DIVISION is the highly anticipated album of the GazettE, which also marks their 10th year anniversary! Without any singles, it had been released in two editions: regular and limited. The limited edition held two discs that depict two sides of the GazettE and weigh 1.5kg! The theme of the album was “twins”.

The first disk, named [VEIN], reveals the familiar side of the band with easily recognized rhythms and compositions, a smooth disk. The second disk [ARTERY] is maddening and unlocks inner conflicts with fast paced songs mixed with techno; many of these are describing ferocious internal battles. Now that it has been released, it’s only right to give this release a detailed two sided review.

The artwork for this album does not disappoint! The photo book was the main attraction of the limited edition. Nearly 70 pages of images displaying inception, parallel universes and paradoxes. The majority of the photos are very dark. I have seen very few uses of light. You can feel the high quality of the paper’s texture, definitely worth the amount asked. The entire album was created for the appeal of many senses: sight of the psychedelic images, sound of the music, feel of the black paper and, the best part for me, the intoxicating smell of freshly printed ink and compacted disks within their case. If you care for the concept of the album, please listen to the songs on the limited edition tracklist.

DIVISION Limited Edition cover art
Tracklist [VEIN]

01) [DEPTH]
02) Ibitsu
03) Kago no Sanagi
04) Hedoro
05) Kagefumi
06) YOIN

The first track of the album [DEPTH] starts with crackling sounds, quickly escalating to soft tones. Three or four beats playing at once, the tone bring in a simple thought. It sounds as easy as breathing. Some beats even sound like breathes! As you become entranced by this instrumental intro, the second track takes over.

Ibitsu brings us to the action. The song isn't too heavy. It's enough to just sway your body to the beats of the drums. The changes keep you interested and the small break between the first verse and the chorus makes you excited. The melody sounds so smooth, that I want to sing along! (laughs) Since the song isn't too fast paced, after a few plays, the chorus isn't too hard to learn. Ruki's voice is also a bit distorted, changing the way how the song is interpreted.

Kago no Sanagi comes with a similar feel and with a chorus of feminine voices: "I depend on your existence." Even though it is slow, there is something about the way it's written that makes my heart squeeze. The complexity and the simplicity creates a nice paradox. The small pause from the instruments recaptures your curiosity and make you listen more carefully. This song is full of interesting details that someone wouldn’t normally catch, had one simply been listening to the album out of excitement. Such as the two guitars exchanging their notes as Ruki sings soulfully, leading us to a worthy guitar solo.

Hedoro includes warping, repetitive beats. The words "Product of the necessary evil" are repeated until they become over-shadowed by the sound of instruments playing in a chaotic symphony. Ruki raps his words and the chaos dies down to the previous underlying beat. This song is faster than the previous one, leading us into an aggressive conflict. The track's main edge is the contrast between the sharp and flat notes. Ruki's distorted voice and the torn sounds lead you to a casual climax. I say casual, because it's not what I expected and not as heavy, but it flew well with the song. Should this song be any heavier, it would obscure the flow of the first disk.

A drum-roll serves as introduction for Kagefumi. A nicely flowing sound floats about. It is written much like Ibitsu. This song reminds me of the bands older releases "PLEDGE" or "Without A Trace". Ruki's voice is gentle and slightly in higher pitch. I love how the chorus is introduced. The excitement that's built toward it is granted with a flourish of emotions. The melody and the guitars intertwine and become one. There is some lack in variety in changing speeds and intonation, which may hurt the interests of some listeners, but the sections that are emphasized, can surely recapture them.

YOIN introduces an eternal beat. This song, though much heavier than any of the others in terms of underlying emotions, is not much different from DIM era. The introduction makes me think of an oasis which, for me, is a glowing organic figure in darkness. Feminine voices are heard, singing the a simple word. The voices of these women make this song feel more intimate. “This rain which melts into my skin. Slowly."

[DIPLOSOMIA] recovers us, easing its way through as it brings us to the end of the disk. Gentle, slow and simple beats, much like [DEPTH]. It brings an elegance and calmness, further distorting noises excite the ears but keep you relaxed. It's nearly as if all closing thoughts of [VEIN] were compressed into this short, two minutes song.

In this first disk, the songs seems to be about political or mental corruption. The destruction of society under the control of large entities. There is neither positive scenario described, nor any hope past these stories told to us. It’s as if these songs were written as warnings saying: “We have come from nothing, accelerated into higher technology and mass marketing, only to be caught by a made up third party. The grey crowd excited by mass productivity of products. We get lost within the grayness of the chaos and are confused by the paradoxes rather than receiving any facts. General society and democracy may decelerate one day to a point where all is under one power.” That is [VEIN]’s story to me.


The second disc [ARTERY] is the "newer side of GazettE". We look onto this disk with anticipation as we indulge in elaborated electronic sounds.

DIVISION Regular Edition cover art
Tracklist [ARTERY]

08) [XI]
14) [MELT]

[XI] is another wonderful introductory song. Being a fan of electronic music, I have to say that I love this track. Even though it is only an intro, it maps out a concept. The changing beats and the ripped bass sounds mix well with the melody. Less than one minute in and I'm already moving to the beat! This song is a mixed media, with "phone calls voice alerts" cleverly mixed in. (I would absolutely love to hear this being played at a rave).

DERANGEMENT is a song that shows you the electronic side of the band. The distortions fluctuate between the beats of the drums and are tearing at Ruki's voice. This song has the heaviness I was looking for. If you listen to the song with headphones, the guitars are front and center, the beats work carefully around them not to disturb their preaching. The song is definitely worth head-banging. Ruki's growls add to the frustrations and anger expressed. Repetition indicates insanity and the increased distortion in his voice indicate the change of one's mindset, hence, DERANGEMENT.

REQUIRED MALFUNCTION is a continuation, moving quickly. The chorus is significantly smoother and there is a wide variety in the change of tempo. Ruki talks and growls in a perfect, but confusing mixture. The song is certainly full of energy! So much is happening, so much is going on in the background that it’s difficult to keep up with what’s going on in the lyrics.

DRIPPING INSANITY holds a completely different vide. The song is a sequel of their older track, Bathroom (released on NIL). Bathroom tells the story of a girl who committed suicide in a bathroom. The track’s tempo is slower and calmer. This song is very intimate in the way it was written. Full of melancholy, Ruki sings above the heavy chords. From there, we are lead to a rather dismal ending, where the boy is on the edge of accepting his fate.

ATTITUDE brings us back to speed with dubstep beats. It is well balanced between electronic sounds and instruments with an interesting sense of friction. The lyrics are repeated; with deep, rasping screams, the band emphasizes frustration and demand; hence “ATTITUDE”. A very clever way to represent the name of the song

GABRIEL IN THE GALLOWS is a morbid lullaby that could inspire a nightmare. This certainly isn’t something you would use to sing a child to sleep, unless it were Halloween, maybe. It opens with inverting sounds, building up to the guitars and drums under a dark progression. The way Ruki rolls his voice is rather seductive. “Babe babe, Where do you go to?” The song holds extremely heavy beats against Ruki’s screams as the band supports him with heavy chants. “That screech! What do you want to convey?”

[MELT] has a mysterious beginning. Unswerving beats and ideas introduce and reintroduce themselves through the song. Undulating, synthesized drums entrance the mind, staying in your memory long after they are gone. Sounds mix and dissolve like sugar into water; inseparable. The last 30 seconds are dedicated to a sudden halt of all music, fading out with a mellow tone that dies down in small echoes.

[ARTERY] describes insanity: Derangements, acatalepsy, bipolar emotions. This disk is about internal conflicts, it is also a sequel to some older tracks. While [VEIN] reintroduced the older GAZETTO, this disk explores the newer GazettE while giving you the nostalgia of the past. DIVISION is a very dark album. There's no hope, no light, only darkness. The album's lyrics are, at times, extremely personal and sad, or full of anger and hatred. Though, it's full of insanity, I certainly recommend this album!

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Sources: DIVISION booklet, JpopAsia
Edited by Luke & Kuroi

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  1. Damn good review ^~^
    i like it a lot, i was wondering as to why the band chose to have an "electronic" feel to their style and this has cleared things up.

  2. I'm glad you like it! We all worked very hard xD
    And, of course, I'm happy this review cleared up some of your confusion! ;)

  3. At last, a quality, thought-provoking review! Really enjoyed your take on this lovely album, thank you for writing~

    1. Thank you for your feedback! I will try I present more reviews like these in the future ;)