In this edition of our metal doujin compilation we want to shine light on three darker kinds of metal groups that ignited our senses! Some of the releases here are recent releases, some a bit older, but what they all have in common is that they’re heavy, dark, and awesome!
To get you up to speed on what a doujin music group is, it is essentially the equivalent of the western term “indie”, music produced independently from major record labels. However, Japanese doujin groups, also referred to “doujin circles”, operate quite differently compared to typical bands. Many times it makes more sense to see them as projects with “contributors” rather than a band with set members. Basically, it’s just like a shared hobby activity with a bunch of very dedicated people gathered together, either physically or virtually.
For a doujin music group, you might assume the final product is the recorded music itself. But to actually sell the music and make it easily accessible often requires a lot more work than just that. This is why doujin groups are not only limited to musicians, but could also include illustrators, web designers, or people with other expertise to take part and be credited as a contributor of the group or release. Each and every contributor in the group plays a vital role in order to fully realize the product. The product (if physical) can then be sold at doujinshi fairs such as Comic Market (Comiket), taking place once during summer and once during winter, attracting over 500,000 attendees on each of the events. Doujin music is also to be found on digital stores like Melonbooks (some content on this site is NSFW).
Imperial Circus Dead Decadence
Imperial Circus Dead Decadence, or ICDD for short, produces heavy and dark music but balances it well with clean vocals. Chances are you’ve already heard about this band because here you’ll find members like vocalist KIMI of BRIDEAR, vocalist Hellnear (also known as Kaz) formerly in abstracts, and as well as drummer Shuhei from THE OHAYOGOZAIMAS (support). The band dates back to 2007 and so far released a couple of albums, and several EPs, the latest one being “Fushoku Ressentiment, Fushi Yoku no Sarugakuza.” (腐蝕ルサンチマン、不死欲の猿楽座。). Have a listen to the EP below, we highly recommend the second track. The EP is available for purchase via bandcamp.
Unlucky Morpheus is another band some of you might have already heard of. Not only because of vocalist Fuki who has taken part in LIGHT BRINGER, DOLL$BOXX, Dragon Guardian and more, but because of their first music video uploaded on YouTube Black Pentagram has gained over 300,000 views during the three past months. This is undeniably a skilled band with a very powerful, aggressive, and demonic sound. Watch the music video of Black Pentagram below. If you like what you hear and want to support the band, CDJapan got you covered!
Register6 is a four-man band focused on rearranging Touhou music and interpret them with a raw progressive metal sound. Their music is somewhat of a mixed bag as you’ll find heavy and pop elements fused together, not to mention the alternation between different female and male vocals between tracks. It’s a nice change of pace since you get the dark and heavy sound, at the same time the catchy melodies. The easiest way to get a hold of their latest album Aka hitomi no keshiki (赤瞳ノ景色) is through Amazon Japan. You may listen to the preview of the album below.