Nightmare
NIGHTMARE


2.0
poor

Review

by Jasdevi087 USER (17 Reviews)
August 22nd, 2014 | 13 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 (7)
Chart.
2.3
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jasdevi087
August 22nd 2014


460 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.

CelestialOuroboros
August 22nd 2014


435 Comments


Nice review, pos'd. Never actually heard of these guys with the exception of "The World" (I'm a damn poser, I know)

Sabrutin
August 22nd 2014


921 Comments


Looks like they lost their touch nowadays.

Digging: Riot V - Unleash The Fire

VaxXi
August 22nd 2014


580 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


921 Comments


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

First paragraph is pretty much it.

CalculatingInfinity
August 22nd 2014


1647 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


921 Comments


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

VaxXi
August 22nd 2014


580 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.

CelestialOuroboros
August 22nd 2014


435 Comments


@Sabrutin Try to focus on the music, rather than the get-up a lot of visual kei bands are so fond of donning. If you still ain't into it, there's also the more darker variant: nagoya kei.

CalculatingInfinity
August 22nd 2014


1647 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


921 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


460 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


460 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.



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