“JUBILEE” is Versailles’ first major album under Warner Music Japan. With this new release comes a variety of new features and sounds, as well as a truly though-provoking performance.
The tracks on this album deviate from the heavier, symphonic metal sound to a gentler, airy, neo-classical style that ultimately Versailles has never attempted before. Though the songs evoke a similar theme of tragedy and destined romance, the melodies are not as dark as those of previous compositions. The series of new endeavors are notable, even difficult to miss. One might be surprised to hear an acoustic melody in “Amorphous”, a fairytale-like ballad that is soft and simple, truly the polar opposite of the dueling guitar melodies usually performed. Similarly, TERU is most noted for his torturous, powerful, and fast-paced compositions, and the melody he composed for “愛と哀しみのノクターン (Ai to Kanashimi no Nocturne)” is a stark contrast to his previous works, although it captures the neo-classical theme quite well. Also to be noted: KAMIJO relinquishes his duty as lyricist to HIZAKI for two tracks, including “月下香 (Gekkakou)” which incorporates Latin, a new feature.
The Latin chant in the song is rather interesting, but also somewhat misplaced except for the way is sounds coupled with the thundering melody. Lyrically it serves little purpose other than adding to the general mysteriousness of the song.
The opening track, “God Palace -Method of Inheritance-” is certainly the strongest song on “JUBILEE”, and is arguably KAMIJO’s greatest composition to date. It is the epic tale of the album, an intimidating and impressive 10 minutes and 30 seconds. The song is broken up into four movements: The Birth of a God, An Age of Upheaval, Destiny, and The End of Eternity. The melody adjusts itself according to movements, and the intensity of the melody, as well as the passion and revival described in the lyrics make this track incredibly noteworthy. It delves into the nature of humanity and suffering, as well as destiny, a recurring theme, from different perspectives and stages of life. It is a paragon of quality and effort on each member’s part. Another highlight of the album is the following track, “Ascendead Master”. This song is the most commercial, beautiful, but unfortunately predictable. It is catchy and clever, the obvious appeal being the PV; vampires have quite the lure on fans as of late. One pleasant feature is the minute-long guitar solo, which especially emphasizes the strength of dueling twin guitars.
“JUBILEE” is also very special because it possesses the last of bassist, Jasmine You’s work with Versailles, as well as his spirit. His memory, most especially, is preserved in the song “Serenade”, which was written for him. HIZAKI’s composition is ethereal, full of light. It incorporates piano and violin, adding not only to the neo-classical and Christian themes, but also to the sentiment. KAMIJO’s lyrics are speaking to Jasmine You, and to the loss the band has suffered. It is a special song not only for Versailles, but for fans as well.
This album, “JUBILEE” represents a new stage of growth for Versailles and their original aesthetic. They’ve daringly experimented with their sound and their talents, and the general effort is impressive. Fans may welcome or discourage certain new features, but as a whole “JUBILEE” can stand as another example of total aestheticism.
Are you interested in supporting the band by getting your own copy of the release? Here is something to get you started:
Release: JUBILEE -Method of Inheritance-
Release date: January 20, 2010
Cd number: WPCL-10755 / WPZL-30169/70
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 Arlequin, to ensure that Dutch readers are also able to read Khalia’s work.