NIGHTMARE

 

Rakuen
Written by Chris Hunter

Rakuen is the latest single to be released by Visual Kei band Nightmare. It is being released as part of the bands 15th anniversary celebrations. Nightmare are one of those rare examples of band members getting along and gelling, with only one member change in the bands entire history and this shows in their music.
The single starts with a nice quiet guitar and synth opening before leading into a heavier, richer intro. Shortly after this you get to hear the signature vocals of Yomi as he warbles the verse out in that wonderful way of his.
Throughout the verse there is some excellent bass work going on in the background thanks to Ni-ya and his speedy fingers.
When the song finally reaches the chorus it feels upbeat and sort of like a message of hope.
There is then an interesting solo from Sakito before a heavier grinding riff comes in, then falls back to clean guitar and strong vocals.
This song has a feeling of reflection and hope, perhaps looking back on the past 15 years and hoping for 15 more, just as strong, just as ambitious and just as meaningful.
Whilst this song is not in an entirely different direction for the band, it is a great song overall and leaves you with a positive feeling.
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Deus ex Machina
Written by Rachel Yarwood

"Deus ex Machina" is latin for 'God from the machine' and also commonly used as a phrase to mean something (or someone) that arrives to save the situation just in time. It is also the name of Nightmare's new single and title track which will be released on the 28th of November.
"Deus ex Machina" opens with a particularly ethereal mood from the melodies of the guitar (Sakito) and as Yomi begins with the first stanza, both melody and the lyrics seem to fit into place marvelously with the theme that the song is portraying so far. 
The lyrics themselves hold a humbling yet emotional message of how people can be so blind at times to the destruction we are causing. "Let us go back to zero", which arguably would mean the Deus ex Machina, the world would start afresh. You can really feel the emotion coming through from Yomi's vocals on this track. The tone is delicate at times through each verse to coincide with the flowing music, and as the pace and volume increase for the chorus, Yomi too increases in pitch and the level of his vibratto really is spot on. 
Even though the pace of each verse is slightly slower than that of the chorus, the bass (Ni-ya) certainly makes up for it. With the drums (Ruka) quietened and the guitars (Sakito, Hitsugi) perfectly level you can not miss the underlying heart of the rhythm bouncing which compliments the song and avoids letting this turn into a ballad. 
The guitar melody, that we heard in the very beginning, is taken over by a chorus of violins that returns during the course of the song until the awaited guitar solo. The guitar solo might not quite be to your expectations to begin with, however, the simplicity behind it makes sense completely. The solo continues with the same melody we have been hearing through "Deus ex Machina" but now it is electrified just a little bit more, a little harsher than the original ambient feel we first heard, well paced and charming non the less. 
Overall "Deus ex Machina" is a beautiful song with emotive lyrics, gorgeous melodies and vocals that altogether make this a very good piece as their opening and title song for this new release. 
"Deus ex Machina" will be released officially on the 28th of November in three editions; Regular, Limited A and Limited B. The Regular Edition will feature three tracks in total, "Deus ex Machina", "UGLY DUCK'S WILL" and "Rubbish". The Limited Edition A will feature two tracks, "Deus ex Machina" and "UGLY DUCK'S WILL", plus a bonus DVD which will feature the music video for "Deus ex Machina". The Limited Edition B will feature the same two tracks but the bonus DVD will feature the music video for "UGLY DUCK'S WILL".