Malice Mizer

From Academic Kids

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Mana_beastofblood.jpg
Mana - Beast of Blood period

Malice Mizer is widely considered one of the most influential bands of Japan's visual kei music scene. Formed by Mana and Közi, the band's name stands for malice and misery – the answer to the question "what is human?". Malice Mizer were as famous for their one-of-a-kind music as for their spectacular live shows, featuring lavish historical costumes and stage sets, whimsical dance routines and band members flying in suspended from wires. During their rocky history, the band went through several different lineups and three drastic image changes but their work always maintained the highest professional standards. Following a series of tragedies, Malice Mizer went into an indefinite hiatus and effectively disbanded.

Contents

Tetsu Era (1992 – 1994)

Malice Mizer was formed in 1992 by Mana and Közi with Tetsu on vocals, both Mana and Közi on guitar/synthesizer, Yu~ki on bass and Gaz on drums. From the outset, the band established their trademark 'twin guitar' sound, whereby two guitars play different melodies that, together, become the actual guitar part of a song. Malice Mizer's sound during the Tetsu era was a mixture of early 1980s goth and strong classical influences. Their first official release was the song Speed of Desperate on the 1993 compilation Brain Trash. Before this they had released a demo tape called Sans Logique which contained no vocals. Shortly after the release of Brain Trash, Gaz left the band to join KneuKlid Romance, while KneuKlid Romance's drummer Kami in turn joined Malice Mizer. In 1994, the band released their first album, Memoire, on Mana's newly founded Indie music label, Midi:Nette, and shortly after re-released it with an additional bonus track under the title Memoire DX. Only days later, singer Tetsu left the band, reportedly due to creative differences.

Gackt Era (1995 – 1999)

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Mana_malicemizer.jpg
Mana - Merveilles Era
In 1995, after a year of inactivity, Malice Mizer recruited Gackt as vocalist. Under his influence, the band's music became more wistful and romantic in its mood, incorporating even stronger classical influences as well as French pop music. Visually, the band abandoned their 1980s goth look for colourful historical costumes. In 1996, Malice Mizer released their second album, Voyage ~sans retour~. The band became increasingly popular and in 1997 signed with the Major label Nippon Columbia, where they released a number of successful singles, a short film (Verte Aile also called Bel Air de l'image), and, in 1998, their first and only major label album, the hugely popular Merveilles. They even had their own radio show. In January 1999, at the height of Malice Mizer's success, Gackt left the band to start a solo career, taking a substantial part of their fan base with him. Malice Mizer left Nippon Columbia and returned to Mana's Indie music label, Midi:Nette.

A few months after Gackt's departure, drummer Kami died of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, leaving behind a handful of songs, which the band eventually released as part of the mini-album/video boxset Shinwa ~ Kami's Memorial Box ~. Kami was never replaced. From that point on, Malice Mizer would only use support drummers and Kami would be credited as 'eternal blood relative' on all their future releases.

Klaha Era (2000 – 2001)

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Mana_klaha.jpg
Mana - Klaha Era
In the second half of 1999 and the beginning of 2000, Malice Mizer – still without an official vocalist – released a number of singles and began to work on a new album. Eventually, they recruited classically trained Klaha, previously a singer with visual kei/Darkwave band Pride of Mind. By then the band had abandoned the lighter pop music sound of the Gackt era for a dramatic mixture of classical music, Goth and heavy metal music, and adopted an elaborate funereal Goth look. In the summer of 2000, they released what would be their last album, Bara no Seidou, followed by their most spectacular live show ever, featuring pyrotechnics, a choir of veiled nuns and a life size cathedral as stage prop. In 2001, Malice Mizer starred in a feature length vampire movie, Bara no Konrei, and released three more singles, amongst them the fan favourite Beast of Blood, but eventually the band members decided to go their separate ways.

Post Projects

Gackt and Klaha are both pursuing solo careers. Mana has formed his own solo project, Moi Dix Mois, and simultaneously pursues a career as fashion designer for his Gothic Lolita fashion label, Moi-męme-Moitié. He continues to also run his own Indie music label and is looking for bands to sign and produce. Közi has joined Haruhiko Ash's Goth/Industrial band Eve of Destiny and also has a solo project. After his departure in 1994, Tetsu has subsequently taken part in a series of bands such as Zigzo, his most recent being the independently released band nil. The whereabouts of Yu~ki were unknown until he resurfaced in 2004 as lyric writer of one of Közi's solo songs.

Discography

In several cases, the Japanese titles are given first, followed by the romaji titles in square brackets.

Singles

1995

  • 麗しき仮面の招待状 [Uruwashiki kamen no shotaijo] (12/10)

1996

  • ma chérie 〜愛しい君へ〜 [ma chérie —Itoshii kimi e—] (10/10)

1997

  • ヴェル・エール〜空白の瞬間の中で〜 [Bel Air —Kuhaku no toki no naka de—] (7/19)
  • au revoir (12/3)

1998

  • 月下の夜想曲 [Gekka no yasoukyoku] (2/21)
  • ILLUMINATI [ P-type ] (5/20)
  • Le ciel 〜空白の彼方へ〜 [Le Ciel —Kuhaku no kanata e—] (9/30)

1999

  • 再会の血と薔薇 [Saikai no chi to bara] (11/3)

2000

  • 神話 [Shinwa] (2/1) - memorial box for Kami
  • 虚無の中での遊戲 [Kyomu no naka de no yuugi] (5/31)
  • 白い肌に烂う愛と哀しみの輪舞 [Shiroi hada ni kuruu ai to kanashimi no rondo] (7/26)

2001

  • Gardenia (5/30)
  • Beast Of Blood (6/21)
  • Garnet 〜禁断の園へ〜 [Garnet —Kindan no Sono e—] (11/30)

Albums

  • memoire (7/24/1994)
  • memoire DX (12/24/1994) - reissue with bonus track
  • Voyagesans retour〜 (6/7/1996)
  • merveilles (3/18/1998)
  • 薔薇の聖堂 [Bara no Seidou] (8/23/2000)

VHS

  • Sans retour Voyage "derniere"encoure une fois〜 (6/30/1997)
  • ヴェル・エール〜空白の瞬間の中で〜 de l'image [Bel Air ~Kuuhaku no toki no naka de~ de l'image] (7/13/1997)
  • ヴェル・エール〜空白の瞬間の中で〜 de l'image [Verte Air ~Kuuhaku no toki no naka de~ de l'image] (9/3/1997) - a short film
  • merveilles 〜終焉と帰趨〜l'espace (10/28/1998)
  • merveilles -cinq parallele- (2/24/1999)
  • 再会の血と薔薇〜de l'image[Saikai no chi to bara—de l'image—] (12/21/1999)
  • 虚無の中での遊戲〜de l'image[Kyomu no naka de no yuugi—de l'image—] (5/31/2000)
  • 薔薇に彩られた悪意と悲劇の幕開け [Bara ni Irodorareta Akui to Higeki no Makuake] (11/22/2000)
  • 薔薇の軌跡 [Bara no Kiseki] (4/25/2001)
  • Beast Of Bloodde l'image〜 (7/11/2001)
  • 薔薇の婚礼〜真夜中に交わした約束〜 [Bara no Konrei—Mayonaka ni Kawashita Yakusoku—] (3/22/2002)

DVD

  • 薔薇に彩られた悪意と悲劇の幕開け [Bara ni Irodorareta Akui to Higeki no Makuake] (11/22/2000)
  • Sans retour Voyage "derniere"encoure une fois〜 (4/18/2001)
  • 薔薇の軌跡 [Bara no Kiseki] (4/25/2001)
  • Beast Of Bloodde l'image〜 (7/11/2001)
  • 真夜中に交わした約束〜薔薇の婚礼〜 [Mayonaka ni Kawashita Yakusoku—Bara no Konrei—] (10/30/2001)
  • Cardinal (2/6/2002)
    • contains the final 6 PVs and a live performance of "Beast of Blood"
  • 薔薇の婚礼〜真夜中に交わした約束〜 [Bara no Konrei—Mayonaka ni Kawashita Yakusoku—] (3/22/2002)
  • merveilles 〜終焉と帰趨〜l'espace (3/30/2002)
  • merveilles -cinq parallele- (3/30/2002)

External links

  • Malice Mizer (http://www.malice-mizer.co.jp/) - Malice Mizer's official home page
  • Monologue Theater (http://www.mana-sama.com/) - Mana's official home page
  • Gackt ~ Dears ~ (http://www.dears.ne.jp/) - Gackt's official home page
  • Cryptogram (http://www.klahainfo.com/) - Klaha's official home page
  • nil (http://www.afro-skull.com/) - Tetsu's official home page
  • Közi Info (http://www.kozi.info/) - Közi's official home page
  • Eve of Destiny (http://www.eveofdestiny.net/) - Eve of Destiny's official home page
  • The Malice Mizer Fanlisting (http://www.overstuffed-closet.net/malicemizer) - Popular fanlisting for fans to join
  • -scape- (http://scape.us/) - Excellent Malice Mizer fan site including post projects
  • Gardenia (http://www.moonglow.nu/gardenia//) - Malice Mizer fan site with comprehensive photo gallery
  • Nippop Profile | Malice Mizer (http://nippop.com/artist/artist_id-191/artist_name-malice_mizer/)

fr:Malice Mizer ja:MALICE MIZER pl:Malice Mizer

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