Title / Artist
2014 V-kei Indie Discoveries Recap + 5 new bands for 2015!
Date: 2015.01.17
Artist:   Ecthelion   DADAROMA   ZeR’0   Blesscode   By:Arlant  
Some readers might remember that last year, we published an article about 10 indie Visual Kei bands that we thought would be worth keeping an eye on (you can find it here).

A year has passed and it's a time for an update! We're going to look at how these bands are doing nowadays, and we are also going to present 5 new bands to keep your ears busy in 2015!

[2014 Recap ]

Let's start with the fallen – unfortunately, some of the bands we wrote about did not make it till the end of the year. It's the case for BADMAN, CODEREBIRTH, Ghost Write Dazzle and ROGUE. Band ceasing activities are very common in Visual Kei, and while we are very sad to see promising formations go, we hope to meet the guys in other projects one day!
Luckily, the bands that survived seem to be all doing pretty well, touring Japan and releasing new material. We are just going to briefly mention their most recent/future releases here below!

ANSIA recently released the mini album [clips], and will release the new single [Steady] in March. Unfortunately, bassist Aki will leave the band after their anniversary live in February. Here's a music video preview for their ballad [lien], included in [clips]. If you're curious about them, you can find our review for Nanairo Hearts/Soubou Chakushin here.

AvelCain members are extensively touring Japan, with the final show planned at Tokyo Ebisu Liquidroom in February, and they also released several singles and videos in 2014, and also an album! Their most recent release is [Kotonoha], but here below you can see a promotional video for their maxi single [Ayakashi no Hako], released in September.

Crimson Shiva will release their 6th single, titled [FeatherPray], in January 2015 and will tour Japan with a series of oneman lives. Find the single commercial here below!

Shounenki is going strong; the guys recently released their fourth single [BANG ME] and are playing all around Japan, with a oneman in March at Tokyo Shibuya WWW. Here's the mv spot for [BANG ME]!

The 3rd Birthday had a few problems in late 2014, with the mysterious disappearance of guitarist Folie, who was eventually dismissed from the band, and guitarist Yu-chi abruptly leaving the band. However, the remaining members have no intention to stop activities: they recently concluded a successful coupling tour with TRIGGAH and Cardia, and they released the maxi single [Shousei, Dare ga Tame Ni Naku]. Find the spot below! (Also, you can read our review of their [God Bless You] single here).

Nippon Project got the chance to cover Sibile Bashir at Jrock Explosion in 2013 (read the article here). They have grown quite a lot in the meantime, releasing several singles and surprising everyone with new looks and antics. Their most recent release is [Jikokeno to Ano Hi Mita Hikari], and you can find the CM here below! (Warning: it's a bit gory!)

[5 bands for 2015]
Now, on to the five new bands we are going to propose you for this year! Ready? (Imagine a drumroll here)

Blesscode (OHP)
This promising band has started off with a bang distributing a free demo, and they have been noticed! With a heavy yet catchy, typical Vkei sound, they have gained a small but solid fanbase, and will be releasing a new single titled [Bizarre] in January. You can find a digest here below! On the same Youtube channel you can also find their free single for your hearing pleasure.

ZeR'0 (OHP)
Some of you might have heard of this band with their previous name, Nemeth. This Tokyo-based heavy band started off as a non-visual act, which makes its sound peculiar in the Visual Kei panorama. The guys will be sponsoring a series of events in Tokyo for the whole year, so if you\'re out there don't miss them! Here below you can watch the MV for [Charles Lee Ray II] (available on CD Japan), and on their official Youtube channel you can find many more videos.

By:Arlant (OHP)
This new band only had two lives so far and follows a sparse schedule, but we still can enjoy their music! Their heavy, metalcore-friendly sound is untypical for Visual Kei, and they seem to be following the path traced by bands like Nocturnal Bloodlust and D.I.D. (whose vocalist Akane actually likes this band a lot!) - probably also due to their vocalist being active in the metal scene.
Their first single [Hexagram] is available on iTunes, and you can find a digest here below. On the same Youtube channel you can also find the demo version of two full songs, [Vlad] and [Hoshishiro]. We will let the music speak for itself!

Ecthelion (OHP)
We always try to choose at least one band with a lighter sound for those of our readers who don't like heavy music, and this year we have chosen this super unit of 6 members! Their lives are known to be enhanced by the comic verve of guitarist Sakurapton, and the band will take over the recently opened Shinjuku ReNy for their oneman in 2015. Here below you can find the MV for their latest single [Tentei Rave], and on the same Youtube Channel you can enjoy more of their tracks, characterized by a bright mix of electronic, vocaloid and pop sounds.

DADAROMA (plus The Black Swan and Kuroyuri To Kage) (aka, old guys back in town)
We are going to cheat a bit here, but it's always nice to see band members who used to be popular come back with interesting projects. Even though the comeback that left us impressed the most was DADAROMA (see below) we would like to give you a couple of other suggestions, just in case you missed them!

The Black Swan is ex Nega's Jin new solo project, for which he put together a series of members with strong personalities . Here you can find their Youtube channel, which includes the full MV for their first maxi single [THE HOPELESS], released in October last year.

Some of you might remember Memento Mori, who disbanded last year: mixing old Japanese visuals and instruments with heavier side, they had gained quite a following before announcing their disbanding. It was quite a surprise for the fans when the band came back with a new sound, visuals and concept, under the name of Kuroyuri To Kage(黒百合と影). The band signed with the label Ains, which is not new to these moves (Reload became Grieva, Jyulie became Gossip…). You can check out their OHP here, and there some songs in the discography page: let us know if you like them! They seem to have still kept some of the traditional Japanese music elements in their new sound, but the new style is closer to the other bands in the label.

Finally, the comeback that has left a lot of fans genuinely impressed and craving for more. DADAROMA includes well-known members like vocalist Yoshiatsu (ex Crazy Shampoo), guitarist Takashi (ex NAINE, under the name of Shiki) and drummer Yusuke (ex Quintstet, under the name of JOL). Their OHP is here, and here below you can enjoy their great first track, "Oboreru Sakana". There are other songs in their Youtube Channel, so make sure to check them out!

Disclaimer: these suggestions are obviously a selection made by the writer, and we are sure there are many more bands worth listening out there!
As last year, the writer tried to stick with bands that were actually seen live, and still it was very hard to decide.
This selection might not meet your taste, and that's totally understandable as music is a very personal matter. You're more than welcome to add your own suggestions on our Facebook or Twitter!
Author: Diletta F.
last update: 2015-02-12