Luna Sea
Eden


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brett Tharp USER (45 Reviews)
January 11th, 2015 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unnatural thinking in the most natural manner.

Japan must love the odd and unnatural, because so many bands hailing from that country seem to have an addiction to smashing sounds together into quirky yet memorable tunes. In stark contrast lies the western countries that seem to love moderation in both visual style and sound. At least for the most part (ignoring the infamous glam rock of the 80s). The visual kei movement in Japan exemplifies this. Big in sound and image, the bands under this genre flag try to be big in any way possible. Visual kei pioneers Luna Sea takes all these things to the next level. Their alt rock sound is enhanced by forays into pretty much every sound imaginable, resulting in something virtually progressive and entrancing at that.

Eden opens with the track “Jesus” and immediately displays the band’s talent for fusing a multitude of sounds into one cohesive rock song. The opening drum beat is burly and powerful, while the first guitar riff sounds like it could have been at home on a metal record. Once the verse ends, it’s surprising how unsurprising the sparkly clean and poppy chorus flows in. Despite the differences between the abrasive verse and soaring chorus, Luna Sea makes it sound like the only thing they could have possibly done with the song. Many of the songs follow this structure of forging sounds in a cohesive manner previously believed impossible.

In stark contrast to the opening track, “Believe” is almost a power ballad, albeit with conversely aggressive drumming. Straight forward acoustic strings become the name of the game on “Recall”, yet there’s still so much going on in the mix that it doesn’t feel as laid back and relaxed as it could have (which is by no means a bad thing, just more proof of how Luna Sea morphs expectation with their sound). “Anubis” flirts with pop rock early on, in a rather high octane way. Bass riffs abound on “Lastly” and take much of the spotlight, despite the entrancing guitar leads abounding with all kinds of colorful effects. Strangely, many of the softer and slower songs appear in the first half of the album, rather than the back half as I might have expected. Two of the faster tracks, “Steal” and “Lamentable”, kick the energy up a notch towards an expected big finish. Sadly the former track is the only clear place where Luna Sea’s crazed sound meshing fails as the quirky oddness of the intro disrupts the flow of the album a bit. The closer sends the album out on a high note though with catchiness, energy, and interesting instrumentation in abundance.

The instruments on Eden almost mechanically share an equal number of standout moments. The drums are strongly mixed and powerfully drive the album at just the right pace. The bass chooses not to remain a background instrument alone, and remains clear and audible throughout. Many interesting riffs appear and it always adds a strong, warm low end as needed. The guitars are frantic in the number of sounds they bring forth. The softer tracks feature gorgeous acoustic sections that sooth and the faster riffs straddle the line between metal, rock, and punk in seemingly random occurence. Guitar leads soar, along with a handful of nice solos. The vocal performance isn’t terribly varied, but well performed. Vocalist Ryuichi’s voice soars and he knows how to craft a catchy chorus. The lyrics are all in Japanese, which means that an English listener likely won’t find anything relatable in Ryuichi’s wordcraft without a Google search, but the vocal performance doesn’t suffer from that.

Eden proves to be a paradise for visual kei rock. Influences are thrown together with wild abandon, but the flow is nearly perfect. More traditional musicians could take lessons here in how to work in new sounds creatively while retaining cohesiveness. Luna Sea was certainly on to something with this album and earned the reputation they now have in Japanese rock culture.



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
January 11th 2015


4331 Comments


nice review

no. 3 of 17 of the review series - complete

Gameofmetal
January 11th 2015


6557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my assigned album from the Frippertronics edition of the Random Album Review Game. If some of my background bits might seem off, it's probably because I'd never heard of the band before or listened to the style much at all. That being said, I think I'm mostly on point, as I did my research. Thanks to Green Baron and Jasdevil for a light proofread that nonetheless cleaned this up a bit.

Gameofmetal
January 11th 2015


6557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Have there really only been 3 done so far Fripp?

Frippertronics
January 11th 2015


4331 Comments


yeah lol, no worries though

Gameofmetal
January 11th 2015


6557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn I thought I was one of the slow ones, kept putting this off for so long but it looks like I'm not the only one.

Jasdevi087
January 11th 2015


1559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Solid review, pos! Spreading the Luna Sea love one poor bastard at a time.

Gameofmetal
January 11th 2015


6557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lmao thanks, I need to check out more of the band

Jasdevi087
January 11th 2015


1559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

On a side note, you should add GAUZE by Dir En Grey in the recommended by reviewer section; it's like a much heavier version of some of the stuff these guys do.

CalculatingInfinity
January 11th 2015


2632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Glad to see this review, especally since it's done by someone who's not dived into VK so respect. Very nice job Game.

Gameofmetal
January 11th 2015


6557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wanted to add a dir en grey album because they're literally the only other japanese band i listen to but I thought it would be a stretch to compare this to the albums of Dir en grey, at least the ones ive heard. Haven't actually heard gauze

EvoHavok
January 11th 2015


2036 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid review! I should check this out.

Gameofmetal
January 11th 2015


6557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx guys

CalculatingInfinity
January 11th 2015


2632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Listening to this in full tomorrow, one song I listened to off it was great. Tried them in then past and I didn't like it, lets hope this time is better.

Jasdevi087
January 11th 2015


1559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Which song was it?

CalculatingInfinity
January 11th 2015


2632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lamentable

TalonsOfFire
January 11th 2015


13011 Comments


Cool review Game, I'll check this album out

Jasdevi087
January 11th 2015


1559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lamentable is m/

Gameofmetal
January 11th 2015


6557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tbh the opener jesus is one of the best here, i like the faster songs more generally and it has the speed, energy, and one of the catchier choruses

Jasdevi087
January 11th 2015


1559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

In My Dream (With Shiver), Recall and Believe are probably my favourites. Also there's an awesome live performance of Providence on Youtube.

AnimalsAsSummit
January 11th 2015


1213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i still need to get this and feel horrible that ive only jammed it in pieces spaced far apart. need a full listen asap

Digging: Amon Duul II - Phallus Dei



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