Over the last four years, the GazettE has released more albums than singles but in turn, they have been able to experiment with their sound, allowing them to evaluate their approach to composing. To take it to the next level, they announced PROJECT: DARK AGE along with its six movements, the first one consisting of their eighth studio album DOGMA, accompanied with a new look that saw the band dressed from head to toe in black. There was silence for that point onward until a few months later when they revealed the lyric video for OMINOUS and a sampler of the album.
Now the day of its release has finally come, we are finally able to understand what they were truly striving for and so, it begins with the instrumental track, NIHIL, portraying an eerie and mysterious atmosphere from the outset that brings in an EDM influence to the occasion before reverting back to ambiance once more. The title track DOGMA, incorporates a sludgy sound from the guitars alongside the crashing of cymbals as the vocals alternate between whispers, growls, screams and clean vocals, a sneak peek of what is to come. Fading out, RAGE comes in by assaulting the senses at full throttle, the chorus making everything epic. DAWN is a lot more structured and contained with its chunky riffs, crashing symbols and pummeling drumbeats, bringing an evil circus vibe in at one point. Both are angry and exciting addition to the album so there is little doubt that these two would be great live regardless of where they are in the setlist.
From the high-octane start, DERACINE takes things down a notch with its quiet intro that gradually building up the further into the song it gets. It comes up short though but that is not a bad thing as the lyrics really do stand out here along with the build-up to the chorus, the chorus itself and the impressive placement of the growls.
Then there’s WASTELAND, a creepy, trance-like song that definitely lives up to its name as it gives off a sluggish, numb feeling, almost like the instrumentation and lyrics are portraying something dragging on without a conclusion. INCUBUS signals the return of the female vocals and comes across as one of the weaker songs on the album, failing to resonate or capture any attention, sounding similar to their heavier material in the past; the only redeeming factor is that it doesn’t feel out of place for once.
LUCY is one of their more sexually suggestive songs with a strong western influences and its easy to pick out, especially when vocals are sung a certain way, making this song work rather brilliantly, especially with the drum roll mid-song and the solo. GRUDGE involves the use of delay, becoming a pleasant addition during the verses and for once, every instrument clearly stands out but apart from that, there is nothing much to it.PARALYSIS checks in with attributes akin to INCUBUS however, the difference here is that everything comes across as a lot more fun and varied, especially when it hits the middle of the song where the sound begins to change a little. At first, DEUX sounds like nothing special but once it hits the first verse and everything stops apart from the vocals, the magic begins; sending shivers down the spine and those moments do not stop there as it continues to hit these points of absolute gold during the chorus, the bridge and near the end.
BLEMISH enters with a drum roll alongside the sinister-sounding guitars before it breaks down into growls and unleashes madness all over the place, managing to stay consistently fun after that as the vocals interchange between clean and screaming vocals, even to the extent their overlapping each other.
Before the end can come, the weird and wonderful OMINOUS, a feeling is created from the outset as the vocals sing over piano chords, a marching drum roll, backing track and acoustic guitars before everything can be amplified. The two solo’s in the song do well at separating each part but is also crucial to signifying the end, the end of something good.
It is fair to say that from the beginning, many people, myself included, were apprehensive about the album, seeing as the GazettE had drastically changed in both sound and look but after listening to DOGMA, there was this understanding that a lot of people who previously fell out of love with their music, may well love this album. An important thing to take away from this as it means that they were able to achieve something they had not done before. Regardless, you will certainly be in for a wild ride no matter where you stand on their music so far. The folks at JPU Records personally made sure that you, the fans, could be one of the first people to receive DOGMA by releasing it digitally on the August 26, a week before the rest of the world. On the other hand, if you want to wait for the physical version that includes an additional and exclusive translated booklet, that will be available in Europe from the October 2.
Regular edition £9.99
Buy DOGMA on JPU Records