1. THE GAZETTE
I would like to start this off with my favorite band, The Gazette. I remember when I saw these guys at The Wiltern on May 3rd I was blown away by how good they sounded, how good their energy was, and how great they were getting the audience into their music. It was with out a doubt one of the best shows I have ever attended. Unlike most visual kei bands, I actually think these guys have a cool look. Sometimes I feel that their look is over the top and not something I would like but other times I think they look cool and would support it. Musically they are very diverse, depending which album you listen to you will get in your face rock n roll, sometimes you will get dark mysterious music, and sometimes you will get border line soft funk out of them as shown in some of the videos below.
As you can see they are very diverse musically but it is well executed. The singer Ruki, has a good voice, Aoi's solo in gentle lie is very melodic and Uruha's solo in vortex made great use of the whammy bar. Reita is good solid bass player, and Kai's drumming is very energetic and creative. These guys are not the fastest players I have ever heard but for me it is not about the speed it is about the melody and all five of the guys deliver that well.
One of my favorite things about this band is how uplifting they can sound and yet still have a good heavy rock sound to their songs. Also, just like The Gazette they are not speedy musicians upfront but they are very good melodic musicians and that is what matters to me. However, this is one band I have a hard time supporting their look. I don't think the singer looks that bad but the rest of the band I can't support their look. Even with that though I still enjoy this band and love listening to them.
I think that the singer Yui has a good voice that works well with this band. While I don't think he is the greatest singer in the world he has created something that works well for this band that you wouldn't the same feeling with if another singer was in the band. The other great aspect of this band are the guitar players Lin and Shiina. What I like about them is that they don't try to overshoot their skills. They know what they are good at as musicians and they focus on that instead of trying hard to be something they are not.
3. NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST
I am not the biggest fan of death metal and hardcore but this one band that I openly am a fan of. These guys are amazing musicians and in my opinion their lead guitar player should be right up their with Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. As far as their look goes, while there are a few times I don't think they look that bad I wouldn't support their look overall. With that though they are still very good musicians as seen below.
Like I said, these guys are great musicians and showcase it very well in their music. The singer Hiro, may do a lot of screaming and growling like most Hardcore singers but when he is not screaming he has a good voice which is something I wish he would showcase more often. The lead guitarist Cazqui is amazing, Even though he has the weirdest look of all the other band members his guitar playing is just insane. He is a good shredder and you can tell he is not playing fast just for the sake of looking fast. The guy actually knows his stuff and like I said he should be up their with all the known great guitar players. Even though on the hits he is mainly shredding he is actually very diverse and on alot of their songs that are not as well known he plays nice melodic solos. Last is the drummer Natsu, this guy is one of the fastest drummers I have ever heard. He would fit right in with bands like Megadeth and Dragonforce.
All 3 of these bands I admire a lot and I recommend you give their music a shot. The Gazette and Nocturnal Bloodlust are on Itunes but you can find all CD's and music from all the bands on Amazon, Ebay, and Half.com. Go check them out