(JShock 2008)D\'espairsRay - Mirror

If Hell were truly a real place, this is the music that would play there for eternity. Upsetting and tumultuous vocals, bone crunching bass, gut wrenching riffs, and flesh ripping sequencing are all through out the album "Mirror" by the incredibly passionate Japanese industrial rockers D'esparisRay. Their album, "Mirror," is the band's second full-length release and showcases their unique blend of industrial and melodic rock.

"Damned," the opening track, sounds like shredded flesh ripped unmercifully by the realization that all is lost. Vocalist Hizumi hits hard with guttural, clawing lyrics so raw I wished for a translation. My interpretation is fingers clawing the edge of a fresh grave, a final attempt to escape depicted by soul crushing chords and blasts of white noise. "Trickster" follows with fast paced hooks and steady, pounding bass. The album's title track, is a chaos of pleading chords, depicting internal chaos, something truly nightmarish…lost time…lost self….a deeply disturbing moment of epiphany portrayed so well by the solo vocals of Hizumi in the last twenty seconds before the song cuts off abruptly. "Sixty-Nine" is like some sort of wild ride, dark and scary, pure malevolence.

The fifth track, titled in Japanese, sounds like some sort of catharsis yet offers no relief with intensely pounding chords, anguished vocals, and crashing cymbals. "Screen," hauntingly eerie with a slow bass drum beat, like a beating heart, is introspective and seductive "Closer to Ideal," a feather by comparison to the other tracks offers a brief respite. But what? Misgivings or some sort of reconciliation? "Squall" sounds a triumphant, hopeful escape, a light pop sound, or like a hug. Is it a resolution of sorts, or a person running for their life, or the winning finish? The final track, "Kaleidoscope," is a color wheel of sound in shades of black, an abyss full of sharp cadence. All of the songs end abruptly like the notes fall out of the air leaving the listener breathless.

D'espairsRay, full of fire and rage, shown playing in a movie clip of "Trickster," included on "Mirror," is very appealing visually in Gothic black, leather, chains, interesting hair and heavy black eye liner. Listening to this album was like moving through a very suspenseful movie eagerly anticipating what is going to happen next. This music would be excellent material for action adventure or horror/thrill film sound tracks. D'espairsRay's music is exciting and hauntingly similar to The Sex Pistols or the more recent band, The Vacancies. This album doesn't give the listener a break with one pounding riff after the other in a demonically pleasing underworld of tortured, disfigured, and otherwise scarred souls. The music is lonely, angry, and full of plaintive wails.