Vidoll

Romanesque Gothic

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Romanesque Gothic dates back to when Vidoll were just getting started, and, judging by its musical qualities, Vidoll's dark theatrics and fashion statements were at least as instrumental in making the band recognized on the visual kei scene. This is not to say that the actual music is bad, but it's simply that Romanesque Gothic has no clear identity and scarce new ideas. No two songs on the EP sound similar: the opening track sets the stage with some heavy riffs that summarize contemporary American alternative metal, and traces of this assault reappear on later tracks, but only sporadically; meanwhile, the band hops between optimistic pop/rock, quasi-rockabilly, punk, and vague post-grunge moments. Each of these is an established feature of the J-rock scene, but isn't immediately compatible with the others, and so the result is a quite a disparate jumble of verses and choruses. Jui's weepy baritone is the same throughout, but it's not enough to hold things together (although it's a good indication that the man knows his Luna Sea and Kuroyume records by heart). Romanesque Gothic ultimately sounds like an amateur band trying to figure out its own skills and preferences, or attempting to woo record label execs by saying "look, we can do anything, just sign us!" The playing and songwriting are nowhere near amateur -- quite professional, in fact -- but the derivativeness and superfluous multitasking prevent the EP from being as much fun as it could be. The band's potential is evident here, though.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
5:58
2
5:14
3
5:47
4
3:38
5
5:01
blue highlight denotes track pick