping industrial album should connect well with anyone who is against senseless war.

The first track, Democracy starts with an ominous back beat that explodes into a wave of industrial rock. Underneath the powerful electronicka the vocals may have been focused on the rise and fall of South American Junta’s in the 1970’s & 80’s, but has gained even deeper meaning with the controversial U.S.’s engagement of the Middle East:

Is this democracy?
Is this hypocrisy?
Is this your justice?
Is this your business?

Likewise it refers to violent endings of some of the junta’s in the past, but connected with the downfall and ultimate hanging of Saddam in Iraq.

Your time has come
You lost your power
You’re dying lie
Hanging by your tie
Your life has failed
Your rule is dead
Yours is not democracy

This is not to say that the song supports this kind of action – the band is against all forms of totalitarianism and authoritarian control.

The other tracks are carried through with speeding electronicka and heavy guitars from DeeLee (who also does the ax-work for Agent Murder). The only exceptions would be Liquid Seed which is more like an acid trip and the tragic Lost, which focuses on the internal permanent damage of a soldier and the guitar-heavy Tell Me Something, which expresses the pain of killing in war. One of my favorite tracks is Shockwave with its powerful guitars backed by keyboards and percussion with the anthem-esque chorus:

Follow the army, this is reality
Heads up! Wake up! Just become a shockwave!
Follow the government, this is the violence
Heads up! Wake up! Just become a shockwave!

My call on this CD is that it is a MUST HAVE for those interested in Japanese underground music. Whereas many Japanese groups (famous or not) tend to have limited appeal (relying on the “Japanese” tag for selling themselves, 2Bullet’s Democratic Violence stands on its own as part of the international Goth-industrial scene with a sound that is really tuned for an international audience. For 1,500 yen for nearly 50 minutes of quality sound you cannot go wrong!2Bullet Democratic Violence

Democratic Violence :: track list

1. Democracy (5:41) ** +
2. Pray For Me (5:28)
3. Drain People’s Blood (5:38) * +
4. Survivor (5:06) +
5. Liquid Seed (3:44)
6. Tell Me Something (4:23) **
7. Shockwave (3:31)
8. Lost (5:31)
9. Tell Me Something -remix- (4:45)
10. Survivor -remix- (5:24)
Total time (49:01)
* Available on MySpace
** Downoadable remix available on MySpace
+ One-minute samples on 2Bullet’s site

Available on:

Wreckords
iTunes

Finally a few videos for you to check out!

2 Bullet slideshow (Music: Worthless Future)

[youtube 3SSpyO-iwC8]

Humankind (Live)

[youtube 62HQU3zyxrU]

MORE VIDEOS

 

Gizenrou small

Location: Tokyo, Japan – Genre: Metal, Hardcore, Industrial

Gizenrou/Earth of Hypocrisy is a hot dark metal album I picked up from Agent Murder back in March 2006 and at the time decided to write a review of it on the old site. However, it still has the crisp hardness it did when I first reviewed it, so I decided to redo the review for the new JGoth.com site.

Earth of Hypocrisy plays hard and fast with instrumentals loud and crisp and lead singer Awi’s eerie vocals come out 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.

Right from the start your mind is assaulted by the thrash anthem Imaginary Number “N”. If you like your metal fast and dark, or your Goth hard and fierce, or just something that freaking rocks your ears off then give this album a try. The album consists of seven tracks along with four remixes to give you a good balance of the Agent Murder’s true metal sound and remixed electronic versions.

I liked their first album, a lot, but the new release is a quantum leap – the sounds are more mature, more balanced and focus on the essence of the band. It is just a fantastic piece of dark metallic work.

Production quality is high with everything coming through crisply and having Awi’s voice right at the forefront of the songs gives them 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 more Japanese vocals than seems to have freed Awi up to focus on impaling the lyrics the way they were intended adding more powers to the tracks.

There has been no skimping on the recording, the disc production printed matter and case are all professionally mad. It looks and feels like a bought CD should be. For 2,000 yen Gizenrou is very good value with both production and creative quality kept 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 a gaijin as far as I could throw one! 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).

[Editorial note: due to illness of one of the band members Agent Murder has been out of circulation for a while, but are due to be back and around in November. Their main site is down at the time of writing, but you can hear some of their work through their MySpace account.

Agent Murder偽善楼/Gizenrou/Earth of Hypocrisy 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 *
4. 卵の殻をつけた愚者の踊り :: Ballet of the Unhatched Fools
5. 身代 ~ :: Agent of Murder *
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)

MySpace samples are marked by a * above. There are also two sample from their earlier album

Unlike most releases from Japan’s underground, Agent Murder has got local and overseas mainstream distribution through Amazon in the US and Japan.

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.jp