Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June's Feature Artist: exist†trace's VIRGIN

exist trace

Showing off their skills and venturing into new sounds, exist†trace's first major full-length album VIRGIN blasts listeners away with their power and musical abilities. Released on May 23rd, 2012, the album represents the power of women as expressed through the spirit behind these five amazing women: Jyou (vo.), Naoto (ba.) Omi (g.), Mally (dr.) and Miko (rhythm guitar).

VIRGIN contains twelve tracks including eight tracks that were not previously released on prior EPs TRUE and THE LAST DAYBREAK. With its experimental sounds, exist†trace takes their music to a new level. The album opens with a gothic undertoned piece called WONDERLAND that starts off with an organ intro. As Jyou's captivating vocals seep in at 1:08, adding a mystical sensation that sweeps you away. Riddled with amazing guitar riffs - and an even more amazing combo of bass and drums from Naoto and Mally - this piece does exactly what it should--lure you in and keep you wanting more.

The album continues with Daybreak ~Juusangatsu no shikisai~ which first appeared on THE LAST DAYBREAK. Starting off with a pop-rock feel, as it progresses it evolves into a heavier upbeat sound. One of the stand out parts of this piece is the twin guitar rock out sessions of Omi and Miko alongside Mally's relentless drumming. This song would be an awesome opening/ending theme to an anime. Continuing the upbeat energy, the next track HONEY has a playful feeling to it. It possesses a similar sound to Daybreak however the intensity is kicked up a notch.

Out of all the tracks on this album, the one that stands out the most to me is GINGER. Accompanied by a brass band and jazzy swing beats, GINGER possesses a life of its own that makes it fun to listen to. With the playful interchange and harmonies between Jyou's and miko's vocals, the song is extremely enjoyable.

Following the jazziness of GINGER comes the darkness of Keiyaku. This track shows off Jyou's haunting low registered vocals as it flows through the lower guitar riffs. It is a perfect visual rock song. The feel of Keiyaku is the complete opposite to the gothic fairy tale story of Little Mary to utsukushiki nikushimi no donau where Miko's sweet and light vocals steal the show.

As the fairy tale floats away, it is followed by another solid rock piece called Signal. Possessing powerful vocals and powerful guitar riffs, this energy was kicked up a few notches in the next track TRUE, where their metal roots shine through with its deep vocals and the occasional growl alongside electric guitar riffs. One of my favorite parts of this song is the relentless drumming of Mally, which gave life to the intensity. It makes me want to head bang every time I listen to it.

With a melody fused with traditional Japanese sound, Futatsu no koe is a powerful track that grabs hold of you. It feels as if all the instruments are all moving together at the same time. One of my favorite sections of this song is the buildup of energy that starts at 2:14. When this energy is finally released it feels and sounds like it all bursts out like a wind escaping a tunnel. The energy in this piece is infectious and I can't help but move whenever I hear it.

Anata is one of the most memorable and expressive songs on VIRGIN; one that truly touches your heart. Not only does it show off Jyou's vocal range but the emotion in every note as she sings right from her soul. These feelings come alive even more closer to the end as you can hear her emotional cries seep in. Anata is definitely something you should experience for yourselves.

Possessing familiar swing and jazzy beats as GINGER, KISS IN THE DARK is playful and less intense. Moving away from the swing rhythm and kicking up the intensity is I feel you. With an amazing bass and drum beats along with guitar solos, I feel you is a solid rock piece.

The final track on this album is SORA which possesses a lightheartedness to it that it makes me smile. The most memorable part for me is the moving chorus as I feel the vocals float through the air into the sky. It's a beautiful piece.

In all, VIRGIN definitely showcased the experimental side to exist†trace. It shows a promising development to the band as a whole. For this reason, I look forward to their new single Diamond which releases on July 3rd, 2013 and will only be sold through TOWER RECORDS store & online shop starting July 3rd. I can't wait to see what this band will do next on their journey.


Learn more about exist trace: Official Site| Official Facebook Page| Official Twitter| Official Youtube Channel

 Also while you are at it read our past interview with exist†trace just last year in English and Japanese

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This exist trace featured artist was written by Rita Nokkaew (Ayva Trance)

Edited by Alicia Thomas

Follow me on twitter at @AyvaTrance


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