A Pleasant Surprise
First off, I have to say that I’m really not usually a fan of classical-metal, so was expecting to dislike this album intensely, it’s not half bad though, even though for a ‘classical-metal’ album most of the other instrumentation appears to be synth rather than live instruments. OK, although you can’t have everything, Yoichiro Ishino does pump out some spectacular guitar riffs and Kate’s vocals are pretty versatile (if very occasionally a little squawky in her higher range).
There is obviously a Goth edge to the record given the genre and Kate’s Lolita-style dress sense in the press photos,(by the sound of it this has got them almost as much coverage as the music)which really adds to that overall effect. Some of the tunes on “Daemonicus” are pretty heavy apart from the odd ballad, like ‘Venus-croix eternelle-’ which apart from a fancy 80s style guitar solo is J-Pop through and through and quite a lot of the tunes sound like they could come from the soundtrack to “Final Fantasy” or some other Japanese RPG. The heavier tunes rely somewhat on standard metal riffs and power chords; however they always have some extra little quirk which makes them stand out. ‘Despair’ is a case in point, with what appear to be familiar chugged chord progressions, but it also has some interesting keyboard which sounds like an old ‘Hammer Horror’ film and Kate really goes to town on her soaring vocal delivery; it’s great fun.
“Daemonicus” is a real breath of fresh air, far more interesting and playful than much classical-metal, this album gives hope that something more interesting can be done with a genre that pushes out copycats time after time.