Nightmare
NIGHTMARE


2.0
poor

Review

by Jasdevi087 USER (34 Reviews)
August 22nd, 2014 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A very disappointing album that does nothing but hold back a promising career and deliver a kick to the legs of the crippled Visual-Kei scene.

When a band releases a self-titled album in the middle of their career, it usually signifies a change in sound, line-up or direction. In the case of Nightmare, it means none of these. No, in Nightmare’s case it means stripping down your sound and then filling in the gaps with sugary production and electronics. Instead of trying to use what worked with their previous effort Majestical Parade, the band decided to take what didn’t work and just add more to it. Their debut on Avex Group’s music label shows the band lose sight of what made them special and release a stark, watered down waste of potential.

The album starts off interestingly enough, a spoken word introduction that keeps the listener interested enough. You’ll later realise that it was probably little more than an attempt to add a little variation to, what is for the most part, an incredibly bland album. The first couple of true songs are interesting enough, “Vermillion” has an enticing enough melody and a well-executed guitar solo to be expected from the likes of guitarist Takahiro “Sakito” Sakaguchi. As well as this, the track “Swallowtail” utilises a catchy rhythm that alternates between 4/4 and 5/4, showing promises of clever song writing. This, however, is a trick.

Aside from the closing track “Sleeper,” any sign of Nightmare’s prior flair and ambition has completely disappeared. Most of the songs in the middle of the album are either half-baked ideas to fill in the albums running time or sound exactly like one another. An example being the single “Rem” which sounds unmistakably similar to the song “Vermillion” which so proudly opened the album. On far too many occasions Nightmare fall into the all too simple habit of exhausting the hell out of drop C# tuning on tracks such as “Fragment” and “a:fantasia”. As well as this obvious abuse of their song writing abilities, the band seems to have allowed the producer (or perhaps it was their own bright idea) to bludgeon the living daylights out of the songs with electronics which don’t serve any purpose other than to fill the gaping void the weak instrumentation leaves and make everything seem obnoxiously loud.

The album could have perhaps saved itself by having a more modest track listing to trim out the excess fat but instead it includes a bloated feeling 15 tracks (including an incentive track placed in by Avex on the DVDless version). This unsatisfactory track list buries the songs that are actually worth listening to under a bunch of less than worthy mediocre, easy to consume, watery pieces. For the second album in a row, Nightmare have made a hashed effort on their classic Gianizm series with “Zero -Beyond the G-“meandering forward awkwardly, focusing more on speed and noise than trying to be a decent song, closing off Nightmare’s unique and quirky Gianizm series with a sad fizzle rather than the intense explosion it carried up until Majestical Parade.

Unfairly hidden at the end of the album are the two actually decent songs that save the album. For the first time since their third outing Anima, rhythm guitarist Mitsuo “Hitsugi” Ikari has his name to a song, the enjoyable “Rinne.” Although the song is guilty of the same watery electronics that the rest of the album is subject to, it is far less prominent here and Sakito and Hitsugi’s traditional this guitar does this and the other does that union shines here. Not to mention the song is one of the only ones on the album with a decent chorus. The other track worthy of special mention is “Sleeper.” The song does a fantastic job of finishing the album off, with every member of the band shining in their own particular way. The use of arpeggiated chords in the song is extremely effective especially where the band drops out and it’s just the guitar and the vocals. If you only ever hear one song from this album, make sure it’s this one.

Nightmare’s self-titled effort is a poor one. While being listenable enough, it lacks Nightmare’s distinct flair and instead seems more focused on pushing sales. On the plus side, it has its moments and the only way forward for Nightmare is up. Regardless, the band have some serious work to do to recover from this wishy-washy attempt if people are to take them seriously once more. The cliché “quality over quantity” might be appropriate here as well and some fresh ideas wouldn’t be too unwanted either. Considering the album was a self-titled album, something like that would have been expected, but unless you’re a fan of the band or a hardcore J-rock fan, steer clear of this album.



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user ratings (9)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Jasdevi087
August 22nd 2014


1445 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I can't believe my first negative review is for this band, but I had to do this, this album is such a disappointment.

Digging: Artemis - Gravity

Sabrutin
August 22nd 2014


1524 Comments


Looks like they lost their touch nowadays.

VaxXi
August 22nd 2014


1578 Comments


Alright, this is the third time I've seen the term "visual-kei" so I must ask.

The hell is a visual kei?

Sabrutin
August 22nd 2014


1524 Comments


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_kei

First paragraph is pretty much it.

CalculatingInfinity
August 22nd 2014


2361 Comments


@VaxXi: A movement (NOT music genre) in Japan where bands dress up in flamboyant attire. It can vary between band to band but generally it's rather beautiful and go to varying degress of flamboyance. Also meh this band hard.

Sabrutin
August 22nd 2014


1524 Comments


I can't stand it honestly (the dressing, not the music itself).

VaxXi
August 22nd 2014


1578 Comments


That sounds stupid. Anyways I vaguely remember listening to that one album with the roses on its cover art and digging it a few years back.

CalculatingInfinity
August 22nd 2014


2361 Comments


Don't see why people care about their attire anyway since it's pretty much...just a get up. Only Versailles and Malice Mizer take it such an extreme where it becomes part of their performance.

Sabrutin
August 22nd 2014


1524 Comments


In fact I don't really care, as I wrote "(the dressing, not the music itself)". Thanks for your interest anyway, CelestialOuroboros.

Jasdevi087
August 22nd 2014


1445 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Most bands ditch the attire as they mature, but I think these guys still do it out of habit.

Jasdevi087
August 22nd 2014


1445 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Anyway the reason I brought up Visual-kei in this particular review is because nowdays it seems that that's all the bands care about; dressing up. I can't say for sure but I get the feeling that Avex may have had a bit of a hand in the watering down for these guys.

JustADude
March 23rd 2015


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's funny how this album gets so much hate, and yet RUKA recently listed it as his favorite album of theirs. (YOMI's is apparently "TO BE OR NOT TO BE".)

http://www.barks.jp/news/?id=1000113739&page=2

Jasdevi087
March 23rd 2015


1445 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ruka and Yomi must have shit taste then.



Come on dude, you know they're just saying that for Avex.

Jasdevi087
March 23rd 2015


1445 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Like, this is such a fucking boring album, there's no way he's serious.

JustADude
March 23rd 2015


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

While I agree that RUKA and YOMI have bad taste if they think those are their best works, you really need to get off the "Avex ruins everything" rant. Why would RUKA say that because of Avex? You honestly think that Avex is controlling what they say in interviews, as well? You're starting to sound more and more like a delusional fan by the minute.

I don't know how much you actually know about how the Japanese music business works, but Avex is nothing more than a company that distributes their CDs and possibly funds their music videos. Their management company, Timely Records, would be the ones pressuring the band to do certain types of music, not Avex. And, from the interviews I've read, the band genuinely seems to want to do the music they're doing. Instead of blaming record companies/management companies, perhaps it's time to face the fact that the band has hit their peak as composers.

Jasdevi087
March 23rd 2015


1445 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Avex Group are a holding company aren't they? From what I've heard, they're known for their hand in producing a lot of pop idols and such and why wouldn't they? Big money in idols. I don't really care which of the big wigs it is pushing the buttons, all I know is that these guys sound like every other neo visual-kei act out nowdays. Label execs (or the interviewers themselves often) are known to tweak some of the interview answers now and then. Hey, I'm just jumping to conclusions but I've seen this type of shit happen to a lot of groups and money's always got something to do with it.



Also I must have missed the part where I said that I had faith in their composition skills anymore, their side projects suck about as much dick as this album does.

JustADude
March 25th 2015


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not sure if your comment "Come on dude, you know they're just saying that for Avex." was meant to be a joke or not - if it were, I apologize as your humor was lost on the internet's inability to convey such things.

However, the constant moaning about avex is simply irking. To me, it comes off as if you're trying to blame everyone but the band for their recently hit or miss releases. Again, I apologize if I don't remember you criticizing their compositions. I read your reviews when they were first posted, so I don't recall every detail; I only recall the recent comments you've made.

If you're interested in why they chose the albums they did, RUKA's reasoning was basically along the lines of, "It's the closest to NIGHTMARE's world view. Plus we wrote it during the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, so it holds a special place for me". While YOMI was just like, "The tour for "TO BE OR NOT TO BE" was really fun, that's why I like the album".



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