X Japan
Dahlia


4.0
excellent

Review

by RunOfTheMill USER (6 Reviews)
February 11th, 2014 | 19 replies | 1,598 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

While the early-mid ‘90s saw X Japan become superstars in their homeland, there was surprisingly little band activity after 1992’s On the Verge of Destruction shows, as most of the band members focused on their solo careers and experimented with different music genres. Toshi had recorded a pop-oriented album, Yoshiki went back to his roots in classical music, and hide played around with his quirky alt-rock outfits. After the release of the grandiose Art of Life, X Japan released seven singles in anticipation for their fifth album, Dahlia. As the majority of the material was written by Yoshiki, it felt obvious where X Japan was going; Dahlia sees the band progressing away from their metal roots and heading towards a much softer sound.

The majority of the album is written by Yoshiki, apart from two songs from hide and minor contributions from the rest of the band. The album starts off with one of the last truly metal Yoshiki compositions: “Dahlia.” Similar to songs such as “Silent Jealousy” and “Art of Life”, the song is heavy and fast, but blends in many of the symphonic and progressive elements X Japan has incorporated in their songs since Blue Blood, and is one of the album’s finest moments. The two hide-penned songs, “Scars” and “Drain,” are also fast-paced metal songs, and sees hide experiment with industrial metal influences. These three tracks hit hard, with intricate drumming, heavy riffs, and versatile performances from Toshi. To a certain extent, the albums fourth track “Rusty Nail,” is one of the album’s rockers, but softer and is rather melody-driven.

Although they were known as a crazy speed metal band in their earlier days, ever since X’s 1989 hit “Endless Rain,” the band had also been known to write incredibly beautiful and incredibly sappy ballads alongside their heavy metal. Dahlia brings these ballads to the forefront of their sound, as over half the album consists of ballads. Very much like 1991’s “Say Anything,” songs such as “Tears,” “Longing,” “Crucify My Love,” and “Forever Love” are lengthy, sappy, piano-driven and orchestra-laden ballads, which show off Yoshiki’s talent in writing classical music, Toshi’s beautiful vocal performance, and (unfortunately) very little from the rest of the band. Even the (typically X Japan) experimental “White Poem I” is a slow, catchy ballad-esque track.

However, it is in these ballads that lies Dahlia’s only true flaw: it’s simply too much. As great as they are, the ballads are sometimes bloated and hinder the album’s pace, particularly the “White Poem” – “Crucify My Love” – “Tears” segment, which is 17 minutes of ballad in the middle of the album. Despite being great songs and perfectly enjoyable as single tracks, it makes the album as a whole drag.

Dahlia would soon be designated as X Japan’s final studio album, as the band disbanded after two final shows at the Tokyo Dome on December 30th and 31st, 1997 (e.g. The Last Live). hide passed away in May 1998, and although the band reformed in 2007, it is unsure whether they will be releasing a new album. As such, Dahlia can be considered as X Japan’s final true effort, and although I criticise it for its excess in ballads, it is a fitting end to their very illustrious career.

Toshi - vocals
Heath - bass
Pata - guitar
hide - guitar
Yoshiki - drums, piano



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Comments:Add a Comment 
RunOfTheMill
February 11th 2014



1431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok, so I had accidentally submitted this under the wrong album earlier tonight.

Anyways, 6th review and first since September 2012, pretty happy at how it turned out. Thanks for any constructive criticism :D

Here's the title track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luqGqrnobeU

m/

CalculatingInfinity
February 11th 2014



1535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have this on CD, X-Japan will probably remain my fav band forever. This album's pretty awesome with some of X-Japan's highest moments (the title track, 'Crucify My Love' and 'Tears') but I wish 'Forever Love' wasn't on here since it drags the album out and is the only X-Japan ballad I don't like.

Digging: Supercell - Today is a Beautiful Day

RunOfTheMill
February 11th 2014



1431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, they're in my top 5 bands. I think the album would have flowed a lot better had the put "Tears" at the end and dropped "Forever Love". I like both songs (especially "Tears"), but like I said in my review, it's too much. I absolutely love the heavier songs off this though.

titanslayer
February 11th 2014



1583 Comments


TWO REVIEWS IN ONE DAY!!!!?
*has a nervous break down*

CalculatingInfinity
February 11th 2014



1535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's a great idea actually, it would assist the album alot and yes the heavy tracks on here are awesome minus 'Drain' (which in my opinion blows).

RunOfTheMill
February 11th 2014



1431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol like I said, the previous one was a mistake, it should get deleted shortly :P

titanslayer
February 11th 2014



1583 Comments


Lol welcome back man

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
February 11th 2014



9823 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh fuckyeah, more X Japan :D Plus, this really needed a better review than that trainwreck of hyperbole that was the previous write-up. Pos

PsychicChris
February 11th 2014



210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album. Wish I could find a cheap copy of Art of Life.

RunOfTheMill
February 12th 2014



1431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for reading guys :D I'll ask if I can get this flagged, because the other review is just lol.

EDIT: oh it's already flagged, sweet


@Calculating
Really? You don't like Drain? It's not my favourite off the album, but I quite like it (though I
prefer the version on The Last Live)

CalculatingInfinity
February 12th 2014



1535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@RunOfTheMill: IMO, it's the worst song they've ever made. Scars worked extremely well because it blends its new style with X-Japan's hard edge due to hide being at the forefront with excellent songwriting making each segment memorable while having a sence of urgency until that brilliant piano break. Drain just so simple compared to what it could be with 3 mins of a dull chord progression dominating the song. Wriggle builds up the tension like a action movie trailer, with stylish guitars, awesome momentum and pace and then Drain just destroys it.

VermTheImpaler
February 12th 2014



1360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent album, but my favorite is the art of life

facupm
February 12th 2014



7299 Comments


good review

CalculatingInfinity
February 12th 2014



1535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Excellent album, but my favorite is the art of life"

5 Art of Life please :3

RunOfTheMill
February 12th 2014



1431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Calculating
I'll admit the guitar work is pretty bland, but I think that awesome guitar tone, the cool effects (drums and guitars), and Toshi's energy makes for a decent track. That being said, "Scars" is infinitely better.

CalculatingInfinity
February 12th 2014



1535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@RunOfTheMill: The production is brillant as you said but the songwriting is so lackluster. Scars on the other hand is fucking godly.

rockandmetaljunkie
February 17th 2014



3302 Comments


Bravo man, this is a very good review and you urged me to check these guys out too.

RunOfTheMill
February 17th 2014



1431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks you very much, friend. If you are inclined to listen to them, I suggest going chronologically. Their early stuff is much more appealing to a metalhead, and this is a sweet swan song.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
February 19th 2014



3765 Comments


Just replaced my shitty 128k version of this with a 320k and holy shit I've been listening to an entirely different album. Didn't think it could get better.

Digging: Caribou - Our Love



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