the GazettE - Division


Run time: 45 minutes
Number of tracks: 12

Written By: Rachel Yarwood
Release Date: 28th August 2012

Gabriel on the Gallows
Dripping Insanity
Kago no Sanagi
Required Malfunction

"DIVISION" is the GazettE's sixth studio album and, after less than a year since the brilliant release of their last album "TOXIC", expectations that this newest album from the five-piece visual rockers is as much of a success as the last has been set rather high. 
To begin with, we have a lengthy opening instrumental track "[XI]", running at just less than two minutes. The fast paced and electro sound that our ears are introduced to from the very beginning is quite striking, something that perhaps you weren't quite expecting, but powerful all the same. With a heavy bass rhythm from Reita, along with the electronic element, we have a slight dub step sound that honestly would not be far off being something you would happily rave to.
As "[XI]" comes to its finish and the first full length track "Gabriel on the Gallows" opens we are immediately hit with an explosive mix of heavy bass lines and equally heavy guitar, creating not just a perfect transition from one song to the next, but a sense that the journey of this album is going to take us on one hell of a ride.
Ruki's vocals are split into smooth sounding melodies and hard core shouts. Opening with this rather suave tone to his singing, and then returning to some of the older style punk, Ruki manages to show early on that he is fresher, clearer, and more than ready to give us everything he's got.
"Derangement", arguably the song that has been the highlight of this release due to its extensive promotion along with the release of the accompanying music video, proves to be another good transitional track.
Again we have this electronic element to welcome us in, which sounds a little like a transistor radio, followed closely once more by the deep and heavy guitar rhythms. 
Ruki's vocals on the other hand take on the vocoder element a lot more for this track than it did previously. Its use overall might seem somewhat controversial with some fans but then if you think that there is this digital element, or theme, being used then it does work well in context. The control is good and for the album as a whole this style is not particularly overused. 
As we come to the guitar solo our ears are treated to another fantastic interaction between Aoi and Uruha. The two guitarists together, even though this is only the third track, highlight just how skillful their synchronisation and ability to complement each other actually is. There is no battle to try and be one step ahead of the other with their solo, rather they work fantastically well between them to give us a beautiful instrumental. 
As "Derangement" leads into "Dripping Insanity", the way the tracks on "DIVISION" have been placed then become a little more noticeable. You notice then that the pace has been declining ever so slightly and for the next few songs we have a more ballad orientated section. 
There are some elegantly pleasing melodies, and although for a couple of these the bass from Reita lacks that certain intensity, the music itself and of course the vocal work are undeniably passionate and heart rendering. 
"Kagefumi", the seventh track on the album, especially highlights this as it is arguably the most subtle and emotionally charged song out of them whilst Kai's drumming has effectively taken more of a back seat away from his rapid beats and instead offers us now something more relaxed.
Of course this all gives way to the heavier element once more and as "Attitude" opens we are right back to another electronic introduction. 
"Attitude" again has some brilliant catchy melodies along with the shouted chorus parts which you can just imagine how effectively this is going to be during their live shows which will be scheduled. 
Kai's drumming also has returned to a brutal upbeat tempo, his style and the skill in which he executes is exceptional for these heavier tracks on the album. 
"DIVISION" leaves us with another instrumental track, "[Melt]".
"[Melt]", unlike the opening instrumental, is quite edgy and unnerving for an ending piece to the album. 
It is a brilliant finish though, quite dark and with a weirdly scary feel to it which you probably wouldn't rush to listen to whilst walking home at night in the dark. However, this track seems to sum the album up well enough, the last seconds especially seem to draw "DIVISION" to a creepy, climatic, finish.
"DIVISION" is really well organised with a good split between the heavier tracks, to the ballad tracks, and then back again.
It is technologically impressive by all accounts, and when you think that this was released in less than a year since their last album the impressiveness seems all the more apparent. Certainly it does feel that the GazettE have made a ground breaking effort with this release as it is both raw and striking, both technological and beautiful, yet at the same time it also seems that this is just the beginning of something even bigger to come. 
So the next question is, can the GazettE make an even bigger stamp on the music scene to top the one they have made with this release? 
"DIVISION" will be released officially on the 29th of August in two editions, Regular and Limited. 
The Regular Edition will contain twelve tracks in total, whereas the Limited Edition will contain two CDs featuring a total 17 tracks plus an additonal DVD