Aikaryu

藍華柳

indies - disbanded (2002 - 2007)
Aikaryu were a gothic styled visual rock band. Their visual appearance was at times humorous with a fondness for themes portraying Vampires, Pirates and even Kill Bill, and they further referenced bits of pop culture such as 'Nightmare Before Christmas' on CD art.

Musically they were guitar driven hard rock with metal influences woven into the more classic visual kei drumbeats and vocals.
author: Kiri (2009-01-28)
line up
  • Guitar: Takamasa [2004 / 2005 - gone]
  • Guitar: Amare [2002 / 2004 - gone]
Aikaryu formed early in 2002, initially with the five members; Kaworu (vo), Amare (gt), DEATH (gt), Shun(ba), and ULI (dr). Of this lineup, only Kaworu and ULI would survive the many member changes that would eventually come to form the final version of Aikaryu. This first lineup released one song on the Punishment Party Vol. 3 omnibus, and soon afterwards DEATH left the band to be replaced by TERU. Aikaryu would finish 2002 with two more songs on two further omnibuses and a series of event participation lives.

Successive demo cd releases lead to the band catching the attention of the Crow Music record label. They were signed in August 2003 and the following month then saw the release of the first Aikaryu single, Aizo Kyoto ~ Oreiro ni somaru kimi ga aho ni natte yuku...~. The lineup of members had again changed. Takamasa replaced Amare, while there was a distinct lack of a permanent bassist; Niku is credited only as 'support' on this first single.

The support of their new label contract gave Aikaryu a huge boost. Five months after their first single release, in February 2004 Aikaryu brought out Yanagi toushi shou followed by their first Oneman concert at the Kyoto ARC-DEUX livehouse. It was only a small venue for 130 people although for a fairly unknown band who had not previously toured widely or released much, it was a success. They had by this time acquired a bassist in the form of Daiki. These early successes were furthered when Aikaryu joined with Mizeria on a coupling cd, [Water and Oil] and then released their first mini album Kaizokuban ~ Aye aye sir~.

Aikaryu continued until the end of 2005 with their lineup of Kaworu, TERU, ULI, Takamasa and Daiki. They continued to tour extensively partaking in various multi-band events and two-man concerts, culminating with their first oneman tour at venues in Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo and Yokohama. In June however, Takamasa announced his departure at a Meguro Rock May Kan concert. He was quickly replaced by Shagrath who immediately began work with Aikaryu's difficult tour schedule. 2005 culminated with the release of two singles; one a live-only release and the other Ketsu ketsu ketsu ketsu ketsu ketsu ketsu ketsu ketsu - KYUUKETSU-, which was released as a CD and DVD package.

Tragically however, Aikaryu were involved in a car accident in early 2006 while driving home from a concert. Only Kaworu seemed to escape with minor injuries; Shagrath required surgery and ULI has injuries that needed many months of rehabilitation. The accident did not defeat the band though. TERU briefly reappeared in HIZAKI's 'Grace Project' between October 2006 and March 2007, and the whole band (albeit without ULI who was still recovering) regrouped in December for a small tour: 'Love or Dragon LIVE!'.

Although this tour was a success, ULI sadly never made a full recovery to the extent that he could play the drums effectively again. Aikaryu, not wanting to continue the band without their founding member, decided in April 2007 to disband. The final tour followed the release of a best album, Aikaryu chokki album ~oretachi best yori chokki ha in June. The finale live, entitled "Kaisan de wa naku sotsugyou" ("This is not a disbanding but a graduation") was held at Kyoto ARC-DEUX, where they had played their first oneman live two years previously marking the sad end to a band that had offered much to their fans.

Following Aikaryu, guitarist TERU joined Versailles as an official member while Shagrath went on to become a support guitarist, but aside Daiki's decision to go into semi-retirement the whereabouts of the other members are still unknown.
author: Kiri (2009-01-28)
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