YOUSEI TEIKOKU – “Shadow Corps[e]” (2015)

Label: Lantis

Review by Warren Mayocchi

YOUSEI TEIKOKU have been together creating music since the mid-nineties. A band survives for nearly twenty years by playing great music, and “SHADOW CORPS[e]” is their latest album. The vocals are delivered in a definite Japanese, not-quite-pop style. For an interesting contrast the band are blasting out a gothic-metal guitar and drum sound. Having the vocals and the band perform their dance of contrast delivers a duel-like atmosphere to the music. There is no conflict within the band though – they are tight, the interplay is more that of (zombie) army and (undead) queen. Neither dominates the other, they are both powerful in their own way.

From the above you may have an idea of what YOUSEI TEIKOKU sound like. The band have a video for the anthem, and title track, “Shadow Corps”. It is a lavish production – as you would expect for a band with the strength of a twenty year history. The video definitely represents what you will find on the album. Instrumentally, the riffs are dark, fast and heavy. Every instrument is allowed to breathe, with a choir regularly providing backing vocals. I love how this is all expressed in the song “Yami-iro Corsage” – it is an epic duel with constant surprises. “Shirogane Bara Kitan” is a movie-like horror story, beginning with with demented young laughter and an incessant, fleeing vocal until the closing minute when the hero of the story realises their fate is inescapable. “ancient moonlit battleground” is an instrumental giving the band a track to shine, “Infection” actually has an infectious energy, all the tracks have outstanding moments.

Whether or not you enjoy the Japanese vocal style, there is no denying the power of the music. I am tempted to say that most listeners with an ear for metal will find a great album in “SHADOW CORPS[e]”, however maybe you are not “most listeners”. At least check out the video that the band have produced to see what they can do. Listen for the theatrical power that YOUSEI TEIKOKU have infused in this album. To me the story-like interplay in the songs is the feature that makes the album greater than any of the individual components.

Rating – 88/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Attack!!
  2. ”D” chronicle
  3. Yami-iro corsage
  4. Shirogane Bara Kitan
  5. Zanya no Kemono
  6. calvariae
  7. Infection
  8. Geki
  9. ancient moonlit battleground
  10. Shadow Corps
  11. Tainai Tokei Toshi Orrery

 

Line Up

  • Her Highness YUI – Vocals
  • Takaha – Guitar
  • Shiren – Lead Guitar
  • Nanami – Bass
  • Gight – Drums

 

Links

https://www.facebook.com/dasfeenreich/

https://twitter.com/yui_fairithm

http://www.dasfeenreich.com/