If you have some knowledge about Japanese subcultures you might have heard about Visual-kei before. This is a movement in the Japanese rock music scene, known for the colorful hairstyles, flamboyant costumes, and wearing a lot of makeup. It is important to know that this is not a music genre because many of the bands and their music don’t have so much in common, but they still are all part of the Visual-kei movement.
The term “Visual-kei” comes from the catchphrase “Psychedelic Violence-Crime of Visual Shock”, written on the album Blue Blood released in 1989 by X, formed in 1982 and currently known as X JAPAN. Since they were heavily influenced by glam rock and heavy metal, many bands that came after them also had these elements, but newer bands also show influences from bands that came before them in the Visual-kei scene, creating a lot of subgenres, such as Osare (fashionable)-kei, Tanbi (aesthetic)-kei, and Misshitsu (locked room)-kei.
It is quite easy to find your favorite band in this scene because there are so many bands making music of so many different genres, such as death metal, symphonic metal, techno, pop, punk, and shoegazing. It is not rare to find people avoiding listening to Visual-kei music because of how they look or for some other reasons, but judging their music without even listening to it is not the greatest idea. You will be missing out all the fun.
source : http://damy-official.com/media.php
Checking out their music is not hard these days and some bands even tour overseas as well, so if you like their music, make sure you also see them play live. Since most of the bands are all male, the majority of the fans are female, but that shouldn’t be stopping you to enjoy the atmosphere of the band and their gigs. Upcoming issues will introduce you to the bands you must keep an eye.
written by Mika Uchibori