Suicide Ali - Tainted Gallery


Run time: 49 minutes
Number of tracks: 12

Written By: Rachel Yarwood
Release Date: 17th October 2012

Shijuushichi no gen
Ko wo egaku yamai (album version)
Doumyaku (album version)
Stitch Doll (album version)
Moyuru honoo
THIS NEW ORDER (album version)
Perpetual Check (album version)
Haiiro no Curtain
Futoumei syndrome
Gyoushounin no kaiga

With the announced release of Suicide Ali's second full length album, "Tainted Gallery", (their first album,"Daiyou no Waltz", was released just over three years ago) it would be an understatement to say that excitement amongst fans peaked in anticipation for some new material from the band. 
As the album begins, the first track being an instrumental, we are introduced to the sound of an oncoming steam train and the ticking of a clock. The mood you get from these sounds almost feels as if you are stood on a platform, in the dark and in the rain, as you wait to board the train to take you on. 
"Shijuushichi no gen", the first full length track, follows perfectly from this instrumental.
The opening synth gives an unusual and slightly haunting mood to the song which grabs your undivided attention in just those few seconds. This continues as the drums (Hizashi), the bass (Kozi) and guitar (Hiroshi) join in with a heavy yet upbeat rhythm, whilst Goshi's vocals are smooth and clear, complimenting the more eerie element coming through from the synthesiser and background melodies. 
"Shijuushichi no gen" finishes quite similarly to how it opened with the soft melody but with one difference. An additional harp, also featured visually in their accompanying music video, for these final moments brings a poignant and gorgeous combination to listen to. 
The third track, "Hakuri", on the other hand begins instantaneously not giving you long to get your head around "Shijuushichi no gen" before subjecting your ears to another eerie melody.
There is a slightly slower tempo on the drums to begin with but there is still the unforgiving drive of the deep guitar grind and throbbing bass rhythm. The pace does quicken for the verse and Goshi adopts a bit of monotone vocals which is a nice effect above the droning guitar.
What is particularly good about "Hakuri" is this changing tempo which is a continuous feature. This track alternates from an upbeat, head banging, quality and then the pace almost halves to a more chugging sound which does really well in keeping you interested and attentive. 
The opening synth used for "Ko wo egaku yamai" is a slow 'buzz' sound which becomes more haunting as a melodic piano gives a Gothic feel to the track making it seem a little like a ballad until the chorus kicks in.
This is the first of the pre-released material (this track was released back in 2008 on their maxi single, "Uketsugareta yubiwa", which was limited to only 1000 copies) and the first difference you might notice is the sound of the drums and then the vocals. 
Goshi's vocals in the original track are more raw and raspy whereas the re-recorded version for this new album you will notice are a lot more refined and melodic, perhaps a little too perfect.
"Tainted Gallery" then slips into a re-released section. Two more tracks follow on from "Ko wo egaku yamai", broken by the seventh track "Moyuru Honoo", and then another two follow on from this.Five tracks in total which have been recorded again for this album feature on this new album. The song choices are undeniably excellent however the quality of these would be assumed on individual ears. The refined and remastered versions might not suit every fan. 
"Moyuru Honoo" is most positively one track you will not forget in a rush. Not just for the reason that it is a hair-raising ballad, brilliantly slipped in half way through the album, but also because of the tormenting emotions you can sense through Goshi's singing which are even more disturbing as they are highlighted by a simple yet beautiful music box melody.
"Moyuru Honoo" is only two and half minutes long, making it the shortest track on the album, but one that leaves an incredible impression.
"Tainted Gallery" then moves back into the heavier material for the remaining tracks. 
"Gyoushounin no kaiga", the closing track, is another outstanding track. Remarkably this song is nearly eight minutes long but of course that is not the only reason why you should make sure you give this a listen to. 
"Gyoushounin no kaiga", musically and vocally, seems to combine a lot of the elements we have heard through out the album and more besides. 
We have the classic synth and Kozi's heavy bass rhythms, but on top of the darker notes from Hiroshi's electric guitar we also have some acoustic in there too which sounds lovely against the melodies from Goshi's vocals. His vocals change from melody to screams, ending the song and the album with the more melodic of his voice fading, along with the slower tempo of Hizashi's drums and the acoustics perfectly.
"Tainted Gallery" is definitely a step up from their last album. 
The only set back is that there are five re-released songs, but they have given us a good mix of their older material, especially if you are new listeners to the band you now have a decent hoard of their past songs to divulge in.
Still, any Suicide Ali fan would be daft not to be revelling in this brilliant new compilation of new and revamped tracks, the combination giving both a fresh yet still familiar sound... a heavier and exquisitely darker album to treasure.