What new can I say about one of the most important and influential bands of our beloved scene?
MALICE MIZER was active from 1992 to 2001. You can separate their music in 3 different eras by their vocalist:
1992-1994 Tetsu’s era
1995-1999 Gackt’s era
2000-2001 Klaha’s era
Let’s talk about how you met them, how they have been present in your life, if you love them or hate them, what’s your favourite era/album/musician.
I start first: They have been in my life since I started to listen Visual Kei, Közi by far is my favourite member because of his looks, that clown look on “Gardenia” is pure perfection. An importan situation that I lived with one of his songs (Au Revoir) was my first break up, I still remember that day because I was listening on my iPod that song so yeah great timing for a girl dumping me.
My favourite era is tetsu’s one because is more gothic and raw on intensity, IMO more post-punk in their guitar work compared to their later releases.
for me, it’s Klaha=Gackt>Tetsu. I didn’t get into Tetsu’s voice at first like “most fans”, but later when I started to appreciate Zigzo and Nil and even The JuneJulyAugust, I could accept him and even thought his voice is born for punk rock lol. my fav release of this era is actually, Speed Of Desperate… As for Klaha, what a pity he stopped his rising carrier, I could listen to his three solo album for days even I’m almost 90% against pop music, sarcastically. (btw, the same goes Inzargi’s solo album, the vocalist from Megamasso; and Jui’s solo album, the vocalist of Gotcharocka.) my fav release of Klaha era is MM’s swansong “Garnet”, it’s very underrated, shadowed by “Beast Of Blood” in my opinion. aaand, nothing I could say about Gackt, he’s too good to have his own ttttttude like, Sonic the Hedgehog? lol I mean, he has his own style, very recognizable unlike copycats of the era. I also feel bad as he has concentrated less on music nowadays… my fav release of Gackt’s era is Illuminati. the b/w N.P.S N.G.S is also veeeery industrial which strongly reminds me a bit of Nine Inch Nails or even, Eve Of Destiny.
but hmm, while ppl talking about Malice Mizer, my head is always playing the song “エーゲ～過ぎ去りし風と共に～” as a BGM xDDD
The only reason I’m as into VK as I am now is thanks to Malice Mizer. They’re still my favourite band after all these years. When I was first getting into VK after falling down the (pretty small at the time) Spotify rabbit hole, I decided to listen to artists not on the platform, so I checked out what artists people were talking about online. I lurked some threads on J-metal and MH and I specifically saw people rave about Malice Mizer, and something about the name struck me… So I looked them up on Youtube, listened to Beast of Blood as my first song and I fell in love… I listened to their discography as much as physically possible for the next few months and the rest is history
It’s always a struggle to pick a favourite era but I’d say that my favourite era of awesome musical output goes to the Gackt era. Bel Air, 月下の夜想曲, Au Revoir… All of their singles from that era are especially interesting, plus I love the romanticism present throughout Voyage and the singles like ma chérie～愛しい君へ～.
My favourite vocalist, though… I’m gonna go with Klaha, he was actually trained in classical opera and you can tell, the man’s got pipes for days. He fit the later, more Gothic sound of MM perfectly. My favourite member is Mana-sama, he is a great musician and role model.
I’ll say MM introduced me to Visual Kei and goth (although I only really found out about goth as a scene after seeing a couple of LUCI’FER LUSCIOUS Violenoue’s CDs on a website back in 2004~2005). MM played an important role in shaping my musical taste when I was a teenager. If I remember correctly their first song I listened to was Beast of Blood, but the first era I really listened to was the Gackt era solely because, since they were major at that point, and it was easier to find and download their merveilles album back in the early 2000s. I managed to download bara no seidou after that (talk about falling in love with gothic cathedrals), and the last era I listened to was actually their first - and just like @araxzijk I hated Tetsu’s voice at first, but later I warmed up to it.
Some of my favorite songs include Speed of Desperate, バロック (baroque), 月下の夜想曲 (gekka no yasoukyoku), Syunikiss～二度目の哀悼～, and 白い肌に狂う愛と哀しみの輪舞 (shiroi hada nu kuruu ai to kanashimi no rondo.)
also, too bad Takano Tetsu’s solo project stopped years ago and I actually enjoy that The Ball & Wall album lol
forgot to say, my 2nd fav track of Tetsu era is, “Sadness~I Know The Reason For Her Sadness~”, so so so underrated I’ve never seen any of the M’M fans ever talked about it.
especially the ending part with Tetsu’s “la lala lala~la” part gave me a real feeling of sadness back in the days when I looped this track over and over again…
speaking of Speed Of Desperate, how I wish the preview demo version included in Sans Logique could be finished… it’s rather a different experience comparing with released version. and those instrumental tracks would be much much better with Tetsu’s voice I’d say. oh, even with Kaie’s (Matenrou’s vocal you know) voice would be awesome xD
and, I’d say Shaura and Seiji really did great jobs in MdM. I’ve heard someone said Shaura’s like Gackt 1.5, kinda agree with it, their voices are similar. and Seiji is definitely not like Klaha at all haha. speaking of which, they also did well in Hizaki Grace Project, Seiji’s track “Mizerable” is also underrated shadowed by Shaura’s version. Hizaki - Dance with Grace - Reviews - Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives also there are some viewpoints which are exactly what I’m considering too.
back to M’M, what if Seiji did vocal covers on Klaha era tracks that’d be awkward to think of. ovO
The most important part of this post is “in my opinion”.
Gackt ruined nothing. His voice was perfect for the band. Operatic, theatrical, yet smooth as melted chocolate. Dozens of vocalists have tried to emulate his style. He may be a total joke now but the entire merveilles era was VK perfection.
Since I’m the type that can’t get into a band unless it’s active, though I’ve always liked Malice Mizer’s music, I’ve never been crazy about them. However, as a bassist, Malice Mizer is very important to me because Gardenia is the first bassline I ever learned and their basslines are very fun. I’m thinking of starting Beast of Blood when I have time to get back to bass.
Gackt made MALICE MIZER a recognizable band in Japan. Even one of my Japanese friends from college only knew of the Gackt era of the band. People can hate on him all they want, he was necessary.
Side note: MALICE MIZER opened the door for Vkei for me…not sure what my musical interests would be today if I didn’t go down the MM rabbit hole back then.
As for favourite era…I like each of them for different reasons and it usually depends on my mood. At various points of my life one era had more play than another. I think that’s one of the reasons why the band is so admired by overseas Vkei fans, there’s quite a bit of diversity in their discography to keep coming back to.
It unfortunately also broke for me a few years after purchase. The crank could be wound up but no sound played.
Recently (last few months), I thought “fuck it” and opened it up. The only way to do this is to remove the screws and tear the little box off the side. I was able to remove it in such a way that the damage isn’t visible.
After watching a bunch of videos about music boxes, I understood what was going on. Basically, the little barrel that has the notes on it had become slightly dislodged, so the comb wasn’t hitting the notes. The fix was far easier than I thought initially; I just unscrewed the comb and moved it about 0.5mm closer to the barrel. Too close produced a ‘clicky’ sound, so you have to get the distance exactly right. Now it works perfectly and sounds great.
This may or may not be helpful, as I’m unsure of your exact problem and only have a basic knowledge of music boxes.
For those curious, the song it plays is similar to Bel Air.