It was a crisp November evening when I headed to Aoyama RizM, but the chill in the air was of quite a different kind to the chill atmosphere inside the packed live house. Pensive background music from Enya only added to the ethereal feeling generated by pink lights reflecting off a mirror ball. From the nervous tension in the crowd and the dozens of fans online lamenting their inability to get a ticket, it was clear that this was a highly anticipated event. It was also the first time guitarist Cazqui would take to the stage in over two years.
When the lights dimmed and the opening SE came through the speakers, the band’s logo was projected onto a screen. Then the screen, which covered the whole stage in lieu of curtains, began to rise, revealing the line-up frozen in place. From left to right: Daichi on guitar, Boogie from JILUKA on bass, Kagami from DEXCORE on vocals, Jyean from JILUKA on drums, and of course the conductor Cazqui himself with his V-shaped guitar slung over one shoulder.
The members burst into action with new music video track THE BUTTON EYES. Since the fans were familiar with the song, it didn’t take them long to start pumping their fists and banging their heads, as pulsing fractals were projected across the ceiling. The next song, DEBRIS, began with a pounding drum beat that set the pace throughout. The crowd jumped up and down to the chorus before the song ended with a heavy breakdown.
As a musical interlude began, a pre-recorded voice-over introduced the members and asked vocalist Kagami the name of the next song. This energetic track with a catchy chorus was called Violia, during which purple butterflies were projected onto the ceiling, appropriate for the kanji in the title which reads as “phantom purple butterfly”. The crowd clapped to the beat during the bridge section. After the instrumental track The rupture of a blood vessel, the band launched into a familiar song, debut single OSWALD. The brutal opening lives up to the band’s name, and the epic guitar solo gave Cazqui time to display his effortlessly flamboyant technique.
Another spoken voice-over told the crowd to be ready for the real “brutality” to begin, and the brutal orchestra didn’t disappoint with their next new song kousou, which translates to “burial by light”. Jyean pumped his twin bass drums as the audience banged their heads. Then there was a sudden transition to a powerful, slower chorus reminiscent of DEXCORE’s style. Daichi took the spotlight with some solo rhythm guitar, and then it was back to the same brutal verse followed by the emotional chorus. Finally, there was a dueling guitar solo with Cazqui and Daichi standing back-to-back, and then the song ended quite abruptly.
THE HEAVENS OPEN opened fittingly with some choral chants in the introduction before really getting going. Boogie’s bass was quite prominent, and Cazqui stepped forward for another soaring guitar solo. Then Kagami announced the last song, THE FANATIC DANCERS, and it was hard to believe that the demonstration was already almost over. This one had a catchy beat and chorus that was easy for the crowd to move to, and what sounded like a violin solo (although Kanata Yumishiro from THE BUTTON EYES music video wasn’t present). There was another twin guitar solo and then the members left the stage.
The fans immediately started calling for an encore, and they weren’t disappointed, as eventually the orchestra crew returned and debuted yet another unreleased song, AQUARIUM. This was a slower number where Kagami’s high-toned vocals shone against a programmed drum beat, and then the band joined in with the chorus. Following this, the screen descended again and there was a surprise announcement that the band would film a new music video—right now! The new song DEBRIS was played over the speakers alongside instructions of how to move in each part of the song, and then it was performed three times: first the fans with their smartphones, then the band members with theirs, and finally the professional cameras took turns to get multiple angles.
The brutal orchestra finished their demonstration with a second rendition of THE BUTTON EYES, the crowd now at peak energy. Finally, the screen descended once more, and a second live show was announced for next March–this time with violinist Kanata Yumishiro of AURORIZE and manipulator Velladon to round out the full orchestra, and at well-known live house Shinjuku BLAZE.
Now that Cazqui’s Brutal Orchestra has finally begun formal activities, it seems they’re not going to just stand around. With an album’s worth of material awaiting release and a performance at DEXCORE’s DEX FEST on the calendar next February, this new project is definitely one to watch.
Cazqui’s Brutal Orchestra Live 000 “Dēmonstration” Saturday, Nov 19, 2022 at Aoyama RizM
- THE BUTTON EYES
- Violia (幻紫蝶-ヴァイオリア- )
(The rupture of a blood vessel)
- kousou (光葬)
- THE HEAVENS OPEN
- THE FANATIC DANCERS
- THE BUTTON EYES