AI just revealed a generous amount of content from his first upcoming album “CONFUSION”, to release on April 20. What we got so far is a 23-minute preview of the 12-track album, essentially half of the album exposed! We’re here to give you our first impression and also tell you what you should expect before jumping in to this album!

As you may or may not know, the nagoya kei metal band DEATHGAZE has been a part of vocalist AI’s life for over 10 years. Their ups and downs resulted in towing members all over the place, until the band settled down with their current line-up. But even with this permanent line-up—which has lasted for more than five years—presently the band is on an indefinite hiatus since late 2014. The reason for this is simply because DEATHGAZE, as a band, is unable to innovate, or take the sound any further. Members of the band are now on their own journeys to find other sparks in their music careers, and as for AI, the album CONFUSION is the product of his journey.

Right of the bat, let me adjust your gears and spoil some of the fun for you, do not expect a heavy, dark and speedy album! It might be a bit confusing to hear that if you’ve been a fan of DEATHGAZE for years, since the band produced so many heavy songs since the beginning of time. Though, this would have been clear as the (glass) sky if you sincerely followed AI’s work to this point, all the indications were there. Two singles released, GLASS SKY and Karasu, a total of six songs, and not even one of the songs comes near the “brutal” level of DEATHGAZE’s standard heavy songs. Not to mentioned having a melodic song like GLASS SKY being the debut single. So if you genuinely enjoyed DEATHGAZE’s ballad Evoke the world, then the chance of you finding this album as a fit, increases.

The purpose of telling you this is not to break your spirit, rather give an insight of how to approach the album. This is not DEATHGAZE, this is AI’s solo project! The whole point of this is to create music that doesn’t sound like the typical DEATHGAZE. Although, it is inevitably to see resemblances, the man has been with this band for over 10 years after all.

Now that we got the confusing or controversial part out of the way, let’s get into business! The sound of AI’s upcoming album CONFUSION can be described with keywords such as “dreamy” and “devious”, perhaps even “playful”? It is mainly vocal-focused, which is where you’ll primarily find the dreamy and devious sound. Accompanying the vocals are rhythmic guitars dominated by powerchords, along with repetitive drum beats with a bass guitar that doesn’t deviate much from its structure. You’ll find some of the songs having more instrumental layers here and there, certainly making the listening experience a lot more fun, unfortunately that’s is only a small portion of the album. For reference, the already released songs Karasu and GLASS SKY (you can listen to them below), also UNDER THE GLARE falls into this description. These songs are probably the best songs that you’ll find from this album. Still, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations, even with the mindset of mine, overall a quite alright album though.

There are also two hidden surprises that I haven’t mentioned yet, I wouldn’t say they are pleasant surprises, nevertheless they’re not unpleasant. The first find being Kaoru (薫), a groovy song that really reminds me of MERRY’s playstyle in Fukurou. The second one in line is SWEET HONEY, just as the name implies, a sweet, happy and catchy song, very upbeat. To me, these songs were totally unexpected, and unpredictable! I was expecting AI to experiment a little with electronic sound, but that wasn’t the case.

In conclusion, this is not an album the typical DEATHGAZE fans have been waiting for, and should not be. CONFUSION is an experimental and toned downed metal approach AI has taken, without a clear distinction to where this will lead. However! The cardinal direction is already marked and we cannot wait to hear more from AI in the future!

AI being silly.

AI being silly.

ai deathgaze confusion

CONFUSION

CD

  1. LAST MEMORIES
  2. UNDER THE GLARE
  3. GLASS SKY (Album ver.)
  4. REPLICATE GOD
  5. BLACK SHADOW
  6. Kaoru
  7. SWEET HONEY
  8. RITUAL DANCE
  9. Karasu (Album ver.)
  10. UNTRUE STAR
  11. NEW CULT
  12. DEPARTURE

Buy at CDJapan

ai deathgaze confusion

CONFUSION

CD

  1. LAST MEMORIES
  2. UNDER THE GLARE
  3. GLASS SKY (Album ver.)
  4. REPLICATE GOD
  5. BLACK SHADOW
  6. Kaoru
  7. SWEET HONEY
  8. RITUAL DANCE
  9. Karasu (Album ver.)
  10. UNTRUE STAR
  11. NEW CULT
  12. DEPARTURE

Buy at iTunes

ai deathgaze confusion limited

CONFUSION

Webshop edition 3240 yen

CD

  1. LAST MEMORIES
  2. UNDER THE GLARE
  3. GLASS SKY (Album ver.)
  4. REPLICATE GOD
  5. BLACK SHADOW
  6. Kaoru
  7. SWEET HONEY
  8. RITUAL DANCE
  9. Karasu (Album ver.)
  10. UNTRUE STAR
  11. NEW CULT
  12. DEPARTURE

DVD

  1. 20160318 HELLO MY DEAR MAKING

Buy at Waltz webshop

More info:
Official Website
YouTube
Facebook
Twitter (AI solo project)
Twitter (AI)

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