Tag Archive: U-tarou


Baal Japan Location: Tokyo, Japan – Genre: Industrial, Metal, Electro

Baal has an infectious, indeed virulent industrial sound. This review covers the first EP (CD-R alas) from the band, Territory of B.A.A.L. that has been built up by reworking earlier singles and new material. Their blend of industrial programming and guitar from Mikito, percussion from Chihiro and voice from U-Tarou has resulted in a kind of cybernetic industrial rock that plays hard, fast and is very, very addictive to see on stage. This CD manages to capture the live sound very closely, giving you a glimpse into the heady world of Japanese underground rock.

The CD contains six songs, all running at a frenetic pace. The first song, Bloody Logic Communication (re-mastered), speedballs along with the heavily warped digital sounds and powerful percussion giving a sense of urgency. U-tarou’s powerful voice plays over the instruments.

Wreckage (re-mastered) plays like an industrial anthem for the underclass with U-tarou exploding through the chorus and carries it through the verses.

Vermin (new track) is hard and powerful from the start with vocals exploding seconds into the track and driving through the violent beat of the track.

Myrrha (new track) is more a smashed-up rhythm created by real industrial sounds with samples steam hammers and chains. It is a slower track by this album’s standards.

On the Surface (2006 neo brutal version) starts slow, but builds up to very heavy (and yes it is brutal) sound, with a fast tempo and stacks of power.

The final track, Collapse of Rusty Kingdom (New) would be a moonlit ballad by Baal’s standards, with a slower tempo with steam hammers and the like forming the sound. It is a slow(er) instrumental track which makes a perfect finish to this adrenalin-pumping EP.

The only downside to this is the price – 2,000 yen – 12 Euros – $16 – which seems a bit expensive for an EP. Of course, for a fan, or appreciator of good hard industrial sounds, the price would not be an issue.

Overall, while I have enjoyed Baal’s previous work, I see this as a much more mature piece of work. The re-mastered tracks and the new additions have helped deliver a balanced EP from a band that has risen quickly in the ranks of the Japanese Goth scene.

Baal JapanTerritory of “B.A.A.L.” :: Track List
1. Blood_Logic_Communication (re-mastered) – 4:40
2. Wreckage (re-mastered) – 5:40
3. Vermin (new) – 4:06 – Sample
4. Myrrha (new) – 2:15
5. On the Surface (2006 neo brutal version) – 6:24 – Sample
6. Collapse of Rusty Kingdom (New) – 3:22
Total: 27:21

Note, there are more samples throughout their regular site and via their MySpace site.

You can buy the CD through PayPal. To get there, just click the link marked “Sound” on the left-hand side of the page and you should see the EP in the resulting page.

[Taken from the original JGoth archives dated May 6, 2007]

My first overnight stay at Tokyo Dark Castle for over a year was damned exciting. The crowd was a bit different from what I remember with only a few familiar faces, but they were pumped up and ready to scream. Japan’s Golden Week is usually a pretty light time in terms of people turnout (because everybody runs away to their hometowns), but this event was pumping with a comfortably crowded Marz club and more cool fashion than you can point a sparkler at. Gothic, lolita, cyber, leather, fetish, dreg (uh me), and more.

Auto-Mod
The band was fiery hot. Auto-Mod were in fine form with a fantastic set featuring ye olde metal grinder (a real one flashing out sparks and shit), fireplay, and a meatier sound that showed these local underground legends that they can continue to deliver to today’s audience. The band has come a long way in the past 14 months when I last saw the start of the change with the new line-up/arrangement.

Lloy
Lloy smashed my pre-conceptions of thinking of them as a moody alt-rock band. These guys are hard rock with strong femme vocals making them a very hot item on stage. A number of people inside the scene told me they were damned good – I just didn’t know how good until I saw them for myself!

Baal
I was primed for insanity by this time, but I was not prepared for the next act – my dear friends Baal. They just ripped shit up on stage and had the audience screaming and jumping to their hard-punching cybernetic industrial rock. I have loved Baal’s live performances since I first saw the band, when it was known as Chronotrigger, in 2005. A t that time I knew they were a fresh, harsh industrial group who’ll electrify any crowd, but even now Baal has kept on ratcheting up the intensity, power and its appeal to the point where it truly is one sexy dominating beast on the scene! While they are my friends, I am being completely honest in my comments – they are that damned good! Check the video at the bottom!

Destruct System
Finally I scoped Destruct System who I have seen at a number of events. These guys are harsh hard rock that is just plain hot. Where Baal left off, DS took over turning the lower level of the two-tiered Marz venue into a grinding pit of Gothic flesh. They know how to connect with any crowd and their sets are varied to suit the tastes of the night (metal, Gothic, electronic, etc.) , so you will get something a bit different every time you see them. These guys are damned good and can ignite any crowd with their intensity.

So that wraps that up. Tokyo Dark Castle is bigger and flasher than ever. All the bands are stepping up the intensity to deliver an array of hard-hitting sounds that will soon be able to shed the “J” moniker and be considered as part of the global Goth scene. And the crowd is growing all the time.

As for me personally, turning up after a long hiaitus as a cybernetic entity, it was kind of strange. There were some familiar faces, but I am a stranger again. It was good to catch up with a few good friends and see just how far the scene has progressed in the past 12 months.

Baal @ Tokyo Dark Castle

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZkGVfrB9VU[/youtube]