The August 13 “RYTHME OF X BEAT vol.1” performance at RizM was one shared by many talented acts, such as WING WORKS, CHOKE, DEXCORE, breakin’ holiday, and AIOLIN. Although there was a lot to be heard and some mighty fine talent there, I am here to simply report on DEVILOOF. It was an amazing albeit short performance. However, this is what happens when you share the stage.
RizM in Aoyama, Tokyo is a small venue, like many you will find in Japan. Especially those hosting visual or bands of the harder scenes. After walking underground you reach a desk that is positioned before the front door. You check-in and then you are ready to go. The room has two levels with an elevated back area and the soundboard located even further back. I would say, given its size, there really is no bad spot in this venue when it comes to sound.
When it comes to size, I would describe RizM as a wide hallway. The stage is elevated to the perfect level and the screens adorning the ceiling and the lighting make for a great spectacle no matter the performer. Just about anyone can have a good view as well since the layout is so perfect. Enough about our venue, let’s get into the band.
DEVILOOF opened their set by walking onto the stage to Prologue from single Ruin. This really set the tone for the rest of their set, dark, ominous, and just brutal. Before the band even started performing, vocalist Keisuke soon set us up for a wall of death. The crowd parted like the red sea before a prophet, and as soon as the order was given we sprinted at each other full-force. The crowd slammed into each other in a fashion similar to a medieval battle. Fortunately, no limbs were lost.
Perhaps it was the nature of a Japanese crowd, or maybe the absolute demand of attention that the band gave, but, soon after the chaos was all at attention again. We took in the absolutely masterful dual guitar work, the pounding basslines, the kicking drums, and the flawless vocal work of the absolute archfiend that is Keisuke.
— DEVILOOF Ray (@Ray_dvlf) August 18, 2019
As the set continued fans heads were slamming back and forth like hammers on stubborn nails. The perfect rhythm had my heart pounding as hard as my body was moving and it honestly felt like the blood rush would make me lose consciousness. However, our commander broke up the relentless headbanging with orders to form a number of circle pits throughout their set.
Perhaps the most memorable moments of the night were when guitarist Ray belted out the lyrics to Dusky Vision. His clean vocals cut through the room like one of Heaven’s Trumpets. Even still “I don’t want to be alive anymore” continues to ring through my mind. The beautiful but brutal melody of this song contrast in an astoundingly perfect manner.
Although it was a short set, there was a lot to take in. Yes, Keisuke sounds exactly the same, live, on the album, and on-album-live. The man is perfection. The band’s unity is perfect, there was not a single thing that sounded off. It was as if they had rehearsed for seven years before even attempting a single show. Each member’s performance could be heard clearly. No one drowned anyone else out. It was a show at the caliber of someone as renowned as DIR EN GREY but in a small and absolutely charming venue. I am more than looking forward to my next run-in with DEVILOOF. If you ever have the chance to attend a show of theirs. Absolutely do it.
Speaking of run-ins with DEVILOOF, I was fortunate enough to join the band for a few minutes. What I can say is, not only are they absolutely astounding artists but also, some really down to earth chill guys. I may have a bit of a bias for them to begin with but they really continue to give more and more reason to enjoy their hard work.
— DEVILOOF (@_Deviloof_) August 13, 2019
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