“Noble”, the first full-length album by Versailles, was released in 2008 under KAMIJO’s indie label, Sherow Artist Society. Heavier in melody as well as lyric content than later releases, it is perhaps the most symphonic-metal sound they have ever released. It is fitting, as the story the album tells is one of darkness, chaos, sadness, and revival. Most importantly of all, it bears an undeniable and beautiful passion, a sort that only Versailles can achieve.
The album, despite being one cohesive story, journeys through a variety of emotions and situations. Impressively, it does this without sounding chaotic, and without any of the tracks seeming entirely out of place. Perhaps the one song that may be guilty of this is “Antique in the Future”, not for lyric content, but because of the melody. It managed to sound like classic metal but in a style too classic for Versailles or for “Noble”. The chorus made up for this, as it sprouted more Versailles-like wings, only to crash back to earth with the same melody for the ending.
Apart from this, there were other tracks that were simply classic Versailles. Most notably is “The Revenant Choir”, the official tale of the Descendants of the Rose. It is the song that every Versailles fan knows and can sing along to, if only because it’s entirely in English (except for one line). When the single first released, that seemed to be the beginning and the end of the Descendants’ story. But now that “The Revenant Choir” is in its proper place in “Noble”, it becomes one chapter of an even larger tale.
“zombie” also strays away from Versailles’ aesthetic, but not so much though that it is out of place. As part of the story, it completely fits, the melody is simply less complex than most of their compositions, and also one of the slowest songs TERU has ever written for Versailles. His specialty is his impressive, speedy skill with his guitar, so hearing something so simple amongst “Second Fear -Another Descendant-” and “To The Chaos Inside”, it’s something… different, to say the least.
The gem of this album is probably “After Cloudia”. It is gentle and passionate, but also metallic and powerful, all things that Versailles bears continuously in their music. And “Episode” was a perfect ending to the album. It is a piano piece, composed by KAMIJO but executed by Kazami of DaizyStripper. The fact that no one in Versailles was handy enough with a piano to play the song is rather astonishing, but the melody is lulling and KAMIJO’s vocals are truly precious. Most importantly, it is a song of closure, only fitting to close a chaotic story such as this.
Overall, the album was an extremely successful release, nothing anyone wouldn’t have expected from Versailles even despite the mild “surprises”. And it certainly is not a waste of anyone’s money. A highly recommended purchase, a perfect addition to anyone’s metal collection, and most importantly, an absolutely necessary purchase for any true Versailles fan.
Are you interested in supporting the band by getting your own copy of the release? Here is something to get you started:
02. Aristocrat's Symphony
03. Antique In The Future
04. Second Fear -Another Descendant-
06. After Cloudia
08. The Revenant Choir
09. To The Chaos Inside
11. History Of The Other Side
02. Aristocrat's Symphony (MV)
Release date: July 9, 2008
CD number: SASCD-038
You’ve probably noticed that the writing style of this review is different than some of the other reviews on the magazine. This is because this review was written by Khalia S, one of the guest-writers for Arlequin Magazine.
A Dutch translation of this review was made by 雪 (Yuki), to ensure that Dutch readers are also able to read Khalia’s work.
Khalia is a longtime fan of Japanese rock and metal, and sometimes likes to write about it.