[Review] the GazettE’s “Toxic”

The GazettE’s new album is sounding like a revamped version of their previous “DIM.” And in case you’re wondering, it’s definitely “Toxic”; like a ballistic reaction from mixing explosive poisonous venom with acid. It’s like their old school style of hard-hitting, heavy metal charged tracks, while showing us they can record ballads just as well. I’m sure we’ve all been convinced since the release of “Cassis.” With all that said, “Toxic” is an exceptional album after two years of anticipation. The Jrock album of the year. If you’re into head bangers, dramatic concepts, or sorrowful numbers, then this is the album for you.

Gazette’s known to have creepy intros on their albums, but “INFUSE INTO” is one of the best I’ve heard in a while. It’s probably encouraging listeners to allow the music to instill something in them and see what they can take from it. There isn’t any singing other than the vocalist’s repetition of the title, and an electronic instrumental arrangement. Either way, its shockingly fantastic.

Venomous Spider Web” is a fast paced, punk rock number with an 80’s club mix in some parts. I like how every instrument has its own melody going on in the background. The key point of this track is the intense shouting by the members during the chorus. Majority of the lyrics are in English, which is not a rarity for the band. The song’s about satisfying your curiosity but later having to face the consequences of being too curious. 

Sludgy Cult” is another intense, heavy rock track. The song’s definitely a play of words in my opinion, making mention of “abandoning your ideal” and “showing your instinct”, which means letting go of your conception of what is perfect and relying only on your inner feelings. There’s also reference to being a coward for not taking risks, which I think is another depiction of the true meaning behind the song, being unwilling to conform.

Often, if not most of the time, previously released singles will somehow make it to the next released album and “RED” is one of those singles. The song had me hooked the first time I heard it. It’s about loving someone even though you have no sign of them reciprocating those feelings. There’s no “red string” tying them together, and it’s difficult for one to deal with when he  doesn’t know how to cope with being alone. That wasn’t exactly emphasized in the video, however, I liked the various camera angels, particularly the up close captures depicted.

The Suicide Circus” has a hypnotic sound like ecstasy in the mind. I like how electrically driven the track is. It’s a little more subtle than the previous songs but I find it has more edge in some way. The music video certainly portrayed the insane circus theatrics derived from the title of the song, but in more depth is referring to the sorrow felt within the frozen hearts of the lonely.

SHIVER” was also previously released as an anime theme and I didn’t really like how it sounded exactly like that, animated. However, there is deep substance within the words, and I can’t get over the ending guitar melody. The song’s about letting go of the sadness and trying to regain the courage to face tomorrow. The vocalist is an absolutely skilful songwriter and there should never be any questions about that. He has the ability to write songs that let people think, and in every essence, he portrays the meaning with his passionate singing.

I was left in awe by “My Devil on My Bed.” This would have to be one of the more sexually charged songs I’ve heard from the band since I’ve started listening to their music. The words are very provocative and raw. It’s about experiencing the ultimate pleasure in the bedroom, without feeling any regrets. It’s all about enjoying the moment to the max. I could be interpreting the song blindly without realizing the inner meaning, but so far, this is what I’ve uncovered. The song is about sexual fulfillment. 

GazettE slows things down with “UNTITLED”, the nameless track that is my favorite on the album. The song’s about hurting the one you supposedly love time and time again, until finally that special person decides they’ve had enough of the heartache and comes to the conclusion to end the relationship. It’s such a sweet yet sad song and I can’t get over how passionate and emotional Ruki’s voice sounds in these songs. The music is just astonishing; the arrangement takes my breath away with every single melody that makes up the entirety of the song. It’s one of the more depressing numbers but definitely one of the best.

PLEDGE” continues the broken promises and testing love concept stirred up within “UNTITLED.”However, this takes on a different perspective; it’s more about trying to let go of the past hurts and move on by either reconciling, or wish each other the best and say goodbye. This is the ultimate rock ballad by the band and it reminds me of 80’s rock love songs performed by western musicians. Regardless, this song has a certain element incomparable to others, pure and flawless singing by a sincerely talented man. I think the music video incorporated the song’s sadness quite well, from the falling rain to the black and white contrast. 

The energy is revived in “Ruthless Deed.” The heavy tuning is mind blowing; sounds like these guys when berserk on the track when composing it. The instrumental arrangement is just terrific, but I love the break from all the aggression in the middle of the song, and I think that’s the key point that highlights the purpose behind it. But of course it picks up back with so much more intensity. The song’s about society in general, how people behave, and the paradox of it all.

Psychopath” is just a highly concentrated and aggressive as the previous. There’s plenty of grunting, and other chaotic elements throughout the song. The track lives up to its title, which expounds on the issue of an individual’s explosive and uncontrollable behavior. It’s a short but entertaining number and I’m sure heavy rock lovers can appreciate this one.

VORTEX” is about remaining to yourself and refusing to lose yourself in anything outside of who you truly are. The line “you can’t take my soul away from me…” says it all. The music is also fast paced and heart plunging but you never tire of these songs no matter if they play twenty in a row. I think this is the band’s signature sound and it never fades out to grey. What I love about this track is the boldest it symbolizes. They band remains unapologetic in whatever it is they represent and I think that makes them honest. 

The album closes off high on energy. “Tomorrow Never Dies” leaves us with the hope that Gazerock is still very much alive, unchanged, and forever empowering listeners. The track’s about preserving life and pulling yourself out of the sinkhole you’ve fallen into. It’s also about seeking out a better tomorrow and freeing your mind of the unhealthy thoughts. This is a cool way to conclude the record on a brighter note.

OMEGA” wraps things up with what sounds like the backing score of a horror movie. What do you expect? It’s GazettE, an artistic piece is always at work when it comes to them creating music. And you just can’t escape their luring and addictive sound, can you?

In conclusion, “TOXIC” is just great. I have nothing critical to add regarding if there were space fillers or just crappy tracks, instead, I think these guys can do no wrong when it comes to recording because of how remarkably talented they are. Overall, the new album gets a rating of 5/5

Track listing:

02. Venomous Spider Web
03. Sludgy Cult
04. RED
05. The Suicide Circus
07. My Devil On My Bed
10. Ruthless Deed
11. Psychopath
13. Tomorrow Never Dies

(Purchase “TOXIC” now on iTunes)

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