Do bands do ballads anymore?

Boomer question lmao so i’d love to be proven wrong.
i feel very principal skinner “it’s the kids who are wrong” asking this even

but i heard exist trace’s 海の雫 today and it crystallized a loose thought i’d been having for some time now - that i’ve not been finding from recent bands one of my favourite sort of songs, that brought me to vkei when i first got into it.

I mean ballads that take different directions, have changes of intensity and instrumentation, dynamics throughout their progression. I’m not sure entirely how to describe these in concrete terms, but if i put a list like this, maybe it’d be understood what i mean?

  • Dir en grey, 24 Cylinders
  • The GazettE, Baretta
  • ナイトメア, Crevasse
  • Kagrra, 幻憶
  • Daizystripper, 白蝶乱舞
  • D=Out, 赤い傘と貴方
  • X, 紅

when i think of modern vkei bands doing ballads, it usually shows up as a ‘softer song’, where there’s acoustic guitars or piano swapped in, and the energy is lower and stays lower throughout the track.
And by modern - i’m not talking about eg ナイトメア’s current works in the 2020s; i’m also not talking about ‘new’ bands of veteran bandmen, like ミスイ.
Both these categories (existing and reform bands) seem to keep making this sort of song i like.

And i’m also not saying ‘are modern bands good anymore’? i know bands that started in the 20s or just before who i enjoy! it’s not a good/bad thing, better/worse.

But i’m wondering if a ~type~ of song - one that i enjoy but can’t quite describe concretely - has gone out of style, or is still being worked on away from where i’m looking.

edit: if i could summarize one main change i’ve heard from the 2000s to the 2020s (note that i met vkei ca. 2010!), it’d be that the sounds of instruments and vocals both seem more ‘forward’, closer to the listener, brought up more consistently high in volume. i don’t mean like ナイトメア′s first vs tenth album here, i mean a band of guys who started recording in 2000 vs 2020. There’s a lot more high-frequency, bright content, more mid-scooping, more consitency and dead space being filled in. I wonder if this runs counter to what i’ve spent this whole post saying i’ve enjoyed.

Was about to start typing when I saw the topic, then realized you’re talking about VK bands in specific.
I have no real opinion here, but I would say it’s probably just a phase, a trend. Things go in and out of trend, ballads too.

1 Like

Since neither Baretta nor (at least one of the two versions of) Shirochou ranbou are real ballads but you listed these as examples I’d say you could consider DaizyStripper’s HATSUYUME from their still recent album FUJIYAMA (though it’s from 2022) fitting.
I’m not sure, if it is something you’re looking for though.


The first best thing coming to my mind for a more modern powerful ballad is this track from Chanty, but I could imagine the drums in the end actually being to chaotic to really be interpreted as ballad, but I guess the best is for you to make your opinion yourself by listening to this song.
(Personally one of my top 3 Chanty Tracks)

1 Like

Can I post a ballad as recent as last year? I don’t blame anyone for missing this one, since this was live distributed, but I think SiLENT classifies as a ballad, especially considering what NAZARE is usually up to.

Video starts at SiLENT:


Pretty nice ballad! Rather unusual about them. :smirk:

I think I understand what you mean. Something that’s more uptempo, more in power ballad territory. Recent favorite from 電脳ヒメカ , but I think it has the hallmarks of what you’re not looking for [1].

I think Rides In ReVellion and NETH PRIERE CAIN have some power ballads.

1 Like

Okay all good songs for sure but some were what i was looking for!

DaizyStripper’s been around for like ten years, they’re a great example of “started off doing the thing i like; have continued to do it”

Chanty too, they’ve been around long enough i don’t consider them representative of modern/rising trends (they’re great tho!)

Actually i was gonna say Nazare falls into that camp of “shuffle projects from veteran bandmen” - but only Issei’s been significantly active before, right?

So okay, Nazare + RiR are two good examples then of late 2010s bands doing this ambitious/dynamic sort of ballad style - tho RiR aims a lot closer to the platonic ideal of this sound imo, can’t believe i forgot about them!

I wanna hear more tho; i posted this mostly bc i wanted to get a better sense what current bands are up to, bc atm i don’t think i know bands newer than ida/npc

I mean please do, i only worded it like that hoping for the most possible replies lol

Would be interesting to see other scenes’ interpretations of this type of sound, esp if you can actually decipher what my qualifications are (idk myself) and spot it in other places

All the songs that fit this category for me are usually among a band’s best-known, so i don’t imagine i’m uncommon for liking them!

But i’m definitely asking this less like shaking my fist at the heavens that culture hasn’t froze on the 2010s forever, moreso wondering if a trend shift i think i see is seen by others, or if i’ve misread the scene by looking in less places than i could be

Ten? They had their 17th anniversary yesterday (06.05). No, really, they started in 2007. 白蝶乱舞~White Butterfly~ came out 2010.08.11 on BIRTH, 白蝶乱舞~The Last Scene~ followed 2010.11.24.

What do you mean 2007 wasn’t ten years ago???

That’s crazy tho, i forget how long some of my fav bands have been at it

1 Like

This exactly. If I didn’t love figures that much and therefore knew this and hadn’t seen all their posts about this yesterday as well, I couldn’t believe it’s been that long already.

And nope, not ten years (even though it feels like this most of the time).
(I remember when I got to know about them they weren’t around for even a year. When I really fell for them they were around for 3.5 years. How can that be 17 by now?)

1 Like

Not sure if I’ve interpreted correctly, but the nostradamnz’s “It’s a small world’s end” (2017) has some amazing ballads:

Rolling on

1 Like

Speaking of Dir en grey specifically, they never stopped doing ballads.
Since 2011, they’ve given us:

Behind a vacant image
Kukoku no Kyouon

Some are more ‘rock ballad’ while others are more sombre. Several songs not mentioned have ballad elements but are a bit too far the other way (e.g. Keigaku no Yoku’s verses).
LOTUS, Un deux, and Ranunculus may qualify as rock ballads too but may not be quite what you’re looking for, so I left them off.
This doesn’t include any of the remakes like Bottom of the Death Valley, ain’t afraid to die, Akuro no Oka, etc.
Side-note: this may be a great playlist to send to someone who likes DEG’s later sound but doesn’t enjoy harsh vocals.

This is the ‘loudness war’ discussion that some tend to despise. A lot of music in the scene now is heavily compressed with poor dynamic range. Much of it is honestly unlistenable for me just due to this production choice.


Totlaly agree with this. Probably there are babds that are still doing them but seems like it’s popular atm to just be br00t41.

Codomo Dragon has one that seems to fit:

This one is ‘calmer’ but may fit what you’re looking for too:

Nightmare never stopped doing ballads. Listen to Minus released in 2023

The Gazette had MOMENT on Mass and Sono on NINTH



1 Like

Oh, sorry! My bad!

1 Like