the age of villains
Review by David Cirone
Japanese gothic metal band Yousei Teikoku returns from an all too long hiatus to deliver an amazingly evil tour-de-force in the new album the age of villains. It’s the band’s first full-length release since guitarist/arranger Takaha Tachibana stepped back from live performances due to health issues and former guitarist Shiren moved on to focus full-time on Unlucky Morpheus.
Tachibana’s presence is perhaps even more powerful as he orchestrates the album’s 45-minute sonic assault from behind the scenes — his musical malevolence pervades the entire album, as if the musician is daring us to count him out. He’s also pushing new guitarists XiVa and ryöga to truly sadistic lengths right from the start in “Autoscopy” and in shredders like “Ranshou Aion” and “Zetsu”.
Vocalist Yui has never embodied her role as “Empress” of the evil Fairy Empire as fully as she does in the age of villains. Her “Dictator for Life” persona was the focus of 2015’s SHADOW CORPS[e], and we got a glimpse of further evolution in the fantastical imagery of 2017’s flamma idola, but her combination of authority, seductiveness, and unpredictable intensity throughout this album is both fearsome and magnetic. From whispered horror in the prologue “A Treatise of Villainy” to escalated madness of “Eclipsed” to her dramatic narrative in “Phantom Terror”, Yui’s vocal performance holds your attention like a clawed hand around the throat.
Immensely satisfying replay-after-replay, the age of villains is 2020’s metal album album to beat.
the age of villains
1. A Treatise of Villainy: The Seventy-Two Villainous Truths (And One Blasphemy)
3. Hitoya no Maboroshi
4. IRON ROSE
5. Phantom terror
6. Ranshou Aion
8. Hell in glass
10. Paradiso Inferno
11. Aru Tsuioku, Bouchou Uchuu ni Okeru Shinkai Sunawachi Suiten
12. Sou Sou Friesian
Yousei Teikoku official website: http://dasfeenreich.com
Apple Music: https://bit.ly/YouseiTeikoku_AppleMusic
Lifelong Dictator Yui’s official Twitter account: https://twitter.com/yui_fairithm
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