DAZZLE VISION is a female-fronted Japanese screamo/metalcore band formed in 2003 by siblings Maiko (vocals) and Takuro (bass). The other members, as of April 2013, are Tony (guitar) and Haru (drums). DAZZLE VISION is known for Maiko’s vocal style which mixes melodic vocals with harsher “death voice” vocals. Her melodic voice is very distinctive, and passionate, despite singing mostly in Japanese. DAZZLE VISION‘s brand of alternative metal, which the band refers to as “screamo-pop,” mixes screamo, metalcore, and grunge influences with addictive melodic hooks. Maiko cites Story of the Year, The Used, System Of A Down, Slipknot as influences as well as Evanescence who they opened for in Tokyo and Nagoya in 2012. I started listening to DAZZLE VISION with their second album, Camellia Japonica (2007), which I discovered on the now defunct JapanFiles.com along with other cool Japanese artists like RAMPANT, GUARDIAN HACKER, CANTOY and many others. However, I really started to love DAZZLE VISION with their excellent third album, Crystal Children (2008).
Crystal Children and its follow-up, to the next (2010), their US debut, are not actually full albums, nor are they mini-albums either. Each has 8 tracks and clocks in under 30 minutes, so they’re somewhere in between. But, quantity is exceeded by quality. “HERE”, “Eternity”, “tonight” and “Moon” are all cool tracks on Crystal Children, but the acoustic ballad “Hane” is the real standout. Maiko’s melodic voice is amazingly awesome in this song whose title translates as “Flower”. And, in “METSU/All Refused”, a non-album single released simultaneously with Crystal Children, Maiko’s death voice gets worked out over explosive punk riffs. “VISION”, “to the next”, “Cold” and “Hirui” are cool tracks on to the next, but this album is more eclectic. “Boku go Boku de Aru Tame ni” (which translates as “I Have to be Myself”), my favorite track on to the next, is a melancholic pop/rocker, while the brief “Wonderland” adds electronic flourishes and “Miss.Cinderella” incorporates a visual kei-like jazz influence. The latter is re-worked on their next album.
Watch the videos for “HERE” and “VISION” here:
Kirari (2011) is DAZZLE VISION‘s first full album proper, and this one’s even better than the previous two. The album opens with the melodic alternative rock of “Kirari”, followed by the chaotic new metal of “REASON”, a pre-released single. The softer ballad “Sakura (Cherry Blossom)” was also pre-released as a single. Other cool tracks include metal rockers “Like I’m Not Real”, “12gatsu (December)” and another ballad “Tsuki to Taiyou (Moon and Sun)”. Even the interlude tracks (“∞” and “CONTINUE”) are good. But, my favorite tracks on Kirari are “BARA BARA AME” and, especially, “ZERO”. The latter is, arguably, my favorite DAZZLE VISION track of all. I love how Miako forcefully belts out the first line of each chorus.
Watch the videos for “Kirari” and “Like I’m Not Real” here:
DAZZLE VISION‘s aptly-titled current album, SHOCKING LOUD VOICE (2012), is a re-mix album, but not, like, dance re-mixes – just re-mastered cuts for better sound. Plus, the album includes two amazing new tracks (“Second” and “Take My Hand”). But, the re-mixed tracks from their second album, Camellia Japonica (2007), allowed me, at last, to appreciate their earlier work.
Watch the video for “Second” here:
And, watch the video for DAZZLE VISION‘s latest single, “Evolution”, here:
2005.11.03 – Origin Of Dazzle [Album]
2007.04.25 – Camellia Japonica [Album]
2008.03.26 – Origin Of Dazzle (2nd Press) [Album]
2008.11.21 – “Metsu / All refused (滅／All refused)” [Single]
2008.11.21 – Crystal Children [Album]
2010.05.12 – to the next (US debut) [Album]
2011.02.23 – “Sakura (桜)” (Digital) [Single]
2011.03.30 – “REASON” (Digital) [Single]
2011.06.03 – Kirari (キラリ) [Album]
2012.05.04 – SHOCKING LOUD VOICE (Remixes) [Album]
2012.11.09 – “Evolution (エボリューション)” [Single]