the GazettE - DOGMA

review - 27.09.2015 10:01

the GazettE's new album DOGMA bursts with anger across its 14 tracks and marks a dark, chilling era for the group's globally revered sound.

Each second of DOGMA has been meticulously crafted, and according to recent Japanese interviews, the album has been in creation for over two years. The group showcase their efforts by creating DIVISION and BEAUTIFUL DEFORMITY first before considering the current "PROJECT:DARK AGE" era as a collaborative effort between 18 Japanese creators, and using the previous albums as stepping stones to DOGMA.

Across the 14 new tracks of DOGMA, the GazettE explores metal and heavy rock, with Ruki's chillingly clear vocals across all tracks. The key to each track on the new album is the mood created by the first thirty or so seconds, but that mood often changes about a minute into each song, where vocalist Ruki or drummer Kai might scream or growl in between Ruki's singing, or when the tempo swings up or down.

Album opener NIHIL creates an eerie soundscape that would be suited as background music to a summoning ritual before jumping into dubstep halfway while title track DOGMA runs gapless into a clavichord-esque echoing mess layered over heavy guitar. This is the sound and mood the GazettE is truly skilled at creating.

RAGE lives up to its namesake with a fierce rupture of sounds. Guitar, drums and growling layer over one another. Filled with anguish, DERACINE paints an auditory soundscape of longing, and reaching for something. The following track, BIZARRE, introduces a deep synth bass line in the opening seconds but seems like a familiar sound that fans are used to.

Midway through the album, the mood turns in a different direction with Ruki's monotonous vocals that open WASTELAND. Later, when he chants "true. dread" during the instrumental portion between jarring guitar riffs, enough can't be said. If only there were a PV for this track too.

There are no ballads on DOGMA—in the traditional sense of a slow ballad—but the final track, OMINOUS, returns to that chilling feeling introduced at the beginning of the album. As the longest track and one of the best tracks on DOGMA, OMINOUS burrows down into a sense of distant calm, but lightly simmers as guitar and layered, distorted sounds grow to reach the power of the chorus—the aesthetically pleasing lyric video to OMINOUS helps bring the stark emotion of the song out further. Hint: listen to NIHIL again straight after OMINOUS. It sounds great.

As always, the GazettE is great at creating music with a soul, that is shared by and impacts a large number of fans, both Japanese and abroad. With the GazettE's strong "PROJECT:DARK AGE" concept, the members truly showcase their best qualities, but bring out a new, darker side to the group's usual side.

DOGMA is now available to European fans digitally on iTunes. For those who prefer to purchase a physical CD, it is available for pre-order throughout Europe via JPU Records. The physical release by JPU Records, to be out on October 2nd, includes an additional, exclusive translated booklet.

The official album preview of DOGMA can be watched below:

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